The “Cuff Links Gang” refers to the group of friends who helped Franklin D. Roosevelt run for Vice President in 1920 “and to whom he gave sets of cuff links in remembrance of that unfortunate political campaign.”
The gift of cuff links to political operatives has since become a sign of being an early insider with a politician.
This group was influential during Roosevelt’s tenure as Governor of New York and continued to hold sway during his presidency.
The term “Cuff Links Gang” was coined due to the group’s reputation for being well-dressed and sophisticated, often seen wearing cuff links, a symbol of their upper-class status.
Members of the Cuff Links Gang were largely drawn from New York’s high society and business elite, and they played a significant role in shaping Roosevelt’s political strategies and policies.
The Cuff Links Gang included figures like Louis Howe, Roosevelt’s political advisor, and Samuel Rosenman, a lawyer and speechwriter.
These individuals were instrumental in crafting the policies and communication strategies that defined Roosevelt’s political career, including his response to the Great Depression.
However, the Cuff Links Gang was also a source of controversy.
Critics argued that the group was too elitist and out of touch with the struggles of ordinary Americans, particularly during the economic hardship of the 1930s.
Despite these criticisms, the group played a key role in Roosevelt’s political life, helping to shape one of the most significant presidencies in American history.
Taegan Goddard is the creator of the Political Dictionary.
Goddard spent more than a decade on Wall Street as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he also served as a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You Won – Now What?: How Americans Can Make Democracy Work from City Hall to the White House, a political management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from both parties.
His essays on politics and public policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country.
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University.
He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.