September 11, 1956
“GENEVA—It is amusing, far away in Switzerland where you feel cut off from American politics, to find yourself asked at every meal by your neighbors what you think is going to happen on Election Day.
I sat between an Italian and a Frenchman at lunch the other day and each one, in turn, gave me a little dissertation on American politics. Nothing was as difficult, however, as when I was asked last night to explain the electoral college system.
Just how many votes are there in the electoral college? I didn’t know. I could tell how many votes a state had in the Democratic convention, but I had completely forgotten the details of how the electoral college works. It is really good to be pinned down on your own government by foreigners, because it makes you go home and look up things carefully.
It is also interesting to read over here some of the columnists that are reprinted in the European edition of the New York Herald Tribune. I was especially interested in what Joseph Alsop said about the small poll made in Seattle and Portland, Oregon. If I had been asked, I would have said exactly what he did about the way the vote is lining up at the present time. So I felt quite proud to have my bunch verified, even by a small poll.”