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That’s Just Super


I was interested in Lanny Davis’s defense of superdelegates in which he noted that “The ‘smoke-filled rooms’ of Democratic Party leaders had led to the nomination and election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy. Not bad.” Looking beyond the fact that Stevenson lost in both his bids to become President, this is a very short list. What about the rocket-ride candidacy of John W. Davis, selected at the 1924 convention on the 103rd ballot? Lots of smoke in those rooms. He grabbed 29 percent of the popular vote in November, against Calvin Coolidge. The Republicans even won New York City. Then there was James M. Cox in 1920, who had scored a more impressive 34 percent in his race. And who can forget the three defeats of smoke-filled-room veteran William Jennings Bryan? By all means, stoke up those stogies.


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