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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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In early '44 Willkie was trying to decide whether or not to run in Wisconsin and Albert spent a lot of time with John Haynes and in talking with Stassen and maneuvering, trying to help Willkie in '44. Willkie, I don't think ran in any primaries; I think it was decided not to. Dewey got hold of the imagination of the people somehow by entering primary fights, and Willkie was just maneuvered out of the nomination in '44, which ordinarily one might have thought he'd have as he should have been in control of the party machinery.

I remember dining with Albert and the Willkies the night of Dewey's nomination in '44 and how sad and how still vaguely hopeful he was that maybe his name would come up and sweet the convention. It was sad, pathetic almost. Willkie never liked Dewey and he was deeply depressed over his nomination and didn't know how he could support him. It's very difficult for the former nominee for President of any party not to support his successor, but there were moments when I think he really considered coming out for Roosevelt, which, of course, would have been very damaging to Dewey. It turned out that he didn't need to damage Dewey any more than Dewey damaged himself. But Willkie was in a great state of emotional frustration and very split about what he should do and how he should conduct himself because he felt that he couldn't campaign for Dewey.

Q:

Was it because of Dewey's conservative point of view?

Lasker:

Yes, and he just didn't like Dewey as a person either.



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