Warren G. Harding (played by Malachy Cleary) is a Republican politician. The character is based on the real person of the same name. He is the Senator for Ohio when the series begins. He is a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 1920 election. He wins the nomination in June and the election in November 1920 by running a campaign for a return to normalcy. He is extremely unfaithful in his marriage to Florence Harding and has a child with his mistress Nan Britton.
Senator Warren Harding, from Ohio, is a philandering dark horse candidate for Republican nomination for President of the United States. He is married to Florence Harding but is serially unfaithful. He has a child with his mistress Nan Britton. His political ally from Ohio Harry Daugherty is managing his campaign for the nomination.
Warren Harding and his wife, Florence Harding, are introduced to Atlantic County Treasurer Nucky Thompson by Harding's campaign manager, Harry Daugherty, during the June 1920 Republican National Convention in Chicago. Nucky is unimpressed by Harding and discovers soon afterwards that Harding has a daughter out of wedlock with a young woman named Nan Britton. Britton has deluded herself that Harding loves her. Nevertheless, Nucky decides to strike a deal with Daugherty and swing the votes of the New Jersey delegation to Harding in return for Daugherty blocking Senator Walter Edge from receiving the Vice Presidential nomination. Nucky wants revenge on Edge for assigning the budget for the construction of new roads in the state to his competitor, Mayor of Jersey City Frank Hague (a Democrat). The deal also ensures future political connections in Washington DC that will give Nucky the road money he wants. Nucky furthers the deal by taking Britton with him to Atlantic City and keeping her there until the 1920 presidential election is over, avoiding the possibility of a scandal. During the travel back by train Nan reads some of the erotic poetry that Harding wrote her during their affair, prompting Nucky to call Harding an imbecile. Harding receives the nomination after ten ballots. ("Hold Me in Paradise")
The plan is successful and Harding is elected the 29th President of the United States in November 2, 1920. In his first speech as president-elect, which is also the first to be broadcasted by radio, he calls for a small government and a return to isolation from foreign affairs. ("A Return to Normalcy")
On August 2, 1923, Warren Harding unexpectedly died of a heart attack in San Fransisco. He was entombed in the Marion, Cemetary in Marion, Ohio.
- Nan Britton: Mistress and mother of his child
- Harry Daugherty: Campaign Manager
- Florence Kling Harding: Wife
- "That imbecile is going to be the next President of the United States." (Spoken by Nucky)
- "The field has no first raters and Harding's the best of the second raters." (spoken by Daugherty)
|Season one appearances|
|Boardwalk Empire||The Ivory Tower||Broadway Limited||Anastasia|
|Nights in Ballygran||Family Limitation||Home||Hold Me in Paradise|
|Belle Femme||The Emerald City||Paris Green||A Return to Normalcy|