Republican Candidates for the Presidency

A DISCUSSION of the merits and availability of aspirants and supposed aspirants for the republican nomination for the presidency has been going on ever since Mr. Hayes was fairly installed in the White House. At times it would almost cease; but this was always when some important question of immediate interest absorbed the public mind, and after such questions were disposed of the newspapers would be sure to revive the old topic. Three causes operated thus to keep the matter of the presidential succession alive during the whole of an executive term. The attitude of Mr. Tilden, as a martyr to the electoral commission and a matter-ofcourse candidate (in his own opinion, at least) of his party in 1880, made the republicans feel a lively interest in such of their own leaders as they thought might possibly be pitted against him. Mr. Blaine’s defeat at Cincinnati, brought about, as it was, by the defection of the delegation from a single Southern State, when he was on the verge of success, made hint an inevitable candidate for 1880, and kept his friends zealous and active. Then there was the ever-impending candidacy of General Grant. Although Grant left the presidency, in 1877, under a thick cloud of unpopularity, few sagacious politicians believed that the most potent personality on the American continent could keep aloof from the next struggle for the chief magistracy. Thus we have had three years of intermittent talk about the republican candidates for 1880, without a month passing at any time during that period when the country has been allowed to forget the topic. And a curious peculiarity of this discussion has been that it has developed few new candidates and disposed of no old ones. The death of Oliver P. Morton took one of the most prominent out of the field, and the retirement of Benjamin H. Bristow from public life disposed of another. Mr. Bristow’s candidacy in 1876 was an accident growing out of his quarrel with Grant while he was in the treasury, and if he had kept before the public in some official capacity ever since he would hardly be mentioned in connection with the nomination this year; but as he took himself out of the public gaze voluntarily, it cannot be said that he fell a victim to the discussion of the merits of candidates. All the other men who were most talked of in 1877 — Grant, Blaine, Washburne, Sherman, and Conkling — are most talked of to-day. Mr. Sherman, it is true, has progressed from an attitude of possible to one of positive candidacy; but this was foreseen by all who knew his political ability, and appreciated the advantages of his position in control of the national finances in the transition period from paper to specie values.

Before we proceed to consider the strength and prospects of the several candidates, the ideas or shades of republican opinion they represent, and the political elements supporting them, let us stop to note the fact that the present contest is unusually free from the active interference of the outgoing president. I am aware that the presence of Mr. Sherman in the list of aspirants for the succession gives to his candidacy a certain appearance of official administrative sanction; but this is only in appearance, for it is not asserted in any quarter that the president uses his patronage to promote the success of his secretary, or in any way employs his personal influence in his behalf. There may be a treasury candidate, but there is no White House candidate. If Mr. Evarts, or Mr. Key, or Mr. Ramsay should choose to enter the race, he would doubtless feel sure of a fair field and no favor as far as Mr. Hayes was concerned.

There are three conspicuous competitors for the republican nomination. I place General Grant on the list, because, although he has not avowed himself a candidate either to the public or to his friends, like Mr. Blaine or Mr. Sherman, all the ordinary agencies to secure his nomination have been put to work with his full knowledge, and without one word of objection on his part. The fact that he remains silent counts for nothing. He was just as silent before the conventions of 1868 and 1872, and there is no reason why he should now change the habit of reticence which has so long stood him in good stead. He has been made a candidate by his friends advocating his claims in the newspapers, and going to work in the ordinary way to obtain the control of county and state conventions, in order to secure delegates to the national convention who will vote for him. Our list of active, open, and above-board candidates is, therefore, Grant, Blaine, and Sherman.

Close after these gentlemen, under the head of a conspicuous possibility, we must place Elihu B. Washburne. Next to him comes Roscoe Conkling; and the line is lost in a crowd of excellent “dark horses,” among whom we discern Garfield, Wheeler, Hamilton Fish, Edmunds, and Windom.

