Newspaper Page Text
THE ARGUS, TUESDAY. JUNE 2, 1908.
James A. Edgerton's Election Forecast Based on a Close Study of .
the Candidates and the Political Situation A Comparison of
Bryan and Taft, Most Probable Nominees of the Two Great
Parties, and Their Chances of Winning Both Are
Optimists One Has a Laugh like . a Dyna-
. .. jajte Explosion, the Other a Smile like
a Crack In a Melon. '
. ' By JAMES A. EDGERTON. In " this case, however, we simply
TT1E making of election predic- j MUST have a victim. We cannot slde
tions i3 hazardous. First, there step the question by failure to make a
is the moral certainty that the ' choice. In that event the big stick
prophecy will be found wrong j would wave for four years longer,
It will be wrong at all points; second.
the forecast is bound to offend all but
the -partisans of the man whose favor
able horoscope is cast. In case It is
also an ante-convention bit of fortune
telling the number of the disgruntled
will be measurably increased, for this
will include not ouly everybody of the
opposite party, . but the friends of all
other candidates in. the same party.
Por instance, if the luckless forecast
er were to play up the exclusive and
advance information that Bryan is to
be the next president the prophet
aforesaid would be without honor in
any country except .Nebraska, and
rthere people would doubt his sanity,
lie would gain the ill will of all Re
publicans, Populists, Socialists, Prohi
bitionists, Independence leaguers and
!of the members of such other parties
which would throw a nervous fit into
Wall street and some other places.
The next president of the United
States will be William Now, this is
where you come in as a prognosticator,
gentle reader at least I assume you
are gentle. How will you fill out the
name? " Howard Taft!" will shout
a legion of Republicans. " Jen
nings Bryan!" will vociferate another
itruiy of Democrats. So we are no
nearer a solution than before. Yes, we
are a trifle nearer, for it probably will
be one of these two. Why? Because
these are the two that will get the
nominations. They already have a ma
jority of the delegates at least in
sight. That Bryan would be named at
Denver has been plain for months.
That Taft would 1 given the stand
ard to carry at Chicago has been ap
parent ever since Theodore Roosevelt
as may spring up between now and j threw his immense influence in that dl-
eleetlon. Not only so, but he would
. arouse the hostility of all Democrats
except the rooters for the Nebraskan.
Thus In gaining the friendship of one
fourth of the population the prophet
of figures is sure to make enemies of
the other three-fourths. Truly, it is
anything but a pleasant outlook.
' It the reader doubts the hazardous
'calling of the election forecaster the
An Unbiased Opinion.
You understand that in giving my
Idea of the winners in the two great
conventions and the successful man
in the election, for we are coming to
that I am cutting out ail my own
personal predilections, if I have any.
I am looking at it as a cold matter of
THE RACE TO TI1E WHITE HOUSE.
ead fate that befell the foremost of
the clan should be convincing. There
Was a day when General Charles H.
Grosvenor, otherwise known as "Old
Figgers," was one of the mightiest of
the mighty, ne was a member of the
house machine, a debater whose
tongue was feared by all and a high
priest of the stand patters. But In an
eril hour he gave way to temptation
and began making election forecasts.
And look at him now!
A Word of Caution.
Nevertheless I propose to make an
election forecast. Before doing so a
jword of caution. Don't blame the ed
itor for this, ne can't help it. Blame
me. I am the only one responsible.
I am sufficiently far away so that you
cannot get at me anyway, so it does
Of candidates there is no end. I
have been writing of candidates till
the world seems filled only wlth( office
seekers. Twenty-two candidate-so
-the count stands to date Taft, Hughes,
Cannon, Shaw, Knox, Fairbanks, For
akeij Cortelyou, La Follette and Cum
mins on the Republican side, and
Bryan, John A. Johnson, Tom L. John
son, Gray, Harmon, Folk, Hoke Smith,
William L. Douglas, Woodrow Wilson,
Senator Culberson,. Lewis Stuyvesant
Chanler and Jesse Grant on the Dem
ocratic! Twenty-two candidate certainly a-plenty!
Convention days came along and knocked
.Two little candidates running' like fun!
Election day came along, and then there
waa one. . .
But WHICH one? There's the rub.
.That single little question is scheduled
' to give all of us no little anxiety and
.trouble for the next few months,
f Which shall it b which shall it be?
I looked at John; John looKed at me.
And neither could come to a conclu
sion. As a consequence it was nobody.
figures, of probabilities in a given sit
uation. I ask the reader to take the
same unbiased and uuimpassioned
view. In making the estimate I am
leaving out all minor parties, such
as the Topullsts, the Socialists, the
Prohibitionists and the Independence
leaguers, not that I think they are un
worthy of mention, but because they
do not stand a ghost of a show in
this election. Every one of these
movements Is worthy of respectful
consideration, but they are not elect
lug presidents not yet.
