JULY 7, 1952
HYDE PARK, Sunday—As the picture unrolls in Chicago at the national Republican convention and the fight over the delegates goes on, one has the curious feeling of watching history repeat itself. Theodore Roosevelt walked out of a convention and started a third party against the father of one of the present contenders for the Republican Presidential nomination. Third parties rarely win in their first try, but they do succeed in defeating the other contender in the same political party. There seems no prospect of a third party in this situation, since General Eisenhower has declared he will support whoever is nominated by the convention.
The regular Democratic politicians are probably watching the present situation in Chicago with some interest and perhaps satisfaction. I can't help being a little sad about it even though it may benefit the Democrats in the long run.
The various Democratic candidates are also watching their own particular differences and hoping that their candidacy will not be injured in any way. To show how alert some people are to let nothing hurt their candidate, my recent column about the Democratic candidates has brought me a number of letters about Senator Kefauver. Typical of these letters is one which runs: "I believe that it is unfair to write of him as if that was his only qualification (investigation of crime and corruption). I believe that Senator Kefauver's distinguished record in the House and in the Senate, in which he consistently and ably supported the administration's policy in foreign affairs and in which he concededly became an outstanding authority on Congressional procedures and the methods to be employed to improve them, show that Senator Kefauver is a man of much greater breadth of ability and experience than your column seems to indicate. Furthermore, his political record in Tennessee shows that he has those highest qualities of courage and independence which are needed in a man who is to be President of the United States."
All of this is undoubtedly true. But in different ways the other candidates mentioned have qualities and qualifications, if not exactly parallel to those of Senator Kefauver, at least giving them valid reasons for consideration. These I did not mention, for I have been careful not to come out for any candidate until after the nomination. I think when you are not actually in politics it is better not to state preferences, but to try and point to the qualifications of various candidates and let other people make up their own minds as you are free to make up yours.
Last week I went to the see the Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Plaza Art Galleries in New York City. Of course I was fascinated by the reproduction of the study in which Sir Conan Doyle wrote the Holmes stories. Everything in the study is authentic and it is a perfect picture of the period. Many other things in the exhibition are also of deep interest to the lovers of Sherlock Holmes—and who has not at one time or another enjoyed those fascinating stories!