Let us begin with General Grant, as the most prominent and probably, on the whole, the strongest of all the candidates for the nomination. When he left the White House in 1877, he was, as we have said, exceedingly unpopular. His second administration had given less satisfaction than the first. It developed grave scandals affecting the cabinet itself, and gave rise to serious divisions in the party. In 1874 the States of Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, every one of which had voted for him in 1872, turned over to the democracy. In these States there was an aggregate change of over four hundred thousand votes produced in two years by republican dissatisfaction. Grant’s Southern policy had been a curious alternation of force and decision with weakness and irresolution. He held on to Louisiana by the bayonets of federal soldiers; but he gave up Mississippi, and surrendered Arkansas to an armed mob. One after another of the Southern States slipped away from the republicans, or was torn away during his administration, so that they held possession of only three when he went out of office, and lost all of them immediately afterwards, as the result of the elections held in 1876. The general effect of his policy was to intensify the hatred of the rebel element for the negroes and white republicans, without affording any adequate protection to those classes. Of the Northern States lost to the republicans in 1874, five were recovered in 1875, in a contest over the financial issue; but it was found necessary to declare in their platforms that they did not contemplate the renomination of Grant in 1876, and were opposed on principle to giving any president a third term.

General Grant had thus failed as president to make a consistent, irreproachable administration, and as a party leader he had brought disaster upon his followers. And yet, in spite of all this, he recovered in the space of two years a large measure of the public esteem he enjoyed in 1868, and became by far the most popular man in the country; and this, too, without making the smallest effort, by word or deed, to change the opinions of his countrymen. It is interesting to study the causes of this remarkable revolution in the feelings of the American people towards their expresident. Unquestionably the attitude of the South had very much to do in producing the change. The leaders of that section broke the pledges made to President Hayes in the spring of 1877, that they would protect the political rights of the negroes in case there was no further interference by the federal authority with local self-government in their States. They grew more ambitious and insolent as their power increased, and began to reach out for the full possession of the national government. In this state of affairs the old loyal elements of the North remembered that although Grant had enforced no fixed policy towards the South, he had had moments of firmness and periods of consistency, and that with all his faults he was still the great Union captain and the conqueror of the rebellion, whom the former rebels feared more than any other man; and they began to say, “If Grant were president this sort of thing would not go much further.” Then, as time went on, and the democrats refused to pass any law for avoiding trouble in the counting of the electoral votes, the republicans began to suspect that their opponents intended to count out the republican candidate in 1880, by an arbitrary use of power in Congress, and this fear caused them to turn instinctively to Grant as the “strong, silent man,” whom no party would venture to deprive of the presidency by tricks and frauds if he were lawfully elected. Last summer, when, at the extra session of Congress, the democrats endeavored to force the president to sign their bills for repealing the federal election laws by refusing appropriations for carrying on the government, the Grant feeling reached highwater mark, and if a nominating convention had been held at that time he would unquestionably have been chosen by acclamation.

Meanwhile the ex-president was reaping a rich harvest of honors in his tour around the world, which gratified the national pride of his countrymen at home. An impulse towards hero worship exists in republics as well as in monarchies. In our country this natural feeling had been suppressed since the war, for want of a proper object to call it forth. Our great soldiers had passed from the public eye to private life, or to the far Indian frontier, where their gallant deeds passed unnoticed, and among our statesmen no one towered high enough above the common level of mediocrity to challenge adulation. So it was quite natural that the plain republican citizen who was receiving the hospitality of kings and emperors beyond the seas should become invested in the eyes of his fellow-countrymen with the romantic halo of heroism. The persistency of military fame was well illustrated here. Grant the politician and president was forgotten, while Grant the general became a powerful presence in the public mind. His eight years in the White House were scarcely thought of, but every circumstance of his career as a soldier was distinctly remembered.

