November 07, 2012

Rogers saved Curtis's candidacy

An article on Will Rogers's political reporting offers one especially interesting anecdote: when one Indian rescued another.

The Political Wit and Wisdom of Will Rogers

By Steve Russell1932 Republican Convention, Chicago

The next day, Rogers found a political story he cared about: “Well, got some scandal for you today, for it wouldn’t be a Republican convention without some sort of undercover ‘finagling.’ They are out now to throw poor old Injun Charley Curtis off and get another vice president.… Their alibi is that he is too old.… Well, they knew a few months ago how old he would be about now.”

Rogers went on to suggest that the people out for Curtis’s head explain it this way: “We are in the hole and we got to try and dig up somebody that will help us swing some votes. It’s not your age, Charley… You got to be the goat, not us. So any one we can think of that can carry the most votes we are going to nominate ’em, be it Charley Chaplin or Amelia Earhart. You been a good Injun, but its votes not sentiment we are after this year. So long, Charley, take care of yourself.”

Two days later, Rogers complained again: “Poor Charley is to be tomahawked in the back…just like they took the country from the Indians.… ”

When the movement to dump Curtis failed, Rogers claimed credit, probably correctly: “I saved my ‘Injun’ Charley Curtis for vice presidency. The rascals was just ready to stab him when we caught ’em. So it’s the same old vaudeville team of Hoover and Curtis.”
Comment:  For more on Will Rogers, see Will Rogers, Native Superstar and Will Rogers Educational Website.

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