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| | | |-+  Alternative 1940 Election - Henry Wallace/Wendell Wilkie
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Author Topic: Alternative 1940 Election - Henry Wallace/Wendell Wilkie  (Read 3234 times)
Lincoln Republican
Winfield
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« on: October 12, 2005, 06:41:32 pm »
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ALTERNATE 1940 ELECTION

First some background:

Interestingly enough, in 1940, the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, Henry Wallace, and the Republican Presidential nominee, Wendell Wilkie, both held the distinction of never having been elected to public office.

Interesting, as well, Henry Wallace was a former Republican, who supported the New Deal, and Wendell Wilkie was a former Democrat, who first supported, then, after 1932, opposed the New Deal.

Henry Wallace was an editor and an agricultural scientist, and was appointed by FDR as Secretary of Agriculture in 1933 and served in that capacity until 1940 when he was elected as Vice President.  FDR insisted on having Wallace as VP, otherwise, he would not run for a third term as President.

Wendell Wilkie was legal counsel from 1929 to 1933 and then President of New York based Commonwealth & Southern Corporation, America's largest electric utility holding company.

Here's the scenario: 

FDR withdraws as a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination in June of 1940 due to health reasons.  He endorses Wallace and urges the party to nominate the Secretary of Agriculture for President.  The party puts a great deal of stock in FDR's recommendation, and nominates Henry Wallace of Iowa for President and Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland for VP.  Tydings is a very well respected and experienced Senator, having served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1923-27 and as a U.S. Senator since 1927.  He is 50 years old.

The Republicans nominate corporate executive Wendell Wilkie of Ohio for President and Senator Charles McNary of Oregon for VP.  Senator McNary is a brilliant lawyer, having served as a Dean of Law, as well as an Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.  He is as well a very experienced legislator,  having been serving in the Senate since 1917, and is highly regarded by his colleagues.  He is 66 years old.

How much different would this election have been from the actual 1940 election between FDR and Wendell Wilkie?

Who wins?  Any views on how the electoral vote would turn out?

Comments and analysis please from all you deep thinkers out there.   

Thanks. 

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George W. Hobbes
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2005, 08:12:58 pm »
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Willkie win, but he and McNary are both dead before the 1944 elections, which would have been odd.
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2005, 11:34:36 pm »
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Willkie win, but he and McNary are both dead before the 1944 elections, which would have been odd.

Excellent point, of course.  Thank you for raising that. 

Senator Charles McNary was, as you know, the actual Vice Presidential nominee for the GOP in 1940.  That's why I used him in this scenario. 

Had the Wilkie/McNary ticket won in 1940, the situation would, of course, have been unprecedented.

McNary died in Feb of 1944 and Wilkie died in Oct of 1944.  Presumably, early in 1944, President Wilkie would have nominated and had confirmed a new Vice President.  The President and new Vice President would likely have become the GOP ticket for the 1944 election.  But President Wilkie dies before the 1944 election, making this new Vice President the new President, and presumably the new GOP Presidential candidate.  This new President would then have to name a new Vice Presidential candidate, and fast. 

Had Wilkie opted not to nominate a new Vice President, but to wait until the GOP convention in 1944 to name a Vice Presidential candidate, which was the option followed by LBJ, then after the death of President Wilkie in Oct, 1944, this would have propelled Democratic Texas Congressman and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Sam Rayburn, into the office of President.  Rayburn was a very experienced Congressman, having been in the House since 1913, and Speaker since 1940.  Rayburn was renowned for his honesty and integrity, and for his fairness in carrying out the duties of Speaker.  Rayburn would then serve as President until the winner of the Presidential election was sworn into office after the 1944 election.

Had Wilkie followed this option, likely the GOP Vice Presidential candidate would have become the new Presidential candidate in Oct, 1944, who would then have to pick a new Vice Presidential candidate in a hurry.  Either that, or the GOP would have to scramble to to name a new ticket, and there wouldn't be time for that.

All very fascinating stuff, which makes for interesting conjecture.

What a situation these events would have created in 1944.     
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2005, 02:15:27 am »
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Seeing as the 25th amendment hadn't passed, the VP spot would have remained vacant. Notice all of the vacant time periods here?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vice_President_of_the_United_States

The Secretary of State would have become President under the succesion line of the early 1940s.
http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/a_succession.htm
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2005, 09:09:46 am »
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Seeing as the 25th amendment hadn't passed, the VP spot would have remained vacant. Notice all of the vacant time periods here?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vice_President_of_the_United_States

The Secretary of State would have become President under the succesion line of the early 1940s.
http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/a_succession.htm


Thank you for the clarification.  Most interesting. 
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PBrunsel
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2005, 11:49:41 am »
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Wallace was not as radical as many think. He simply was a Utopian Dreamer, and that is always negative. He was very anti-Communist and strongly against the Reign of Terror of Uncle Joe Stalin, but he put this idea of Utopian World Peace above his anti-Stalinism.
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"I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side."
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