NOVEMBER 8, 1944
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—The President went yesterday on his usual pre-election day round of neighboring counties. He and Secretary Morgenthau have made this round on so many pre-election days that it has become a tradition. They always stop at the same places, and I think the one in Beacon is the very spot where the President made his very first campaign speech when he entered politics as a young man, running in a "hopeless" district for the state Senate.
We had an early lunch and saw the cavalcade off. Later, at 5:30, I met the party for the last meeting in Poughkeepsie, in front of the post office. I dashed from there to the train, in order to spend a little time yesterday evening at the dinner of the New York State workers. Both the staff and volunteers were present, and we wanted very much to thank them on the President's behalf for the work they had done in this very arduous campaign.
I would have liked to do the same tonight when the National Democratic Committee, under Mrs. Charles Tillett, holds its party for their workers and staff, but election night I must be in Hyde Park. All I can do is send Mrs. Tillett a written message telling her of the President's appreciation of the work which they have done. The men, of course, will hear from the President, and they have much more frequent access to him; but I always feel particularly drawn to the women workers, who do so faithfully the many details which underpin the success of the whole campaign.
I came back this morning to Hyde Park on the early train and, as usual, my husband and I are going up to vote today. The afternoon will be calm and undisturbed, but in the evening our neighbors and friends will be coming in to join us and await the returns. Whatever happens, I feel that on the Democratic side the President has made a good fight; and in political life I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed, and had done the very best you could.
Campaigns certainly are an interesting study in human nature, and they do bring out the things which are important to different individuals. In reading through the very numerous letters which have been coming to me during the past few weeks, I have been struck by the variety of reasons which move people to write. Sometimes it is a recollection of hard days lived through, and gratitude for a helping hand which changed the hardships into comfort. Sometimes it is devotion to an idea, such as the hope of world peace or international understanding. Sometimes it is the devotion to some boy fighting in a faraway place who had written home that he likes his Commander-in-Chief. Personal feelings certainly translate themselves into public action.