GEORGE HIGGINS MOSES of New Hampshire is the bad boy of American politics. He is the Puck, the playboy, the political wit, the Republican paragrapher, the Walter Winchell of the United States Senate. Like the Broadway columnist, he stays up nights to gather gossip which he hastens to retail in drawing rooms and Senate cloak-rooms with a wicked twist all his own. Had he lived a few hundred years ago, he would have rivalled Cyrano de Bergerac, making enemies with his tongue and political sword, and winning friends among certain groups for the enemies he had made.
His emergence as New England's most eminent representative in the Senate, however, is a striking paradox. In place of prim and puritanical figures sits a smart wisecracker from a small town. The solemnity of the Adamses, the Websters, the Hoars and the Lodges has been supplanted by a strange, and, so his ancestry of mariners and ministers would have thought, it devilish sprightliness. It is ironic that the most famous statesman from that sainted and conservative countryside should gain nationwide notoriety, not from his theories of government, but from his flair of saying the witty rather than the wise thing.