General Grant’s return to America was ill timed for permanent effect upon his chances for the presidency. He came too soon. The expected ovations took place; all the way from San Francisco to Philadelphia, immense throngs greeted him with demonstrations of admiration and cordial good-will, and in the latter city he was given a reception such as was never before accorded to any man on the American continent; but there was time for a revulsion of feeling before delegates could be chosen to the Chicago convention, and the revulsion came very promptly upon the heels of the highwrought enthusiasm. The ovation business palled upon the public taste. To many it seemed like an effort to suppress a thoughtful comparison of the merits of presidential candidates by a racket of brass bands and cannon. The friends of Mr. Sherman and Mr. Blaine were prompt to take advantage of this shifting in the fickle current of public opinion to press the arguments in favor of their candidates. A vigorous antiGrant element showed itself in all parts of the country, and obtained the open support or half-concealed sympathy of nine tenths of the influential republican daily newspapers. All possibility of the nomination of Grant by a spontaneous outburst of enthusiasm was thus brought to an end. He is now a candidate among candidates, taking his chances with the rest, and no longer standing upon a pedestal of real or supposed superiority. The Pennsylvania State Convention, held on the 4th of February, showed plainly that he is down in the dust of a heated conflict, to give and take blows with other aspirants, and to rise, if at all, rather by the political skill of his supporters than by his own popularity. That convention, it will be remembered, indorsed his candidacy by a majority of only twenty in a vote of two hundred and forty-six, and this result was produced by Senator Cameron making Grant’s cause his own, and making a vote for Grant a test of fidelity to his party leadership and of friendship towards him personally. The New York convention, held three weeks later, developed the position of the ex-president even more clearly. A majority of thirtyseven on a total vote of three hundred and ninety-seven was obtained for him in that body only by the utmost effort of all the forces under the control of the political “machine” and the employment of the great personal influence of Senator Conkling. The elements of strength and weakness involved in Grant’s candidacy are now well understood by all observers of the political situation, and I think there will be no exceptions taken to the following as a fair summary. The forces working actively or by their quiet influence in the community to secure his nomination may be thus classified: —

(1.) The capable,energetic politicians who held office during General Grant’s administration of the government. In sev eral States these men still control what is known as the machine, and in all they possess considerable power. Their motive in desiring his nomination is not necessarily a selfish one. They believe that a party can be made efficient only by the judicious distribution of official patronage as a reward for party services. Grant represents a system which they regard as orthodox. Since he went out of office there has been a mixed régime of old ideas and new, very confusing and, as they think, very foolish, and they want to get back to the old plan of senators and representatives in Congress distributing the patronage in their respective States and districts, so that a man will once more know how to go to work to get an office. General Grant used to violate this system now and then, to put an old army comrade in the cabinet, or give a cousin or a brother-in-law a custom-house berth or a foreign mission, but in the main he adhered to it closely.

(2.) The Southern Republican elemeat, insignificant in power to affect a presidential election, but potent in a nominating convention. A few weeks ago it was supposed that the votes of all the Southern States would be thrown for Grant in the Chicago convention. This would undoubtedly be the case if the republican politicians of those States were left to exercise their free choice without outside influence; but of late the friends of Mr. Sherman have succeeded in gaining a foot-hold in two or three States, and as they have still nearly three months in which to continue their operations, it is impossible to say how much Southern strength will remain to Grant by the time the convention meets in June.

(3.) The soldier class. A very considerable proportion of the Union veterans have a natural partiality for their old commander. Tins class wields a good deal of political power; not as a body, for their organization, the Grand Army of the Republic, is non-partisan, but as individual members of the republican party. It is an interesting fact, and one showing that the restored Union has deeper roots in the South than Northern people of strong sectional feelings imagine, that the old Confederate soldiers have a friendly feeling towards Grant, and would rather see him president than any other republican.

