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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, November 13, 1913, Image 13

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-11-13/ed-1/seq-13/

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New York, Nov. 13. "Have you
been doing any fencing lately, Mr.
John Purroy Mitchell, who is an ex
pert fencer as well as the mayor
elect of America's biggest city,
stopped fumbling for papers in the
big portfolio on his lap, and straight
ened up, smiling.
"Not with a foil," he answered.
"Well, now that you're elected, are
you going to cross foils with Boss
"I rather think," he flashed back,
"that Tammany prefers the black
jack or bludgeon."
All of which shows that itS pretty
hard to get under Mitchell's guard,
whether the fencing is mental or
physical. For this quick, smiling, six
foot bundle of springs is always ready
to fend or thrust.
You wouldn't spot Mitchell for
mayor of New York, or even collec
tor of customs of this great port. He
looks young much younger than 34.
And seven meteoric years of politics
have given him confidence and de
cisiveness, but no false dignity. In his
big, solemn office suite he looks like
a college athlete who has dropped in
by accident.
And this is the man who, as "fusion
candidate," has given Tammany Hall
the worst beating in a century, and
who for f our years will guide the des
tinies of New York!
"And now," I said, "the question
uppermost in the minds of good citi
zens here and elsewhere is:
" 'How are you going to follow up
your victory? What are you going
to do to Tammany?' "
"Tammany, as itiexists today, must
be destroyed," he replied earnestly.
"If it is to survive as an organization,
it must change its character and
"Just now, Charles P. Murphy
stands for Tammany. And J am go
ing to do all I can to destroy Murphy.
"But understand, it is 'Boss' Mur
phy as an institution that I am
against not Murphy as a man. So
Murphy the Institution may worry.
I see no reason why Murphy the Man
should worry.
"The fight I have waged, and ex
pect to wage hereafter, is against a
vast system of corruption and boss
domination that has no place in mod-'
ern politics."
"How will you fight him? Will
you yourself seek tie leadership of
the Democratic organization, or start
a new organization?"
The fencer put up his guard. "I'm
off for a rest," he said. "Practical
politics must rest, too, for a while.
In the meantime, consider that I was
elected mayor by a combination of
Republicans, Progressives and Re
form Democrats. I intend to be
mayor of all the people. So I have
no right to build up a partisan ma
chine."' ,
"Then your appointments will be
"Certainly. I shall appoint men
solely on merit, without the slightest
consideration of politics. I am not
going to play politics at all either
local or national. I regard the mayor
alty simply as a business office. I
am against Tammany because Tam
manyism is bad business for the city,
as well as bad morals.
"I am not even going to parcel out
the places in my gift among the
parties that nominated me. That
would merely be multi-partisanship.
Honesty and efficiency alone are
what I want. If -Mr. Murphy himself
has a wise suggestion to make, I shall
listen to it!"
"Are you going to put 'the.lid' on?"
"I believe that law enforcement
and decency are possible without
"And are you going to dp any more
tangoing and turkey-trotting?"
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