In a departure from my usual facts only blog I am writing a PERSONAL OPINION based on my just finishing the book “THE SHADOW OF BLOOMING GROVE : Warren G Harding in His Times” by Francis Russell. Harding is considered one of the worst Presidents of all time and I knew very little except for the Teapot Dome scandal. It seems like Harding was a pretty likable guy who was just too inexperienced for the job of President. He was nominated because the Republican convention of 1920 was split between 3 guys with no end in sight in an unbearably hot convention center. Senator Harding of Ohio was a compromise choice due to being not too disagreeable and someone the elite thought they could control. He really didn’t want to be President and knew that he was unprepared for the job (first hint of a problem). At least he appears to have wanted to do the right thing and wanted to learn what to do but he just couldn’t do it. Personal ‘flaws’ sited were his affairs with women, poker playing and some alcohol use during prohibition but we see all these types of behavior in other Presidents. The biggest problem were his friends that he put in high places who were totally corrupt and took every advantage of their positions such as the Teapot Dome oil scandal, most of which did not come out until after Harding died only 2 1/2 years into his first term. Given the severity of Harding’s reputation in these circumstances one has to wonder how history will treat a President who wasn’t just surrounded by corruption but was himself morally and politically corrupt. Only time will tell.
Jeannette Rankin was a social worker from Montana and was the first woman to be elected to Congress. She was one of 50 Representatives to vote against entering WW I. After her term she quit politics before being elected to a second term in 1940. She was the only member of Congress to vote against entering WW II.
(Book – The Shadow of Blooming Cove:Warren G. Harding in His Times – Francis Russell)