My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Election Day is always an exciting day with us, and the fact that our chief interest this year is in local candidates, makes it all the more exciting, for it is hard to elect Democrats in this district to local offices and therefore the element of real struggle enters into the campaign.

I have always felt that for local offices in a small place, where everybody knows everyone else, the vote should be more a question of the man than one of party allegience. When you have a good man running of your own party, however, it certainly is more fun trying to win votes in a district which is normally on the opposite side of the political fence. A young Democrat was elected supervisor here last time, and I think has made a very exceptional record. I know that he impressed me very much when I heard him speak one night, not because of his oratory, for he is a very shy young man, but because he told me so many things about local government which I had never known before and pointed out so much that could be done.

One of the leading Democratic political workers in talking to me yesterday about a candidate, made a very amusing comment. "I want to get around and tell them that he has been in exactly the same position since he went to work," he said. "We don't want a man in office who is contented to stay just where he began." Rather a good criticism and a better reason for voting against a person than many of those which one hears.

I can imagine that in big cities all over the country, especially in New York City, the tide of excitement will run high, but I think that our own local elections create just as much interest in this neighborhood and that is as it should be.

We drove up to the polls in an open car about noon and the usual collection of photographers and newsreel men were present.

It is a beautiful day which will mean a big vote I imagine, and as it is the last full day that we will have in the country for some time, I am very pleased to be able to enjoy it out of doors. It has become milder and the air is soft. When I was a child we would have said that weather like this in early November was Indian summer, but lately people seem to think that Indian summer comes earlier. I have often wondered about the origin and think I must try to find out why we talk about Indian summer at all. Someone who knew about trees looked thoughtfully across our big field and casually mentioned that the way the oak trees grew established the fact that those fields had been cultivated by the Indians. I have felt that there were many interesting facts which I had accepted all my life without in the least understanding them!

E.R.
TMsd 2 November 1937, AERP, FDRL