Republican Presidential Campaign Despairs

Friday 16th October 1936

Senator Alf Landon, the increasingly obviously doomed Republican Presidential candidate, stepped up his attack on President Franklin Roosevelt. He described Roosevelt as the “Kerensky of the American revolutionary movement” although he did not seem able to identify its Lenin or Trotsky. He promised that Roosevelt would bring the country to a point where “every owner of a life insurance policy or bank account will see his savings evaporate”. As this had already happened to many Americans in the wave of bank failures of the Great Depression, this rather lacked impact.

This was clearly a move of desperation. The all-out denunciation of Roosevelt’s New Deal as a quasi-socialist programme marked the final abandonment of any Republican sympathy for the programme’s social goals. Originally Landon had been touted as a representative of a “Liberal” tendency within the Republican Party.