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TR and Mark Hanna

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  • THOMAS JOHNSON
    I have enclosed an excellent article detailing the motivation and mechanics of the Republican power brokers attempt to stop TR from bringing about reform. It
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 28, 2006
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      I have enclosed an excellent article detailing the
      motivation and mechanics of the Republican power
      brokers' attempt to stop TR from bringing about
      reform. It really gives a lot of insight into the
      shadowy figure of Mark Hanna, and also nicely
      foreshadows TR's complex relationship with President
      Taft. No sermonizing from me tonight, folks..Just a
      nice article about how TR stumbled into the
      presidency...


      The Odd Couple: Uncle Mark and Teddy
      By Charles W. Bailey

      Marcus Alonzo Hanna is typically depicted as a crude
      political boss who purchased the election of William
      McKinley as president. He is remembered, if at all, in
      terms of cartoons that caricatured him as "Dollar
      Mark," an ugly and obese thug who manipulated a puppet
      McKinley while purchasing lesser politicians outright
      and grinding helpless workers under his heel. That
      image, created and cultivated by political opponents
      and hostile newspapers, is inaccurate and unfair. Mark
      Hanna was indeed the United States' first national
      political campaign manager, the first to organize and
      run a campaign as you would a successful business--by
      developing a rational and detailed plan, financing it
      on a systematic basis and managing it competently. If
      you did that, you would win, in politics as in
      business. That is how Hanna won in 1896 with McKinley.
      Every successful national campaign since has copied
      Hanna's methods; the saturation television techniques
      of today are the equivalent of the 19th century flood
      of leaflets, posters, pamphlets and surrogate stump
      speakers.

      But Hanna was much more than McKinley's campaign
      manager: He played a leading role in the political
      transition from the 19th to the 20th century. As a
      presidential intimate, chairman of the Republican
      National Committee, and a U.S. senator, Hanna
      exercised great power for a decade. Historians have
      generally focused on the Hanna-McKinley alliance. But
      Hanna's relationship with Theodore Roosevelt was
      equally significant for the future of American
      politics and government.

      Hanna bespoke the older values--just as the younger
      man, Roosevelt, exemplified the new ones. These two
      strong figures came together at the hinge of history,
      part of both the past and the future. For a few years
      at the start of the new century they shared political
      power in an uneasy alliance; then, inevitably, age
      gave way to youth, the old order gave way to the new,
      and Hanna was shoved aside.

      They made an odd couple. They had traveled very
      different roads: Hanna's roots were in rural Ohio,
      Roosevelt's in New York City. Hanna was the son of a
      grocer, Roosevelt the privileged child of a patrician
      family. Hanna had a high-school education; Roosevelt
      graduated from Harvard. Hanna rarely read a book;
      Roosevelt not only read them by the armful but wrote
      them, too. Hanna was a highly successful businessman
      who turned to politics after he made a fortune;
      Roosevelt was a dilettante intellectual who seemed to
      have entered politics because he could think of
      nothing he would rather do.

      They differed in their concept of government-business
      relations. To Hanna, the public interest was almost
      always identical with the interests of business; to
      Roosevelt, the public interest was distinct from, and
      often contrary to, business interests. Hanna saw
      government's role as establishing a pro-business
      climate. Roosevelt was the first president to use the
      power of government to control the excesses of
      business.

      Physically they were equally ill-matched. Hanna, 62 in
      1900, was an old man. His body had thickened, his face
      was gray with fatigue and lined by the pain of
      arthritis that forced him to lean on a cane when he
      stood. By contrast, Roosevelt, 21 years younger, was
      the picture of vigor, barrel chest straining against
      his vest, pince-nez eyeglasses sparkling and teeth
      snapping below a bushy moustache as the words poured
      out.

      Yet they shared many traits. Each struggled against
      old-style politicians and old-style political
      machines; both had trouble controlling their home
      territories despite their national reputations. Both
      were conservative, politically and personally; both
      enjoyed holding and using power. Both liked newspaper
      reporters and knew how to manipulate them. Both
      despised men who thought it virtue enough merely to be
      rich. Both loved company and were blunt and outspoken,
      but neither could abide off-color jokes. Each had
      trouble controlling his temper and, in the end, each
      revealed a regard for the other that went far beyond
      mere respect.

