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his usual ability in partially systematizing and organizing the distribution of offices, while at the same time giving life to the system by tact and good judgment in dealing with individuals and with exceptional cases. In all those Northern states in which the Republicans exercised effective power, the system was already established and required merely good judgment in its application. It was in the South that he introduced a new and what he believed to be a definite system of making Federal appointments. The local offices were usually filled on the recommendation of the defeated congressional candidate, and Mr. Hanna expected by the recognition of these leaders of forlorn hopes to induce a better quality of men to run for the office. For the higher Federal offices, such as the United States Judges and Attorneys, the recommendations were usually accepted of a Board of Referees — consisting of the defeated candidate for Governor, the chairman of the State Committee, and the member of the National Committee from that state. To a large extent the system worked automatically all over the Union, but of course any such method goes to pieces, in so far as conflicting individual or factional claims are intruded. It was in dealing with these exceptional cases that Mr. McKinley's tact was useful as well as Mr. Hanna's gift of understanding other men, of getting their confidence and of bending or persuading them to his will. In all these matters Mr. Hanna's disposition to live and let five, his instinct for dealing candidly and fairly with the other man, was as much of a help to him in politics as it had been in business. When he could not do what was asked of him, he did not hesitate or equivocate. He told plainly why he must refuse, and as his reasons were usually convincing, the applicant rarely departed with a grievance. Moreover, his decisions and recommendations were really dictated by the welfare of the party and not by personal interest or favoritism. He did, indeed, pursue relentlessly the Ohio Republicans, who had entered the conspiracy against his election to the Senate, and he rewarded almost all of his prominent supporters. But the testimony is unanimous that in other respects his recommendations for office were both disinterested and wise. He never presumed upon his own power either with the President, the heads of departments or with his colleagues. His influence was based largely upon his instinctive sense of its own necessary limits. If he had really been or tried to be an autocrat beyond the limits within which autocratic management was permissible under the official and unofficial rules, his influence would soon have withered away.
Certain of Mr. Hanna's political methods have frequently been misinterpreted. The facts that he was indifferent to the Civil Service law and believed in rewarding party workers with government offices, have created an impression that he was also indifferent to efficiency in public departmental work. Such was far from being the case. He wanted to put good men in all important offices. Once they were installed, he was careful to leave them alone. Many different officials, who directly or indirectly owed their appointment to Mr. Hanna, have asserted emphatically that he never bothered them with recommendations about their assistants or about the conduct of their offices. Pressure was continually being brought to bear upon him to obtain favors for various people from the heads of executive departments in Washington. He would sometimes write letters, stating the request and adding that he would be glad to see it granted. But in such cases he would almost always add a postscript in his own handwriting, advising his correspondent that if his request was in any way injurious to departmental discipline or efficiency, it should be ignored — as indeed they often were. As another illustration to the same effect I have before me a copy of a letter to Mr. Frank M. Chandler in which he was advising the latter about the nomination of certain judges for the Court of Common Pleas in Cuyahoga County: "Pick good men above all other considerations," he wrote, and emphasized the sentence with an underline. "I would rather take our chances with good candidates, and if defeated, be defeated with good men." Many other letters to similar effect could be quoted.
He objected to Civil Service reform as much from the point of view of a business man as from that of a politician. He knew that any private business would be ruined which tended to make subordinates independent of their chiefs. When he named a man for a responsible office, he always allowed the appointee to select his own assistants. After Mr. Charles F. Leach had been 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.
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