Calvin Coolidge “I thought I could swing it”

  • Philip Abbott
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency Series book series (EAP)


When Coolidge assumed the presidency after Harding’s death in August, 1923, he had no political base and very limited visibility. Congressional investigations of cabinet corruption had begun. Information about his predecessor’s martial infidelities was beginning to reach the press. The Harding administration was becoming a “synonym for corruption, malfeasance and rapacious capitalism” among critics.1


Republican Party Minimalist Strategy Exclusion Clause Homage Strategy Kerosene Lamp 
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  1. 1.
    Michael P. Riccards, The Ferocious Engine of Democracy (New York: Madison Books, 1995), 2:102.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Robert Sobel, Coolidge: An American Enigma (Washington, DC: Regnery, 1998), p. 234.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Robert K. Murray, The Harding Era (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Robert H. Ferrell, The Presidency of Calvin Coolidge (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1998), p. 18.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Calvin Coolidge, Have Faith in Massachusetts (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1919), p. 80.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Calvin Coolidge, The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge (New York: Cosmopolitan Book Corporation, 1931), p. 147.Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    Thomas Stokes, Chip Off My Shoulder (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1940), p. 139.Google Scholar
  8. 14.
    For a descriptions of Coolidge’s press conferences, see Jule Abels, In the Time of Silent Cal (New York: G. P. Putnam’s, 1969), pp. 45–46; Arthur F. Finer, A Rhetorical Study of the Speaking of Calvin Coolidge (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1990), pp. 91–100.Google Scholar
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    Ibid., p. 269.Google Scholar
  13. 20.
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  14. 22.
    Paul Johnson explores Coolidge’s minimalist approach to governing in general. “Calvin Coolidge and the Last Acadia” in John Earl Haynes, ed., Calvin Coolidge and the Coolidge Era (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1998), pp. 1–13.Google Scholar
  15. 24.
    See David J. Goldberg, Discontented America: The United Sates in the 1920s (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  16. 25.
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  17. 27.
    Edward Elwell Whiting, President Coolidge: A Contemporary Estimate (Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1923), p. 200.Google Scholar
  18. 28.
    Walter Lippman, Men of Destiny (1927) (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2003), pp. 11, 16–17.Google Scholar
  19. 29.
    Stephen Skowronek, The Politics Presidents Make (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 47.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Philip Abbott 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Abbott

There are no affiliations available

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