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arrive. The President likewise has been without appointments could shake the at work with his stenographer for an hour President's hand and have his ear for a or two before the first appointments begin, brief moment or two. Mr. Wilson has say at ten o'clock. At that time the done away with this custom; in place of Secretary's room is filled, and it continues it, visitors without appointments are into be filled until after one o'clock. An structed to repair to the East Room of enumeration, at any moment during the the White House at 2.30, where they pass morning, of the men, numbering from a rapidly before the President and have a dozen to twenty or thirty, to be found brief opportunity for conversation, though, there waiting their turns, would be a list of course, not in private. practically every name of which would be seated in a corner are a group of Senarecognized as that of a national person. tors — Lodge, Smoot, and Stone — waitAt any moment you may be speaking to ing for five minutes in which to intercede a Cabinet minister, rubbing elbows with for a discharged customs official, judge three or four Senators, stepping on the Sharretts, who was lately removed from toes of a Supreme Court Justice, or knock- office by President Taft and whose friends ing against an army officer of high degree. think President Wilson should reopen his
The rule is that no visitor may see the case. President without an appointment pre- Over by the mantel is a nervous Conviously made. A list of expected visitors, gressman from Long Island. Equally every one of whom is assigned a period of nervous is a Wisconsin statesman, or from two to twenty minutes, is prepared statesman-to-be — Mr. “Joe” Davies, who the first thing in the morning. The pro- has a handsome profile; he is talking gramme is carried out almost with the with another, the other, specimen of accuracy of a railroad timetable. By Democratic pulchritude — Mr. A. Mitchell twelve o'clock the morning's work may Palmer; the Pennsylvanian is as big and possibly be ten minutes behindtheschedule; fair as the Wisconsin man is delicate and it generally finishes pretty promptly on black. time; not infrequently with a few spare Enters Joseph Gurney Cannon, the minutes into which to crowd an additional irrepressible, with his carnation in his interview or two. There may be, there buttonhole, radiating benevolence and generally are, four or five visitors, probably biblical quotations. “I have been adof distinction, who have called without vised,” he begins cheerfully — “Uncle Joe" appointment, and who wait, hoping that is actually going home, after thirty-eight an opportunity may come by chance years in Congress —“I have been advised to whisper the word they are anxious that it is time I made my peace with God. should reach the President's ear. Such Well, I am afraid I couldn't get an audience opportunities rarely come. Occasionally with the Almighty, but I can at least hope the President steps out of his room and to see the President. He may have some makes a hasty round of the outer office, influence at the throne of grace.” The but these occasions are few, and Washing- ex-Speaker holds his own little court in ton officials are coming to understand that the midst of the room, quizzed by Senators while they may see the President's Secre- and Cabinet members. tary at any moment, it is only by appoint- Here is an anxious politician from Porto ment previously made that they have Rico. Here is Mr. Pleasant Stovall, an old much prospect of getting a word with playmate of Mr. Wilson's, whom the Mr. Wilson himself.
Senators and Congressmen of Georgia That is to say, during the morning; and unite in recommending for the legation by universal consent morning is the time in Switzerland. The blind Senator from devoted to making and receiving official Oklahoma, Mr. Gore, has an early appointcalls. President Roosevelt and Presidentment for which he is promptly on hand. Taft used to keep open half an hour be- Mr. Montague, of Virginia, has been tween noon and twelve-thirty for a sort waiting two hours, as yesterday he waited, of general reception when those who were hoping for a chance to reach the President with the representations which the Progres- whispered to Mr. Tumulty: “They also sive Democrats of the Old Dominion are want to serve who only stand and wait." anxious Mr. Wilson should consider before Here is a young man who spent last he decides between Mr. Thomas Nelson summer at the National Headquarters; he Page and Colonel Joseph E. Willard for a had his salary, to be sure, but he thinks foreign mission. The Page-Willard fight he ought to have “recognition” besides. is preliminary to one all along the line as The gray-bearded man sitting there is Mr. to the distribution of patronage. To- Henry Gassaway Davis — once the Demomorrow it will be the Texas Wilson Demo- cratic nominee for Vice-president of the crats; the next day the Progressive Demo- United States. It is his second day on the crats of Alabama; then those of Maryland, scene; he was once a Senator, but he forgot of Kentucky, etc., who are urging that yesterday that a Cabinet day is scarcely only those who have proven their sym- one upon which a casual visitor can hope pathy with the Administration be put on for a glimpse of the President. Mr. guard. And their adversaries will be Marshall has been in and has gone; wise there, too, ready to empurple Mr. Tumul- man that he is, he was bent on no other ty's carpet with sanguinary gore.
