1 December 1920: The President-Elect of the United States

A bit of a strange editorial today from the Appleton Post-Crescent a month after the election and before the inauguration, where President-elect Senator Harding is being praised for some quite vague reasons – mostly for not giving his opinion on much of anything.


Although honored with the presidency by the largest vote in the history of the country,  Senator Harding has been gaining strength ever since the election. His modesty in accepting the result and the good taste which he has displayed toward the high responsibilities of the office have set well with the people. Mr. Harding has shown no disposition to take things in his own hands, or to so conduct himself as to impress the people with his greatness or importance. On the contrary, he has borne himself with simple dignity and with democratic address.

His discussion of public questions has been carefully considered and with an open-mindedness which indicates that he proposes to study questions of policy before undertaking to define them. He gives the appearance of a man who is deeply sensible of his great duties to the nation and the people, and of one who is anxious to serve them faithfully and conscientiously. His evident desire to hear all sides of a proposition and not to pass judgment until he is fully advised and has taken counsel is well calculated to enlist public confidence.

His refusal to be dragged into a premature and ill-considered expression of Mexican policy, or to negotiate with Mexican leaders while on his trip south, notwithstanding pressure was brought to influence him in this direction, shows balance and good judgment. His comments upon the Panama canal and administrative and political problems of the Canal Zone have been essentially constructive. Likewise his growing reticence about discussing foreign relations and the precise questions of peace and the Versailles treaty and league indicate a frame of mind which is favorable to their proper solution. Preconceived notions which he may have had on these subjects are very likely to undergo modification when he comes in direct and official contact with them. On the whole Senator Harding has given a most excellent account of himself since the election. The people like him and their esteem is growing. He is gaining their respect and confidence without appearing to make the effort, which is not merely an asset of immeasurable value to him but a testimonial of real ability — perhaps greater ability than he has been credited with.

Published in: on December 1, 2010 at 7:51 am  Leave a Comment  

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