      As a young man, Mark Hanna was good-looking if not
      quite handsome. He had a ruddy complexion, curly
      auburn hair and beard, an athletic body, a ready smile
      and luminous dark-brown eyes. His voice was a
      commanding baritone. As he grew older, he gradually
      trimmed back the beard until nothing remained but
      sideburns.

      From his middle years he was beset by ill health. He
      had frequent bouts with the "grippe," malaria, and
      typhoid fever, to say nothing of hives, varicose
      veins, occasional blackouts and crippling arthritis in
      his knees. Hanna lived his last fifteen years in
      almost constant pain. But he pushed himself ever
      harder, seeking and finding new fields to master, his
      brown eyes still bright and probing, his voice still
      strong and commanding.

      Hanna was driven to succeed, determined to be "head
      and front" of anything he undertook. He was blunt and
      outspoken; direct, not devious. He had two grand
      passions--business and politics--and excelled in both.
      He married the girl he loved despite the stubborn
      opposition of her rich and powerful father; then he
      took over the father's business and built it into one
      of the notable fortunes of those booming times. He
      left an estate of almost $7 million--comparable with
      some $110 million today.

      Hanna was nourished by people. He learned not from
      solitary reading or reflection but from the
      give-and-take of conversation. His wife never knew how
      many there would be for dinner. Often on the spur of
      the moment he invited prominent visitors to Cleveland,
      whether he knew them or not, to dine at his lakeside
      mansion.

      Hanna was full of contradictions. He was a pragmatist,
      but also a man of strong emotions and fierce
      loyalties. He almost never praised subordinates and
      rarely revealed his feelings--but wrote extravagantly
      long and amorous letters to his fiancee. He could be a
      relentless opponent in business or politics--but he
      never went back on a contract, a promise, or a friend.
      The only men he never forgave were those who lied to
      him. Though he lived among large events and leading
      figures, he remained a man of simple tastes: His
      favorite foods were corned beef hash and cottage
      cheese. He lived among leaders, men of power and
      wealth, but he seemed most at ease with workingmen.

      Hanna seemed an archetype of the old system: fiercely
      individual and an entrepreneur who applied brains,
      hard work and toughness to his many and varied
      business ventures. But he was also one of the first
      big businessmen to understand that there must be more
      fairness in society. He believed that what was good
      for business was good for the entire country, but he
      also believed that workers were not getting their fair
      share of the profits from their labor.

      Initially Hanna and Roosevelt had been political
      allies. They met at the Republican national convention
      of 1884 as part of a failed effort to prevent the
      nomination of James G. Blaine. They had little contact
      thereafter until the McKinley administration.

      Once he had put McKinley into the White House, Hanna
      sought a new career as a political figure in his own
      right. McKinley wanted him in his cabinet, but Hanna
      chose to become senator from Ohio. He soon was one of
      the half-dozen Republicans who dominated the Senate.
      From the start he was the administration's chief
      spokesman there and remained McKinley's intimate
      adviser, but he also gradually acquired more
      independent power.

      Meanwhile Roosevelt, after service on various public
      commissions, had sought and obtained a place in the
      McKinley administration as assistant secretary of the
      navy. He became an ardent advocate of war against
      Spain--a stance that put him in deep disagreement with
      Hanna, who strongly opposed the war.

      That disagreement led to a public confrontation in
      March 1898 when both were speakers at a Gridiron Club
      dinner. Hanna spoke first and made his case against
      war. Then Roosevelt's turn came. "We will have this
      war for the freedom of Cuba, Senator Hanna," he
      shouted, "in spite of the timidity of the commercial
      interests." Roosevelt got his wish less than a month
      later. He quit his navy job to organize (with Leonard
      Wood) and lead his Rough Riders volunteer cavalry
      regiment in Cuba--and became virtually overnight a
      national hero.

      From then, the careers of Roosevelt and Hanna were
      inescapably intertwined. Both were mentioned as
      possible successors to McKinley in 1904. Roosevelt
      came home from San Juan Hill and was soon elected
      governor of New York. He began to dream of the White
      House--and how to get there. One route ran through the
      office of the vice president, and that path was opened
      by the death in late 1899 of incumbent Garrett Hobart.
      In the months before the 1900 Republican convention
      Roosevelt carefully avoided saying that he wouldn't
      accept the vice-presidential nomination if it were
      offered. He did say that he wanted to remain as
      governor to push his reform programs through a
      reluctant legislature. But he never said "no," and he
      turned up a couple of times in Washington and was
      entertained at dinner by President McKinley (with
      Hanna among the guests).

