Wendell L. Willkie


Willkie for President

Wendell Willkie (1892-1944), a vociferous critic of the New Deal, ran as a dark-horse Republican candidate for president against Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, and earned a respectable 45% of the popular vote. I seem to remember than Ayn Rand worked on his campaign, but later became disillusioned with him. (I don’t see him mentioned in the index to her Letters or Journal – if you know a reference for this, please email me.)

Two years after his 1940 defeat, Willkie flew around the world in a military bomber visiting dozens of countries in 49 days. He reported on the trip in One World, an argument (according to the American National Biography) against imperialism and colonialism, in which he mentioned that when a Russian woman cooked him a meal in her farmhouse, he felt just like he did back home in Indiana. ... Which Indiana would that be?