Ohio senator assumed the presidency in 1921 when President Harding invited several major powers to the Washington Naval Conference. With the most soothing speeches, Harding’s judgment turned out to be poor. Being considered one of the least successful presidents, Harding favored a limited role for government in business affairs and in social reform. In the end, he didn’t understand many of the issues and avoided them as much as possible.
Included in the cabinet, the Ohio Gang, also the president’s poker-playing cronies, soon caused a great deal of embarrassment. Harding appointed Charles Evans Hughes as secretary of state and Herbert Hoover the secretary of commerce. Andrew Mellon was the secretary of treasury, however, he was later found guilty of bribery and became the first American to be convicted of a felony while holding a cabinet post. His corrupt friends used their offices to become wealthy and Charles R. Forbes, the head of the Veterans Bureau, was caught illegally selling government and hospital supplies to private companies. Colonel Thomas W. Miller, the head of the Office of Alien Property, was caught taking a bribe. Overall, the Ohio Gang betrayed their public trust through a number of scandals, leading to the discovery of the corruption of the government.
An example of corruption, the Teapot Dome Scandal also marked the first time a U.S. cabinet official served jail time for a felony committed while in office. The government had set aside oil-rich public