Newspaper Page Text
Learned the Game of Politics7 at Mark Hanna's Knee
Now Ruth Hanna McCormick I Using Her Knowledge for the Benefit of Repubiican Women s Bv Hannah Mitchell A 3L1M little girl with long,' /\ d?yk bvaids sat on a foot * -*" stool gazing into the fire. rjhjn on hand. apparently she was ' dreaming. But one glimpse into her snap ?,;np black eyes which are raised for a moment and the impression given bv her quiet body is contradicted. lllusive and superficial pictures in the dancing flames were not holding her attention. She was distinctly alive and interested in more vital I things than visions in the glowing ' coals. Looming above her in the fire plow, two men were talking. One ?was large and vital, showing plainly ' ).,is Irish anccstry. He had the game twinkling black eyes that iparkled in the raised face of the , little girl, and in his speech there ; was the warmth and impulsiveness j characteristic of his ancestry. His face refiected a shrewdness and j foresight that one usually does not associate with the enthusiasm re? fiected by his voice. An Opposite Type The other man was gentler and more quiet of manner. His low, well advised sentences acted as a spur or a brakc, as the case might be, to the other's impulsive exclamations. In sharp contrast to the other man, he was of the Scotch type, carefully weighing every phase of a question before he made a decision and "standing firm" after he had made it. Aa he talked. his rather delicate hand gently stroked the shining hair of the little girl at his knee. "Little pitchers" sometimes gather knowledge that is of great value. And the little girl drinking in the words of the two big men was learning po? litical wisdom which she would later turn to the advantage of the women nf an entire nation. For history was being made in front of that open fire. The affairs of a nation were the things the two men discussed. in tricate political problems and saga dous methods of handling men and swaying events. Little did Mark Hanna and Wil? liam McKinley, as they talked on, nnmindful of the little girl on the footstool, realize that they were fill? ing a reeeptive mind with political science that would be used for the benefit of the party to which they belonged years after they were dead. ,For Ruth Hanna, now Ruth Hanna McCormick, wife of Senator Medill McCormick, of Illinois, litorally learned politics at her father's knee, learned it from one of the greatest masters of the greatest American game. As she herself told me: "My father and William McKinley ciscussed politics continuously. Many of their informal conferences were held at each other's home. And I U3ually was there?just listening." ^ as a Frail Child Ruth Hanna was a frail child and, like Theodore Roosevelt, had to build for herself a body that was a fit home for her active mind. The extent of her success in accomplish ing her ambition to have a strong body is shown by her skill in sports ?s she grew up. She is an accom r-ished horsewoman and plays a Kood game of tennis. The compensation so often meted to persons who are shut out from the normal school life and energetic ?ames of other children has been tars. She studied at home the t}lings she liked and learned them thoroughiy. And her companionship with Wil? liam McKinley and her father Proved to be the greatest training fiJjool for politics that any one could *>ave attended. fvhat marvelous talcs she could Wl, if she would, of "inside politics" >n the days when Mark Hanna was the undisputed leader of his party! 'Just listening," as she describes it, she absorbed, after the manner of ^ildren, political axioms of inesti *able value and a practipal knowl fli? of the great American game. Aside from their close political association, Mark Hanna and Wil ifam McKinley were intimate per eo'ia] friends. Their families were fc?und by a closer tie than many that are linked by blood relationship. In those days Mark Hanna's home was in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. McKinley was elected Governor and went to Columbus to live. Her Political Training Last year when the Republican National Committee decided that it needed the work and advice of the women of the party, Chairman Will Hays appointed as head of the Na? tional Executive Committee of Re? publican Women Mrs. Medill McCor? mick. The little. girl who had watched the fire while the master organizer of the time talked politics was ready to profit by his teaching. It is safe to say without reserva tion that he could not have chosen a woman of more significant back ground for the work that was to be done. Any question of her political qualifications might well have been answered with the words of that Portia who was the wife of Brutus: "/ grant I am a woman; but withal, A tvoman that Lord Brutus took to wife: I grant I am a woman; but withal, A woman well reputcd, Cato's daugh? ter. Think you I am no