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Hail To The Chief
by [?]

| |
| |
| A great politician need not |
| be a statesman ... but it |
| is inherently futile to be |
| a great statesman, and no |
| politician. Except, of |
| course, for a miracle ... |
| |

The tumult in Convention Hall was a hurricane of sound that lashed at a sea of human beings that surged and eddied around the broad floor. Men and women, delegates and spectators, aged party wheelhorses and youngsters who would vote for the first time that November, all lost their identities to merge with that swirling tide. Over their heads, like agitated bits of flotsam, pennants fluttered and placards rose and dipped. Beneath their feet, discarded metal buttons that bore the names of two or three “favorite sons” and those that had touted the only serious contender against the party’s new candidate were trodden flat. None of them had ever really had a chance.

The buttons that were now pinned on every lapel said: “Blast ’em With Cannon!” or “Cannon Can Do!” The placards and the box-shaped signs, with a trifle more dignity, said: WIN WITH CANNON and CANNON FOR PRESIDENT and simply JAMES H. CANNON.

Occasionally, in the roar of noise, there were shouts of “Cannon! Cannon! Rah! Rah! Rah! Cannon! Cannon! Sis-boom-bah!” and snatches of old popular tunes hurriedly set with new words:

On with Cannon, on with Cannon!
White House, here we come!
He’s a winner, no beginner;
He can get things done!
(Rah! Rah! Rah!)

And, over in one corner, a group of college girls were enthusiastically chanting:

He is handsome! He is sexy!
We want J. H. C. for Prexy!

It was a demonstration that lasted nearly three times as long as the eighty-five-minute demonstration that had occurred when Representative Matson had first proposed his name for the party’s nomination.

* * * * *

Spatially, Senator James Harrington Cannon was four blocks away from Convention Hall, in a suite at the Statler-Hilton, but electronically, he was no farther away than the television camera that watched the cheering multitude from above the floor of the hall.

The hotel room was tastefully and expensively decorated, but neither the senator nor any of the other men in the room were looking at anything else except the big thirty-six-inch screen that glowed and danced with color. The network announcer’s words were almost inaudible, since the volume had been turned way down, but his voice sounded almost as excited as those from the convention floor.