Taft Only In Sight
The nomination of Taft is not as
much of a foregone conclusion as that
of Bryan, and yet it seems practically
assured. Hughes will have the lar
gest outside following, but will not be
near Taft on the first ballot. If it
were possible to combine all the field
against the Ohio man he might be
beaten, but when the delegations
break away from the favorite sons
Taft will get his share. In Indiana
that will be the lion's share. It is not
to be imagined for a moment that La
Follette and Cummins will throw their
strength to a reactionary or to any one
opposed by the administration. As
for the south, its delegates will be con
trolled largely by the federal brigade.
as always. It may be set down as con
elusive that the great bulk of the mid
die and far west is for Taft. It is
Roosevelt or for the man Roosevelt
wants. Looking at the matter from
any possible viewpoint, there is. noth
ing.ln eight in the Republican na
tionai convention but William Howard
Taft. " " - ..
To defeat the nomination of Taft
would be a direct affront to the pros!
dent, and that the Republican party
will be very far from giving. It does
not wish to affront Roosevelt in the
first place and even if it did woukl
not dare to do so considering the pre
ent temper" of the. country. Such an
act would be equivalent to committing
political, suicide. ' Roosevelt has said
he wants Taft, and that settles it
Taft it will be.
As for 'Bryan, his nomination has
been certain so long that it is hardly
worth whiJe discussing it. : Ever since
he returned from his jaunt around
the world aye, ever since the political
steam roller passed over a gentleman
named Alton B. Parker Bryan has
had the Democratic candidacy for the
asking:. Why he should want it at all
may be an enigma, but not the fact
that he can grab it if he desires. Prob
ably running for president has growu
into a. habit with him, or he may fig
ure that, being yet a comparatively
young man, he may keep on running
long euough to slip in some time when
the other side is not watching. How
ever these things may be, it is appar
ent that in this year of our Lord he
has pre-empted the Democratic man
sion and has chased all the other would
be candidates into the back lot Bryan
is now only forty -eight years olit and
If he keeps on ruuning till he is
eighty he has nine or ten good races
In him yet
Bryan's friends say that he actually
expects toe elected this year and that
if ho is he will never run again. What
temptation he places before the
rossibly he figures that in a fat
man's race the man with the least em
bonpointpronounce it If you dare-
should win out Bryan has some flesh
himself, but Taft makes him look like
a living skeleton. If Taft should be
elected he would make the hencoop
that is used as an executive building
bulge out at the sides.
JLet us suppose now that it is the
middle of July and that Williaih How
ard Taft is the nominee of the Repub
lian party and William Jennings Bryan
is the standard bearer of the Demo
cratic party. Which shall we pick for
a winner? Neither looks much like u
champion, but we have had homely
presidents before. Consider all points
carefully before choosing your favor
ite. Of course you may decide to vote
for the one you think will lose. Some
of us do that frequently. This may be
on the principle that we favor the un
derdog or on the general idea that
we are "agin the government" or sim
ply because the prospective loser be
longs to our party. This is not an in
quiry as to how we intend to vote,
however, but as to the man we think
In comparing the two candidates the
first thing apparent is that Taft has
held office nil his life and Bryan has
tried to. In this connection it is not
fair to charge Mr. Bryan with lack of
executive experience. That is not his
Another point in common is that
both have traveled extensively, but
each is willing to forego the pleasures
of leaving the country for four years
Both Are Optimists.
But here resemblance as well as
friendship ceases. In other ways the
two are no more alike than an ele
phant and an owl. Taft claims to bo
the only siinon pure Roosevelt candi
date, and Bryan says he was like
Roosevelt before Roosevelt was like
himself. Taft lacks eloquence, ' and
Bryan has plenty of It Both are
about the same age, but Taft has more
to show for it and is larger for his
years. Taft laughs like an explosion
of dynamite, and Bryan smiles like a
crack in a melon. Both are natural
optimists, but Bryan manages to con
ceal the fact when talking about Wall
street and the trusts. On the railroad
question Taft is for government regu
lation at cabinet meetings and Bryan
favors government ownership when no
one is listening. As Xor tariff revision,
Bryan wants it right off and Taft
wants it as soon as the stand patters
will let him. On the money question
Taft wishes the banks to Issue the
money and Bryan would have the gov
ernment issue the money and distrib
ute it through the banks. On other
questions Secretary Taft's views may
be determined by consulting -"my poli
cies' and Mr. Bryan's by reference to
the Democratic platform.
But all this does not determine which
one will be elected. The country might
do better by defeating both and elect
ing Tom Watson, but it never will
Watson Is getting almost as much in
the habit of running for president as
Bryan and gets more fun out of it He
knows he never can be elected, and
Bryan does not, but may learn.
Eolutely nothing, while there are ways
In which a Republican president can
persuade a Republican senate. -
Fourth. While Taft will lose from
the conservative side, though not as
much as Roosevelt would lose, he will
also lose a number of radical Repub
licans that might vote for Roosevelt
Fifth.-With all of Mr. Taft's esti
mable qualities, he lacks a certain
something call it magnetism or what
you will which apieals to the public
Imagination. He is not a candidate to
fire the multitude. Whatever flames
are started this time must le by the
man behind Taft.
So much for Secretary Taft's weak
points. On the oilier hand, it must be
admitted that Bryan has a natural
majority of from half a million to a
million votes to overcome. Ie has no
certain states in the north and may
even have to tight for one or two bor
der states. He is handicapped by hav
ing burned his powder twice. Every
body has heard him and may not feel
so wildly excited over on old story.
