Hoover-Hatfield Connection

As previously stated, I became interested in President Herbert Hoover and Philadelphia though Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon. Hatfield followed Hoover’s philosophy to guide his specific actions as Secretary of State for Oregon, two terms as Governor, and 30 years as a United States Senator. His interest began very early in life as indicated below and he did his Masters Thesis on Hoover’s labor policies. When Hoover ran for re-election in 1932, Philadelphia was the only city, and Pennsylvania by far the largest of the six states, that Hoover carried. Hoover being a Quaker was significant but coincidental.

Quotes and Summations are from the 1979 biography of Senator Mark Hatfield titled The Lonely Walk by Robert Eells and Bartell Nyberg

While Hatfield’s father was the …pillar, his mother was more influential in shaping Mark’s social and political awareness. She was a staunch Republican, had a dominating personality, and wanted her son to succeed in the world. She wanted him to receive the best possible education-one that would qualify him for public service. At age ten, in 1932, Mark hauled Herbert Hoover campaign propaganda around his neighborhood in a coaster wagon. Though he eventually developed a deep admiration for Hoover, this early political service reflected more of his mother’s enthusiasm than his own.

In 1947, Hatfield entered Stanford University’s graduate program in Political Science. He chose Stanford because it housed the Herbert Hoover Library; it was to Hoover that Hatfield turned in his quest for personal and political fulfillment. Hoover was a logical choice for someone seeking a moral base for political action. As a practicing Quaker, Hoover had spent a lifetime trying to work out the implications of Quaker Christianity for public questions. In Hoover,…Hatfield found what he felt were the major emphases sorely lacking among conservative Christians-social concern and a political ethic

As Governor of Oregon, Mark Hatfield continued his reliance of the philosophy of Herbert Hoover. Hoover proved to be the ideal model for a man seeking to develop a philosophy on power that could fuse liberalism and conservatism. At least three portions of the Hoover Reports on Government Reorganization influenced Hatfield. First, it gave him a more realistic view of centralized power, both at the national and state levels. Second, the philosophy enabled him to concentrate on executive administration without losing sight of individual and local government. The philosophy encouraged Hatfield to accept and work within the framework of the American political system.

In other words, Herbert Hoover stressed personal initiative and the government’s responsibilities and saw no conflict between the two.


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