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Politics, like the poor, are always with us. But now that the fate of the Supreme Court seems to rest in the hands of Senator Ashurst's tight little judiciary committee, and the noise of battle has died down while the proponents of the abortive plan try to drive some sort of a compromise with the President in order to get the measure through at all, the most significant political news of the week comes not from the legislative halls of Washington, but rather from the back rooms of local Republican clubs in New York City. For the Republicans are trying to decide whether to renominate Mayor LaGuardia, and the Little Flower has not hesitated to tell the Republicans in the city where to get off during his administration.
In view of New York's traditional loyalty to the sachems of Tammany Hall,--a loyalty that is usually as flaming and fierce, though occasionally as fickle, as hot young love,--and especially in view of the cataclysm for Republicanism that occurred last November, it may seem extraordinary that Republicans can have anything to do with any nominations, least of all for the New York Mayoralty. But a glance at the special situation in the city may show that the Republicans are in a position to hold a balance of power.
As everyone remembers, La Guardia rode into office on a Fusion ticket made up of three factions: the independent Democrats who were more interested in rescuing the city from its financial plight caused by the plunder of the Walker regime and the depression; a large body of voters of Italian origin; and the Republicans. There were two other entries in the field; Mayor O'Brien carried the torch for Tammany and tried to look comfortable in a top hat, but the Scabury investigations, the Walker abdication, and the forthright disavowal of their cause by Mr. Roosevelt as Governor had discredited his case. Mr. McKee, an independent Democrat, made up a strong personal ticket and clinched second place, while LaGuardia won the berth in City Hall by a small plurality, but not by a majority decision. It seems perfectly plain, then, that, despite his gain in popularity during his term, for the Republicans to throw their hundred thousand odd votes to another candidate might spell the Mayor's defeat.
But no matter how much of a thorn in the flesh of the G.O.P. potentates the wiry mayor may be--and his attacks on the capitalists and the ultiities and his active work in the Roosevelt cause are enough to turn the long-suffering Republican's affections to other directions, if the G.O.P. partisans deny him their support this year they will be cutting off their noses to spite their face. For Mayor LaGuardia has given the city its first taste of honest government since the days of Mayor Mitchell before the War. And any cessation of support for the Fusion nominee by the Republicans would mean a return to the rule of the sachems of Seventeenth Street, a disaster for the type of city government which the Republicans have always shouted for and Mayor LaGuardia has endeavored to give.
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