      In short, he was behaving like a candidate, and Hanna
      concluded that Roosevelt wanted the job as a
      steppingstone to the presidency in 1904. That prospect
      did not please Hanna, who thought Roosevelt was
      eccentric, politically unreliable and dangerously
      unsound in his attitude toward business and finance.
      In Hanna's view, Roosevelt was unfit for the
      presidency and must be denied any position that would
      put him in line to get it. At first Hanna was
      confident that he could stop Roosevelt. But McKinley
      remained neutral--perhaps his acute political antennae
      were telling him "Teddy" was the overwhelming
      favorite--and he forbade Hanna to throw the
      administration's full weight into the matter. Hanna
      obeyed with extreme reluctance. "Everybody's gone
      crazy!" he growled at one point, ignoring the fact
      that a reporter was in the room. "Here's this
      convention going headlong for Roosevelt for vice
      president! Don't any of you realize there'll be only
      one life between that madman and the presidency?"

      There was growing support for "that madman" among
      delegates in the hot, sticky, noisy hotels of
      Philadelphia in June 1900. His much-publicized
      exploits at San Juan Hill and his colorful personality
      had made him something of a folk hero, particularly in
      the West. Meanwhile, big business interests in New
      York were anxious to get the reform-minded Roosevelt
      out of the governor's office.

      Hanna believed he could stop Roosevelt but he faced
      two major obstacles: He was unable to come up with
      another satisfactory candidate--and he had been
      forbidden to deploy the administration's battalions
      against Roosevelt. So, characteristically, he took the
      direct approach and limped off to see Roosevelt in the
      latter's hotel room. They met alone for 40 minutes.
      Afterward, Hanna told Senator Charles W. Fairbanks of
      Indiana that Roosevelt had said he was not a candidate
      for vice president. The conversation continued,
      according to the account Fairbanks wrote in his diary
      that night:

      "Then you are not a candidate?" inquired Senator
      Hanna.
      "No," said Governor Roosevelt, "I am not."
      "Then you will not be a candidate, will you?"
      "No, I will not. But Senator, if they nominate me
      notwithstanding, what shall I do? How could I help
      it?"
      "By God, Teddy, you know," said Senator Hanna,
      "that there is nothing in this country which can
      compel a man to run for an office who doesn't want it.
      . . . Teddy, if you are nominated, will you rise in
      your place and flatly decline?"
      "I will, Senator," he replied. They then shook
      hands cordially and Senator Hanna withdrew.

      Hanna believed he had a commitment from Roosevelt, but
      in a statement that afternoon, the New Yorker again
      avoided a flat refusal to run. He said he thought his
      "best usefulness" would be to serve a second term as
      governor--but he called the vice presidency "well
      worthy of the ambition of any man." That was taken to
      mean he would accept the vice-presidential nomination.

      Hanna still insisted to reporters that he had "a
      perfect understanding" with Roosevelt. But he
      added--perhaps sensing the way things were going--"If
      the convention insists on nominating Mr. Roosevelt, I
      shall not oppose it."

      Privately Hanna was still trying to stop Roosevelt.
      But his political enemies delivered a decisive blow,
      offering an amendment to the convention rules on
      delegate apportionment that would cut the number from
      the southern states that was Hanna's power base in the
      party.

      Hanna could count; he knew he would lose a vote on the
      resolution so he called in the reporters and, with a
      perfectly straight face, read a statement he had
      scrawled in pencil on hotel stationery.

      The Administration has had no candidate for Vice
      President...It has desired that the Convention should
      make the candidate and that has been my position
      throughout. It has been a free field for all...I may
      now say that on behalf of all of these candidates, and
      I except no one, I have within the last twelve hours
      been asked to give my advice. After consulting with as
      many delegates as possible in the time at my disposal,
      I have concluded to accept the responsibility involved
      in this request. In the present situation, with the
      strong and earnest sentiment of the delegates from all
      parts of the country for Governor Roosevelt, and since
      President McKinley is to be nominated without a
      dissenting voice, it is my judgment that Governor
      Roosevelt should be nominated for Vice President with
      the same unanimity.

