The Making of a Candidate 1888
THE exercise of political power from the nation's capital provided Quay with a new kind of challenge. Aware that the locus of power for an aspirant as a party boss had shifted from Washington to the individual states, he knew that the senatorial appointment removed him from the source of his newly won power. Continued success was contingent upon developing a technique that would enable him to rule by remote control. He needed a competent and trusted protégé who would take charge in Harrisburg and manage politics within the state as he had done for the Camerons. His future success in both state and national politics was partially dependent upon someone else. No longer could he personally direct the legislature, advise the governor, supervise the state treasurer, and provide day-to-day attention to the state's Republican organization. But the performance of these functions was the key to his own destiny in the struggle for party power.
The selection of a junior partner at this juncture was the most crucial personnel decision of Quay's career, and his excellent choice again proved his genius at judging political talent. By choosing Harvard-educated Boies Penrose of Philadelphia to preside in Harrisburg, he tightened his grip on the Republican party of Pennsylvania. Penrose had served only one term in the state house of representatives before his election in 1886 to the state senate, but Quay deftly assessed his leadership potential. He raised him up and set him over the organization, and from that vantage point he rendered valuable service for the next decade. So successful was the Penrose leadership in state matters that no U.S. senator from the Keystone State, before or after Quay, retained the same high level of control that marked this period. When the