errand than to pay a moment's respects Mr. Montague, who was Governor of to his chief, and he was satisfied to do that Virginia once, now has become a Congress- through the Secretary. man and might easily have been chosen for Briskly moving about in animated conthe Cabinet, but his errand this time is poli- versation is a young man generally counted tical and it is next to impossible to get to one of the new President's favorites - a Mr. Wilson direct with a purely political pleasing enough chap with the weight of appeal. At the outset of his administra- the world on his shoulders and the contion President Wilson announced, to the fidence in his ability to carry it in his eye. consternation of the pie-hunters, that he He has not yet given up hope of landing a himself would not receive candidates for $12,000 job with the aid of a father-in-law office or their friends. Such as came to in the Senate. But he will not get in him he referred to the heads of the several to-day. departments. He went so far as to decline Mr. Perry Belmont has come in to tell to talk with Congressmen and even Sena- the President, if permitted to, that he made tors on the subject of patronage, and, two speeches last night, one in Washington, though it has proven impossible to banish the other in Baltimore, where he expatiated all discussion of candidates from the upon the significance of the New Freedom. White House, the President has shown the Mayor Preston, of Baltimore, whose lavish utmost determination to save his energies (but unprofitable) hospitality delegates just as far as possible for the real tasks to the last Democratic Convention will of government, leaving the filling of offices well remember, is here to invite the Presito the members of his Cabinet. Never- dent to attend a performance to be given theless, during the early days of his term, for the benefit of the families of men killed candidates and their friends flocked to the in the dynamite explosion at Baltimore. executive offices. They came back the Over there, talking with Senator Luke second day and the third day, the spark Lea, is Representative Sims, of Tenneco of hope still smouldering in their breasts. see; Mr. Sims had an appointment at this
They stood about the Secretary's office hour yesterday but was a minute and a watching the slow hands of the clock that half late and missed his chance. mark the hours eventful of so much in Mr. Underwood, chairman of the Comthe Nation's contemporaneous history and mittee on Ways and Means, comes in on yet disappointing to so many personal the dot for his appointment of half an hour. ambitions.
Mr. Underwood tells the President that his Four of them who had been standing in Committee will have a tariff bill ready to a corner for hours one day caught the eye report to Congress at the extra session to of an old statesman as he came out from begin April 7th. his talk with the President; he turned and The Secretary of War has twenty minutes' conference with the President, the about this business of the Presidency he two discussing the future of the Philippines. doesn't; the benignancy of his nature
A man enters, has a moment's whispered shines through a face usually serious and conversation with Mr. Tumulty, who takes very often overcast with deepest gravity. him to the President irrespective of what V ery swiftly, the room fills up again. is going on in the inner room. It is regard. In comes Senator Ransdell, of Louisiana, ing the case of a soldier under sentence to and Colonel Robert Ewing of that state. die to-morrow in Arizona. A reprieve The sugar schedule requires much looking has suddenly become advisable; in two after. The editor of an Atlanta newsminutes the reprieve is granted.