It is hard to get a laugh out of a last
Bryan also will lose some to the Pop
ulists. Watson's vote will mostly
come from the south, it Is true, but
even a few In the north may turn some
state. Moreover, Watson may aid the
Republicans by making a back, fire
campaigu and diverting Bryan's at
tention. Effective Sentiments.
With Taft as the candidate, New
York and New Jersey would be un
certain were the Democratic candidate
anybody but Bryan. They may be un
certain even if Bryan is the nominee.
There is a feeling iu the east and else
where that it would be ouly poetic
justice since Bryanlsm has become
popular to take the man along with the
policies. Such sentiments as that can
not be measured, but have their effect.
One other thing we have just pass
ed through a panic, and panics always
hurt the party in power. And still au-
other thlug-it lit-ver helps a presi
dential candidate before the people to
be known as the understudy of the ad
ministration already in power. The
voters like a new deal and like to
think they made the new deal.
To sum up. as between Taft and
Bryan do not be too certaiu that it will
be Taft. Everything on the surface
looks like a . Republican vletoiy, but
surface Indications are never to be
wholly trusted, especially in years like
this. This will be a hard fought cam
paign, one of the hardest fought In "the
nation's history. Personally I predict
a close result
Belittle him as some critics may, W.
J. Bryan is not to be dismissed by a
wave of the hand.
WEATHER OF 1908 TO DATE
HAS BEEN NEARLY NORMAL
Slight Exce6s in Rainfall and Tem
perature May Chiefly Notable
for Lack of Sunshine.
Not Much of a Cinch.
Taking everything into considera
tion, however, this election is not go
ing to be as much of a cinch as some
people would like to have it There
are several reasons. To particularize:
First. Labor will cut Taft. There is
no gainsaying this fact nnd there is no
good in trying to minimize it The or
ganized labor vote of this country is
large and influential. Recently it has
been aroused by three adverse court
decisions. Taft was once a' federal
judge, and the worklngmeu take vigor
ous exceptions to some of bis -in junc
Second. The. colored vote will cut
Taft The Brownsville affair is not
forgotten nor the secretary of war's
part therein. Those politicians who
figure that because the negroes always
have voted- the Republican presiden
tial ticket they are going to do it again
this year should cease vague generali
zations and . get - some definite, ' first
hand information. - 1
Third. Wall street and the "Inter
ests" win be lukewarm and will do
little or nothing for either side. This
Exactly normal with a temperature
average of 61 degrees and but a few
pcints above the normal in "rainfall
the month of May was not as bad on
paper as it has been painted. There
were, however, but seven clear days,
four being devoid of all sunshine, 14
being rated as cloudy and 10 as partly
cloudy. The average per cent of sun
shine was 49. All this is shown in
the figures for the month prepared
by Observer Sherier. . The highest
temperature was reached on the 17th,
S7 degrees, while the lowest on the
2d. was 30 degrees. The greatest
daily range was 31, on the 9th, and
the least was 4, on the 5th. The aver
age for the month was CI, an excess
of .1 degrees over the normal for the
past 37 years. This makes an accum
ulated excess since Jan. 1 of iG. The
lainfall was 5.13 inches, or .87 inches
above the normal, giving an excess
since Jan. 1 of .23. inches. The pre
vailing winds were from the north
west with a total movement of G,9SS
miles. The average velocity was 9.4,
with the maximum velocity 39 miles
per hour on' the 2Sth. There were
two killing frosts.
Wireless Telegraphy Success.
The success and growth of the wire
less telegraphy system marks an
other of the modern day miracles.
Less than a score of years ago the
idea wa.s laughed at, but now there are
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groat homo remedy, Hostetter's Stom
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OLD GODS IN CABINET GUISE.
"Mars" Taft, "Neptune" Metcalf, "Mer
cury" Meyer and "Ceres" Vilson.
Soma of President Roosevelt's ad
visers got "bow names the other day.
Secretary 'Taft 'started the rt-christen-Ing
as lie stood on the steps, of the
White House office building just lie-
fore the hour for the regular seml-
wcekly cabinet session. He had stop
ped to snenk to one of his friends
when Secretary Metcalf came up.
How are you, Neptune? I hope you
had a pleasant trip to the Coast," ex
claimed Secretary Taft. .
"Thank you. Mars. I had a splendid
time, 'lue ncet is simply great, re
torted the secretary of the navy.
"Here comes another of our brother
gods, Mercury," continued Secretary
Taft as Fostinaster General Meyer
alighted from his carriage.
"And I suppose the one arriving now
is Ceres." exclaimed a bystander as
Secretary Wilson of the department of
agriculture swung Into view.
Secretary! Taft, Postmaster General
Meyer and Secretary Metcalf all shout
ed with laughter at the idea. "Imagine
dear old Ceres iu a plug hat and
pants!" cried Secretary Taft as he sur
veyed the dignified farmer representa
tive of the administration.
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As It Was in the Beginning
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75c per bottle (C oz). -
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j an adverse senate Bryan could do ab-
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