POLITICAL NOTES: Smith’s New Outlook

An event of political rather than publishing importance was last week’s appearance of the first issue of The New Outlook edited by Alfred Emanuel Smith.— Theodore Roosevelt had thundered to the country from this same editorial chair and, before him, Lyman Abbott and Henry Ward Beecher. Now readers cocked ears to a voice it had heard often in the Press and over the “raddio.” Introduced briefly by Publisher Frank Aloysius Tichenor, Editor Smith plunged into a three-page editorial opening the magazine as follows: “The New Outlook will check up once a month on what is taking place politically and the reason for it. on what is being done that should not be done and on what should be done that is not being done. . . . The New Outlook will join in the search for truth.” What followed in type was a political speech of the kind which only Democrat Smith can make. Through every line of it could be heard the sharp twang of his voice. It was packed with his public mannerisms, salty with his unpolished rhetoric. He spoke of the “tough winter” ahead. He made a forceful verb out of “gold-brick.” Democrats searched the editorial in vain for some reference to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Editor Smith was primed to talk about anything & everything connected with the 1932 campaign except the man his party nominated against his wishes at Chicago. The nearest he came to taking a direct crack at Nominee Roosevelt was: “We should stop talking about the Forgotten Man and about class distinctions. … In no other country is there so little evidence of economic class hatred, so little encouragement to the Communist, the Fascist or the Junker. . . . Just now all of our people are in trouble. The old rich are the new poor. . . . The Forgotten Man is a myth and the sooner he disappears from the campaign the better it will be for the country.” Editor Smith flayed President Hoover for the manner in which he had handled R. F. C. relief. Democrat Atlee Pomerene who was put at the head of R. F. C. was referred to as “a man of mediocre ability.” The President, according to New Outlook’s new editor, had made direct aid to States for unemployment a “nullity,” had failed to put a man to work with R. F. C.’s $1,500,000,000 for self-liquidating projects. Pointing to “a deep underlying dissatisfaction with the present administration.” Editor Smith thought the Democrats were as good as elected. Said he: “The country is set for a change. . . . The Republican party must take the responsibility for its own palpable and inexcusable mistakes. … It blindly refused to recognize bad times when they were upon us. … To all intents and purposes the campaign may be said to be over. The real question is what will the Democratic party do with its victory? . . . “The first issue to be decided is what elements will control the party, because it must be admitted that the party is not united and that it is composed of a number of conflicting elements and interests. With some of the elements and forces in the party I am completely out of sympathy, not for personal reasons, but because I believe they are inimical to the best interests of the country. In my opinion the Democratic party must purge itself of these influences if it is to serve the nation in this crisis.”— The balance of New Outlook was a dreary waste of routine monthly methodology. Great names tagged dull articles. Owen D. Young droned along about unemployment and municipal economy. Archibald Roosevelt rehashed the purposes of the National Economy League. Chairman Franklin Fort of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board told how the Government is trying to help young couples own their own homes without a direct cash loan. Jay N. (“Ding”) Darling discussed the August farm strike in his own Iowa. Incongruously sprinkled in were bits of Ogden Nash’s flighty doggerel. Readers could only conclude that, if Editor-in-Chief Smith was really responsible for the content and make-up of his New Outlook, he was still a better politician than an editor.

*Last week in Cleveland it was announced that the editors of defunct Parade, local weekly. would begin publishing The Midweek Pictorial Review. Promised for each issue (gratis) was an article by another inactive major politico, Newton Diehl Baker. *The conservative eastern wing of Democracy dreads nothing so much as the possible appointment of William Gibbs McAdoo as Secretary of the Treasury. Last week ”positive assurances” emanated from the Roosevelt camp that under no circumstances would Mr. McAdoo be let into a Roosevelt Cabinet. In Washington there was speculation to the effect that John William Davis might be made Secretary of State, Newton Diehl Baker, Attorney General.

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