(4.) The alarmists, who think the South is bent on mischief and can be restrained only by a strong man at the head of the government. The apprehensions of these people have never quite died out since the war, and were greatly aroused by the behavior of the democratic party in Congress last spring and summer, — behavior dictated by a caucus in which exrebel officers had a controlling voice. A new impetus has just been given to their fears by the abortive effort to establish a fraudulent state government in Maine. This they regard as the forerunner of a scheme to count in the democratic candidate for president, next winter, by throwing out enough returns from republican States to convert a minority into a fictitious majority. Congress has power to do this, and it is argued that nothing will restrain the democrats from exercising this power but the certainty that the republican candidate would not submit to be thus defrauded. Grant is the one man, they say, whose character and whose control over the fighting element of the North would cause the democrats to pause.

(5.) Many business men, who believe that Grant would give a stability and security to public affairs which would have a favorable effect upon trade and values.

(6.) A considerable portion of what we may call the ultra-religious class, and especially the ministers. Why people of extreme religious sensibilities should have such a liking for soldiers and warlike statesmen, I do not pretend to explain. Perhaps there is some mental law of the affinity of contraries which operates upon them.

The weakness of Grant’s candidacy lies in the opposition of the following classes :—

(1.) The old liberals of 1872, nine tenths of whom are now back in the republican party, and occupying prominent positions in it. Their hostility to Grant is less pronounced than it was seven years ago, perhaps, but it is still pretty vigorous.

(2.) The progressive republicans, who were good party men in 1872, but who think we have got beyond the era of force of which Grant was the type, and believe that his reëlection would be a retrograde movement in our politics which would check the development of a homogeneous national sentiment and postpone the consideration of important social, industrial, and commercial questions.

(3.) The Germans, who have no fondness for soldiers in politics, and who think the step from a third term to a military dictatorship is a great deal shorter than it is in reality. They are the most jealous defenders of the republican system we have in this country, and are over-apprehensive of changes in the traditions and spirit of our government which might lead to a lapse into Old World institutions.

(4.) Many practical politicians, who look at the question from the stand-point of expediency. They fear that Grant could not carry the pivotal States, and dread the result of furnishing the democrats with the third-term issue. No one can foresee, they say, what might be the effect of the cry of imperialism which the democrats would surely set up against the republicans. It might be laughed out of the canvass, but it might arouse a passionate antagonism against the party violating without excuse the unwritten law of two terms for a president, and no more.

The candidacy of Senator James G. Blaine, of Maine, is the natural result of many years of exceptional prominence in republican politics, and of a fortunate faculty of winning and keeping friends by personal intercourse. Mr. Blaine entered Congress in December, 1863, and for four years was a quiet, observant member, serving on committees of minor importance, for the work of which he had little taste. He seldom took part in the debates, but was a close student of the rules, mastering in time all the tangled detail of legislative practice and precedent. During his third term he began to be somewhat conspicuous in the business proceedings of the house, and now and then won attention for a short, crisp speech that went straight to the marrow of the subject without much rhetoric. All this time he was making friends and gaining personal influence among the better class of members, and in 1869, when Schuyler Colfax left the speaker’s chair to take the vice-presidency, the young representative from Maine was chosen to the vacant place, defeating aspirants who had served much longer in Congress and were much better known to the country. The qualities which secured him the speakership are those which will win for him the nomination at Chicago, if he gets it. People help him forward because they like him. They overlook his faults and magnify his talents and rejoice to aid in his advancement, because he never forgets their faces or names, is delightfully cordial when he meets them, and always interests them with an inexhaustible fund of anecdote and information concerning public men and affairs. There is no man in public life who has so large a personal following. He has made speeches in all the Northern States from Maine to California, taking part every year in the state canvasses that were at the time of most national interest, and always adding to his popularity by these stumping tours. His stump speeches cannot be classed as remarkable efforts of high statesmanship, but they express the average common sense and conscience of the republican masses, and always deal with the issues which are uppermost in the public mind. His speeches in Congress have been aptly likened to cavalry charges : they are bold, dashing, and effective. The opposite party, taken by surprise, and bewildered by the impetuousness of the assault, usually retire in confusion ; but they soon rally again, and the battle of argument is generally won by the heavy artillery aimed by such men as Edmunds and Garfield.

