May 30, 2009

Curtis Roosevelt: Too Close to the Sun

Franklin Roosevelt on most polls taken by historians places third, right behind Washington who invented the job of president, and Abraham Lincoln who wrote the book on how it was supposed to be done. I admire Roosevelt greatly. I admire the other two also, but they are so far removed and history has made them almost mythic. Roosevelt, on the other hand, is current enough in time and events to make him very real to me. He was also not perfect, he was a scoundrel in his private life. If you condone or do not condone his private life, he will get your blood heated up, still to this day. He was a masterful politician, not always an asset, but he had to be able to manage civilian as well as military ego's and get the best out of each person, which history tells us, he did. He came from a patrician background, yet loved to be around the common folk, as we are sometimes called, even though none of us think we are. He gave his life to his country, running for and winning four terms. He had to know, although the relationship between Roosevelt and his doctor was strange to say the least, how sick he was. The doctor examined, did not communicate his findings to Roosevelt, nor to any other doctor who might have helped him medically, but that as they say is another story. My point though is that he could have rejected the run for the fourth term and perhaps extended his life for a while longer. He felt he was needed, and who can say he wasn't right. Harry Truman who succeeded him turned out to be tough enough that he could have handled the hot seat he inherited had he inherited it sooner, but we didn't know that at the time.

This talk by Curtis Roosevelt, FDR's grandson is informative, and interesting. It is billed as a lecture, but is really Mr. Roosevelt sharing his past with two of the twentieth century's greatest, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

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