Home  »  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen  »  Page 115

Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 115

could make a good Commissioner. “And,” he added, “there it is. Under our system of civil service examinations I could n’t get in, whereas under the old spoils system you advocate I would have had pull enough to get the appointment to the clerkship I was n’t fit for. Don’t you see?”
  I presume the editor saw, for nothing more was said about it.
  In the hottest of the fighting, Mr. Roosevelt executed a flank movement of such consummate strategic skill and shrewdness that it fairly won him the battle. He ordered examinations for department positions at Washington to be held in the States, not at the Capital. When the successful candidates came to take the places they had won—when Congressman Smith met a young fellow from his county whom he knew in Washington, holding office under an administration hostile in politics as he knew, a great light dawned upon him. He felt the fetters of patronage, that had proved a heavier and heavier burden to him, falling from his own limbs, and from among the Congressmen who had hotly opposed Roosevelt came some of the warmest advocates of the new