      This face-saving piece of fiction signaled Hanna's
      surrender. Roosevelt was swept onto the ticket, and
      the convention adjourned in an outburst of cheering
      celebration. Hanna, embarrassed by friend and foe
      alike, went home to Cleveland, where he found waiting
      for him a handwritten note from McKinley, praising him
      for displaying "the courage and sagacity of true
      leadership" at the convention. Hanna in reply thanked
      McKinley for the "nice things you say about me,"
      adding that "my principal food is Ôtaffy' nowadays
      which accounts for my good health." He continued:
      "Well it was a nice little scrap at Philadelphia; not
      exactly to my liking with my hands tied behind me.
      However, we got through in good shape and the ticket
      is all right."

      But if the ticket was "all right," the same could
      hardly be said for Hanna, who could only regard this
      embarrassing personal defeat as a harbinger of more
      trouble to come. Such a foreboding may have inspired
      the sentence with which Hanna ended his letter to
      McKinley. He underlined the key words for emphasis:

      "Your duty to the country is to live for four years
      from next March."

      Hanna might have been elected President himself in
      1904 except for a capricious fate. In 1900, he was
      being increasingly discussed by Republican regulars as
      the logical successor to McKinley. He pooh-poohed the
      idea--but he kept a file in his office labeled "1904"
      in which the growing number of letters urging him to
      run were saved.

      Then on September 6, 1901 an assassin's bullet rescued
      Roosevelt from the frustrating obscurity of the vice
      presidency. From that moment, Hanna knew that he would
      almost certainly never be president. But even after
      McKinley's death Hanna retained great political
      influence. He played a key part in smoothing the
      traumatic transition from one president to the next,
      but his on-again-off-again relationship with Roosevelt
      eventually led to an intense struggle between them.
      Hanna's relations with the new president began
      auspiciously, with Hanna and Roosevelt meeting within
      minutes of Roosevelt's taking the oath of office in
      Buffalo. "Mr. President, I wish you success and a
      prosperous administration," the grieving Hanna said.
      "I trust that you will command me if I can be of any
      service." They met again that same evening and two
      days later had a long private talk on the funeral
      train carrying McKinley's body back to Washington. The
      new president at once proclaimed Hanna his trusted
      advisor on political matters; but in fact he began
      immediately to undercut him, particularly in the
      critical area of patronage. Roosevelt feared that
      Hanna would contest the nomination in 1904, and there
      was more than paranoia behind his concern: Republican
      conservatives and Wall Street financiers--most of whom
      despised and feared Roosevelt--kept importuning the
      senator to run. Hanna, aging and in poor health, kept
      saying ÔÔno'', but neither would he endorse Roosevelt;
      and the president came to consider him his political
      enemy. This struggle continued unabated almost to the
      moment of Hanna's death.

      However, through all of it the two men managed to
      cooperate in a number of large matters. Hanna was a
      key supporter of the Panama Canal, one of Roosevelt's
      top priorities. Hanna also played a large role in
      obtaining passage in 1902 of the Newlands Act, which
      established the great federal reclamation program in
      the western states and was a key part of Roosevelt's
      conservation program.

      Hanna had long argued that businessmen must recognize
      labor unions and he practiced what he preached. He was
      decades ahead of his contemporaries, whose
      backwardness and arrogance toward their workers he
      scorned. In his later years, he regarded the
      improvement of labor-management relations as his most
      important work.

      Cooperation between Hanna and Roosevelt peaked in
      their efforts in 1902 to settle the greatest
      industrial dispute of the period--a five-month strike
      by anthracite coal miners that seemed certain to leave
      the nation with almost no coal as winter approached.
      Two years earlier Hanna had intervened with J. P.
      Morgan to settle a coal strike. Roosevelt asked him to
      try again. But in 1902 McKinley was dead, Hanna's
      influence was diminished, and the companies not only
      rejected his attempts at mediation but refused even to
      meet with the miners' union. Roosevelt, enraged by the
      owners' obduracy and their contemptuous behavior
      toward him at a White House meeting, forced a
      settlement by threatening to seize the mines and
      operate them with federal troops. When it was over
      Roosevelt lavished praise on Hanna, but the struggle
      demonstrated his diminished standing while enhancing
      Roosevelt's stature and greatly expanding the power of
      the presidency.

