Recently I have heard members of the mainstream media opine that President Trump’s acceptance of his party’s nomination from the White House would be against the law (Hatch Act). Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article that might shed some light on that opinion. An acceptance speech from the White House would not be something that has not happened before.
The article notes:
Even the media are piling on the outrage. An Aug. 6 piece by Deb Riechmann of the usually reliable Associated Press wrote, “Using the Rose Garden, the Executive Mansion or even the Oval Office as the backdrop for his speech capping the Aug. 24-27 convention would mark an unprecedented use of federal property for partisan political purposes.”
Except it wouldn’t be unprecedented at all.
Just past midnight on a muggy Thursday night in July 1940, Franklin Roosevelt was wheeled into the Diplomatic Reception Room on the White House’s ground floor. His chair was placed before a large, silvery microphone. Roosevelt felt comfortable speaking in that particular spot. It was where he had delivered many of his famous “fireside chats” and where, four years later, he would lead people in prayer on the evening of D-Day.
But Roosevelt wasn’t performing an official duty at the moment. Sitting in his shirt sleeves, he thumbed through the papers in his hands, scanning the words typed on them one last time. At 12:14 a.m., a producer pointed a finger toward him indicating that it was time to talk. Franklin Roosevelt took a quick breath and spoke these words: “Members of the Convention — my friends …”
He then spent the next half-hour accepting the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination for the third time and laying the groundwork for his upcoming reelection campaign. And he did it inside the walls of the White House.
The article explains why Roosevelt gave the speech from the White House:
While the party machinery was firmly in Roosevelt’s control, Democratic leaders were jittery. Would rank-and-file delegates vote to make it official? Outgoing Vice President John Nance Garner had sought the nomination, giving them an alternative. And Roosevelt himself had been coy all spring and summer about running for a third term. The president’s advisers had him stay home in Washington, just to be on the safe side. But in the end, there was nothing to worry about. Roosevelt was easily nominated on the first ballot.
Which was how Roosevelt became the first (and to date, only) candidate to ever deliver this most political of all speeches from the White House.
Those condemning President Trump for considering the idea might want to take a look at their own history!