PRESIDENTIAL LOYALITY

Posted: March 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Loyalty is one of the most important virtues of a team and must be paramount to any leader.  While loyalty is defined as the act of being loyal; the word loyal is defined as “giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution”.  When in a leadership role it is important that the loyalty to an elected official is reciprocated and loyalty is also demonstrated by the elected official toward the people that support the person in power.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, FDR, is considered by many to be the third greatest president behind Washington and Lincoln.  Roosevelt was a president for the time.  He had a gigantic task of steering the country during the difficult times of the Great Depression and then keeping the country on track to defeat the axis during World War II.  He did an admirable job but if there was a flaw in his leadership it was his abandonment at certain times of his loyal supporters; people that were undying in supporting his doctrine and him personally.

In 1924 FDR nominated Al Smith as the Democratic candidate for president.  Smith was not nominated but in 1928 Smith was nominated due in part to a deal cut with the Huey Long faction at the Democratic convention.  Smith lost despite FDR being his campaign manager.  Smith did support Roosevelt as governor of New York and Roosevelt won.  Smith felt like 1932 would be his year but instead of FDR supporting him, Roosevelt abandoned Smith and ran himself and won.  Smith would never again be a friend of Roosevelt’s despite FDR’s wife Eleanor intervening and trying to mend the old relationship.

Roosevelt’s campaign manager in the 32 run for president was the head of the Democratic Central Committee, Jim Farley.  Farley had remained close friends with Al Smith and they formed an alliance that built the Empire State Building in record time.  Farley was also very loyal to Roosevelt.  When Roosevelt went into office he had so much trust in Farley that he made him the Post Master General of the United States.  Farley was a brilliant leader and inaugurated air mail service for the post office.  In 1940 Roosevelt was to begin his third run for president.  It was felt that a president should serve no more than two terms but the law was not in place as it is today. Farley was to be the heir apparent but instead of Farley running for the high office, Roosevelt made a third bid for the office and left Farley on the side lines.  Farley left the administration and became the Chairman of the  Coca Cola Export Company.

For you that saw the movie “Tora Tora Tora”, one the iconic figures was the United States Secretary of State, Gordon Hull.  He was the man that accepted the letter from the Japanese Ambassador that told that Japan would attack Pearl Harbor, after the attack took place.  He is the longest serving Secretary of State and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1945 for founding the United Nations.  His health was failing during World War II and he was not being consulted on many international matters by FDR.  Roosevelt personally managed much of the international matters of the United States.  Hull resigned from the Roosevelt administration in 1945.

Louisiana was not immune to the one flaw in Roosevelt.  The Federal Prosecutor that originated the investigation that led to the Louisiana Scandals and sent 200 Louisianans  to prison to include the governor, president of LSU and other high level officials was up for reappointment as prosecutor.  The governor of Louisiana was fiercely loyal to FDR and he ended up in a Federal Prison.  The Louisiana Prosecutor was never reappointed by the Roosevelt administration although he had been a strong Roosevelt supporter for many years.

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