THE CAPITAL: Exit the Curmudgeon

One day in February 1933, Harold Le Claire Ickes stopped off in Washington to take in the sights and to see if, by chance, anybody in the New Deal wanted to pay off a political debt. During the campaign, Ickes had worked hard to organize Midwestern progressive Republicans for Franklin Roosevelt. But in the fever of preinauguration, nobody in the capital seemed to care—until Ickes bumped into an old friend who had connections. Next day Harold Ickes got a summons from the President-elect. "Mr. Ickes," said Franklin Roosevelt, "you and I have...

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