Will GOP Nominate a Businessman for President? They’ve Done It Before
1940 Republican campaign offers lessons and hope for Donald Trump.
However, “If the GOP nominates a businessman who is a political rookie for President, it won’t be the first time,” said William S. Bike, author of the book Winning Political Campaigns: A Comprehensive Guide to Electoral Success. “In 1940, the GOP thought a businessman who never held elective office, Wendell Willkie, was the best choice for President and gave him the nomination.”
Like Trump, Bike said, “Willkie criticized policies of the existing Democratic administration that he thought were anti-business. That’s because, like Trump, he came from a corporate background. Willkie was a lawyer first for the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in Ohio, and then he moved on to New York to make his fortune, as Trump would decades later. In Willkie’s case, the Commonwealth and Southern Corporation of New York, a power company, made him wealthy.”
Also like Trump, Willkie flirted with Democratic politics before becoming a Republican. “Willkie was active in Democratic politics and contributed money to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first Presidential campaign in 1932, just as Trump contributed money to Democratic campaigns before becoming a Republican,”
Willkie went from businessman to Presidential contender “the same way Trump did—by becoming a media star,” Bike explained. “Willkie became a national figure by appearing on the popular ‘Town Hall’ radio program, which was broadcast across the U.S.A. Like Trump, he was a multimedia expert, and he obtained the backing of the publishers of some of the top print publications in the country—the New York Herald Tribune, the Scripps-Howard newspapers, and Look magazine.”
Trump has his following of true believers, and so did Willkie, Bike said. “Willkie’s supporters created a nationwide grassroots network, and that’s happening with Trump now,” Bike added.
“Like Trump, Willkie was polling in the high twenties in terms of percentage, and in a wide field and backed by average Joes instead of party bosses, he ended up with the nomination,”
And how did the novice candidate do when he ran against Roosevelt for President in 1940? “Better than any of the professional politicians who ran against Roosevelt in other Presidential elections,” Bike said. “Willkie got over 22.3 million votes. In 1932, Herbert Hoover tallied only 15.7 million against FDR. In 1936, Alf Landon got 16.6 million against Roosevelt. And in 1944, Thomas Dewey tallied 22.1 million running against FDR.”
Republicans “have not been hesitant to run businessmen for the U.S. Senate and for Governorships,”
“So don’t think Donald Trump can’t ride his business and media credentials to the Republican Presidential nomination,”
Bike discusses the political strategies of successful candidates in Winning Political Campaigns: A Comprehensive Guide to Electoral Success, a how-to e-book providing information on everything a candidate, campaign worker, or activist needs to know to conduct a political race.
Winning Political Campaigns was written by Bike, an award winning journalist, public relations professional, and political pundit who has appeared on many radio and television broadcasts, including CNN. See http://www.youtube.com/
Winning Political Campaigns is available on Smashwords at http://www.smashwords.com/
The two previous Denali Press print editions of Winning Political Campaigns were highly acclaimed. “From a practical, political operations standpoint, it is the best book out, yet,” said reviewer Hank Landa of Political Book Reviews.
Winning Political Campaigns “provides essential tools, practical pointers, and valuable advice about running campaigns successfully,”
Covering everything from advertising to building alliances, proper business practices, campaign literature, candidate behavior, media, voter contact, debating, fundraising, strategy, and more, Winning Political Campaigns is extremely thorough and detailed, yet easy to use. Real-life examples are drawn not only form the political world, but from the worlds of sport, higher education, history, and more.
Innovations by the Barack Obama and Tea Party campaigns, the Citizens United Supreme Court decision on fundraising, new uses for social media and digital advertising in campaigns, and much more state-of-the-
Particularly useful are appendices including a sample itinerary for a political event, an event planning checklist, resource organizations expert on various issues, media terms, a sample news release and direct mail piece, and more.
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William S. Bike