      Throughout their relationship fundamental differences
      continued. Hanna had no use for Roosevelt's
      trustbusting and was outraged when, in February 1902,
      the president brought an antitrust suit against the
      Northern Securities company, the huge railroad holding
      company of Hanna's old friend James J. Hill. Indeed,
      it seems clear that Hanna's reluctance to endorse
      Roosevelt for 1904 stemmed in large measure from his
      hope that withholding his support would curb
      Roosevelt's anti-business impulses at least until
      after the next election.

      In 1903 relations between Hanna and Roosevelt took a
      final adversarial turn. By spring Roosevelt was
      obsessed with the idea that Hanna was trying to deny
      him the 1904 presidential nomination. Nothing could
      convince Roosevelt that the senator meant it when he
      said he was too old and sick to be a candidate.
      Mischief-makers in both camps carried gossipy reports
      across Lafayette Square between the White House and
      Hanna's apartment in the Arlington Hotel. Finally, in
      a speech in Spokane on May 22, Roosevelt made his
      first public attack on Hanna, linking him with "the
      Wall Street crowd."

      Two days later Roosevelt went after Hanna in his own
      back yard--at the Ohio Republican convention. Joining
      forces with Hanna's home state enemies, Roosevelt
      trapped Hanna into a position where he was forced to
      endorse Roosevelt's nomination. It was a humiliating
      defeat for Hanna. But the two men remained personally
      friendly. The senator picked himself up, dusted
      himself off and less than a fortnight later welcomed
      the president as the guest of honor at the lavish
      wedding of his daughter Ruth. Hanna, every inch the
      genial father of the bride, lavished attention on the
      president, who in turn made clear his affection for
      the senator.

      Despite sickness that disabled him for several weeks,
      Hanna campaigned hard for his own re-election and won
      in a landslide. Then, late in the year, Hanna's health
      collapsed. His final illness began in mid-January
      1904; and though he insisted on attending the Gridiron
      Club's dinner on January 29, he was clearly sicker
      than ever before. His illness was diagnosed as typhoid
      fever. On February 5 Roosevelt walked across Lafayette
      Square from the White House to inquire after Hanna's
      health. Hanna, later informed of the visit, scrawled a
      penciled note to the president.

      My dear Mr. President:
      You touched a tender spot, old man, when you
      called personally to inquire after [me] this a.m. I
      may be worse before I can be better but all the same
      such "drops of kindness" are good for a fellow.

      Sincerely yours,
      M. A. Hanna

      The next day Roosevelt replied:

      Feb. 6, 1904
      Dear Senator:
      Indeed it is your letter from your sick bed which
      is touching, not my visit. May you soon be with us
      again, old fellow, as strong in body and as vigorous
      in your leadership as ever.

      Faithfully yours,
      Theodore Roosevelt

      Hanna never saw the reply. He grew weaker and died
      nine days later.

      CHARLES W. BAILEY ('93) began his journalism career as
      a reporter on the Minneapolis Tribune in 1950. He
      served as Washington correspondent and from 1972 to
      1982 as Editor of the Tribune. He was a director of
      the American Society of Newspaper Editors and chaired
      its Freedom of Information Committee. In his second
      career as a writer he has several books to his credit,
      including Seven Days In May (with Fletcher Knebel) and
      The Land Was Ours, a historical novel of the Great
      Plains.



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    • Ram Lau
      ... Perhaps Rove resembles Hanna, but I just can t see TR being a Republican in these days. He d definitely have switched party after 1964 if not 1948. Ram
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 29, 2006
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        > nice article about how TR stumbled into the
        > presidency...

        Perhaps Rove resembles Hanna, but I just can't see TR being a
        Republican in these days. He'd definitely have switched party after
        1964 if not 1948.

        Ram
      • Greg Cannon
        Had he lived to see 1932 what might TR have thought of his fifth cousin s presidential ambitions? (and remember they were related by marriage as well as blood-
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 29, 2006
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          Had he lived to see 1932 what might TR have thought of
          his fifth cousin's presidential ambitions? (and
          remember they were related by marriage as well as
          blood- Eleanor was TR's niece I think, TR walked her
          down the aisle at her wedding).