stronger than my sex, Being so fathercd and bo hus banded?" The background of her childhood, j spent in the confidence of her father and of William McKinley, was sup plemented and developed through her | companionship with her husband, I Medill McCormick. She was mar | ried in 1903. The accounts of the j wedding, which took place in Cleve j land, mention the names of many ' Republicans famous in the annals of the party. President Roosevelt and i ! his daughter, Alice, made the trip | from Washington by special train j to be present at the ceremony. Pres ! ident Roosevelt led the wedding pro .; cession with Mrs. Llanna. Alice Roosevelt Longworth has been one ; of Mrs. McCormick's most intimate ; friends for years, and both these women, brought up in the atmos 1 phere of politics, continue to play , important parts in national affairs, social and political. Became a Reporter Medill McCormick was, at the time j of his marriage, publisher of "The : Chicago Tribune," and later its cdi ' tor. Ruth llanna McCormick at once j entered into the newspaper life with him. The Tribune is a morning news? paper, and, as the initiated know, the busy hours for such a newspaper are late at night. "I used to spend many evenings a week with my husband at the offlce," said Mrs. McCormick in discussing her newspaper experience. "I couldn't just sit around and watch; that isn't my way. So I took an ac? tive part in the newspaper world." Newspaper women who were em? ployed in Chicago while Mrs. McCor? mick was working say she is a "good scout." She had the ability to make herself one with any group of per? sons with whom she came in con tact. For a year, while they were work? ing with the newspaper, Mr. and Mrs. McCormick gave up their lux urious home and lived with Mary McDowell at the University of Chicago Settlement post outsido the stockyards gate, not a pleasant place to live, as any one who has been within smelling distance of the stockyards knows. It was during this time that Mrs. McCormick became acquainted with the really poor working girl. She made friends with many of them and studied their needs. It is an incident of this phase of Mrs. McCormick's life that Mrs. Raymond Robins tells. It seems that Mrs. McCormick met one of her acquaintances, a little, for eign-born factory girl, on the street one day and stopped to gossip with her. A man of the girl's nationality who happened past and chanced to recognize Mrs. McCormick and, with the natural suspicion of the ignorant foreigner, feared her motives, called to the girl: "Hey, come away from that lady; she's rich!" "She's not rich," was the girl's i indignant rejoinder. "She's one of us. She lives here!" Het* Conversion to Sufifrage As a result of her studies among the poorly paid women in the fac tories and ahops in this country Mrs. PRESIDENT WILLIAM * McKINLEY, to whom the daughter of his friend Mark Hanna was like a daughter McCormick became interested in suf? frage for women. She was an active worker in the Woman's City Club of Chicago, which she started through the efforts of Mr. McCormick during the period when he was editor of "The Chicago Tribune." The club tried to get legislation passed better ing the conditions of women. The Legislature was polite but unre sponsive. "The men in politics were courte ous," said Mrs. McCormick, "and seemed to agi-ee with the reforrns we wished inaugurated, but when it came to getting a bill passed there was always something else that shoved our bills aside, something that involved a group of voters. "I saw then, and the other mem? bers of the club saw, that nothing could bo done to improve conditions ! for women unless the legislation was backed by voters. "lt was then that I became an ac? tive suffragist. The vote would have to be won before the women could get the legislation for which they asked." In 1911 Mrs. McCormick went abroad with her husband and lived for a time in France and Great Britain. They studied the economics and politics of other countries, spe cializing in methods of political re? forrns. Joined the Bull Moose Returning to America in 1911, they were just in time to join the Bull Moose movement and follow Theodore Roosevelt into the Progres sivje party. Mrs. McCormick smiles when she recalls the exciting days of that strenuous campaign. """Many of the Old Guard who had known my father came to reproach me, more in sorrow than in anger, for leaving the Repubiican party. " 'What would your father think if he knew what you are doing?' they would ask. " 'My father would have been one of the first to have broken away,* I told them. 'He was always progres sive, and he would have been in the vanguard of the Progressive party.' "And the men who knew him knew that I was right. He was VEXATOR MEDILL Mc ? CORMICR; of Illinois, with whom Ruth llanna Mc? Cormick is closely associated in the game of politics always working for progress in life and in politics. 