A STRONGER SMITH
In an outburst as typical of its author as it is contrary to the character of the present presidential campaign, Alfred E. Smith, speaking before Wednesday's Jefferson Day dinner, voiced an opinion which has recently depressed the silent Democratic leaders. Aroused by Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt's radio address of last Thursday, Mr. Smith branded its utterances as a demagogic appeal to the passions of the "little fellow at the bottom of the economic pyramid." Casting aside his role of inactive candidate, he promises irreconcilable opposition to any man who attempts to utilize dangerous class prejudice as a means to nomination.
The religious prejudices which he arouses in many sections combined with his receipt short-sighted pronouncements on economic problems make it almost certain that Mr. Smith himself is not a possible Democratic standard bearer. Many will therefore suspect that because of a feeling that Mr. Roosevelt, too, is headed for defeat, he is turning his attention to feathering a Cabinet nest under some other congenial Democratic president. But the apparent sincerity of his outspoken concern for the success of his party will probably carry even more weight with his former supporters and with those who are now content to follow the teetering Roosevelt bandwagon, only because the New York governor is the one prominent candidate.
The Jefferson Day bombshell is therefore to be regarded as far more significant than the ordinary internal distensions of the Democratic party. It has been generally felt that in the event of a Roosevelt nomination, Mr. Smith would remain compliantly silent. But in taking this new stand, he has swung his forces irrevocably into the opposition. The assurance that without his support in the North and East no candidate can carry a united party so necessary for election will weigh heavily in the plans of party managers. By an artful maneuver, Mr. Smith has injected the element of precariousness into a campaign which has hitherto proceeded with unusual orderliness; and he has measurably augmented the influence which he will enjoy in the final in the final choice of a party candidate.