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“I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match.”

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2011 at 10:25 pm

FDR. Wikimedia Commons image.

In the New York Review of Books blog, a July 7, 2011, entry by Ronald Dworkin states the current case very well regarding Obama vs. congressional Republicans.  And he  does so by quoting FDR speaking on the eve of his first re-election campaign in 1936.

Obama’s careful patience and mature stance in the face of GOP intransigence is probably good politics with independents whom he is determined to carry.

But I’d like to hear more passion from him. Dworkin points out that FDR won re-election by the largest margin in history.

Reading these words by FDR’s feels like someone just opened a window letting in a lakeside breeze.

For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up. We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred. I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.

–President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Madison Square Garden, in 1936

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  1. Yes! Hard to beat FDR in smarts and will. Still, Obama seems in some ways too smart for his own good. The difference may be that FDR came from a class that is more self-assured in its own way; Obama aims to avoid the pitfalls of Jimmy Carter and LBJ and is definitely more cautious than either Roosevelt. But he is still the best of the present lot for 2012 — by far.

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