Ferguson: Fourth term and Mrs. R (4-25-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (April 25, 1944)



Ferguson: Fourth term and Mrs. R

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Mrs. Roosevelt can claim one distinction: She is the only person in the United States who says she is not curious about Mr. Roosevelt’s fourth term intentions. The rest of us want to know, and I think his silence makes woeful waste since reams of paper are used daily as the commentators argue the matter.

The First Lady played the same game in 1940. Until the moment she was rushed to Chicago to stampede the convention for her husband, Mrs. Roosevelt declared she had not the slightest idea about campaign plans.

Why must we be subjected to the same tricks again? People know that the First Lady is affected by the political future of her husband. After all she breezes into the White House occasionally and she gets her mail there. And, if only in her capacity as a wife whose destiny is bound up with that of her husband, she deserves to be consulted on such important family business.

The wives of the nation either will feel she is badly treated so long as this state of affairs goes on, or they will surmise that somebody believes somebody else can’t keep a secret.

Even if the President doesn’t wish to inform the people of his plans still, I think he ought to tell his wife. A pert “Wouldn’t you like to know?” to press conference questions would sound better than Mrs. Roosevelt’s present reply, “I have not been told and I do not care to be informed.”

That attitude sets the First Lady too far above other women; it makes her less human than we would like her to be.