As for being a member of Wilson’s Cabinet, I don’t want to be. In the first place I can’t afford it. There is no Cabinet man here who lives on his salary, and as you know, I have got nothing else. I save nothing now out of the salary that I get, and if the social obligations of a Cabinet position were placed upon me I would have to run in debt ...
Furthermore, I am doing just as big work and as satisfactory work as any member of the Cabinet. The work that a Cabinet officer chiefly does is to sign his name to letters or papers that other people write. There is very little constructive work done in any Cabinet office. While the glamour of intimate association with the President—the honor that comes from such a position—appeals to me, for I still have all my old-time vanity and love of dignity and appreciation; yet the position that I occupy is one of so much power, and I am conscious so thoroughly of its usefulness, that I do not want to change it. I should be more or less close to the President anyway, I presume. His friends are my friends, and I shall have an opportunity to help make his administration a success by advising with him, if he desires my advice.
Now, old man, I have talked to you very frankly, and I know that you will understand just what I mean. If I were out of office I would have been in Wilson’s campaign a year ago. If I wanted a Cabinet position now I would resign from the Commission and go out to help him. I think probably if I felt that California’s vote was necessary to Wilson’s success and that I could help to get it, I would take the latter course, although it is not clear that that would be my duty, in view of conditions in the Commission.
With warmest regards, believe me, as always, faithfully yours,
FRANKLIN K. LANE
To Francis G. Newlands Reno, Nevada
Washington, October 28, 1912
My dear senator,—I am delighted at the receipt of your long letter, for I have been very anxious to know how you felt about your own State. Of course it has been a foregone conclusion for some time that Wilson would carry the United States, but I was desirous that you should carry Nevada for your own sake ...
In my judgment the Interstate Trades Commission needs all of your concentrated energy for the next year. The bill should be your bill, and you should be the leading authority upon the matter.
Wilson should look to you for advice along this line of dealing with the trust problem. He will, if you have the greater body of information upon the subject. Of course Roosevelt did not know where he was going as to his Trades Commission, and he would not have had any opportunity were he elected to go any farther, ... because that Commission has got to feel its way along. Wilson, you can see from his speeches, has swallowed Brandeis’ theory without knowing much about the problem, but he certainly