          --- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:

          > Perhaps Rove resembles Hanna, but I just can't see
          > TR being a
          > Republican in these days. He'd definitely have
          > switched party after
          > 1964 if not 1948.
          >
          > Ram
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Ram Lau
          ... TR passed away in 1919 in his sixties. His last public appearance was at a fundraiser for a hospital unit for black veterans coming back from the Great
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 29, 2006
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            > Had he lived to see 1932 what might TR have thought of
            > his fifth cousin's presidential ambitions? (and
            > remember they were related by marriage as well as
            > blood- Eleanor was TR's niece I think, TR walked her
            > down the aisle at her wedding).

            TR passed away in 1919 in his sixties. His last public appearance was
            at a fundraiser for a hospital unit for black veterans coming back
            from the Great War. (Similarly, LBJ's last public appearance was to
            speak out for the civil rights of the future generations of Americans
            in a forum in Texas.) Here's an excerpt from William Roscoe Thayer's
            "Theodore Roosevelt; an Intimate Biography" that was published the
            same year of TR's death.

            http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext00/teddy10.txt
            "Roosevelt never fully recovered from the infection which the
            fever he caught in Brazil left in his system. It manifested
            itself in different ways and the one thing certain was that it
            could not be cured. He paid little attention to it except when it
            actually sent him to bed. In the winter of 1918, it caused so
            serious an inflammation of the mastoid that he was taken to the
            hospital and had to undergo an operation. For several days his
            life hung by a thread. But, on his recovery, he went about as
            usual, and the public was scarcely aware of his lowered
            condition. He wrote and spoke, and seemed to be acting with his
            customary vigor. That summer, however, on July 14th, his youngest
            son, Quentin, First Lieutenant in the 95th American Aero
            Squadron, was killed in an air battle near Chambray, France. The
            lost child is the dearest. Roosevelt said nothing, but he never
            got over Quentin's loss. No doubt he often asked, in silence, why
            he, whose sands were nearly run, had not been taken and the
            youth, who had a lifetime to look forward to, had not been
            spared. The day after the news came, the New York State
            Republican Convention met at Saratoga. Roosevelt was to address
            it, and he walked up the aisle without hesitating, and spoke from
            the platform as if he had no thoughts in his heart, except the
            political and patriotic exhortation which he poured out. He
            passed a part of the summer with his daughter, Mrs. Derby, on the
            coast of Maine; and in the early autumn, at Carnegie Hall, he
            made his last public speech, in behalf of Governor Whitman's
            candidacy. A little after this, he appeared for the last time in
            public at a meeting in honor of a negro hospital unit. In a few
            days another outbreak of the old infection caused his removal to
            the Roosevelt Hospital. The date was November 11th,--the day when
            the Armistice was signed. He remained at the hospital until
            Christmas Eve, often suffering acutely from inflammatory
            rheumatism, the name the physicians gave to the new form the
            infection took. He saw his friends for short intervals, he
            followed the news, and even dictated letters on public subjects,
            but his family understood that his marvelous physical strength
            was being sadly exhausted. He longed to be taken home to Sagamore
            Hill, and when his doctor allowed him to go home, he was greatly
            cheered."

            Ram
          • THOMAS JOHNSON
            Sadly, one wonders if the Democratic party has permanently relegated itself minority status by being the civil rights party, to wit an article on racial bias
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 30, 2006
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              Sadly, one wonders if the Democratic party has
              permanently relegated itself minority status by being
              the civil rights party, to wit an article on racial
              bias and voting tendencies from this morning's
              Washington Post:



              Study Ties Political Leanings to Hidden Biases

              By Shankar Vedantam
              Washington Post Staff Writer
              Monday, January 30, 2006; Page A05

              Put a group of people together at a party and observe
              how they behave. Differently than when they are alone?
              Differently than when they are with family? What if
              they're in a stadium instead of at a party? What if
              they're all men?

