Eleanor Roosevelt to Harold Ickes, May 26, 1945
Dear Mr. Secretary:
I very much appreciate your letter of the 21st.
I feel very strongly that running for office is not the way in which I can be most useful. My children have labored for many years under the very baffling necessity of considering their business of living as it affected their Father's position and I want them to feel in the future that any running for public office will be done by them.
That does not mean, however, that I do not feel my responsibility as a citizen, but the minute I accept a position from the party and am a new hand, I would have to be willing to follow the party line pretty consistently. I hope to continue to work with the Democrats and for them but I think the knowledge that I will be free of any obligation may at times be very healthy.
I agree with you that it is important what happens in 1946 and 1948 and I feel strongly that the Democrats should remain in power if we can free ourselves to the extent of at least controlling our reactionary Southerners, but I do not think my running for any office would be useful.
I am not going to do anything for the summer months but in the autumn I shall begin to do speaking and perhaps start on some job again by the first of the year when I think what is needed of me for settling the estate will be pretty well accomplished. I may go on a trip for the Red Cross or for the syndicate.
I should be able to help the liberals in the country and if I can write interesting columns and do an article now and then my voice would not be silent.
I am deeply grateful to you and Jane for your interest. I am not going to make any decisions as to what I will do or what I won't do and no doors are permanently closed, but I feel I ought to tell you that I have no intention of running for public office.
Very cordially yours,