paper is on time for his appointment. This The President is ahead of his schedule; newcomer, pulling at a piratical moustache there are three or four minutes to spare greatly at odds with his cherubic face, is before the next visitor is due, and Mr. Delaware's new Senator, Willard Saulsbury. Wilson steps into the anteroom and greets But now approaches the sensation of the few callers gathered there. He steps the morning, in the person of William briskly; always alert and vigorous, Mr. Jennings Bryan. He has just passed Wilson's movements have taken on a through the salvos of the camera batteries new vivacity, a new swiftness, since he at the entrance, his celebrated grin outcame down to Washington. He was doing the best performance of the Cheshire always a fast walker, for instance, but when cat; Mr. Bryan seems a very happy man he is seen on the streets here he is almost and is winning new friends every minute, racing along. He moves about the exe- moving, as he does, surrounded by a magcutive offices with as rapid a pace as netic field. It is five minutes before the Roosevelt ever used, and he covers the President learns of his chief Minister's distance between his office and the White arrival; then the two go into the little House in breathless time. The fact is the room for a half hour of intimate talk. President lives in constant dread of the Mr. McAdoo has a way of slipping in by office-seeker, who lies in wait at every door, the other entrance. To-day he brings in every passageway, along every path, by with him George Foster Peabody — one which he hopes the President may pass. man who, in spite of his reputed Demo
There is a general hush as the President cracy, is trying to keep out of office. enters the Secretary's room. Everybody News has just been handed in from the is instantly on his feet. Very rapidly Mr. telegraph room that the New Hampshire Wilson passes from man to man, usually legislature deadlock is broken, and Hollis, with nothing more than a smile of greeting the Democrat, is elected United States and a handshake; here and there, a low Senator. “Good!” cries the President, petition is spoken; now and again a paper for a moment forgetting some serious comes out of a pocket. It is all over in business in hand, and “Good!” echo a moment, however, and the dark designs twenty lusty throats. of a dozen aspirants have been frustrated. Just as the Gridiron Club delegation They have “paid their respects,” the comes in — six of the best-looking, at all errand on which they ostensibly came, and events of the best-fed, members of that they have not preferred the requests which famous association of writers and funthey expected casually to mention. When makers. They have come armed to the Theodore Roosevelt used to come prancing teeth with six unanswerable speeches. out into the waiting-room, the air was Unanswerable and unanswered — because suddenly filled with the sputter and crackle never made. The President capitulated of words discharged like rifle shots. When on sight. He will appear at the next Taft came out, the room was suddenly one Gridiron dinner. The interview, scheduled broad smile. He made the rounds, pre- for ten minutes, lasted fifty seconds. tended to listen, cracked a little joke here T he wife of a Princeton professor has and there, and disappeared in a general waited till half-past one to exchange a gasp of merriment. Woodrow Wilson can word with Mr. Wilson. The opportunity laugh as heartily as any one, but when comes at last.
So the procession comes, pauses, and is always delightful and satisfactory in passes. You wonder what possible im- that the visitor has the fullest opportunpression its members can hope to make ity to tell his story and make his request upon the wearied retina, the tired tym- or his argument, assured of an attentive panum, of the man in the oval room. hearing. All visitors agree that Mr.
The case is not what one would expect. Wilson has a peculiar faculty of putting The President's mind and nerves have them at their best; not a few timid, unready much the quality of youth. They are talkers have told me wonderingly that in singularly fresh and tenacious; they func- his company they found their tongues tion like a boy's both in receiving and unloosed and their ideas flowing rapidly recording impressions. He hears and sees into appropriate words. Appraised as and does not easily forget. Let us go into austere by the public which does not know the oval room.
him, Mr. Wilson is in fact a man of ready It is a cabinet, perhaps 25 by 35 feet, and profound sympathy. All feel that done in light olive green burlap with white instantly on coming into contact with wainscoting and doors. At one end is a him. He has no tricks of manner; he is fireplace with a white marble mantel, on innocent of any design to appear cordial; it a French clock under a glass dome; but the genuine simplicity of his look and opposite, a deep bay window. Glazed of his words is inevitably winning. He is book-cases are set into the wainscoting a shy man himself, if the truth were known, between the doors; the floor is covered and perhaps it is the most timid of men who with a plain green rug of domestic manu- are the best understood by him. facture. A solitary picture still hangs – Mr. Wilson is the best listener that has or did hang, the other day—as if forgotten, been in the White House for many a year. on one wall: a small photograph of Theo- Mr. Roosevelt never listened to anybody dore Roosevelt. The President sits at his in his life, of course; Mr. Taft could listen desk in the bay of the window; another well, when interested, but people often chair is placed at one end of the desk. suspected that Mr. Taft's mind was aAt one side of this main chamber there is wandering, even while his face was ata smaller room in dark brown, furnished tentive. You never have that feeling with with a couch and easy chairs, and a tiny Mr. Wilson. It is apparent from the first desk 'set into the wall; to this room on word that he is closely following you; as rare occasions the President may retire a rule he is silent until you have concluded; with a particularly favored visitor. Be- sometimes, however, his face will light up yond this is the Cabinet room, a rectangu- and he will nod or let a soft "yes" pass lar chamber none too large for its big table his lips. You have the feeling that his with ten chairs somewhat crowded around mind is ahead of you, as in fact it is, and it; there is no place provided for the seat of you pass rapidly from point to point, the Secretary of Labor, and he sits doubled well satisfied with your own swift eloquence. up with the Secretary of Commerce at the Then, instantly, you get your reply, and lower end. The Cabinet room is done in it is perfectly clear that Mr. Wilson has light brown; maps and law books line the taken you all in — all you have said, some walls, and a globe stands in the middle of things you have left unsaid. His mind the floor. The only picture is a Lincoln leaps to respond. over the mantel. For a change of scene All Washington agrees that it is a simple the President sometimes leads his visitors delight to have converse with the new into the Cabinet room.
