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estimate of him; I consider him one of the most brilliant men, intellectually, in the United States. It would be hard to match him anywhere, and I believe that his moral uprighteousness is as strongly marked as is his intellectuality." Then I said to him, "He has fairly earned a renomination by his wise and fearless administration, and especially for the relentless warfare he has made on race-track gambling and on other evils. It would be nothing short of a calamity to let a man be turned down as the penalty of his moral heroism, and I cannot think of anything that would so deeply offend and enrage the best people of our State, irrespective of political opinion. I have named as the first reason for his renomination, his great ability and peculiar fitness for the office; the second, the valuable service of his honest and fearless administration; the third reason I would give is one of political expediency. I have always loved you, and supported you, because you put moral principle ahead of everything else and always appealed to the moral convictions of the people to support you. They have always responded to your appeal because they were loyal to the right. And thus you have demonstrated that which the nation had never before learned that the wisest political expediency is in the espousel of the highest moral principle, that right is the most popular thing that can be injected into a political campaign.
"If Governor Hughes should be turned down at that convention, because he fought moral evil so valiantly, the good people of the State would bolt the Republican ticket in droves and would take great pleasure in defeating the party that, with its eyes wide open, chose the wrong side of a moral question. Your friend Taft, whom you are championing for the
presidency, would be buried in New York State by an avalanche of votes.' Mr. Roosevelt said to me: "Everything you have said of Governor Hughes' ability, character and service is true; I consider that he is incorruptible in his character, and that the public interests would be safe in his hand. While in most states I have kept my hands off the local contests and factional differences, and while I have not felt like obtruding myself upon the differences of our political leaders in this State, if I can see clearly that the action you urge will be for the best interest of the people and of the highest public morals, I will break the rule which I have usually kept and see if I can bring about his nomination." He said, "We will begin just now.
He did not at that time call in any stenographer nor make any notes, nor did I take any. He said, "You may report to the public what the President says. He went on for some little time. I remembered every word that he said to me. With a warm, hearty handshake and a heartier "God bless you" from him I went back in the car to the depot. Just as the car approached the depot I saw a train move out of it. As I got out of the motor I was met by a half-dozen or more reporters of the New York City papers, who gathered about me and said: "The train is gone, and there is no other one until an hour from now; you are marooned, and you may just as well surrender; and they continued, "Well, what did he say about it?" "About what?" I answered. They said, "Oh, come off; don't seem so innocent. What did the President say about Governor Hughes's nomination?" I answered, "Who said I talked with President Roosevelt on that subject?" And they said, "A little bird told us.'
The reason why I was not communicative at first was that I wanted to put so important a message to the public in decent literary form, so that it might accomplish its purpose better, and desired a little time for consideration. But the boys were so insistent that I said, "Have you a shorthand man in your number?" And one of them spoke up and said that he was one. "You and I will go to this corner, here in the station, and the rest will leave us alone, and I will see if I can put the substance of what the President said to me in proper form.' The next morning all the New York papers and the papers in many cities of the country had the following:
OYSTER BAY, AUGUST 29.-President Roosevelt's attitude in regard to the political situation in New York was reflected to-day in an interview given out by the Rev. Dr. Ferdinand C. Iglehart, after a talk with the President at Sagamore Hill. "The President," said Dr. Iglehart, "told me that he had no disposition to crowd his desire for Governor Hughes' renomination upon the leaders of the Republican party, but he did not hesitate to say that he thought it would be political wisdom to place Governor Hughes at the head of the ticket again this coming election." Dr. Iglehart, who is an intimate friend of the President's, is a member of the New York Conference of the Methodist Church. He was with the President for some time, and the question of the renomination of Governor Hughes was discussed. After the conference Dr. Iglehart said that he was delighted to find that the President's views and his were in perfect harmony on the renomination of Governor Hughes. There was no doubt in his mind about the general desire of church people throughout the State for the renomination of the Governor. "They believe in his ability and integrity," Dr. Iglehart added, "and desire his continuance in office. These church people usually have given the Republican party the majority in the State elections, and it seems to me that it would be a dangerous experiment for the political leaders not to accord him the nomination." Some votes, he thought, might be lost by the
renomination of Governor Hughes, but he believed that where two or three would be lost dozens would be gained. "The line could not be more plainly drawn," Dr. Iglehart continued, "than it is at the present time, and the right side of a moral issue is a political asset which the Republican party will need, and must have, to succeed in the coming election. There is little doubt that revolt from the Republican ranks will be disastrous, if Governor Hughes shall not be nominated, as the feeling on the question is so deep that the revolt against the ticket would be calamitous. To turn down a man like Governor Hughes, who has not only a State but a national reputation for political integrity, would, in my judgment, be political folly. It seems to me that there is a large stick of dynamite in the political camp, which, without most careful handling, is in imminent danger of exploding. There are splendid men in the Republican party, any one of whom would make a good Governor, but no man, however able or virtuous, would be acceptable as a substitute for Governor Hughes, now that the issue has been drawn so distinctly. Whoever may or may not have been to blame for the difference between the Governor and the leaders of the party, it is evident that the church people of all denominations, and people of high moral instinct who are not members of any church, who summer and winter with the Republican party, desire the continuance of Governor Hughes in office, and desire it intensely. We do not believe the Republican leaders, many of whom are persons of good judgment and high moral ideals, will commit the colossal blunder of turning him down. We are strengthened in these convictions by the interview just had with the President, who as a political leader, and as an exponent of civic virtue, is a sagacious man to follow."
BUSINESS COMMITTEE VISIT TO WHITE
Before Mr. Roosevelt had made his name and fame a household word I noticed that he was by far the best informed man I had ever met. Of the hundreds of subjects I have taken up with him, there was not one about which he did not know much more
than I did myself, and some of those subjects were specialties upon which years of study and labor had been spent. And as years advanced I learned that he was not only regarded by those closest to him, but by well-nigh universal consent, as the best informed man in the largest range of subjects of anybody in the nation, if not in the world. Here is an incident which illustrates this fact. While he was President, a company of New York business men came to me and said that they had some little difficulty in making an appointment with the President at Washington and asked if I would aid them in securing a hearing. I wired the President and got a date for the gentlemen, Tuesday morning of the next week. They then asked me to accompany them to Washington and be with them when they laid their proposition before President Roosevelt. On Monday evening at the hotel the delegation met to plan the approach to the President the next morning. The leader explained how it was that he would use certain arguments and occupy certain time in presenting the matter. He supposed that it would be like a hearing before a judge or a legislative committee and that fifteen or twenty minutes' time would be allowed him for the presentation of his subject. "You do not understand Mr. Roosevelt at all," I told him. "If you were to undertake in a dignified manner to make the speech you contemplate before him, he would get up from his seat, without any ceremony, and instruct the clerk to call somebody else into the room and we would consider ourselves dismissed. He is so supremely busy that a minute with him is an hour. What you want to do is to take a card about as long as your thumb, put a heading of the things you intend to say in your speech and say them without any amplification and say them quickly,