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wanted was an assurance that they could go ahead without his disapproval, he refused to budge an inch from his former assertions. Colonel Payne returned to New York very much disappointed, but not discouraged to the point of abandoning the fight.
Only one more item need be added to the foregoing exhibit. Mr. Elmer Dover, Mr. Hanna's private secretary, states that probably Mr. Hanna's closest associate in the Senate was Orville Platt of Connecticut. Now Mr. Platt, unlike some other friends of Mr. Hanna, believed not only that the President should be nominated, but that he was the only man who could be elected. Late in November, 1903, after Mr. Hanna had returned to Washington, Senator Platt wrote to a friend in Connecticut, who did not like the talk about Mr. Hanna's candidacy: —
"If I understand the situation, Mr. Hanna is not a candidate for the Presidency, will not be, and deplores all this talk; but how can he stop it? That there is an opposition to the nomination of President Roosevelt is undoubtedly true. It is not very extensive or very influential, but it is noisy, and in my judgment will utterly fail when the Convention is held — indeed, I doubt if it manifests itself then. It comes from both ends of the party — from the moneyed influences in Wall Street and the agitators in the labor movement — one as much as the other. Each of these elements wishes to force the President to make terms with them, but he will not do it. I think I know that Senator Hanna does not sympathize with this in the least. I have a higher regard and more genuine respect for him than you seem to have. He is a straightforward, earnest, truthful man, who acts from conviction, fears no one, and makes no effort improperly to conciliate people who disagree with him. He is very much like President Roosevelt in this respect." (P. 515, "An Old-fashioned Senator.")
Towards the end the relation between the President and Senator Hanna improved, but they never again became entirely satisfactory. They could not become so until the question of the nomination was settled. The enemies of both men persisted in trying to create ill-feeling. The New York Sun, for instance, printed a story about some reported utterance of the President that he would soon make the Senator either fish or cut bait; and the story was told so circumstantially that Mr. Roosevelt wrote to Mr. Hanna a denial of its truth. In case the Senator had not been taken seriously ill, there is no telling how the business would have ended.
Inasmuch as Senator Hanna had decided absolutely never to accept the nomination — except, perhaps, in the impossible contingency of its being offered to him by acclamation — what is the explanation of his refusal to publish his private opinion that the President was bound to be nominated? The reasons he usually gives are not quite convincing. In the spring of 1903 they had a good deal of force. His position and influence in the party were unique. He was still its leader. As its leader and as Chairman of the National Committee, a declaration in favor of any one candidate a year in advance of the National Convention might have been unfair to other possible candidates. It was his business to represent the whole party. But in November, 1903, the only candidates in sight were the President and Mr. Hanna himself. An indorsement of Mr. Roosevelt could injure no candidacy but his own, and he did not want and would not take the nomination. Why not accept the situation and come out frankly in favor of the man whom he believed would have to be nominated? Prudence and a regard for the interests of the party might have counselled such a course, because the crisis was creating a dangerous tension of private and public feeling which might almost any day cause something to snap.
Just what Mr. Hanna's several motives were and what was their comparative force must always be doubtful; but statements made to close friends seem to justify the following general description of their effect. In the first place, his supporters in New York may have induced him to promise that, even if he would not consent to be a candidate, he would not, by declaring in favor of Mr. Roosevelt's nomination, extinguish all hope of preventing it. He might have made this promise, not only as a concession to a group of friends who were working hard in what they believed to be his interest, but because of his own personal attitude towards the President. While he liked Mr. Roosevelt much more than formerly, and while there was respect and admiration mixed with his liking, he shared to some extent the feelings of his supporters. He realized that the President represented a theory of the public interest different from his own,— a theory to which he was loath to give even by implication his public approval. For the present Mr. Roosevelt was bound by his promise not to depart from the McKinley policies; but if he were reelected, particularly by a decisive majority, he would be justified in cutting loose. Mr. Hanna feared the effect of such an emancipation upon the leadership of the Republican party and the policy of the country.
