Date: June 18, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
No one who has not tried it or been very close to it can understand how difficult it is for a President to travel about the country. While he is in Washington he is surrounded by certain safeguards and given reasonable protection. As soon as he leaves the capital city he loses control of the situation and finds himself at the mercy of circumstances. Every shred of privacy vanishes, and he stands all the time in the full glare of the most intense publicity.
Usually his purpose is to attend some public function and deliver an address. No doubt such contacts are useful and even necessary in a republic. The people like to see their President and are almost universally considerate, respectful and enthusiastic in the reception they give him. But the benefit is to the people rather than the President. He sees and hears little he did not already know. The chief value lies in the public impression that is created. The picture of the President of a great country mingling with his fellow citizens, telling them his problems, sympathizing with their difficulties, broaching plans for their welfare, gives us a better realization that this is our government.
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 Greg Harkenrider who prepared this document for digital publication.