UNDER this curious cloak of anonymity Baruch exercised a very unusual type of political power in those early Wilson days. He was cultivated by most of the Wilson lieutenants, who speedily found out that he could do more for them in certain quarters than they could do either directly or by appealing to Wilson.
This power of Baruch was utterly unsuspected on the outside and, quite possibly, by President Wilson, yet the fact that Baruch was important to a number of the insiders was due to a very definite Wilson policy. The President would permit the men he trusted, once he assigned them to particular jobs, to run those jobs with very little interference from the White House.
Thus if Y was running a job, and had Wilson's confidence, and X wanted to get a man appointed under him or to induce Y to do something different from what he was obviously about to do, there was little use for X to appeal to Wilson. This was true even if X were sure that Wilson would agree as to the merits of his proposed candidate or suggested policy. In most instances Wilson would not even listen, once he realized what X was after.
"That is entirely up to Y," he would say. "I will not interfere with his organization or policies so long as he is doing a good job."
This does not mean that Wilson took no interest in seeing what happened on that particular job. He took an almost schoolmasterly interest in watching his appointees to important positions.