IN THE second week of February, 1930, occurred perhaps the most striking episode of the 12 years in which Baruch served Republican presidents. On this occasion he saved from an extreme humiliation two men, whose election as President he had fought with all his power. Incidentally he saved his own Democratic friends from an egregious blunder.
On February 3 President Hoover nominated Charles Evans Hughes to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, to succeed William Howard Taft, who had resigned because of ill health. At once a storm rose both among the Democratic senators and the progressive Republicans, who between them had enough votes to defeat Hughes for confirmation.
Baruch heard that his beloved friend, Joe Robinson, Democratic leader of the Senate, intended to vote against Hughes. He hurried to Washington, anxious to prevent Robinson from doing a thing he was sure Robinson would regret bitterly later on. By the time he reached Washington the lines in the Senate had been drawn. Newspapermen covering the upper house were confident Hughes would be beaten when the roll call should be reached.
Actually, as the situation stood when Baruch walked into Robinson's office, a poll had shown a majority against Hughes without counting a single doubtful vote, so that it was just a