The Smoke-Filled Room II

Lead: Nominated on the ballot in a previously dead-locked convention, rumors began to spread that the choice of Warren Gamaliel Harding at the 1920 Republican Convention was brokered in a smoke-filled room.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In early 1920, months before the convention, Harry M. Dougherty, Harding's campaign manager, seeing the possibility of a dead-lock between front-runners Leonard Wood and Frank Lowden, engaged in a little political speculation which probably gave birth to the myth of the smoke-filled room. He said in an interview, "I don't expect Senator Harding to be nominated on the first, second or third ballot, but I think ... that about eleven minutes after two o'clock on Friday morning at the convention, ...fifteen or twenty men, somewhat weary, ...sitting around a table, of them will say: 'Who will we nominate?' At that decisive time the friends of Senator Harding can suggest him." It was pure speculation but of such are myths born.