• U.S.

National Affairs: Willkie Takes His Shoes Off

2 minute read

While Democrats, tense, baffled and depressed, began to gather at Chicago, Republican Willkie stretched out under a tree beside an artificial lake in Colorado Springs last week, took his shoes off. To a local resident, who apologized for the 92° heat, Mrs. Willkie said reassuringly: “Hot weather makes him lazy and that is just what he needs. I hope he shows signs of increasing laziness.”

A brief interruption was a trip to Denver, where he shook hands with all comers at a public reception, made a brief speech, pledging himself to work for: 1) a united people free of class hate; 2) “the rehabilitation of our economic life;” 3) an adequate defense program.

Back in Colorado Springs, Mr. Willkie at week’s end began to show signs of restlessness. Uppermost in his mind was his acceptance speech, which he planned to deliver August 1 in his home town of Elwood, Ind. To help shape the G. O. P. policies that will be announced in it, he said he had summoned Pennsylvania’s onetime Senator George Wharton Pepper, Kansas’ Editor William Allen White, Minnesota’s Governor Harold Stassen. Also from Mr. Willkie came the announcement that Republican campaign headquarters would be established in Chicago.

At week’s end Mr. Willkie learned that Iowa’s Senator Guy Mark Gillette, chairman of the Senate Campaign Investigating Committee, had found nothing “at this time” to justify an investigation of the “Nominate Willkie”, telegrams which had flooded the Philadelphia convention. Senator Gillette, a Democrat but no New Dealer, declared he would not be party to a smear campaign. His committee agreed with him.

News that Nominee Willkie heard with less indifference was a Gallup poll which found that he was already running close to Roosevelt in popularity. To the question, “If President Roosevelt runs for a third term . . . against Wendell Willkie . . . how would you vote?” 53% said Roosevelt, 47% Willkie.

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