JULY 20, 1940
HYDE PARK, N. Y., Friday—Since I wrote my column yesterday, I have travelled a good many miles. I cannot say that I was sorry to see my little cottage this morning.
According to schedule, Franklin, Jr., and I met at LaGuardia Field yesterday afternoon. Mr. C. R. Smith, President of the American Airlines, had very kindly sent a small airplane to take me from New Hackensack, New York, to New York City, and I must record the thrilling experience of actually being allowed to fly the little ship for part of the trip down while in the air. It was so smooth that there was no difficulty in keeping it on an even keel. I watched the river below to keep it on the right course. I have always wanted to learn to fly a plane and even this small experience was exciting.
Our trip to Chicago was smooth and unventful. The Postmaster General, Mr. Farley, was kind enough to meet me at the airport. Before I left it, I had an interview with some of the newspaper people. We couldn't induce Mr. Smith to go to the convention with us, so Mr. Farley, Franklin, Jr., and I were the only ones who drove to the Stevens Hotel.
We spent a short time there and many photographs were taken. Then we went directly to the convention hall. The atmosphere there was much like the atmosphere one always finds on these occasions. Everybody was very busy, very troubled or very elated about one thing or another.
To me there is something very contagious about the friendly atmosphere brought about by meeting old friends. I was so glad to see them from all parts of the country. I like my fellow Democrats from wherever they may come. We may think differently on certain subjects but, taken by and large, there is a bond of real friendliness.
I was delighted when Mrs. Henry Wallace arrived to sit beside me. We watched the balloting which put the Secretary over as Vice-Presidential candidate. Secretary Wallace is a very fine person and I am sure will strengthen the ticket. I have always felt in him a certain shyness and that has kept him aloof from some Democrats, but now that he will be in close touch with so many of them, I am sure they will soon find in him much to admire and love.
Somehow I cannot feel this campaign is going to be in any way the type of campaign we connect with the routine of choosing a President every four years. Whatever the people decide in November, I hope it will be done with the realization of the critical times we are living in. Above everything else, that any candidate, or any President, in these times, is powerless without the active participation of every citizen in working out the internal problems of this nation and their relationship to world problems.