A Nice Guy and a Terrible President

Harding was a handsome, affable newspaper publisher and politician from Ohio. His record as a state legislator and U.S. senator was almost entirely without distinction, but he was a popular guy anyway—especially with newly enfranchised women voters—and was easily elected in 1920.

Harding’s administration was ripe with scandal, much of it involving buddies he had appointed to various offices. The worst was called ‘Teapot Dome’, and involved the secret leasing of public oil reserves to private companies by Harding’s secretary of interior, Albert B. Fall, in return for $400,000 in interest-free ‘loans’.

Harding himself was never implicated in any of the scandals, but he suffered nevertheless. ‘I have no trouble with my enemies,’ he told a reporter, ‘but my damned friends, my God-damned friends… they’re the ones that keep me walking the floor nights.’

Harding died of a heart attack while visiting San Francisco in August 1923.

(c) 2001 IDG Books Worldwide, Inc.

Furthermore

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10.07.07. Humour.

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