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made Collector of Customs in Cleveland, he went to Mr. Hanna's office and showed the Senator a long list of good Republicans who had applied for places. Mr. Hanna refused to interfere. He mentioned certain names and said that he would be glad to have them considered, but he told Mr. Leach to use his own judgment. "You will be responsible for the conduct of your office and must select your own subordinates." When Mr. Frank M. Chandler was appointed United States marshal in Cleveland he was advised by the Department of Justice to be very careful in his selection of deputies, and what followed can best be told in his own words: "I talked matters over with Mr. Hanna, who was in Washington, and he told me to be careful about my selections, but he mentioned certain men whom he would have liked taken care of, if possible. I did as he suggested, and found that the men named did not meet the standard which I wished to maintain. I laid the result of my investigations before Mr. Hanna, and he said: 'That doesn't look as if you wanted my men. You must be responsible for the conduct of your office. Go ahead and select whom you want. Get good men on whom you can rely.'" Mr. Charles C. Dewstoe, who had been appointed Postmaster of Cleveland on the recommendation of Congressman Burton, but who consulted Mr. Hanna about his subordinates, supplies testimony to a similar effect.
It would be of course absurd to claim that Mr. Hanna did not frequently have incompetent party workers appointed to office. He was a practical politician, who worked with the machine. He looked askance at any attempt to reform prevailing political methods, which might temporarily interfere with partisan harmony and efficiency. He cooperated with some of the worst elements in his party as well as with the best. He conceived it as his business above all to keep the Republicans united, so that they could march to victory under his leadership. They could be kept united only in case the existing local organizations were accepted and possible corruption overlooked. Reformers who were opposed to the local machines, and were thereby endangering local Republican ascendency, obtained no sympathy from him. But although he worked exclusively with the machine and used government offices to pay personal and partisan political debts, he was far from indifferent to the desirability of appointing to office able and upright men. The dislike which Civil Service reformers entertain for the business of distributing the spoils of office for the purpose of rewarding party politicians have tended to make them class all spoilsmen together and to visit on them all a joint condemnation. But the task of distributing patronage has a very human side to it and involves rules and values of its own. Mark Hanna accepted the system; he believed in it under existing political conditions; he even developed it. He and Mr. McKinley between them actually made it a source of strength rather than a source of weakness to the administration and to the party. But if they did so that was because in some measure they dignified it. They put a large measure of fair play and an honest demand for efficient service into a system of public appointment that offers strong temptations and opportunities for mere favoritism, for prejudice, for misjudgment and for abuses and perversions of all kinds. publican among those who gathered in Philadelphia and in all but one matter his will was dominant. Immediately after the Convention he disclosed to a friend in a confidential moment that he would not exchange the personal power which he was able to exert with that of the President.
THE CONVENTION OF 1900
No National Convention of either party ever assembled under fairer auspices than the Republican Convention of 1900. There was little disagreement or misgiving within the party as to the candidate who was to head the ticket or as to the platform on which he was to stand. The unanimity with which President McKinley was renominated was a fair expression of a substantially unanimous sentiment in his favor among Republicans of all classes and all sections. The only suggestion of discontent against the official leadership came from the Republican machine of Pennsylvania, headed by Matthew Quay; and everybody knew that the causes of this discontent were personal. Even personal grievances were, however, the rare exception. Few Presidents at the end of their first term have ever received a more general and hearty indorsement from his partisan associates than did William McKinley.
The indorsement of Mr. McKinley included the indorsement of his political prime minister — Mark Hanna. The party, as a whole, was as well satisfied with his share of the leadership as they were with the President's. In some parts of the country he was, of course, more popular than in others. Certain of the states of New England, for instance, were no more than lukewarm. Their leaders would not have been sorry to embarrass the administration and Mr. Hanna, but they were powerless. Mr. Hanna had the Middle West solidly behind, and he had the organization, almost all over the country, enthusiastically in his favor. The personal leadership which he had been quietly reenforcing and consolidating during the intervening years was, when the Convention met, suddenly made conspicuous and manifest. He did not control the Convention. In one important respect, it proved, like the Convention of 1896, to have a will of its own. But he was by far the most influential Re
Throughout the fall of 1899 and the winter of 1900 he labored hard and successfully to establish the dominant issue for the coming election. He wanted above all the campaign of 1900 to be the continuation and consummation of the campaign of 1896. The fundamental fact was that the Republicans had been placed in power in order to accomplish certain results; and they had been as good as their promises. They had established the gold standard; they had restored the confidence of business men in the American financial system; they had disproved the claims of Mr. Bryan that the single gold standard meant economic privation and disaster; and they had bestowed comparative prosperity on the business man and on the wage-earner. Although the party in power, they could afford to take high ground. They were not on the defensive. If any administration and party ever had a right to claim a continuation of public confidence, because of a sequence between promise and performance, the first McKinley administration and the President's party were most assuredly in that position.
Mr. Hanna in his speech before the Ohio State Convention on April 24, 1900, attempted to strike the proper keynote of the campaign. "I say the spirit of the hour should be one of absolute fearlessness on the part of the Republicans. We are conscious, as your chairman has said, of having fulfilled every promise made. We took this country into our hands and under our care after four years of unprecedented vicissitudes in business. At our Convention in St. Louis we proclaimed the doctrine and policy of the Republican party, upon which for twenty years had been built the material interests of the country. We promised such reforms and such economic legislation as would produce a return of these benefits. We even said that we would go beyond the ideas of our fathers in the benefits which would flow from the perpetuation of our policy. We now stand on what we have achieved and accomplished in respect to the material interests of this country. Looking in the face of such results, I repeat your chairman's words: 'Do we want a change ?'" Such was the stock Republican campaign argument, which was repeated during the next six months from every platform, and which was finally summed up by Mr. Hanna in the phrase "Let well enough alone."
The wicked Democrats, however, repudiated the statement that any such simple and definite issue divided the parties. They proposed to divert the minds of the voters from the success of Republican policy and from the substantial benefits of Republican control by raising various additional questions. As Mr. Hanna said in the speech from which I have already quoted: "The Republicans of the United States are confronted to-day with many new propositions and issues thrown around us like tangled grass in our pathway by the Democratic party": and it was difficult to judge in advance whether any of these issues would actually serve to distract public attention from the smoking factory chimneys and the full dinner-pail.
When the Republican Convention assembled in June, the Democratic Convention was two weeks away, but its candidate and doctrine could be accurately predicted. William J. Bryan was to be the candidate and he was to be supported by a combination of the old Democracy and trans-Mississippi Populism. The platform was to reaffirm the silver heresy of 1896, because Mr. Bryan would not repudiate a doctrine which he had urged upon the American people with so much eloquence and confidence; but not very much homage was to be paid to it during the campaign. The Republicans were to be denounced, partly because they had committed the country to a perilous and undemocratic Imperialistic adventure in the Philippines, and because they had been recreant to the "plain duty" of the national government towards Puerto Rico. But most of all they were held up to execration because during their four years of office the process of industrial combination had made enormous strides, and because the Republicans had delivered the American people bound hand and foot into the power of the big corporations.
The administration did not and could not avoid the issue raised by the acquisition of the Philippines and the bloody suppression of the Philippine rebellion; but Mr. McKinley did not