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his own. This is quite different from saying that he wants only opinions that coincide with his own and that he immediately dispenses with advisers who disagree with him. Colonel House, for example, who for five years exerted constant influence on his policy, frequently advanced opinions quite at variance from those of the President, but such differences did not weaken House's influence inasmuch as Wilson felt that they were both starting from the same angle towards the same point. Prejudiced though he seemed to be against "financiers," Wilson took the opinions of Thomas W. Lamont at Paris, because the underlying object of both, the acquisition of a secure peace, was identical. It is true, however, that with the exception of Colonel House, Wilson's advisers have been in the main purveyors of facts rather than colleagues in then formation of policies. Wilson has generally been anxious to receive facts which might help him to build his policy, as will be attested by those who worked with him at Paris.' But he was less inter
Mr. Lamont says of the President at Paris:“I never saw a man more ready and anxious to consult than he. ... President Wilson did not have a well-organized secretarial staff. He did far too much of the work himself, studying until late at night papers and documents that he should have largely delegated to some discreet aides. He was by all odds, the hardest worked man at the Conference; but the failure to delegate more of his work was not due
ested in the opinions of his advisers, especially when it came to principles and not details, for he decides principles for himself. In this sense his Cabinet was composed of subordinates rather than counselors. Such an attitude is, of course, characteristic of most modern executives and has been intensified by war conditions. The summary disregard of Lansing, shown by Wilson at Paris, was less striking than the snubbing of Balfour by Lloyd George, or the cold brutality with which Clemenceau treated the other French delegates.
General conviction of Wilson's autocratic nature has been intensified by his choice of assistants, who have not as a rule enjoyed public confidence. He debarred himself from success in the matter of appointments, in the first place, by limiting his range of choice through unwillingness to have about him those who did not share his point of view. It is more epigrammatic than exact to say that he was the sole unit in the Government giving
to any inherent distrust that he had of men — and certainly not to any desire to 'run the whole show' himself - but simply to the lack of facility in knowing how to delegate work on a large scale. In execution we all have a blind spot in some part of our eye. President Wilson's was in his inability to use men; an inability, mind you, not a refusal. On the contrary, when any of us volunteered or insisted upon taking responsibility off his shoulders he was delighted.”
value to a row of ciphers, for his Cabinet, as a whole, was not composed of weak men. But the fact that the members of his Cabinet accepted implicitly his firm creed that the Cabinet ought to be an executive and not a political council, that it depended upon the President's policy, and that its main function should be merely to carry that policy into effect, gave to the public some justification for its belief that Wilson's was a "one-man” Government. This belief was further intensified by the President's extreme sensitiveness to hostile criticism, which more than anything else hindered frank interchange of opinion between himself and strong personalities. On more than one occasion he seemed to regard opposition as tantamount to personal hostility, an attitude which at times was not entirely unjustified. In the matter of minor appointments Wilson failed generally of success because he consistently refused to take a personal interest, leaving them to subordinates and admitting that political necessities must go far to determine the choice. Even in such an important problem as the appointment of the Peace Commission the President seems to have made his selection almost at haphazard. Many of his war appointments proved ultimately to be wise. But it is noteworthy that
such men as Garfield, Baruch, and McCormick, who amply justified their choice, were appointed because Wilson knew personally their capacity and not because of previous success along special lines which would entitle them to public confidence.
The obstinacy of the President has become proverbial. The square chin, unconsciously protruded in argument, indicates definitely his capacity, as a British critic has put it, “to dig his toes in and hold on.” On matters of method, however, where a basic principle is not involved, he is flexible. According as you approve or disapprove of him, he is "capable of development” or “inconsistent.” Thus he completely changed front on the question of preparedness from 1914 to 1916. When the question of the initiative and referendum arose in Oregon, his attitude was the reverse of what it had been as professor of politics. When matters of detail are under discussion, he has displayed much willingness for and some skill in compromise, as was abundantly illustrated at Paris. But when he thinks that a principle is at stake, he prefers to accept any consequences, no matter how disastrous to his policy; witness his refusal to accept the Lodge reservation on Article X of the League Covenant
All those included within the small circle of Wilson's intimates attest the charm and magnetism of his personality. The breadth of his reading is reflected in his conversation, which is enlivened by anecdotes that illustrate his points effectively and illumined by a sense of humor which some of his friends regard as his most salient trait. His manner is marked by extreme courtesy and, in view of the fixity of his opinions, a surprising lack of abruptness or dogmatism. But he has never been able to capitalize such personal advantages in his political relations. Apart from his intimates he is shy and reserved. The antithesis of Roosevelt, who loved to meet new individualities, Wilson has the college professor's shrinking from social contacts, and is not at ease in the presence of those with whom he is not familiar. Naturally, therefore, he lacks completely Roosevelt's capacity to make friends, and there is in him no trace of his predecessor's power to find exactly the right compliment for the right person. Under Roosevelt the White House opened its doors to every one who could bring the President anything of interest, whether in the field of science, literature, politics, or sport; and the Chief Magistrate, no matter who his guest, instantly found a common ground for