HYDE PARK, Monday—Saturday noon, I took a plane to Buffalo to attend the dinner given that evening for Senator James M. Mead. At the dinner, he was announced as our next Democratic candidate for governor, but he himself was entirely non-committal!
I have always thought that, in many ways, being Governor of New York State would be more interesting than being in the United States Senate, but where one has had long experience in the Senate, it may be that the change to administrative work might not be so attractive. Dealing with the State legislature would, of course, be fairly simple in comparison with dealing with the other members of the United States Senate, but it is a big decision to make and one that I can well imagine would require a great deal of consideration.
The dinner was the annual one given in tribute to Grover Cleveland, who started his political career in Buffalo. It is well for all of us, I think, to recall these men of other days who labored in the public service and contributed to the building of our republic. Grover Cleveland was a man of outstanding honesty. He trusted and believed in the people.
But even in his day, the burden of the presidency must have been very great. My husband's father knew President Cleveland and took my husband as a little boy to call upon him. All his life, my husband told us the story of the deep impression it made upon him when President Cleveland, in saying goodbye, patted him on the head and wished for him that he might "never be President of the United States."
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I took the night train from Buffalo and, in the morning, went into the club car to get a cup of coffee before we reached New York. A kindly-looking gentleman asked if he could sit down and talk with me for a few minutes.
He told me that many of the business and financial men he knew were very anxious to have all controls removed to spur production. They said that then there would be a short inflation, but that Mrs. America would never pay excessive prices for long and would shortly refuse to buy. This would bring a sharp deflation but of short duration, and we would soon be back to normal. Our whole upset economy would settle down and the free-enterprise system would be saved. This plan might be hard on a few people but the hardship wouldn't last long!
How simple it sounds, but it isn't as simple as that! It may flatter Mrs. America, but she had better not accept the assignment!