Election 1944: Dewey building campaign on quiet, local sessions (9-8-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (September 8, 1944)


Away from cheering crowds –
Dewey building campaign on quiet, local sessions

Meetings with Philadelphia leaders mark policy he will follow on 6,700-mile trip
By Charles T. Lucey, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Aboard Dewey train en route to Louisville, Kentucky –
The drama and excitement of Governor Dewey’s bid for the Presidency will be in cheering thousands in great auditoriums and along ticker-taped streets where he rides smiling and waving, but much of the political bone and sinew of the campaign will be in quiet sessions away from the crowds.

It was that way in Philadelphia yesterday, and, on Mr. Dewey’s word, will continue so throughout this 6,700-mile trip which will weight heavily in determining whether the 42-year-old governor can turn back President Roosevelt’s try for a fourth term.

The fireworks were in the vast hall where he proposed a dynamic domestic life for America in substitution for what he attacked as Roosevelt defeatism, and where he ripped away at bickering and muddling in the administration in Washington.

Says people not trusted

Mr. Dewey got a full-throated roar from the crowd when he alleged a mistrust of the American people by the Roosevelt administration, and followed through with: “I do not share that fear.”

Here was the Dewey of national affairs who could prescribe remedies for some of the ills of the nation.

But on the ninth floor of the Bellevue-Stratford was the Dewey who could meet with local groups in a friendly way and discuss some of their local problems and give them personal assurances on some of the broader questions facing the country.

Governor Dewey is hundreds of miles from Philadelphia now, but many of those he met in personal sessions are selling Thomas E. Dewey today.

Much selling needed

There isn’t much question but that it will take a lot of selling in Pennsylvania between now and November. Mr. Roosevelt carried the state by 281,000 in 1940, and most of this margin came from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

In his speech, Mr. Dewey pounced on Maj. Gen. Lewis B. Hershey’s statement that “we can keep people in the Army about as cheaply as we could create an agency for them when they are out.” He sought to link this with “an administration conceived in defeatism” which is “getting all set for another depression.”