'Stand patter,' the expression which was used so much at the time of the split in the Re JlfRS. RUTH HANNA Mc irA CORMICK and her two children. As a girl Mrs. Mc? Cormick had the marvelous privilege of spending long hours listening to Mark Hanna and President Mc? Kinley talk politics publican party, was one which my father originated. But as he used it, it had a different meaning from that it came to have later. When ho was beginning his political career he used to say that he wanted men who would 'stand pat,' men upon whom he could depend, men who would not change with every un favorable wind or every new orator. The Full Dinner Pail "Another popular expression which my father coined was the 'full din? ner pail.' He was always inter? ested in the laboring man, and was friendly to organized labor when he was an employer of a large number of men. In fact, he wa3 one of the An A CIENCE has produced an Alad din's lamp-. The genil that it conjures up are as giants compared to the pygmies who answered the call of the bewildered Aladdin. The modern lamp of science has no restrictions. Its possibilities are only just beginning to assert them? selves. Even now scientists are awakening to the fact that this won der of the twentieth century may be actually translating to us the thoughts that are passing through the minds of those inhabitants who supervise the canals on Mars, or mayhap from those on the planet Mercury. The ultimate achievements of this lamp conjured up by the genius of science surpass the strangest of dreams or the wildest imagination. Apparently there is no limit to its possibilities. A Few of Its Marvels While no man can define its abso lute powers, the things which this lamp already does are almost un believable. It steers an airplane or a ship safely to its destination through the densest fog. It bears upon the wings of incomparable speed the thoughts of man to the uttermost reaches of the earth. It rcproduces his voice with the great? est ease and precision in eve"ry lan guage and jargon under the sun. It transforms a whisper, so deli cate that no human ear can hear, into a roar louder than the tum bling cataracts of Niagara. It throws a man's voice clear across the troubled surface of the Atlantic, above the thunderous storms, spurn ing all the impediments that the jealous elcments can array against it. It acts as the brains of a ship at Jaddin's L f>-, sea without a living soul aboard. Soon it will be able to shatter the mightiest battleship afloat. It has given to man mentally that added power which modern transportation has given to him physically. "What is this miracle lamp of science that has produced such won ders?" you will ask. The Energy of the Atoms It is known under the general term of "Vacuum Tube." Variations of it are variously named, such as Audion, Pliotron, Dynatron, Plio. dynatron, etc. It performs its won ders through the mysterious and un? known activity of those minute par ticles that surround the atom of matter?in other words, through the activity of the myriad infini tesimal bodies that move around the smallest thing the mind of man has been able to conccive. So far as we can tell, man in his blundering way may have unlocked the storehouse of energy that Sir Oliver Lodge assures us lies within the atom?energy sufficient in one small atom to lift the largest steam? ship in the world to the top of the highest mountain. It is known that in this wonderful lamp electrons are torn away from their parent atom while the lamp is at work. So! Who knows? The lamp itself is, like most mod? ern wonders, the gradual develop ment of the genius of many men. Each year sees it improved upon. In appearance there is nothing mys? terious about it, although in some of its latest forms it has assumed ! an imposirtg character. At the first glance it looks very similar to the ordinary electric bulb that illuminates a million homes | throughout the country, but there is >amp of S this difference?inside the vacuum | tube, around the filament, there is ] a coil of heavy wire, known techni- j cally a3 the "grid." Around the grid there is in turn a metal cylin? der, technically known as the "plate." It is the addition of these two elements that transforms the lamp into the modern wonder of science. It was early observed that the or dinary electric bulb threw off par^ j ticles while the filament was glowing, In fact, it is this very action that; flnally ends the life of the bulb. If you take a burned out bulb and ex amine it carefully you will notice [ that the glass is much blacker than that of a new bulb of the same type. Thia has been caused by the bom- [ bardment of particles from the lighted filament. The First Step This fact set scientists to work upon the theories that were evolved, and after several stages the vacuum tube was born in its first form, Dr. Lee de Forest's "Audion." The incentive to