Hearst: Lord of San Simeon

By Oliver Carlson; Ernest Sutherland Bates | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV

Outdemagogued Demagogue

ALTHOUGH Hearst had not been nominated for public office since 1910, through his papers he had continued to exercise a very considerable political influence in New York City and Chicago. Andrew M. Lawrence, who was in charge of the Chicago section of Hearst's newspaper domain, is described by Winkler as "a posturing, pompous man, somewhat resembling Mussolini facially and in physique"; nevertheless, like Mussolini, he had ability of a hard-driving kind, and he established an alliance with Mayor Carter Harrison such that the Hearst-Harrison machine functioned efficiently for a number of years. But in New York, where the temperamental Hearst himself was at the helm, the political policies of his organization veered with every breeze, just as they had done from the beginning.

In 1913 he supported the Fusion candidate, John Purroy Mitchel, on a reform platform against Tammany, but then as usual he broke with his own candidate after the latter had been successfully elected. In 1914 there was a movement to secure his nomination as the Democratic candidate for United States senator, but nothing came of it. On August 25, 1914, the New York Times carried a news item headed: "HEARST SENATORIAL BOOM COLLAPSES"; the item read:

On the eve of the Democratic conference, opinion here [at Saratoga] is that William Randolph Hearst has been eliminated as a possible nominee for United States Senator in the primaries. The Hearst boom received its death blow at a meeting of a sub-committee on plat-

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