Researching the 1932 Presidential Campaign for a historical novel that I’m writing, I’ve been delighted to find several YouTube videos from old newsreels and the Roosevelt Presidential Library that show us how the actual events unfolded. Especially interesting was this 15-minute clip from Warm Springs, GA. (To see the video, click here.)

This comes from one of his supporter’s home movies, not intended for public distribution, and it contains candid footage of Roosevelt picknicking with his associates, having lunch by the pool, etc. About 2 minutes into the movie, FDR hands out drinks to his friends. He wasn’t known to be a teetotaler, yet in this scene everyone gets a bottle of…milk!

This was a year before the repeal of Prohibition, so serving beer or wine would have been illegal. Ever the jovial host, FDR meets the challenge with grace and good cheer.

Whatever our beliefs about drinking alcohol (and there’s quite a spectrum of beliefs among Christians), adherence to the law should be a minimum qualification for someone who seeks public office.  And whatever our opinion of FDR (again, the Christian community has a wide spectrum of opinions about him), he scrupled to avoid any appearance of breaking the law.

Unlike many candidates for national office today. Unlike many Christians in private life today.