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Biography of an Idea: The Founding Principles of Public Relations by Edward L. Bernays

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chapter 25

BREAKFAST WITH COOLIDGE

I don’t think I ever would have had breakfast with President Calvin Coolidge and Al Jolson, Charlotte Greenwood and the Dolly Sisters at the White House if a Democratic ex-Police Commissioner of New York, Rhinelander Waldo, had not wanted to be Governor of the Philippines.

Waldo retained us to further a Non-Partisan League for Coolidge. He thought this activity would help secure the job. He asked me to suggest a newsworthy group to visit the White House to dramatize Coolidge’s “warm, sympathetic personality” to the country—one that would counteract Alice Roosevelt Longworth’s widely quoted quip that Coolidge was “weaned on a pickle.”

The American public accepted this quip as the truth, because they had no reason ...

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