              The field of social psychology has long been focused
              on how social environments affect the way people
              behave. But social psychologists are people, too, and
              as the United States has become increasingly
              politically polarized, they have grown increasingly
              interested in examining what drives these sharp
              divides: red states vs. blue states; pro-Iraq war vs.
              anti-Iraq war; pro-same-sex marriage vs. anti-same-sex
              marriage. And they have begun to study political
              behavior using such specialized tools as sophisticated
              psychological tests and brain scans.

              Politics Trivia
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              "In my own family, for example, there are stark
              differences, not just of opinion but very profound
              differences in how we view the world," said Brenda
              Major, a psychologist at the University of California
              at Santa Barbara and the president of the Society for
              Personality and Social Psychology, which had a
              conference last week that showcased several
              provocative psychological studies about the nature of
              political belief.

              The new interest has yielded some results that will
              themselves provoke partisan reactions: Studies
              presented at the conference, for example, produced
              evidence that emotions and implicit assumptions often
              influence why people choose their political
              affiliations, and that partisans stubbornly discount
              any information that challenges their preexisting
              beliefs.

              Emory University psychologist Drew Westen put
              self-identified Democratic and Republican partisans in
              brain scanners and asked them to evaluate negative
              information about various candidates. Both groups were
              quick to spot inconsistency and hypocrisy -- but only
              in candidates they opposed.

              When presented with negative information about the
              candidates they liked, partisans of all stripes found
              ways to discount it, Westen said. When the unpalatable
              information was rejected, furthermore, the brain scans
              showed that volunteers gave themselves feel-good pats
              -- the scans showed that "reward centers" in
              volunteers' brains were activated. The psychologist
              observed that the way these subjects dealt with
              unwelcome information had curious parallels with drug
              addiction as addicts also reward themselves for
              wrong-headed behavior.

              Another study presented at the conference, which was
              in Palm Springs, Calif., explored relationships
              between racial bias and political affiliation by
              analyzing self-reported beliefs, voting patterns and
              the results of psychological tests that measure
              implicit attitudes -- subtle stereotypes people hold
              about various groups.

              That study found that supporters of President Bush and
              other conservatives had stronger self-admitted and
              implicit biases against blacks than liberals did.

              "What automatic biases reveal is that while we have
              the feeling we are living up to our values, that
              feeling may not be right," said University of Virginia
              psychologist Brian Nosek, who helped conduct the race
              analysis. "We are not aware of everything that causes
              our behavior, even things in our own lives."

              Brian Jones, a spokesman for the Republican National
              Committee, said he disagreed with the study's
              conclusions but that it was difficult to offer a
              detailed critique, as the research had not yet been
              published and he could not review the methodology. He
              also questioned whether the researchers themselves had
              implicit biases -- against Republicans -- noting that
              Nosek and Harvard psychologist Mahzarin Banaji had
              given campaign contributions to Democrats.

              "There are a lot of factors that go into political
              affiliation, and snap determinations may be
              interesting for an academic study, but the real-world
              application seems somewhat murky," Jones said.

              Nosek said that though the risk of bias among
              researchers was "a reasonable question," the study
              provided empirical results that could -- and would --
              be tested by other groups: "All we did was compare
              questions that people could answer any way they
              wanted," Nosek said, as he explained why he felt
              personal views could not have influenced the outcome.
              "We had no direct contact with participants."

              For their study, Nosek, Banaji and social psychologist
              Erik Thompson culled self-acknowledged views about
              blacks from nearly 130,000 whites, who volunteered
              online to participate in a widely used test of racial
              bias that measures the speed of people's associations
              between black or white faces and positive or negative
              words. The researchers examined correlations between
              explicit and implicit attitudes and voting behavior in
              all 435 congressional districts.

              The analysis found that substantial majorities of
              Americans, liberals and conservatives, found it more
              difficult to associate black faces with positive
              concepts than white faces -- evidence of implicit
              bias. But districts that registered higher levels of
              bias systematically produced more votes for Bush.

              "Obviously, such research does not speak at all to the
              question of the prejudice level of the president,"
              said Banaji, "but it does show that George W. Bush is
              appealing as a leader to those Americans who harbor
              greater anti-black prejudice."

              Vincent Hutchings, a political scientist at the
              University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said the results
              matched his own findings in a study he conducted ahead
              of the 2000 presidential election: Volunteers shown
              visual images of blacks in contexts that implied they
              were getting welfare benefits were far more receptive
              to Republican political ads decrying government waste
              than volunteers shown ads with the same message but
              without images of black people.

