Gov. Wilson toured Western States for the last month, making speeches like a man who is personally campaigning for the 1912 Democratic presidential nomination. At a stop in Portland, Oregon last month, Wilson praised the state's primary election system of choosing their delegate slate and insinuated that he might considering adopting a similar system for New Jersey. He told reporters at the same stop, when asked about his 1912 plans, "I certainly have not the audacity to seek the nomination, but no man is too big to refuse it." Today's "presidential" reception certainly gives one the impression that Wilson is personally looking to unseat Taft next year.
Among the first visitors was the former publicity man for William Jennings Bryan, who tried and failed to win the White House for the Democrats in three of the last four elections. The public relations adviser's presence with Wilson isn't a surprise given Bryan's tilt toward Wilson's camp following the wool tariff caucus vote in the House. Soon, visitors from the House showed. In response to a question from to Rep. John E. Raker (D-Cal.), Wilson stated that he was in favor of the initiative and referendum, "if political, economic, and civic ills can not be cured by other means."
Among the points that Wilson wanted to drive home among the assembled politicians was that party lines may be blurring as the next campaign season approaches. "I suppose my political views are pretty well known by this time. I may say, however, that one thing struck me, particularly during my journey through the West. That is, the political trend everywhere now seems to be the abandonment of the old party lines."
The governor went on further to support a tariff for revenue only, in contradiction to Bryan's desire for free raw wool, a man who seemed to be leaning toward the Princeton man. However, he seemed to give himself an out by stating that free raw wool was still a principle tenet of the Democratic Party.
Men everywhere seem to be of the same mind. The next election is going to mark the partial obliteration of old time party lines. It is going to be a campaign of men and measures, rather than a campaign of parties.The parade of Democratic notables will wind up this afternoon as Wilson returns to New Jersey tonight to finish his lengthy trip west.
The people are going to vote for a man whom they believe will cary out the things for which they stand, rather than a man who professes to represent the principles of one of the parties. There is a mide distinction, you know,. between principles and measures.
I approve of the manner in which the Democratic House is conducting itself. Its performances have been creditable, fulfilling the pledges made.
I think the attitude of the Democratic caucus with reference to the revision of the wool schedule is justifiable. The resolution adopted by the caucus is satisfying. It recites that a revenue tax on wool is the practical and possible thing at this time.
It does not mean the abandonment of the principle of free raw wool. But, the Democrats are not revising the entire tariff; the revision is schedule by schedule, and the question of revenue must enter, hence the necessity, for the present, of a revenue tax on wool. If a wholesale revision had been in progress the situation might have been different.
Link: Wilson Approves of Work Done by Democratic House [The Washington Times]