Publication information
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Source: Boston Evening Transcript
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Mr. Hanna’s ‘If’”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Boston, Massachusetts
Date of publication: 24 September 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: none
Pagination: 8

“Mr. Hanna’s ‘If.’” Boston Evening Transcript 24 Sept. 1901: p. 8.
full text
Marcus Hanna (public statements); Roosevelt presidency (predictions, expectations, etc.); Theodore Roosevelt (relations with Marcus Hanna); William McKinley (relations with Marcus Hanna); the press (criticism); Theodore Roosevelt (assumption of presidency: public response); Henry Cabot Lodge.
Named persons
J. Edward Addicks; Marcus Hanna; Henry Cabot Lodge; William McKinley; Matthew S. Quay; Theodore Roosevelt.


Mr. Hanna’s “If”

     Senator Hanna is quoted as saying that if President Roosevelt carries out his promise to continue the policy adopted by President McKinley he will have his warm support as well as that of every other loyal Republican. This seems to us one of those safe commonplaces which might be expected of Senator Hanna under the circumstances, but we observe already a tendency to emphasize the “if,” as suggestive of Mr. Hanna’s contemplating the probability of a break between him and the Administration. This tendency to force this conclusion from a few commonplace phrases reflects a misunderstanding of Senator Hanna’s position with the late President.
     Senator Hanna had unquestionably great influence with President McKinley. The two men were warm personal friends and long had been. There was a real affection between them. Each justly valued the other. The disposition the President had to give great weight to the opinions of his old friend and counsellor [sic] was unquestionably strengthened by the latter’s position as chairman of the National Republican Committee, in which capacity Mr. Hanna had directed. President McKinley earnestly desired to see harmony in the Republican party. He had likings and dislikes very clearly defined in his own mind for certain of its prominent men, but he frequently subordinated his own feelings to the accomplishment of the end he sought.
     Thus neither the President nor Mr. Hanna had any liking for Quay or Quayism, but the White House remained neutral between the two elements of the Pennsylvania Repub[l]icans. Nor would the President be dragged into the Delaware senatorial struggle. Addicks’s leaders in the last heated hours at Dover last March openly blamed the President for the continuance of the deadlock, saying that his silence towards them occasioned it and asserting that they had Mr. Hanna’s support and good wishes. There is reason to believe that on other occasions the President heard Mr. Hanna with close and courteous attention and then took the way that his own calmer temperament and clearer vision suggested. Thus the President undoubtedly favored a system of Federal aid for ship-building, but whether the Hanna bill recommended isself [sic] to his judgment in all its details remains a question to this day. He certainly did not appear to be strenuous in its behalf, and no one could have known better that there was by no means Republican solid support for it.
     Senator Hanna was, indeed, a man of great weight at the White House; but the conception of him formed by many papers and a considerable element of the public as the boss whose decrees President McKinley simply registered was utterly wrong and did great injustice both to Mr. Hanna and President McKinley. Under President Roosevelt, Mr. Hanna becomes a senator from Ohio and chairman of the Republican committee. He cannot expect to stand to President Roosevelt in relations approaching those he held towards President McKinley—his long-time friend and valued adviser. But personal and public friendly relations between the two will in all probability be maintained. Each is strenuous in his way, but each is able, and each may and probably will realize the value of consideration for the other.
     Mr. Hanna could gain little and lose much by antagonizing President Roosevelt. President Roosevelt, fully according to Mr. Hanna the public consideration to which his ability and position entitle him, would still have to avoid even the appearance of subjection to the will of the Ohio senator. It will be time enough for the Republican party to cross a bridge of Roosevelt-Hanna difficulty when it comes to it, if it ever does.
     The public impression that a party leader bosses the President is in large measure due to the bad judgment of a certain element of newspaper correspondents who have their favorite personalities and favorite theories. Scarcely had President Roosevelt taken the oath of office before a number of Washington correspondents provided a boss for him. These gentlemen unanimously resolved that if Mr. Lodge did not at once accept the position of secretary of state, which they were all sure the President would immediately offer him, it would [b]e because he preferred to remain in the Senate and “shape the policy of the Administration.” Now President Roosevelt and Senator Lodge are warm personal and political friends. But no one questions that there are limits to friendship and there is a decorum to friendship which two such men may be trusted to respect. President Roosevelt will be his own boss. The assumption that he will be the mask of Senator Lodge does gross injustice to him and to Senator Lodge, too.



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