Episode 9: “Warren G. Harding v. the World”. Alex gives the 29th President, Warren G. Harding, a thorough reevalutation 100 years after his election. You might be surprised with what he found. Harding, from Marion, OH, is always ranked near the bottom of the presidential rankings. After our research, we have to ask why? There’s scandals but there’s also some huge successes.
We visit Harding’s hometown of Marion and meet with Sherry Hall, site manager of the Harding Home and soon to be open Harding Presidential Center. Sherry discusses his early years, 1st Lady Florence Harding and Harding’s rise to power. Sherry walks us through the front porch campaign of 1920, his election to Presidential and his 2.5 years in the White House. Sherry discusses President Harding’s “Return to Normalcy.” Visit https://www.hardinghome.org for more information about the Harding Home and Memorial. As well as the Harding Presidential Center, opening in March to mark the 100 year anniversary of the inauguration.
We are also joined once again by Jim Robenalt, author of The Harding Affair: Love and Espionage During the Great War. Buy a copy of that great book about President Harding here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780230609648. Jim discusses why Harding is an underrated President and sheds light on some of the personal and political scandals that have dogged Harding’s legacy for a century.
Two other former guests join us to discuss Harding as well. Kyle Kondik, political analyst from the Virginia Center for Politics comes on to discuss Harding’s landslide win in the 1920 election over Ohio Governor James Cox. Yes, there were two Ohioans running for President in 1920. Political scientist, Zak Taylor from Georgia Tech joins us to discuss Harding’s excellent economic record and helping the country bounce back from a serious economic downturn following World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic.
We are on the back stretch of Season 5: Ohio and the Presidency. Thanks so much for listening. Don’t forget to go buy Jim Robenalt’s amazing book about Warren G. Harding: The Harding Affair: Love and Espionage During the Great War. https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780230609648.