In 1940, Republican Wendell Willkie (1892–1944) faced two-time winner Franklin Roosevelt (1882–1945). This parody of “Casey at the Bat” is full of political satire. A gleeful F.D.R. recalls Willkie’s debate (“de-bait”) with Solicitor General Robert Jackson. Meanwhile, Willkie, a fierce critic of F.D.R’s Tennessee Valley Authority, misses another pitch, despite coaching from former president Herbert Hoover (1874–1964). There would be no joy on Wall Street, the lyrics state, when the former industrialist strikes out, a call made by the umpire (the American people).
During his presidency (1932–1945), F.D.R. guided the nation through much of the Great Depression and World War II. This campaign song, published in 1944, depicts Roosevelt heading back to Washington on the Democratic donkey, an ironic image given his paralysis. Aware of Roosevelt’s poor health, the Democrats nominated Harry S Truman (1884–1972) for vice president in case Roosevelt did not survive the term. In fact, just five months later, Truman took the oath of office.
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