Roosevelt's Bid for a Third Term.
In 1940 President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought a third term as president. Following in a tradition established by George Washington, no previous president had ever run for a third term, even though the Constitution did not yet forbid it. Roosevelt had claimed to close associates that he had no intention of seeking another term, yet he controlled the Democratic Party and knew that popular opinion would support him if he ran again. Foreign affairs, moreover, were bringing the war ever closer to America. Few Democrats could imagine any other man at the helm of the U.S. government in such perilous times. Roosevelt and his advisers shaped a careful strategy to make it appear that the president was not seeking the nomination but that the Democratic Party and the American people were drafting him. Other Democrats tried their hands in state primaries. John Nance Garner, Roosevelt's vice president since 1932,...
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