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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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somebody else. The President wanted Hopkins as Secretary of Commerce because the relief program was folding up and it was making Hopkins unpopular. What had been said about the relief program, all the “boondoggling”, and so forth, had tended to make Hopkins unpopular, and the President was relying on him more and more and wanted him in an official post.

Sherwood's book

1 Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, (New York: Harpers, 1948)

indicates that the President wanted Harry there either to build him up for the Vice Presidency in 1940, or to keep him in a position where he could help Roosevelt. It was certainly to keep him in a position where he could help Roosevelt, and, if possible, to rehabilitate such elements of his reputation as had been damaged by the charge of “boondoggling”, which had then become slightly unpopular in some circles. As I've said before, I don't doubt Sherwood and I don't doubt what Hopkins said to Sherwood or what he said to others about the President's desire to make him a possible Presidential candidate, but I happened never to know anything about it. The President never murmurred

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