the development of this vacuum tube was the need of a more sensitive detector to be used for wireless telegraphy. The vacuum tube has far out stripped the original idear Its uses are not restricted to wireless teleg? raphy and telephony. In fact, it has made transcontinental telephony possible through the powerful am plifying characteristics it possesses. By means of its selective properties it is now being used to transmit fifteen or more telephone conversa tions on a singie wire simultaneously without interference. It is the instrument that has made 'wireless direction finders" possi? ble?the wonderful apparatus that! cience steers airplanes and ships through fog. It will shortly enable any one in this country- to converse with a friend in Europe over the ordinary telephone in their own homes. With? in the next few years a passenger on the Twentieth Century Limited, racing between New York and Chi? cago, will be able to talk with a passenger on the Leviathan in mid ocean through its instrumentality. , Makes the Voice Clearer It is the selfsame modern Alad din's lamp that is recording those strange signals that Signor Marconi believes to come from another world. These are the signals received fei multaneously by the large wireless stations in all parts of the world, of such strength that they could not possibly come from any wireless transmitter on earth. Moreover, they are of a much longer "wava iength" than any signals ever pro duced through the agency of man. The lamp itself not only ampliflc. the currents it receives, besides de tecting them, but in the case of the human voice it asserts a modulating effect never before dreamed of. This effect is so remarkable that wireless telephone conversations are much clearer than any ever re pioduced on a land line telephone. Its properties/as a control facto" have been utilized with great suc? cess in steering wireless controlled tcrpedoes and torpedo boats that have no crew aboard. This is par ticularly true in the case of the boat developed by John H.rys Ham mond jr. Through these agencies it will eventually sound the death knell of the battleship. These are the things thai the magic lamp of Science already doe3. Its ultimate possibilities, already casting their shadows before them. nre still shrouded behind the veil of the future. C? N AT O R M A R K HANNA, who, lw.d he lived, would have been a Progressive Republican, his daughter says first employers to recognize labor unions. He encouraged liis men to organize, believing they would ac complish more for themselves and do better work at the same time." Mrs. McCormick pointed out that many of the women who have be come leaders of their sex, both in the Democratic and the Republican parties, got their training and their start in the movement which re sulted in the formation of the Pro? gressive party. Mrs. George Bass, head of the Women's Bureau of the Democratic National Committee, was one of the workers in the Pro? gressive party in Chicago. Through? out the campaign of 1912 Mrs. Bass and Mrs. McCormick worked side by side in the Progressive head? quarters. A little sidelight upon the rela? tions of women in politics is the fact that Mrs. Bass and Mrs. McCormick are good friends and have remained so in spite of their leadership in op? posing camps. While I was in Washington last year when women experienced in practical politics were really beginning to get into the Na? tional fight I visited the Democratic women's headquarters and the Re? publican women's headquarters sev? eral times each week. Are Personal Friends Both leaders were cordial in their attitude toward each other. They were enemies politically, yes, and each felt that she could draw more women's votes to her party than the other, but this political enmity did not extend into their private inter course. It was usual for Mrs. Mc? Cormick to speak of "Elizabeth Bass" and Mrs. Bass to refer to her rival as "Ruth McCormick." Going back to the days of the Progressive party, it was then that Medill McCormick began his politi? cal career. As a progressive he went up to the Illinois State Senate. Later he ran for Congress and served one term in the House of Repre sentatives. Last fall he defeated James Hamilton Lewis and took his place as the junior United States Senator from Illinois. Mrs. McCormick worked dailylast year at the headquarters of the Na? tional Republican Women's Execu? tive Committee, the position to which she was appointed by Chairman Will H. Hays of the Republican National Committee. She conferred informal ly with Senators representing every viewpoint in the Republican party. Most of these men were openly op? posed to woman suffrage. Others had views on politics not in accord with those of Mrs. McCormick. But they valued the counsel of Ruth Hanna McCormick, many of them remembering and having respect for one who had sat at the feet of Mark Hanna. When she