FIRST APPEARANCE IN NATIONAL POLITICS--MR. BLAINE'S CANDIDACY
AT the end of his third term in the Legislature, Roosevelt had become a distinct personality in national politics. His advance had been remarkably rapid. When in the summer of 1881 he decided to take an active part in political affairs he was, as I have said, practically unknown outside the limits of his own Assembly district. Before the end of his third term his fame had extended over the entire country. He had won such a position of leadership in his party in the State that when the time came to elect delegates to the Republican National Convention in the spring of 1884, he was, with the hearty approval of the great mass of his party, chosen as the chief of the four delegates-at-large. So strong was popular sentiment in his favor that he easily overcame an organized effort by the old machine leaders in the State Convention to prevent his selection.
He went to the National Convention an avowed advocate of the nomination of Senator George F. Edmunds of Vermont as the Republican candidate for the Presidency in preference to James G. Blaine, who was the favorite of a majority of the delegates. The Blaine supporters were in control of the National Republican Committee and sought to organize the Convention in their interest by having a man of their choice, ex-SenatorPowell Clayton, of Alabama, made temporary Chairman. The National Committee submitted this selection to the Convention for approval. Senator H. C. Lodge, a delegate from Massachusetts and like Roosevelt an avowed Edmunds supporter, nominated a colored man, ex-CongressmanJohn R. Lynch of Mississippi. In support of Senator Lodge's motion,