Mr. Blaine’s character is a singular combination of frankness and seeretiveness, of eager impulse and calculating reserve. He is a more discreet Henry Clay, — a more impulsive Martin Van Buren. I think his abilities as a political organizer and manager are overrated. If he had John Sherman’s cold, unmagnetic nature, he never would have attained his present prominence. He has climbed up, not on the shoulders of indifferent or unwilling men, but by the aid of thousands of helping hands. A very important element of his strength is the friendship of newspapers and newspaper men. He was an editor himself in early life, and owned a lucrative country newspaper, which he disposed of when he got fairly embarked in politics, because he did not think the two careers would harmonize. The liking which some journalists have for him is somewhat singular from the fact that he never permits himself to be interviewed. He rather prides himself on the fact that he can talk freely with reporters, correspondents, and editors without being put in print. They like him because he is accessible and friendly, and always tells them something worth printing, with the sole condition attached that they will not accredit it to him. His knowledge of the history of American politics is remarkable. He knows the issues that divided parties at every presidential election since the foundation of the government, the vote cast for every candidate, the course of every administration, the career of every prominent statesman, the composition of every cabinet, the peculiarities of every speaker of the house, the causes of the growth and decay of political organizations, the attitude of every State in every national contest, and a thousand other tilings connected with the conduct of the government and the course of parties and politicians. From all this mass of information. treasured in a singularly retentive mind, he has evolved a sort of philosophy of politics which is no doubt of considerable assistance in enabling him to foresee the effect of certain issues upon the public mind, and to trace into the future the currents of public opinion.

Mr. Blaine belongs to the stalwart element of the republican party, and represents in a special degree the idea that the questions of the war are not yet definitely closed, and can only be settled finally and rightly by firmness on the part of the national government, backed by a powerful sentiment in the North, in enforcing the constitutional amendments and protecting the equal rights of parties and citizens in the South. He is far more objectionable to the old slaveholding rebel element than is General Grant, because he is looked upon as the embodiment of the most aggressive and radical republican ideas. His strength as a candidate is not confined to any section. Indeed, he has more support in Iowa and in Kansas than in some of the New England States. In fact, he is a thoroughly national candidate, with a strong backing in every Northern State among influential politicians and the young, enthusiastic element of the party. His weakness lies chiefly in his strength, paradoxical though the statement may seem. He is the strong candidate against whom weaker candidates will be ready to combine again, as they did at Cincinnati in 1876. Perhaps this danger is offset, however, by the fact that he is the second choice of a large share of the Grant men, and particularly those in the South and in Pennsylvania and New York, who will be inclined to go over to him if their own candidate is withdrawn.

