Election 1944: ‘Hoover panic’ will come with Dewey, Wallace says (9-21-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (September 22, 1944)


Wallace: ‘Hoover panic’ will come with Dewey

20,000 in New York hear Vice President stress ‘experience’ of Roosevelt

New York (UP) –
A cheering crowd of about 20,000 persons packed into Madison Square Garden last night heard Vice President Henry A. Wallace forecast the reelection of President Roosevelt and warn that a Republican victory may return the country to “a normalcy of a Harding and a 10-year decay into the panic of a Hoover.”

Mr. Wallace, who was supplanted as Mr. Roosevelt’s fourth term running mate in favor of Senator Harry S. Truman, addressed a rally, sponsored by the Independent Voters’ Committee of the Arts and Sciences for Roosevelt.

The crowd also cheered as a galaxy of Hollywood stars, including Better Davis, Frederic March and Orson Welles, who introduced the Vice President, appeared on the program.

‘Two problems’

Mr. Wallace, making his first speech on behalf of the Roosevelt-Truman ticket, said that the problem of the current White House campaign is not one of indispensability. The only issue, he asserted, is which of the two candidates – Franklin D. Roosevelt or Thomas E. Dewey – is more capable of handling these two problems:

  • Who can better cooperate with Churchill, Stalin and the Generalissimo [Chiang Kai-shek], in writing a lasting, liberal, democratic peace which will preserve American interests without being unfair to any nation, big or small?

  • Who can best make sure that there will be jobs for everybody and therefore good incomes for farmers, white-collar workers, business and professional men?

He said that it would be absurd to attack the motives of any man seeking national leadership: that both Governor Dewey and Mr. Roosevelt will do their best if called to serve.

‘Equipment and experience’

He said:

The first question to decide is one of equipment and experience. Who can better provide for permanent peace and full employment – Dewey or Roosevelt?

Despite all Governor Dewey’s assertions, he continued, the isolationists are going to vote Republican in November.

He said:

Just as Harding placated the isolationists in 1921, so Dewey would be under the necessity of placating them in 1945. The Republican Party in spite of the millions of its members who think clearly about international affairs, has been, is now, and will be the channel through which the isolationists, the cartelists and the international freebooters work best.

‘Jobs for all’

The heart of the liberal program for post-war America, he said, is “jobs for all.” Next, he said, is the willingness of all men to work – “there can be no sit-down strike of idle seeking the dole.” He listed as a third point job priority to veterans and men and women who toiled in war plants at home.

Mr. Wallace conceded that a readjustment period would be needed before jobs for all could be provided. But he was confident the job could be done.

He said the post-war battle on the home front will be an exciting one and held that “there can be no slackers as we fight for the common man in the pursuit of the richer life.” He disapproved of the $1-a-year man plan but insisted that the government had the first call of services of the nation’s leaders.

If a wartime President may draft the brains of this country to fight, certainly a peacetime President may draft the brains of the country to work full-time in the most exciting battle of modern times – the battle against depression; against panic; against defeatism; the battle for full employment, national health, and a permanent peace.

He concluded with the declaration that “there shall never be a return to the normalcy of yesteryear – to normalcy for the few and sub-normalcy for the many.”

He said:

We welcome – yes, we shall fight for something we never have had – the normalcy of the good life for everybody.