Alternate Political History: Hoover/Roosevelt

January 19, 2007

roosevelt-hoover.jpgHerbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt are best known for being bitter political enemies from the 1932 presidential election. During the Great War, Hoover devoted his fortune and talents to humanitarian missions, most notably rescuing thousands of American tourists from Europe. Because of his heroic efforts, Hoover became a bit of a national hero. Much like Eisenhower after the Second World War, Hoover had no obvious political attachments and was recruited by both parties. While he eventually announced his support for Warren G. Harding and the Republicans (and becoming his Secretary of Commerce), for a time, Hoover was viewed as a potential presidential candidate for both parties. It is unlikely the talks got very far, but there were some overtures made to Hoover to have him run on a Democratic ticket–with Roosevelt as his running-mate.

If they had won, history would have been completely rewritten with the likely result that FDR would never have become president (the vice-presidency was much more of a political dead end in those days). Woodrow Wilson fatigue was running pretty high so it would have been an uphill fight for any Democrat to get elected in 1920. Even so, such a ticket would have taken two of America’s future staunchest rivals and placed them together in common cause.

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