The Republicans met in Kansas City where they nominated on the first ballot Herbert Hoover, food administrator during World War I and Secretary of Commerce in the Harding and Coolidge administrations. A cheerless, laconic man, he had studied engineering and worked as a federal administrator. Hoover was also a painfully awkward public orator who gave only seven speeches during his entire campaign. The Democrats held their convention in Houston, the first party convention in the Deep South. The urban element of the party wanted to nominate Al Smith, the four-time governor of New York state. He had missed selection in 1924, but was elected on the first ballot in 1928. Smith was a colourful character whose quick wit and brown derby hat became his trademarks as he actively campaigned throughout the country. The voters, however, chose Hoover, with a clear majority of the popular vote and a huge majority of the Electoral College vote.
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