Why Winchell? Roth explained:
“I chose Walter Winchell to lead the political opposition to Lindbergh because, to begin with, the real Walter Winchell hated Lindbergh and along with people like the columnist Dorothy Thompson and Roosevelt's interior secretary, Harold Ickes, attacked him as pro-Nazi from the moment he became the voice of the America First version of nonintervention. Needless to say, Winchell was never a candidate for president, as I have him being in my book. But then neither did Lindbergh become president. I chose Winchell to lead the political opposition because Winchell was the outsize social creature he was -- as Mayor La Guardia says in his eulogy over Winchell's body (in this book only), ‘Walter is too loud, Walter talks too fast, Walter says too much, and yet, by comparison, Walter's vulgarity is something great, and Lindbergh's decorum is hideous.'’'
“What it comes down to is that I wanted Lindbergh opposed not by a saint but by a gossip columnist, the most famous gossip columnist in the country, gross and cheap without apology, whose enemies considered him a loudmouth Jew. Winchell was to gossip what Lindbergh was to flight: the record-breaking pioneer.” – “The Story Behind 'The Plot Against America'” by Roth