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them underestimate the effect of the war on public opinion. It was the popularity of the war in the West which had saved them in the Congressional election of the fall of 1898; and it was the same element in public opinion which at the Philadelphia Convention had demanded the nomination of the Colonel of Rough Riders. Thus Mr. Roosevelt added a kind of strength to the ticket which it could not have obtained from the success of any alternative candidate.
That the promised revival of business had taken place during Mr. McKinley's administration constituted unquestionably the President's best claim for reëlection. If the country had not become relatively prosperous, the Republicans would surely have been defeated. But just in proportion as prosperity returned, it lost some of its value as a political issue. A hungry man can think of nothing but food, but when the hunger is satisfied he needs other interests. The war had aroused national feeling and had made the people more alive to their joint national interest. It had given to the American people a new sense of the meaning of American nationality and of the scope of American national purposes. All these vague emotions and ideas demanded some medium of expression. If the Republican ticket had not provided them with a candidate who appealed, as Mr. Roosevelt did, to their patriotic imagination and aspirations, it would have failed wholly to satisfy a widespread and vital element in public opinion. Against their own will Mr. McKinley and Mr. Hanna had called to their support the one man who could most effectively supplement their own strength with the American people—the one man who could make the ticket represent the nationalism of the future as well as that of the past and of the present.
THE CAMPAIGN OF 1900
IN spite of the threatened conflict over the nomination for Vice-President, the Convention of 1900 was, from the point of view of party harmony and efficiency, one of the most successful ever held by the Republicans. It named a ticket which was as capable of vigorous aggression as it was impregnable on the defence. The whole party was confident of success and eager to contribute to it. Never had the Republicans been more efficiently organized and more competently led. The leaders had the confidence of the army. The army was not divided against itself. They felt that they represented the better part of the nation and that in their persons the nation was marching on to new industrial conquests and towards new political horizons.
Mr. McKinley was apparently as much pleased with the final result and the means whereby it had been reached as was the average Republican. As soon as the Convention was over, he wrote from Washington to Mr. Hanna, who had gone to Cleveland, the following letter: —
“I am greatly pleased with the work of the Convention. You have added another claim to leadership and public confidence. All comers from the Convention commend you and all accord you the courage and sagacity of true leadership.
“I am delighted that you have accepted the Chairmanship of the National Committee. It is a great task and will be to you a great sacrifice. Before you arrange for the Director of the Speaking Bureau, I will be glad to talk with you.
“Hoping you will get some much needed rest and find your family well, believe me,
“Your true friend,
It had already been announced that Mr. Hanna would again head the National Committee. Everybody had assumed, as a matter of course, that he would do so. His selection for the place was only a proper recognition of his service to the administration and the party and his proved ability as a campaign manager. Yet there was a period of some weeks previous to the meeting of the Convention, during which Mr. Hanna himself began to suspect and fear that he would not be selected. The naming of the Chairman was the practical prerogative of the head of the ticket; and Mr. McKinley's behavior was at least suspicious.
Early in the spring of 1900 Mr. Hanna began complaining to certain of his intimate associates that Mr. McKinley had said nothing to him about managing the coming campaign. Time passed and still nothing was said. Mr. Hanna became very much worried. The moment arrived when preparations ought to be made and when it was natural that the matter should be settled. The worry seems to have had a damaging effect on his health. Late in April he had an attack of heart failure, while writing a note in his office, and fainted away. He recovered almost immediately and even went that same night to the theatre; but his intimates, who knew his physical habits and realized how distressed he was, attributed the attack to the anxiety caused by the President's persistent silence. If at that particular juncture Mr. Hanna had been superseded as Chairman of the National Committee, one of the most essential supports of his personal prestige and power would have been removed. It would have meant that he no longer retained the friendship and confidence of the President. Fortunately, however, his suspense was not further prolonged. A little later Mr. Hanna appeared at his office one morning with every trace of anxiety vanished from his face and in the highest spirits. Mr. McKinley had the night before asked him to accept the office and its work, and had insisted upon his immediate and unqualified consent.
Considering the relations between the two men, one's natural suspicion would be that Mr. Hanna's anxiety was due to over-sensitiveness, and that Mr. McKinley had never even considered the selection of another Chairman. But from remarks which Mr. McKinley made to other people, it is probable that the President really was hesitating. How serious the hesitation was, and upon precisely what grounds it was based, remains obscure; but unquestionably at this period a certain alteration was taking place in the relationship between the two men. The President's delay in asking Mr. Hanna to serve as Chairman, and Mr. Hanna's consequent anxiety, was only the first of a series of incidents which indicated such a change. The incidents will all be told frankly, because they are part of the true story of Mr. Hanna's life. They indicate not any estrangement, but simply the stress under which an old and fast friendship was adapting itself to new conditions. The new condition was Mr. Hanna's increasing personal power as a Congressional and as a popular leader. This power was assuming such formidable dimensions that the President might well begin to wonder how his own prestige was beginning to look by comparison. But in spite of the strain, the testimony is unanimous that at the end of the campaign the friendship of the two men remained substantially unimpaired. Whatever the grounds of the President's hesitation, he really did not have a practicable alternative. No other man had a tithe of the qualifications possessed by Mr. Hanna for the office of Chairman. He could have claimed it, merely because of his ability as a campaign manager, even though as a political leader he was less popular than was actually the case. Mr. Hanna alone had in his mind a complete and accurate map of the political landscape. He knew just what the situation was in the different parts of the country, and just what states needed and would repay the most arduous efforts for their retention or conquest. During the four years that had elapsed since the previous campaign he had been studying the conditions and opportunities which would be presented in 1900. Responsibility for the work could not have been shifted without confusion, cross purposes and loss of efficiency. Mr. Hanna's personal relation to the work in 1900 was very much the same as it had been four years earlier. He was the real supervisor and director of the whole campaign. Its management was absolutely his. Of course, he constantly consulted the President and other leaders; but, as in the case of any other Y
efficient general, he acted often on his own initiative and his own personal responsibility. His private secretary, Mr. Elmer Dover, states that he laid out the actual work of a campaign without taking any one into his confidence. His plan was, as in 1896, based on what he believed to be the general condition of public opinion throughout the Union, from which he inferred how much work needed to be done, where it should be placed and what its character ought to be. As in 1896, also, the work was planned to be cumulative in its effect, culminating a few days before the election in an outburst of common conviction and enthusiasm. Early in the campaign even his intimate associates were puzzled as to his reasons for making certain moves, but their relation to the general plan was gradually unfolded. Every part of the work was well organized, and every part of the organization was thoroughly energized. Of course his task was much less onerous than it had been in 1896. He did not have an uphill fight on his hands, or an almost country-wide campaign of popular instruction. He did not employ as many speakers, nor did he need to distribute as much literature. It is true that with his usual habit of making a sure thing doubly sure, he canvassed the country much more thoroughly than it ever had been canvassed before 1896. But with every intention in the world of leaving nothing undone which could possibly contribute to Republican success, there was very much less to do. In 1900, as in the campaigns previous to 1896, certain results in many parts of the country could be taken for granted. The hard canvassing could be concentrated on a smaller area of peculiar strategic importance. To continue the military analogy, he was operating in a familiar and a friendly country, instead of in a country which was hostile and comparatively unexplored. He needed, consequently, much less money, and what money he needed he had much less difficulty in raising. In 1900 the total collections were approximately $2,500,000, and not all of this sum was used. By this time Mr. Hanna enjoyed the complete confidence of the big business men of the country. They would have placed at the disposal of the Committee just as much money as he demanded. If he did not raise any more than $2,500,000, it was because the expenditure of a larger sum