The candidacy of John Sherman grows very logically out of his brilliant and substantial success, as secretary of the treasury, in refunding the public debt and in resuming specie payments. This success is highly honored by all intelligent people in this country, and would be doubly honored if accomplished in any European country, because the difficulty of strengthening national credit when once depreciated, and of returning to specie values after being once cut adrift, is much better understood there than here. There is such a thing as a science of national finance in Europe. In this country the treasury was under the control of experimenters during the long interval between McCulloch and Sherman. Fortunately, Mr. Sherman had outlived his weaknesses on the subject of the currency and the debt, and had come into the post of finance minister with a clear and correct idea of what was to be done to get affairs upon a settled and honest basis, together with a firm will to carry out his purposes. Backed by a president fully in accord with his views, he was able to triumph over opposition in Congress, and to go straight forward towards the goal of lower interest and gold payments. After such achievements it was inevitable that he should be looked upon by a large element in the republican party as the best man to nominate for the presidency. He is a type of solvency, prudence, and firmness in financial and business affairs. People who appreciate best the inestimable value to the country of the changes he has wrought in its finances look with most favor upon his candidacy,—that is to say, bankers, manufacturers, transporters, and substantial merchants and farmers. Of political strength he possesses far less than Mr. Blaine. His own State of Ohio is the only one which can be said to be originally in favor of his candidacy. In other States his followers are rarely in possession of much practical influence of the sort that controls conventions and selects delegates. It is probable, however, that a sense of the special fitness of his candidacy, his popularity among the business classes, and the knowledge all politicians possess of the character, temper, and opinions he would bring to the chief magistracy will give him a great deal of strength in the Chicago convention which cannot now be measured and located. Then, Mr. Sherman is himself an exceedingly able practical politician. With no faculty for winning friends by simply mingling with men and shaking hands, and no gift of oratory beyond the ability to express his ideas connectedly and clearly, he has held important positions ever since he entered politics as a young man, never dropping out of office for a day, and steadily mounting from post to post until within one step of the White House. His success has been due to two things : first, he has always been able to convince the public of his intellectual and moral fitness for the place he sought; and, second, he has known how to go to work to secure nominations and carry elections. These two things will operate in his favor now as heretofore. As to his lack of personal magnetism, of which we hear so much, that is doubtless a misfortune for a public man ; but it has not kept him from getting on in life, and will not be obstacle enough of itself to keep him out of the presidency. He makes up for this defect by a close knowledge of human nature (witness, for example, the efficiency of the revenue and customs departments under his administration of the treasury, and their freedom from scandals), and a full comprehension of the fact that in politics an exchange of services and benefits goes further than personal friendship. His chief weakness as a candidate lies in the fact that he is an Ohio man. It will be hard to persuade the convention to take another president from that much-favored State. Mr. Sherman represents a moderate phase of opinion on the Southern question. He is less conciliatory than President Hayes, and less aggressive than Senator Blaine. His republicanism is of a very stubborn, ingrained sort, but he sees the importance of other questions than those left over as the débris of the war and reconstruction periods.

Mr. Elihu B. Washburne is not a candidate in the sense of being a competitor for the favor of state conventions or the votes of delegates at Chicago on the first ballot, and yet no one would make a list of the half dozen names among which the choice is likely to fall without including his. If General Grant should withdraw, he would unquestionably be brought to the front to dispute the prize with Blaine and Sherman ; but if Grant does not withdraw, Washburne will stay out of the fight. No rivalry between him and Grant is possible, apart from the personal relations between the two men, for the reason that he could not assemble a nucleus of strength in the convention without his own State of Illinois, which is also Grant’s State; he will probably vote for Grant until he is nominated or withdrawn. It has been asserted that the influence of Senator Logan will keep the Illinois delegation away from Washburne in any event; but later reports say that a good understanding now exists between the two rivals, and that if there appears to be no chance for the nomination of Logan, the friends of the senator will support the ex-minister to Paris. Washburne is the second choice of a large number of people whose first choice is Grant, or Blaine, or Sherman ; a circumstance which counts largely in his favor, for the history of national conventions shows that second-choice men have the best chance of success. If nominated, Mr. Washburne would be entirely acceptable to all elements of the republican party. He did not participate in the quarrels between the stalwarts and the liberals which marked the first two years of President Hayes’s administration, and so kept the friendship of both factions. His long and useful career in Congress and his subsequent excellent services as minister to France during a period of four years give abundant reason for confidence in his sound judgment and other statesmanlike qualities. There are no flaws in his record that would embarrass him in the canvass. While in the house he was distinguished for his zeal in protecting the treasury against the many doubtful and frequently dishonest schemes of legislation which flourished in the flush times following the war. His vigilance in detecting these schemes and his obstinacy in combating them gave him the sobriquet of “the watch-dog of the treasury.” Some hostile feeling towards him survives to this day among old members and ex-members of Congress whose bills he defeated, or whom he offended in debate by his crusade against every measure in which he suspected a taint of jobbery. Other than this there is no positive opposition to him resting upon personal grounds. But, on the other hand, there is little enthusiasm for him, save, perhaps, among the Germans, who are, as they ought to be, very cordial towards him for protecting their countrymen in Paris during the Franco-German war. It is now twelve years since Mr. Washburne has been in actual public life in this country, and a new generation of politicians has come forward in that time who know him not. Of the men with whom he served in the house there are not a dozen left in that body, and scarcely fifty are still prominent in national or state politics. In case he is brought into the arena at Chicago, he may fail for want of earnest friends, and he may succeed because he has few bitter enemies.

