Franklin D. Roosevelt

Remarks at National Campaign Headquarters, New York City

October 31, 1936

I think I am entitled to say, "my fellow workers." Jim Farley has suggested that I am going to carry this District.

You know, I envy you because in previous years I have been at Headquarters during campaigns. I know how hard the work is, but it is fun; and I have missed being up here in New York City these past months helping you good people make the wheels go round.

But you, too, have missed something. I wish you could have been out on the road with me. It would have given you a perfectly tremendous thrill, just as it did me, going into a great many different parts of the country, seeing the faces of men, women and children, and especially seeing their interest in things American.

I think that the most important impression that I have carried with me through these past weeks has been that more than in any other campaign in all of our American history, people are taking an intelligent interest—reading, going and listening to people's talks, reading all the literature of both parties, and then making up their own minds. It is the greatest thing that has happened for our democratic form of Government in these later years.

I am glad that people have been reading the literature of both sides. I am glad that they have been going to meetings where people on both sides speak. It is an extension of the forum idea of getting both sides of the question presented. Of course, I may be, frankly, a little prejudiced, but I believe that the more people go to forums, the more people listen to both sides and read the literature of both sides, even the newspapers, the bigger our majority is going to be.

You at Headquarters, of course, prepare the material for this campaign, and see to it that every city and every county and every little hamlet is given the information; and I am very proud of the fact that our information has been kept at a pretty high level.

One reason for that is the fact that we have at the head of this campaign a man who has always been square. I have known Jim Farley for a great many years, and I have never known him yet to do or think a mean thing.

For a long time now—a good many years—he has been taking it on the chin with a smile and not batting an eyelid, because, I think, in the back of his head he has had the idea that in spite of all kinds of unfair attacks, the American people will read him for what he is, absolutely on the level.

And incidentally, of course, I get reports in Washington not only from Jim, but from lots of people, about what has been going on here in New York. After an experience with many headquarters dating back to 1912, I have come to the very definite conclusion that the National Headquarters this year has had perfect teamwork: no cross wires, everything clicking, and the result is going to bear that out next Tuesday.

And so I am very grateful, I am very grateful to all of you from Jim down to the office boy. And maybe the office boy will be National Chairman or President about thirty years from now.

I want to thank you for all that you have done, for the many hours that you have spent in overtime and regular time, not only working in the offices, but, as most of you have been doing, working in your own homes.

It has been an inspiration for me to know that I have had the support of all you good people not only the past few months, but also the past few years, and I think we are going to continue with that support in the next four years.

So once more let me thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish I could meet each and every one of you in person. I want you to consider that I have shaken the hand of each and every one of you, and I hope that we will meet again some day soon.

I want to take this occasion, when you are all here, to send our thanks, yours and mine, to the many hundreds of men and women in all the States of the Union, in all the counties of the Union, in all the villages and cities of the Union, who in their way have been carrying on the same kind of task that we have been engaged in. I am going to ask Jim to send your regards, my regards, your thanks and my thanks to those in every part of the Nation who have been working toward this goal that we all believe we are going to reach next Tuesday.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Remarks at National Campaign Headquarters, New York City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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