U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt held radio “fireside chats” to communicate with American citizens. In September 1975, Washington Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson (1912-1983) ran for the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination, and American political satirist/comedian Mark Russell joked:
“He gave a fireside chat and the fire went out.”
President Jimmy Carter gave a fireside chat on February 2, 1977, and the fire did go out. “He gave a fireside chat and the fire went out” has been said about many dull politicians.
Wikipedia: Fireside chats
The fireside chats were a series of thirty evening radio addresses given by President Franklin D. Roosevelt between 1933 and 1944. Although the World War I Committee on Public Information had seen presidential policy propagated to the public en masse, “fireside chats” were the first media development that facilitated intimate and direct communication between the president and the citizens of the United States. Roosevelt’s cheery voice and demeanor played him into the favor of citizens and he soon became one of the most popular presidents ever, often affectionately compared to Abraham Lincoln. On radio, he was able to quell rumors and explain his reasons for social change slowly and comprehensibly. Radio was especially convenient for Roosevelt because it enabled him to hide his polio symptoms from the public eye. Roosevelt preferred radio, because most of the major newspapers in the United States, and most of the circulation, tilted heavily toward the opposition Republican Party.
Wikipedia: Henry M. Jackson
Henry Martin “Scoop” Jackson (May 31, 1912 – September 1, 1983) was a U.S. Congressman and Senator from the state of Washington from 1941 until his death in Everett, Washington on September 1, 1983. Jackson was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972 and 1976.
Google News Archive
2 September 1975, Nashua (NH) Telegraph, “Washington Window: Political Climate Seen Calm” by Arnold Sawislak (UPI), pg. 12, col. 8:
Of Sen. Henry Jackson it was said: “he gave a fireside chat, and the fire went out.”
And neither man excites: Bentsen is ineffably low-key, Jackson irrepressibly gray. “Scoop,” Washington comic Mark Russell cracked at a recent fund-raiser, “gave a fireside chat and the fire went out.”
Presenting Mark Russell
By Mark Russell
New York, NY: Everest House
It happened when word got out that Senator “Scoop” Jackson once gave a fireside chat and the fire went out. Any candidate burdened with a dull label might as well go back to his floor polisher rental business.
Playing to Win:
An Insider`s Guide to Politics
By Jeff Greenfield
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
“Yet this quietly elegant presence”—I don’t know how it is possible to be quietly eloquent, either, but that’s what they’ll write — “seems to many observers” — that’s two other people at the bar — “to be more formidable gave a fireside chat last night and the fire went out") that candidacy is on the road to oblivion.
The Best of Roger Simon
By Roger Simon
Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books
The often-told joke is that Glenn once gave a fireside chat and the fire went out.
Jimmy Carter and the Politics of Frustration
By Garland A. Haas
Jefferson, NC: McFarland
THE “FIRESIDE CHAT.” On February 2, 1977 (a record cold day in a record cold winter), the new, self-assured president gave his first nationally televised “fireside chat” sitting before a roaring three-log fire in the White House library (the fire went out before he finished speaking).
The Birth of a New Political Era
By Hendrik Hertzberg
New York, NY: The Penguin Press
Senator Bob Dole, with characteristic bleak wit, evaluated his response to President Clinton’s 1996 address thusly: “I gave a fireside chat the other night, and the fire went out.”
the Real Quidam
As we approach 25 yr unemployment highs, we recall last fireside chat of Jimmy “Less is More” Carter: so dull & dreary, the fire went out!
9:03 PM - 5 Jun 2009
“It is said that #Pawlenty once gave a fireside chat and the fire went out.” http://politi.co/iwWTau
10:13 AM - 24 May 2011
Jim DeMint once gave a fireside chat and the fire went out. #CPAC2014
12:36 PM - 8 Mar 2014
Lincoln Chafee once gave a fireside chat and the fire went out. (Sorry. Old joke.) #IDPHOF
8:49 PM - 17 Jul 2015
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • Saturday, July 18, 2015 • Permalink