The nomination of Bainbridge Colby for Secretary of State, to succeed Robert Lansing, has astonished the political circles in Washington. That a man with practically no experience in statecraft should be suddenly snatched out of comparative obscurity and placed in the important and difficult position of Secretary of State is almost inconceivable. But officials are afraid to openly condemn this choice, for the Constitution empowers the President to appoint whom he will, subject to the approval of the Senate.
If Mr. Wilson chooses to select a man whose only assets are a pleasing personality and a pliant will, and who has never done any harm, it is his own affair. No Senate has ever before rejected a Presidential nominee for the Cabinet, and it would be unwise for the present one to do so. For, in selecting Mr. Colby, the President has indicated the kind of man he wants; and if the Senate refuses him this one, there are any number of others of a similar sort that he may nominate. If the President is to be held fully responsible for his Cabinet officials, he must allowed to choose them according to his own discretion.