took up the task of en listing women in the Republican party, Mrs. McCormick saw ahead of her, not far distant, the days of universal suffrage. Even before the United States Senate passed the suffrage amendment she said: ?'Suffrage Issue Dead" "Woman suffrage as an issue is dead." The pros and cons had been com pletely argued out. The men of the country had been convinced that the women should vote. The day of the suffrage worker were o-:er The question had become one of political expediency, and it was. up to the parties to recognize and play with it as such, either trying to ge* the credit to be derived from pass ing it themselves or trying to get th? others from profiting through its passage. And the long drag in getting aaT frage through the last few states has proved that she was right. It i3 no longer a question of whether women can, would or should vote. It is a question of politics now. When it came to gHting out the woman vote Mrs. McCormick proved herself adept m handling those to whom the franchise was new and in understanding and ac commodating herself to their idio syncrasies. She had been an active worker in the National American Woman Suffrage Association and Congressional chairman for several years. Her part in the suffragp "lobby" which got a suffrage bill through the Illinois Legislatirre wa3 training for her work at the national capital. The records of the Na tional American Woman Suffrage Association gave a comprehensive field for a study of the woman voter-to-be of the nation. The plan which Mrs. McCormick worked out for the Repubiican party when she took the chairmanship of the Women's Executive Committee extended to every county and town ship in every state in the Union. According to that plan every cen? tral committee chairman recorn? mended a woman for a state wom an's committee to act with the men's committee. A Complete Organization Mrs. McCormick passed on the names of these state chairmA. The women heading state committees in turn appointed the heads of the women's county committees. These chairmen appointed the women to lead township and ward committees. The network was planned down to the last woman on the last block in the smallest village of the nation. Like all plans, this one is, of course. ' an attempt to reach an ideal, but its scope makes it one which will bring big returns. Mrs. McCormick said of her plan: "It is not in any way original. If it has any virtue, that virtue is that it follows the familiar line of politi cal organization. It intends that women, as Republicans and c;tizens. shall work, not independently, but I in association with men and under' j the direction of the leaders of th" | party. "We seek to draw into the active service of the party those women who have earned and justified their leadership in the long accustomed services of women. Women who have won their way know, and arp known to, women throughout their states and throughout the country, just as our party leaders are known. "We should not have undertaken this work," continued Mrs. McCor? mick, speaking for the committee and for herself, "if we had not be lieved the Repubiican party was a party of action, not of phrases." Won Men's Respect In May last year the Repubiican Women's National Executive Com? mittee called a national conference of party committee men and women in Washington. Many of the men who came, not exactly to scoff, but certainly more or less in doubt about women's venture into the na tional game, remained, if not to pray, then at least to listen and learn. That convention marked the end of the "pink tea" in politics. "The women have put their teeth into the problema of the party," said Chairman Will Hays of that con? ference. Last summer Mrs. McCormick re signed her chairmanship because of ill health. She has not been able to take an active part in the work of the committee since that time. but she has followed the develop ments in both parties closely. When I talked with her at her h*me in Washington recently she showed me that little had happened with which she was not conversant. She is going to the Repubiican con? vention in Chicago. And she is watching the pre-convention game of politics with a practiced eye. Like 1896 Situation "You know, conditions are some? what similar to those in 1896," she said, discussing the coming conven? tion. "The delegations were scat tered in that year as in this, and no figure stood out as the obvious can? didate. It was then that my father pushed Mr. McKinley's candidacy and to a winning conclusion." I asked her who she thought might be elected this year.- And to this question I got a reply svpoken like a true politician: "It's hard to tell. Many of fche candidates show strength. I shouidn't be surprised if the proverbial 'dark horse' were to be the candidate." And there was sucb a twinkle in her eye that I knew the "dark J horse" was not "dark" iu her mind.