President. I have seen his swiftness of An interview with Mr. Wilson is always apprehension and his clean-cut clearness of a delightful and satisfactory affair. Not mind displayed on hundreds of occasions always, of course, in its results, for the in Princeton and Trenton, and it was no United States now has a President who can surprise to me to hear visitors emerge say "no" as easily as "yes," though he from interviews at the White House with knows how to take the sting out of a re- their faces glowing with the pleasure of fusal, if he wants to. But an interview having transacted their business so satis
factorily; no surprise to hear Secretaries very precise entries — are likely to become praise, as if it were something unheard of famous engines of destruction, as the counand impossible in political life, the direct- try learns about the conversations that ness, swiftness, accuracy, and precision of take place in the ivory and white room. the operations of the mind under whose pres- His capacity for sustained gravity, too, idency they sit around the Cabinet table. is a magnificent weapon.
“There was not an irrelevant word,” A committee of suffragists visited him said one visitor, coming away; "he lis- the other day, and the ladies were not tened like a judge, and answered instantly, unimpressed with the seriousness of their speaking precisely to the subject I had mission. When they came out, the chairraised, and not to some other subject.” man said:
More than one visitor has noticed, “It was the most solemn meeting I however, that after he has ventured warily ever attended. The President was cordial, to approach the question of patronage the but grave. We took in a copy of Mr. President's responsiveness has suddenly Wilson's book, ‘The New Freedom,' and flagged and, without any direct refusal to told him that by substituting 'women' listen to a statement of the claims of the for 'men' in some paragraphs it would candidate, the change that has fallen over make the best argument for woman's the spirit of the meeting has effectually suffrage ever written. At that a fleeting prevented its utterance.
smile stole over the Presidential visage. “I simply cannot understand,” Mr. Then we all relapsed into solemnity. We Wilson has said in my hearing, “the passion said our pieces and we were as solemn as that goes into this struggle for office; I owls. But an owl would seem as merry cannot understand the deep personal feel- as a lark by the side of the President. ing with which the advocates of this man Where we made a mistake was in not or that argue in season and out of season bringing in a coffin and turning it into a for their candidate, or the resentment with funeral.” which they hear a rival mentioned.
President Wilson enjoyed that interview “Of course, if I were to allow myself as much as the ladies did. to listen to all this turmoil of importunate The majority of the President's callers candidacies I could do nothing else. already come to discuss policies. As soon There would be nothing but the ragged as the first stream of purely congratulatory shreds of a mind to give to the real business calls had ceased, Mr. Wilson began the of the Nation, with which I am charged.” discussion with visitors of the great public
Yet Mr. Wilson is a man whose sym- problems of the Nation. There was a pathies are so readily engaged that it is day or two when his callers seemed to think likely many a case will get past his guard, that, like his predecessors, he must be to worry and encumber him. Some of occupying himself at the beginning of his the candidates and friends of candidates term with appointments. They found it who presume on that sympathy, though, was not so, as I have said; that already the will be wiser when they have made their question of patronage had been relegated attempt. Mr. Wilson is a gentleman and to a place in the back of his mind; that he a scholar, but he is — 1 speak whereof was eager to advance to serious discussions I do know and testify what I have seen — of principles. Already, before he had been capable of giving the thickest-skinned in the White House a week, he was deep politician a colorful quarter of an hour. in the question of the attitude to be taken
In subtler ways, too, he is disconcerting toward Mexico and Central America; of when he wants to be. The deliberation the proper relations of the Government with which he adjusts his nose-glasses and to the Chinese Republic and to the policy studies a visitor is som suggestive, of the “dollar diplomacy”; of the tariff, and the lon er
httle and the extremely practical problems memor
of the preparation of a bill that would pass both Houses of Congress; of the currency, the establishment of a great