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that the strife is justified; for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately win the goal of true national greatness."
HONORS THRUST UPON HIM.
NOMINATED FOR VICE-PRESIDENT AGAINST HIS EMPHATIC PRO
TEST-SINKS PERSONAL PREFERENCE AT THE CALL OF PUBLIC
DUTY-STRIKING FIGURE IN THE CAMPAIGN-PRESIDING OVER THE SENATE-SEEKS RECREATION IN A POST-ELECTION HUNT FOR MOUNTAIN LIONS.
Man does not always dispose of his life as he wills. Governor Roosevelt, at the executive mansion at Albany, was in precisely the position he desired. From the beginning of his political career he had protested against the abuses that existed in administration of affairs. He had exerted all his powers, in each position occupied, to impress the people of his State with the wisdom of obeying the laws. It was not the low offenders against petty restrictive measures that offered menace to the commonweal; but those in enviable station, men to whom much had been given, and of whom the people had a right to expect much in the way of justice and of right. As legislator, as police commissioner, as expo
nent of the merit system under national appointment, and in successive campaigns, his effort had always been for a reform in the public service of his State. Wherever his activities were employed he had been handicapped by the opposition of forces from which he had a right to expect assistance. He had been hampered by the inertia of a system which all men conceded was bad, but which few men in politics dared to see corrected.
As Governor of New York State he was in a position to put his reforms into practice. He had the power which he had lacked before. He was the dictator of the situation. Four years as chief executive of the Empire State would, it may confidently be assumed, have resulted in such a purification of public morals, such a reformation in official conduct, as the great Republic has never known. No one knew better than he the men and the forces against which he would have to contend, and it is not likely there was another man in the State so well equipped for that struggle as he was. It was—at least for that time—the goal toward which all his training and his effort had been tending. It was the work which he had all his life been trying to do, and it would probably have proven of greater benefit
to the nation, as illustrating sensible and substantial reform, than any other man could have contributed. It had been particularly gratifying to him, at the close of the war with Spain, to know that the people of his native State turned to him with the demand that he take charge of their public affairs as Governor; and it was with regret that he heard the premonitory summons to a higher but less useful office. As the time for the national Republican convention of 1900 approached, speculation regarding the ticket to be chosen was simplified. For first place but one name was commonly considered. President McKinley was to be given a second term. As to the choice for Vice-President, the politicians canvassed the chances of this man and of that man-but the people spoke with an increasing assertiveness for Theodore Roosevelt.
Something of the man's good fortune was again revealed in the situation. The "geographical consideration" was satisfied in his selection. Mr. McKinley was from the West--for Ohio is "west" to the dwellers in Atlantic States. What would have been the result if both had been from the same section cannot be conjectured. But he was at the same time at odds with fortune regard
ing another consideration always of moment in the making of a ticket. He was by no means a rich man. It must not be supposed that he was a man of fallen fortunes, or that the estate which had come to him through generations of thrifty ancestors had been dissipated. That was not the case. Yet it will be remembered that the Roosevelts had never been among the magnates of the community. They had accumulated, but they had also enjoyed their wealth, and had always done good with it. There were scores of families in New York twenty times as rich as Theodore Roosevelt; and ordinarily at least one man of wealth has been regarded as necessary on the national ticket.
Here, then, were objections of his own, and other objections which his party friends were urging, all against his selection as a candidate for the Vice-Presidency. Of course the fact of geography or of inadequate wealth were of small moment to him. If he had desired the place, he would have announced that desire, and have striven for it. But his life work was before him, ready to his hand. The opportunity for the great good which he desired to do had arrived. The means were in his possession. It seemed like