Presidential Greatness: An
Analysis of FDR’s Presidency Presidential greatness has many aspects, but it primarily means demonstrating effective, inspiring, visionary, and transformational leadership in times of great challenge and crisis. There have been many effective presidents, but there have only been a few great presidents because simply being effective and successful does not make one a great president. The distinction between presidential effectiveness and presidential greatness is that presidential greatness can only be attained when the exceptional leadership, visionary, and transformational accomplishments of a president have a long-term positive impact and change the course of American history. Franklin D.
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In 1920, the Democratic Party offered him the position of Vice-President on the Democratic ticket, but Wilson's foreign policies were unpopular, and Warren G. Harding was elected to office. As a result, for the first time since his Senate election, Roosevelt went back into private life (Biography 2007). This was perhaps the most influential and demanding time in Roosevelt's life. Up until 1921, he had been a vigorous and healthy young man, enjoying sports as well as intellectual pursuits. However, during a vacation at Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Roosevelt fell ill. He had contracted polio, and the disease paralyzed his legs. While he could sometimes struggle to his feet with the aid of canes or crutches, he spent the majority of the rest of his life in a wheelchair. He was only thirty-nine when he was stricken with the disease, but with encouragement from his wife and friends, he convalesced and then re-entered the political arena (Abbott 1990). In 1924, he nominated New York Governor Alfred E. Smith for the presidency. Smith lost the nomination, but ran again in 1928; when he suggested Roosevelt replace him as governor. Roosevelt won the election for New York Governor in 1928, and was re-elected in 1930. In 1932, he was nominated as the Democratic candidate for the Presidency, which he won, defeating Herbert Hoover (Abbott 1990). One of the reasons