It has been announced on behalf of Senator Roscoe Conkling, by close political friends in the State of New York, that he will on no account permit his name to go before the Chicago convention ; that he thinks his candidacy in 1876 was a mistake, and is not at all disposed to repeat it. Until we have some such statement directly from his own mouth, however, the public will hesitate to erase his name from the list of aspirants. A man of Mr. Conkling’s commanding prominence and towering ambition, who will have full control over the seventyfour delegates sent by New York to the Chicago convention, can hardly be thought of as wholly out of the field. If Grant, whose faithful champion he is, should he withdrawn, many of Grant’s friends would instinctively turn to him. Supposing him to be a candidate, or to become one, his strength would be found to lie in the devotion of his State, the power of its great vote in the convention to attract the votes of other States by the sort of centripetal force which big bodies exercise upon little ones, the general conviction that he could carry New York if nominated, and the respect felt in all parts of the country for the boldness and consistency of his public career. His weakness would be his lack of popularity and hearty support in other States than his own. This comes from his habitual unwillingness to take part in campaigns away from home, and his failure to cultivate the liking of his fellow members of Congress by familiar manners and good fellowship. He has seldom appeared upon the stump outside of New York, and is therefore little known personally to the masses of the party, and in Washington his natural reserve and hauteur have caused an opinion to be current among his associates that he holds himself to be above them because of his great intellectual talents and his representation of the Empire State. Doubtless they do him injustice, but their notion is fatal to his personal popularity.

Of the possible candidates a long list might be made ; but it. will be sufficient to mention Vice-President Wheeler and Mr. Fish, either of whom might become prominent by the support of New York, in case General Grant should retire and Mr. Conkling is really determined not to try the hazards of another convention ; Senator Edmunds, who will have the complimentary vote of his own State of Vermont and a good deal of secondchoice support in other States; General Garfield, who might be a leading candidate if he were not an Ohio man, and would still be among the possibilities in case Mr. Sherman should be withdrawn ; and Senator Windom, of Minnesota, whose long service in both houses of Congress and popularity in the Northwest would give him advantages as a “dark horse” in case of a prolonged contest. Perhaps General Logan should be added, as a great favorite with the soldier element, and a little wider range of speculation would bring in General Ben Harrison of Indiana, Senator Don Cameron, and General Hawley of Con necticut.

It is not my purpose to discuss here the possibilities of the Chicago convention. A national nominating convention, unless its action is determined in advance by the unmistakable will of the party which it represents, is a whirlpool of conflicting currents, a labyrinth of intrigue, a game in which a bold player with a weak hand often wins, a race that is not always to the swift, a battle that is seldom to the strong. No one can foresee results in a convention like that at Cincinnati in 1876, or in such a one as we are likely to have at Chicago. Only one thing is clear now, and that is that the States of New York and Pennsylvania, the one controlled by Conkling and the other by Cameron, will exercise great power if they act together, as their leaders now design, and will probably form a solid nucleus, to which the votes of other delegations will attach themselves until the mass is large enough to dominate the convention. If these two States continue to hold by Grant and he gets the bulk of the Southern vote, he will be nominated. If they go over to Blaine, he will be nominated. If they fall apart and support different candidates, it will be anybody’s race.