A reassessment of the political style and acumen of Calvin Coolidge during the 1924 presidential campaign, this study analyzes the presidential election campaign following the national conventions and discusses organizational and financial difficulties, and the popularity and impact of opinion polls and of radio. This monograph, based upon extensive research in contemporary newspapers, magazines and manuscript collections, offers a reassessment of the political style and acumen of Calvin Coolidge during the 1924 presidential campaign. The volume investigates the circumstances and significance of Coolidge's assumption of the presidency in August 1923 following the sudden death of Warren G. Harding. It details and discusses the strategy and tactics of the Coolidge team - especially the roles of William M. Butler, Frank W. Stearns and Campbell Bascom Slemp - in projecting a positive image of Coolidge, in contrast to the low public esteem of the Sixty-eighth Congress. The study explains the manner in which rivals for the G.O.P. nomination were eliminated and delegates to the National Convention in Cleveland in June 1924 were accumulated.
It examines Coolidge's deft handling of the emerging political scandals, particularly the Teapot Dome affair, and his skilful avoidance of any personal blame. The volume includes a detailed account of the domination of the Republican convention by the Coolidge managers and the resultant La Follette schism. While the main focus is upon Coolidge and the Republicans there is also a detailed account of the Democratic party's problems and internal divisions in 1924, and its disastrous convention in New York. The study also encompasses a description of the growth of third party sentiment after the 1922 mid-term elections and the decision of Senator Robert M. La Follette to run as an independent candidate in 1924, though with the backing of a range of progressive groups. This volume then embraces a study of the presidential election campaign following the national conventions and discusses organizational and financial difficulties, and the popularity and impact of opinion polls and of radio.
The itineraries of the major presidential and vice-presidential candidates are related, especially Coolidge's policy of remaining above the political fray, concentrating on government business and declining to enter any meaningful political debate. The election results are analyzed in some detail and attention given to the 'Coolidge factor' in the sweeping Republican victory. The major thesis throughout is that far from simply being in the right place at the right time, Coolidge was a shrewd, determined and experienced politician who tailored his campaign precisely to the needs and circumstances of the time.
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd
Number of pages: 980