Harding’s Hidden Halo
THE SOURCE: “Time for Another Harding?” by Ronald Radosh and Allis Radosh, in The Weekly Standard, Oct. 24, 2011.
Scan the presidential rankings historians and pundits produce, and you'll find one consistent bottom feeder: Warren G. Harding. The Teapot Dome scandal and other instances of corruption badly damaged the reputation of the onetime newspaper publisher and Republican senator from Ohio. “Yet the truth about his presidency is quite the opposite” of today’s general impression, write historians Ronald and Allis Radosh. “He achieved a good deal more in the two and a half years he served before his sudden death than many presidents accomplish in a full term.”
Harding’s main feat was “setting the country’s economic house in order.” When he took office on March 4, 1921, after winning the 1920 election by a landslide, the U.S. economy was sagging under the weight of an economic depression, high taxes, and a national debt that had ballooned from $1 billion in 1914 to $24 billion.
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