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October 23, 1944

“HYDE PARK, Sunday—Yesterday I accompanied my husband on his trip around New York. It is a long time since we have done anything of this kind. In spite of the bad weather, it was an interesting experience, and I was glad that the President had this stimulating drive and could attend the rally for Senator Wagner.

The luncheon Friday for the Democratic National Committee was made really delightful by Clifton Fadiman, who presided and, in addition, made a very eloquent speech. In the afternoon, I enjoyed the exhibition at the Vanderbilt Gallery very much. There are some very interesting portraits and pieces of sculpture included. Jo Davidson has made a tremendous head of the President which faces you as you go in, and is enlarged from the small one. Both are remarkable likenesses. The whole back of the room is a photographic story of the nearly twelve years that now lie behind the Roosevelt administration. For once, statistics are not dry, since they are accompanied by very illuminating and interesting photographs.”

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September 11, 1956

“GENEVA—It is amusing, far away in Switzerland where you feel cut off from American politics, to find yourself asked at every meal by your neighbors what you think is going to happen on Election Day.

I sat between an Italian and a Frenchman at lunch the other day and each one, in turn, gave me a little dissertation on American politics. Nothing was as difficult, however, as when I was asked last night to explain the electoral college system.

Just how many votes are there in the electoral college? I didn’t know. I could tell how many votes a state had in the Democratic convention, but I had completely forgotten the details of how the electoral college works. It is really good to be pinned down on your own government by foreigners, because it makes you go home and look up things carefully.

It is also interesting to read over here some of the columnists that are reprinted in the European edition of the New York Herald Tribune. I was especially interested in what Joseph Alsop said about the small poll made in Seattle and Portland, Oregon. If I had been asked, I would have said exactly what he did about the way the vote is lining up at the present time. So I felt quite proud to have my bunch verified, even by a small poll.”

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