With the New York mayoralty race in full swing, with Roosevelt still holding the political spot-light and the country alive to every national and international current coursing through the land, it is interesting to glance at the political stage for 1940. Roosevelt is still without question the biggest political figure among the twenty-five million people known familiarly as Democrats. That he will accept a third nomination is officially doubted but that he will designate and bestow his blessing upon his successor is unchallenged by all political seers. And from the ranks of the elect he will probably select one of the following three stalwarts, Cordell Hull, Henry Wallace, or George Earle.
The first, Hull, carries more personal prestige than any man in the administration. He is, however, past sixty; and may see his last days from the swivel chair of the Supreme Court bench. Wallace has dropped from the headlines of late but he has been quietly acquiring political knowledge, and, even more valuable, political friendships. He will bear watching, for the West is coming into its own and Henry Wallace has become dear to the farmer's hearts. Earle, by birth and rearing a political carbon copy of Roosevelt, has neither the former's personality, ability nor integrity. His labor record in Pennsylvania discloses an opportunist of the first water, and an opportunist who has much to learn. To start a third term boom three years and five months before such an issue becomes pressing is the work of a bungler and reveals that Earle probably never passed his entrance examinations to the Roosevelt-Farley school for political moppets.
In the camp of the Phillistines we find the two defeated war horses Hoover and Landon, unreconciled even in their hour of travail. Neither of these former champions have ever seemed peculiarly ingrained in the affections of the American people but Senator Vandenburg is a man of different caliber and definitely the most quietly impressive figure in the "grand old party." That he will wear upon his sage and untroubled brow the republican laurel in the next election, is a fairly universal opinion.
LaFollette, a close friend and admirer of Roosevelt, and John Lewis are both men whose hold upon even the progressive element alone in the United States is too shaky to make them serious contenders. There remains but one man of growing national importance:--Fiorello La Guardia. A progressive, pro-labor, a disciple of Franklon Roosevelt and a man of unchallenged integrity, LaGuardia stands to win everything if he is returned to office as Mayor of New York. 1940 will most likely see Henry Wallace facing Vandenburg and if eight years of Roosevelt magic proves too much for the G. O. P. machine, then, certainly 1944 will see LaGuardia in a key position, both in his own Republican party and in the affections and admiration of the people of the United States.