"PATRON SAINT" of the Independents
On the night of November 12, 1906, six days after the election of Charles Evans Hughes as governor of New York, the successful candidates of the Independence League and the Democratic state ticket honored William Randolph Hearst with an expressive banquet at Delmonico's. They surely had ample reason to do so. Becuase the just concluded contest for leadership in New York had far-reaching political ramifications-the winner being a likely contender for the presidential nomination in 1908--Hearst had attracted considerable attention from national periodicals, whose editors had, in turn, assigned prominent journalists to evaluate his life and ideas. Although James Creelman, who was no longer an employee of the American, wrote a favorable appraisal in Pearson's Magazines, Hearst suffered scathing criticism in a four-part series by Frederick Palmer in Collier's and by Lincoln Steffens in The American Magazine, so much so that the Hearst advised his mother that "those articles are outrageous...Don't read them. Any kind of success arouses envy and hatred."
The Republicans had also reinforced these "muckraking" articles of character defamation with their own techniques of negative compaigning. They had concentrated most of their efforts, both in manpower and money, upon the governor's race. They had directed editorial writers and cartoonists to vilify Hearst as a base and ruthless politician, a "slanderbunder run amuck" who, in the name of reform, preached class warfare to immigrants and the economically deprived, indeed a reckless demagogue intent on destroying the basic fiber of American life. As a result of this strategy, they elected Hughes, but nearly all of the Independence League and Democratic slates for state offices emerged victorious--principally, Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler as lieutenant governor, William Schuyler Jack