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The Promise of Change:  Roosevelt and Hoover

Roosevelt and Hoover

As his inauguration approached, FDR's strained relationship with Herbert Hoover hit a low point.

Once they had been friendly acquaintances while serving in Woodrow Wilson's administration. FDR hoped Hoover would enter elective politics as a Democrat. "I wish we could make him President," he wrote a friend in 1920.

By 1933, Roosevelt's admiration had cooled. Hoover found FDR "amiable" but "badly informed and of comparatively little vision." When the bank crisis erupted, Hoover sought FDR's support for a proclamation closing the country's banks and pressed him to reveal his recovery plans. Roosevelt resisted these appeals, determined to keep his options open.

By Inauguration Day, the two were barely on speaking terms. Riding to the Capitol, Hoover sat expressionless while Roosevelt smiled and waved to the crowd. After March 4, they never met again.
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