Inasmuch, however, as he regarded Mr. Roosevelt's nomination as inevitable and had no intention of opposing it, what did he expect to gain by holding back? The question is difficult to answer, because Mr. Hanna in all probability did not clearly define to himself his own motives and intentions. It looks, however, as if he wanted to make the President feel and respect his power — not with the purpose of driving any bargain, but with the general idea of keeping his personal independence and so far as possible his leadership of the party. Whatever the future had in store for the President, for the organization and for himself, it was essential from his point of view that conservative Republicanism should under the new regime be kept somewhat separate and be strengthened in its independence. He knew that President Roosevelt would do much to avoid splitting the party; and he may have thought that he would be able to make better terms after the election, in case he continued for the present a demonstration of his personal power. He understood much better than did many of his own supporters Mr. Roosevelt's strength with public opinion, and he knew how much of an increase of prestige would follow from a triumphant election. He did not want the victory — if and when it came — to be merely Mr. Roosevelt's.
Finally personal feelings and motives were involved. He had never forgiven the way in which an indorsement had been extorted by the President from the Ohio Convention of 1903. He had been crowded into a corner, and obliged to choose between a breach in the party and a personal humiliation. He resented it. He resented also the efforts which were being made to force him prematurely on board the triumphal car of another candidate. He felt that his independence ought to be respected and recognized without exposing him to suspicions of bad faith. He may even have enjoyed the ferment of gossip, expectations, hopes and fears which his own much discouraged candidacy had created. If he was not to be President, he could hardly avoid some satisfaction and amusement in watching the ghost of his chance to be President haunt the corridors of the White House and at times hover ominously over the whole political landscape.
The question remains, whether, even if his health had not forbidden him to be a candidate, he would have considered any more favorably the solicitations of his New York friends. All who are most familiar with Mr. Hanna's attitude agree that it would not. No doubt many of the reasons which he gave for not wanting to be President could have been overcome. His assertion, for instance, that he preferred his peculiarly influential position in the Senate to the work of President was sincere; but his unquestionable satisfaction with his work and power as Senator would scarcely have prevented him from assuming the more irksome office, but the one which offered the greater opportunities of personal effectiveness and renown. He was also sincere in stating that he would not abandon his work on the Civic Federation even to be President. He was wrapped up heart and soul in that work. He had in his own mind a definite program of gradual development, which was to last over many years, and which was to culminate in nothing less than a permanent peace between capital and labor. He really hoped and expected to accomplish some such result, and had he succeeded, his fame would certainly have been more permanent and glorious than any which could result from a few years as President. But even so, he might have been persuaded that a President could accomplish more to carry on the work of industrial conciliation than a Senator — no matter how powerful.
The fundamental consideration, apart from his health, which probably determined his refusal, was a clear anticipation of the consequences to his own career and to the Republican party of an official candidacy. As I have said, his sense of the currents of public opinion enabled him to understand better than did his supporters and friends the strength of Mr. Roosevelt and the basis of that strength. He knew that instead of embarking on a safe voyage, he would really be facing many chances of shipwreck and the certainty of a hard and perhaps a bitter fight. He realized, as he wrote to Senator Scott, that the fight might drive a wedge into the party whose strength he had done so much to consolidate. Notwithstanding his close alliance with big business interests, he had always wanted to represent the whole people; and he may well have shrunk, as a result of a division in the party, from being forced to represent, even in appearance, only a class or factional interest. Apparently he had made up his mind, after Mr. McKinley's assassination, that the Presidency was not for him—that, even though he could get it, the game, as it had been played, was not worth the candle.
His political career, theretofore, had been a practically uninterrupted series of successes. Little by little he had disarmed much of the opposition and prejudice which had greeted his first appearance in politics. With no more official power than a dozen others had possessed, he had won for himself, as a matter of personal prerogative, a unique position in the party and with the people. In proportion as his power and its responsibilities increased, he had sought to represent something more than a business or a partisan interest. He had sought to represent a general popular interest, which embraced all classes and all sections. He was persuading people to believe in his good faith as a national leader. Why should he risk the most valued aspect of his leadership by engaging in a necessarily bitter and precarious fight — one in which the advantage of position would be on one side of his opponent, which would revive all the old animosities, and which, whether he won or lost, would leave him with a divided following and possibly a diminished prestige. Even from the point of view of personal ambition, would he not bulk larger in the history of the country by remaining the indispensable Prime Minister to any Republican President and by broadening still farther the scope and deepening the foundations of his unique personal political edifice?
I do not wish to imply that Mr. Hanna scorned the Presidency, and that in renouncing any attempt to get it he was not making a sacrifice. He had an almost superstitious respect