FDR: The Heights Of Charm

Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin at Yalta, February 1945Russell Baker writes: ‘Needing to remove Vice President Henry Wallace from the Democrats’ 1944 election ticket, President Roosevelt sent him on one of those foreign junkets contrived to refresh sagging egos in the warming balm of publicity. This one took Wallace to China, Mongolia, and Siberia. At his departure, the president said, “I think you ought to see a lot of Siberia.” Wallace apparently heard nothing disturbing in the president’s advice, so treated himself to a journey of 27,000 miles that lasted fifty-one days. It was a suicidally long absence from the political battlefields back home where Wallace’s future was being decided by Democratic Party bosses who wished him no good. Wallace was out of the vice-presidency before realizing that the president wanted him off the ticket but couldn’t bear to hurt his feelings by saying so.’

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