The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

June 18, 2014

Will Rogers Daily Telegrams 6-19-2014

ENID, Okla. — W.R. HEARST TAKES UP WILL ROGERS’S BET THAT COOLIDGE WILL RUN AGAIN NEXT YEAR

BEVERLY HILLS, Cal. — Oct. 12, 1927. I have received this:

Will Rogers, Beverly Hills, Cal.:

Dear Will: Since you have brought me into the Rogers-Brisbane controversy as to whether President Coolidge will run again in spite of his definite declaration that he will not, let me say I will accept your bet of $5,000 and moreover, will give you odds of 2 to 1; in other words, I will wager $10,000 to $5,000 that President Coolidge will not run in 1928.

I have no inside information, but I know the President to be a truthful, honorable gentleman and a high-minded patriot who wishes to stand, and deserves to stand, with Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Cleveland, and all the great Americans who have been unwilling to endanger the republican character of our American institutions by substituting a dictatorship for a democracy by breaking the eight-year limitation, the more than two-term restriction, established by the Father of our country.

Moreover, the people have shown their devotion to the principles of Washington by voting out of office the party and the public men who violated his injunction against foreign entangling alliances, and I firmly believe that the public would be equally drastic in their action concerning any public man who thought more of his petty personal ambition than he did of Washington’s patriotic injunction against the dangers of a protracted Presidential term.

William Randolph Hearst.

All right, Mr. Hearst, it’s a bet. I can understand your position. You, as a Democrat, don’t want him to run. Neither does any other Democrat want him to run. But it’s the Republicans that he has to listen to, and not the Democrats. It’s not “his petty personal ambition.” It’s that he has to run to protect the party that has kept him in office all his life. You say he will be defeated. Now, I will outdo you in generosity. I will bet you 5 to 1 that if he runs he will be elected.

I base this belief on the ground of the Democrats splitting, which is the surest ground in the world, especially if a wet is nominated. And if a wet is not nominated the wet Democrats will go Republican. So they split either way they jump.

Now, Mr. Hearst, it wasn’t you I was after at all. It was Arthur I was fishing for. I base both bets on two things — Republicans needs and Democratic precedent. Now, when I start collecting, W. R., I hope this don’t make you short. The charity which I will devote the winnings of the last bet to, is the upbringing of the Rogers offspring, so they won’t have to rely on public office for sustenance.

Arthur got out of this pretty lucky.

Yours,

Will Rogers.

Enid News & Eagle is republishing Will Rogers’ daily syndicated column, Daily Telegrams, in chronological order. The collection was edited and republished by Oklahoma State University Press in 1978 and under copyright of the Will Rogers Memorial Commission.

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