Boss Platt and His New York Machine: A Study of the Political Leadership of Thomas C. Platt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Others

By Harold F. Gosnell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
NOMINATING Roosevelt FOR PUBLIC OFFICE

PARTY COMMITTEES

The hierarchy of party committees was the central framework of the party machinery by means of which Platt "ruled the state." During his long political apprenticeship, Platt had acquired an accurate knowledge of the structure and the functions of these committees and in his "Sunday school" he imparted this learning to his under-officers. It is likely that one of the the lessons that he taught was the importante of the state committee in every branch of the party's work. At any rate, a large proportion of those whom Platt admitted into the inner circle were suffliciently convinced of the importance of this committee to become members of it themselves. Thus, in 1898, Odell, Payn, Barnes, Dunn, Hendricks, Aldridge and Hazel were state committeemen. An impartial obverver of the governmental process in the state said, "The members of the state committee were far more powerful factors in determining what should be the policy of the state than any one in the public service of the state." 1 The organization ofnthis committee should be understood before taking up the norminating process itself, as it had more to do with the nomination of Roosevelt for governor and vice-president than any other body.

The Republican state committee consisted of one member from each congressional distric, elected by delegates to the state convention residing in the congressional district

____________________
1
H. E. Deming, "Political Organizatimi in New York. 1882-1904"." New York Conference for Good City Government ( 1905). p. 314.

-73-

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