Boss Platt and His New York Machine: A Study of the Political Leadership of Thomas C. Platt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Others

By Harold F. Gosnell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII. GOVERNOR ROOSEVELT AND BOSS PLATT

There was no part of the state governmental machinery that caused Thomas C. Platt so much worry and trouble as the governorship. He might control the "hand picked" delegates who assembled every two years at Saratoga to nominate a Republican candidate for this important post, but what good did that control do him when his choice was so limited by the exigencies of election day? The voters were attracted to a gubernatorial candidate who possessed good business ability, firmness, tact, common sense, and above all a strong will. Unfortunately, this sort of a man was not the kind to be easily influenced on certain matters after election day. Furthermore, even when "circumstances permitted" the selection of a person who seemed to be flexible, there was no telling what a seemingly "flexible" person would do once he was elected governor of the greatest state in the union. There were traditions surrounding the New York governorship, which a governor could ill afford to violate. The office had high rank even in the national party system. Had not two governors, Van Buren and Cleveland, been elected to the high office of president of the United States; were not four others, George Clinton, DeWitt Clinton, Seymour and Tilden, unsuccessful candidates for the same office; had not four, George Clinton, Tompkins, Van Buren and Morton, occupied the position of Vice-president; and finally had not ten governors -- DeWitt Clinton, Van Buren, Marcy, Wright, Dix, Seward, Fish, Morgan, Fenton, and Hill -- been members of the United States Senate? The

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