The bland manner is extremely useful in some difficult situations, social and political, and it is as foolish to criticize a man for employing it as it would be to criticize a photographer for working in a dim light. The bland manner enables a physician to pursue his treatment without defining its object too clearly, often the condition of success. But there are other situations where the attempt to deal in sedatives is peculiarly unsuitable.
Few American Presidents have been more profoundly distrusted and more entirely misinterpreted by their opponents than Mr. Wilson, except perhaps Mr. Roosevelt, and the two men have been distrusted by much the same classes in American society and misinterpreted, if not for the same, at least for similar reasons. They both of them sought to accomplish a group of salutary reforms in the operation of the American political and economic system and in the prevailing use and distribution of political power.
Mr. Hughes had complicated work to do last Monday at Carnegie Hall. There was the usual task of the candidate, which is to be all things to sufficiently many men, and added to it the inner necessity, more imperative to Mr. Hughes than to most, of being true to his own instincts. He had to represent the Roosevelt propaganda, the Republican party's desire to win, and his personal relations to American politics. He managed with considerable skill to find the least common denominator of all three. Mr. Roosevelt sat in a box, and scattered through the hall were many who still wanted Teddy.