              Jon Krosnick, a psychologist and political scientist
              at Stanford University, who independently assessed the
              studies, said it remains to be seen how significant
              the correlation is between racial bias and political
              affiliation.

              For example, he said, the study could not tell whether
              racial bias was a better predictor of voting
              preference than, say, policy preferences on gun
              control or abortion. But while those issues would be
              addressed in subsequent studies -- Krosnick plans to
              get random groups of future voters to take the
              psychological tests and discuss their policy
              preferences -- he said the basic correlation was not
              in doubt.

              "If anyone in Washington is skeptical about these
              findings, they are in denial," he said. "We have 50
              years of evidence that racial prejudice predicts
              voting. Republicans are supported by whites with
              prejudice against blacks. If people say, 'This takes
              me aback,' they are ignoring a huge volume of
              research."


              --- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:

              > > Had he lived to see 1932 what might TR have
              > thought of
              > > his fifth cousin's presidential ambitions? (and
              > > remember they were related by marriage as well as
              > > blood- Eleanor was TR's niece I think, TR walked
              > her
              > > down the aisle at her wedding).
              >
              > TR passed away in 1919 in his sixties. His last
              > public appearance was
              > at a fundraiser for a hospital unit for black
              > veterans coming back
              > from the Great War. (Similarly, LBJ's last public
              > appearance was to
              > speak out for the civil rights of the future
              > generations of Americans
              > in a forum in Texas.) Here's an excerpt from William
              > Roscoe Thayer's
              > "Theodore Roosevelt; an Intimate Biography" that was
              > published the
              > same year of TR's death.
              >
              > http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext00/teddy10.txt
              > "Roosevelt never fully recovered from the infection
              > which the
              > fever he caught in Brazil left in his system. It
              > manifested
              > itself in different ways and the one thing certain
              > was that it
              > could not be cured. He paid little attention to it
              > except when it
              > actually sent him to bed. In the winter of 1918, it
              > caused so
              > serious an inflammation of the mastoid that he was
              > taken to the
              > hospital and had to undergo an operation. For
              > several days his
              > life hung by a thread. But, on his recovery, he went
              > about as
              > usual, and the public was scarcely aware of his
              > lowered
              > condition. He wrote and spoke, and seemed to be
              > acting with his
              > customary vigor. That summer, however, on July 14th,
              > his youngest
              > son, Quentin, First Lieutenant in the 95th American
              > Aero
              > Squadron, was killed in an air battle near Chambray,
              > France. The
              > lost child is the dearest. Roosevelt said nothing,
              > but he never
              > got over Quentin's loss. No doubt he often asked, in
              > silence, why
              > he, whose sands were nearly run, had not been taken
              > and the
              > youth, who had a lifetime to look forward to, had
              > not been
              > spared. The day after the news came, the New York
              > State
              > Republican Convention met at Saratoga. Roosevelt was
              > to address
              > it, and he walked up the aisle without hesitating,
              > and spoke from
              > the platform as if he had no thoughts in his heart,
              > except the
              > political and patriotic exhortation which he poured
              > out. He
              > passed a part of the summer with his daughter, Mrs.
              > Derby, on the
              > coast of Maine; and in the early autumn, at Carnegie
              > Hall, he
              > made his last public speech, in behalf of Governor
              > Whitman's
              > candidacy. A little after this, he appeared for the
              > last time in
              > public at a meeting in honor of a negro hospital
              > unit. In a few
              > days another outbreak of the old infection caused
              > his removal to
              > the Roosevelt Hospital. The date was November
              > 11th,--the day when
              > the Armistice was signed. He remained at the
              > hospital until
              > Christmas Eve, often suffering acutely from
              > inflammatory
              > rheumatism, the name the physicians gave to the new
              > form the
              > infection took. He saw his friends for short
              > intervals, he
              > followed the news, and even dictated letters on
              > public subjects,
              > but his family understood that his marvelous
              > physical strength
              > was being sadly exhausted. He longed to be taken
              > home to Sagamore
              > Hill, and when his doctor allowed him to go home, he
              > was greatly
              > cheered."
              >
              > Ram
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              > prezveepsenator-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
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