National Affairs: Smithisms

Terseness has been Calvin Coolidge's contribution to modern political speech in the U. S. Studious, abstract prolixity has been Herbert Hoover's. Plainness, homeliness, informality, which some called "cheapness" and others "humor," what some called "smart" and others "clever," what none denied had drive and excitement characterized the campaign utterances of Alfred Emanuel Smith.

Last week, having elaborated governmental issues as far as he thought was desired by the people he expected to vote for him, Governor Smith conducted a "cleanup" campaign of undisguised political debating. The speeches were more memorable for fragments than...