Candidate Roosevelt began his political career early, at the age of 28. In 1910, he won a seat in the New York state senate, and re-election in 1912. This is where the Roosevelt brand sprouted. He didn't like the status quo of the Democratic political machine in New York—embodied in what was referred to as the Tammany Hill machine. Without spinning off onto insufferable detail, suffice it to say that the machine was akin to a political mafia with the neck of New York politics in its clutches. A young idealist like Roosevelt hated such a thing, so he and other mutineers bucked the system. The result was that they were successful in putting their candidate in the US Senate (voters did not elect US Senators until after the 17th Amendment was adopted by Congress May 13 1913).
The New York senate was a forge that formed the steel of Roosevelt. He learned from political machinations and backroom negotiations. In his second term with the state senate, he wound up chairing the Agriculture Committee, introducing him to the politics of the people. And he found success. Roosevelt was becoming more progressive, supporting labor and social welfare programs for women and children.
|Roosevelt as Assistant Secretary of the Navy|
A relationship with labor began at this phase in the Roosevelt career. Around this time the theories of a Frederick W Taylor were weaving their ways into the management practices of heavy industry. The essence of his ideas included process improvement and efficiencies. At the core of it was breaking down specific tasks within the overall process as well as having measured outcomes tied to labor's compensation. And as we all know, success metrics and accountability are not attributes that labor unions value. Shipbuilding managers embraced Taylor, but Roosevelt, having a soft spot for unions in his heart and campaign coffers, opposed the system. Right or wrong, these issues allowed Roosevelt to jump feat first into labor issues, as well as resource management during war since his service as Assistant Secretary of the Navy lasted through World War I.
Roosevelt began to site the presidency in his planning scope pretty early on. He needed to jump out on the national stage as a candidate—but he did so prematurely. He actually got is backside whipped in a 1914 run for the US Senate. This is where the Tammany machine got some revenge. Then president Woodrow was after re-election and the local political machine was needed to secure the valuable New York vote. What this taught Roosevelt was that strong local political organizations were a part of the tactical arsenal even in federal elections. Another run on the national stage had the same outcome. He ran as the VP on the 1920 with James M. Cox. They lost to Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge.
|Supports gave the illusion of recovery.|
Recovery was really an illusion, although treatment had some positive affect. Still, he crafted an image of healing and valiant effort against the disease—which the public largely bought into. Few really knew just how severe the disease physically disabled Roosevelt. And by the 1924 National Democratic Convention, he was back in the game. A few years later, Roosevelt was elected Governor of New York, serving from 1929 to 1932—amidst the worst economic upheaval in global history, and one that would tee up another crisis, swallowing the planet in military conflict for six years.
NOTE: Coming soon - part two, which will conclude discovery and complete the brand analysis.