NOVEMBER 9, 1944
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—Yesterday afternoon was just as quiet as I had anticipated it would be. My husband took some of our guests to his top cottage for tea, and our neighbors began to come in at half past seven for a buffet supper at the big house. By 9 o'clock the dining room was cleared and the President started the real business of watching the vote and tabulating it as it came in.
When this begins, I always think of Louis Howe, who really enjoyed sitting in his shirt sleeves and calculating percentages. I can't say that it means a great deal to me. Nor does it to most of our guests, who wander into the big room, sit around and talk, listen to the radio, and get reports from the dining room, where the people who really are doing the tabulating are hard at work. Later in the evening, when the returns began to seem to have some meaning, the newspaper people and photographers came up from Poughkeepsie, and even the radio men were along.
More people than ever came down from Hyde Park with flares and a band, led by Moses Smith and Elmer Van Wagner, who is the Democratic supervisor in our district. They always report apologetically that "the President has carried his own district by a few votes, but lost the town of Hyde Park." "Nevertheless," they add, "in spite of the fact that they vote against him, all his neighbors love him." This little speech always amuses me, for it seems to me that they must vote as a tradition, but hope to be beaten—which doesn't make any real sense.
Until a very late, or rather a very early hour, I heard nothing definite from Helen Gahagan Douglas, candidate for Congress in a California district, in whom we are much interested.
There was a good deal of excitement all through the evening among many people about us, but I can't say that I felt half as much excited as I will feel the day that I hear the war is over in Europe. That news will mean that the war in the Pacific will be nearer an end; and when I hear that the war in the Pacific is over, I shall feel a sense of far greater relief than any election returns could possibly bring me. Whatever happens in an election has to be all right, and one can only trust that the collective wisdom of the people is in the best interests of the country.