In defense of the smoke-filled room

Thomas Sowell on Smoke-Filled Rooms on National Review Online

Back in 1944, the Democratic party’s leaders, knowing that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in such frail health that he was not likely to live out his next term, decided that the choice of vice-presidential nominee was too important to let go by default to the current vice president, Henry Wallace.

They proposed that little-known senator Harry Truman be put on the ticket instead, and FDR went along with it. You would have to know what a dingbat Henry Wallace was to realize how the smoke-filled room saved this nation from disaster.

I think it was David McCullough who remarked (paraphrasing): “Now, Wallace wasn’t himself a Communist. But everyone around him was.” Wallace was the sort of person termed a “useful idiot.”

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