Practical politicians are still chewing the cud of the Lincoln Day speeches. They were not uninspiring rhetorical hearkenings-back to the glories of a dead past. Dr. Glenn Frank and Senator Van-denburg gave no ordinary speeches on this occasion. But above all former President Hoover's fighting speech was anything but meaningless oratory.
Some will assert that Mr. Hoover has merely employed a new "ghost" writer. Such inquiry is at once bootless and pointless. The energy of the "rejuvenated Hoover" sallying forth with freshly sharpened lance is apparent. His ideas seem partially refurbished, and his verbal thrusts are aimed with a delicacy and deadliness that must excite the envy of English pig-sticking enthusiasts. His delivery has been revolutionized, but the logic behind it is as direct as heretofore.
In other words Mr. Hoover is acquiring "what it takes" to get votes. On February 13 his performance was superb. He carried up from the floor terrific hay makers, in the use of which he has always been adept, and interspersed these with quick, deadly rabbit-punches-those novel ironic sallies which are extraordinarily effective politically because they provoke mirth. This style of debate Lincoln knew well; Hoover seems to be learning.
One does not need to be a camp-follower of Hoover to delight in his recent political exhibitions, which add great zest to already stirring issues. The possible effects demand some sort of estimate. We should not forget that in 1932 he received the biggest minority vote in history. As a probable indication of the way his thoughts are tending, it is not out of order to inspect his flattering mention of Cleveland-the only president to make a come-back after being defeated. Certainly this much rises out of the mist of Republican politics-Hoover recently has become much stronger. In the national convention he will quite possibly have the largest following. Weighed conservatively, his influence in the choice of candidates will be tremendous. Finally, whether speaking for himself, or for some other candidate, he will be a powerful vote-getter. Judging the political situation as a whole, it is more important to follow the old wheel-horse's speeches and actions with great attention than it is to follow blindly Landon, Borah, Knox, or Vandenburg, or any other pastel-shaded "horse" of the Republican party.