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 XIII
THE TECHNIQUE OF PARTY MANAGEMENT

The problem of the efficient management of the Republican party of New York was what brought Platt and Roosevelt together. Roosevelt's talents were such that he could make himself felt in public life without having any "organization," but Platt never could have achieved distinction as a political manager if he had not gathered about him an able band of politicians to carry out his orders and to advise him on important matters. He could not make a speech himself, but when there was need for some public speaking to be done he could rely upon the oratorical abilities of the mellifluent Depew or one of the many other "spellbinders" who belonged to the organization. Platt did not drink, but there were several of his field marshals who felt very much at home in a hilarious and bibulous company. Platt did not have a great deal of physical energy, but his chief of staff, "Ben" Odell was commanding, pushing, and aggressive. Platt did not understand the arts of publicity, but Ouigg was known as an "accelerator of public opinion." Because of his confining work in New York and Washington, Platt could not visit the up-state regions very often so he was practically compelled to delegate many important functions to his division chiefs. In Monroe County he was fortunate in being able to rely upon Committeeman Aldridge, who was noted for his loyalty to the party, his "generosity," his industry, and his great skill in organizing men.1 William Barnes,

____________________
1
C. E. Fitch, Encyclopedia of Biography of New York ( New York, 1916).

-334-

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