Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 1

By Joseph Bucklin Bishop | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVI
NATIONAL CONVENTION AND CAMPAIGN OF 1904

ALTHOUGH opposition to the President's nomination ceased with the elimination of Senator Hanna as a candidate at the time of the Ohio State Convention in June, 1903, a series of efforts was begun early in 1904 and continued for several months to induce him to give pledges or assurances of various kinds in regard to the course he should pursue after election. Representatives of various interests that had been opposing his nomination visited him, assuring him that these interests had not objected to him as a man but had been uneasy lest he pursue to extremes certain policies which they regarded as disturbing and harmful. What these representatives desired was the authority to say to the interests that, when reelected, he would consult them about all important matters and be guided by their counsel. They were afraid that if they could not give this assurance it would be difficult if not impossible to raise a campaign fund.

The President listened to all of them and to all made the same reply. He could only promise to proceed in the future as he had acted in the past; that he should always consult the leaders of his party and others whose opinion it was desirable to have, but when the time for action came, he must follow his own judgment and conscience; that so far as a campaign fund was concerned, if one could not be raised, the campaign must be conducted without it.

Later, when the campaign opened a curious mental condition was revealed. The managers of the campaign made no request for contributions from people who had been

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