My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Monday—Because I believe that where one can do so, one should take an interest in the candidate for office in one's own area. Therefore, I went on Saturday afternoon to a small meeting at the home of James Bourne in Rhinebeck, N.Y. Mr. Bourne is running for Congress in our district, which, of course, is an overwhelmingly Republican district. Nevertheless, he has decided to make an active campaign. There were a number of people there who are working in his campaign, including a few of the students at Bard College who have been extremely active in distributing campaign posters and literature.

James B. Russell, who is running for the State Senate also was present. From what he said it was evident that he had been visiting a good many areas of his district.

This sort of house-to-house campaign is one I have always thought very profitable, both to the voter and to the candidate. The candidate learns a good deal about the needs of the voters in his district and the voter has a chance to find out what kind of person the candidate is and what his qualifications are for the office to which he is seeking election. It also gives the voter a better opportunity to understand the platform endorsed by the candidate. I did not know Mr. Russell before meeting him on Saturday, but he impressed me favorably.

I have known Jim Bourne for a great many years and I feel sure that almost anyone who meets him would be attracted by his personality. Talking with him, one finds a background of varied experience that would serve him well if he is elected to Congress. A Yale graduate, the son of a professor of history at Yale, served as a lieutenant in the Field Artillery, First Division, in Europe in World War I. He married Dorothy Dulles, a graduate of Smith College who always has been active in education and civic affairs wherever she lived. She now teaches at Bard College near her home. She formerly taught in Puerto Rico during the years when her husband was there in business and later as relief administrator.

Mr. Bourne has had experience in the government, on his own farm, and at present in his own business. He operates a small factory in which small tools and wood products are made.

Rhinebeck is a small town but Mr. Bourne has had connections with people all over the world and the variety of his experience reflects itself in the constructive and liberal program for which he promises to work. He says: "We must go forward always, bettering the way of life of all our people, maintaining our freedom and our civil rights, and working effectively to improve our relations and insuring peace with the other nations of the world." Those would not be bad promises for all of our Democratic Congressmen to make.

In the evening I spent half an hour at the reunion dinner given at the Nelson House in Poughkeepsie by the members of the old 240th Military Police group that was in Hyde Park during the war. I had the pleasure of meeting them all and found any number of candidates for office in different parts of the country. Among them there is a great sense of responsibility to the government. I was glad to see them and only sorry I could not be with them longer.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL