“I believe that time has passed, the mistakes I made in my last campaign have been forgotten, and America is ready once again for my leadership,” former President Herbert Hoover told reporters here in Des Moines today.
Citing his longstanding ties to Iowa, his birthplace, Hoover continued, “It’s not hard to construct a scenario in which I’d win the caucuses and build enough momentum to go on to New Hampshire and beyond.”
Hoover’s last campaign, in 1932, was marked by belligerent crowds and even a few assassination attempts. The incumbent President at the time, Hoover was unable to persuade Americans that “prosperity was just around the corner,” and he lost the popular vote to his opponent, Franklin Roosevelt, by 39.7 percent to 57.4 percent.
Political analysts give Hoover’s candidacy mixed grades, citing on the one hand his lengthy record of defending free-market economics and low taxes; and on the other his death in 1964.
“It’s a long shot, but it’s too soon to rule him out,” said Republican analyst Lotte Polster. “Declining educational standards today mean that most Americans don’t even know we had a Depression, much less that Hoover was President when it happened. After so many decades out of office, he’s the ultimate Washington outsider, and a lot of Republican voters do respond well to his kind of message.”
One conservative voter, Archibald Bunker of Queens, NY, clearly agrees. “Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again,” Bunker said.