Date: January 12, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: Coolidge advises new politicians that they should seek knowledge of public policy before they seek press in newspapers.
(Original document available here)
Many young men are just starting a political career of indeterminate length in state legislatures. A number of them will be future Governors and Senators. One or two may become President.
If they wish to be useful and influential in the public service they will put their reliance in courage and serious hard work. Knowing a little more about a subject under discussion than any one else on the floor will be the surest way to success. When that is done it will not be necessary to seek publicity. The press will come to them.
They will find artificial newspaper notoriety very dangerous. Even when it becomes very wide it has no depth. That kind of a reputation can be destroyed as easily as it was created by an equally artificial counterblast from the opposition. Legislators ought to pay much more attention to history. There are very few problems that are new. If they examine what has been done in the past they will save themselves from many errors in the present. In the political life of tomorrow not only the greatest satisfaction but the greatest power will go to the men who are right today.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Fr. Stephen Lawson who prepared this document for digital publication.