Saturday, June 11, 2016

Today -100: June 11, 1916: I have not desired the nomination

The negotiations between Republican and Bull Moose leaders on fielding a joint presidential ticket fail, mostly because the R’s refuse to suggest a candidate. As the conference reached its inevitable conclusion, Roosevelt (phoning from Oyster Bay) suggests Henry Cabot Lodge, but it comes to nothing.

So the two conventions go about their separate business. The Progressives nominate Theodore Roosevelt and John M. Parker. Two minutes later across town, the Republicans nominate Charles Evans Hughes and Charles Fairbanks.

Hughes accepts by a telegram which begins “I have not desired the nomination.” Oh, NOW you tell us. He comes out for “Americanism” and preparedness and against Wilson’s policies in Mexico, in terms designed to satisfy Roosevelt (if such a thing is possible).

Roosevelt declines the nomination of the party he created and says he’s retiring from politics. Actually, he’s suspending his campaign – a “conditional refusal to run” in his words – leaving open the possibility of jumping back in if Hughes isn’t up to his expectations, but also preventing the Progs naming a replacement. Bull Moose party leaders refrain from reading TR’s telegram until right before the convention adjourns, to prevent rioting.

Roosevelt’s now unrunning mate John Parker will run instead for governor of Louisiana and lose, then run again in 1920 and win (as a Democrat). He is different from other Southern politicians in that the only lynching he is known to have personally participated in was of whites (Italian immigrants), which makes a refreshing change of pace.

Former Vice President Charles Fairbanks accepts the vice presidential nomination with all the enthusiasm it deserves, saying he had told the Indiana delegation to withdraw his name if anyone nominated him, but his message arrived too late so now “I feel it is my duty, under the circumstances” to accept.

Beards, they both have beards. That won’t happen again.

Racist Headline of the Day -100:  

According to Frank Rash of Kentucky at the National Association of Manufacturers’ convention.

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