Alex J. Pollock
H. W. Brands ("15 Minutes That Saved America," October 2008) writes in praise of Franklin Roosevelt's use of the radio, but mistakenly asserts that his presidential predecessors had not "seriously explored radio's technological potential." Calvin Coolidge did. Recent Coolidge biographer David Greenberg writes that Coolidge used radio "more effectively than any of his contemporaries. . . . After his 1923 State of the Union message, Coolidge began to give speeches regularly on the radio. . . . Coolidge grasped radio's novel benefits. Most obviously, he could command audiences that already numbered in the tens of millions. . . . Coolidge knew his voice went over well on the new medium. . . . 'I am very fortunate I came in with the radio,' he reflected…. 'I have a good radio voice and now I can get my messages across.'"
Let's give "Silent Cal" his due credit for the innovation.
Alex J. Pollock is a resident fellow at AEI.