From a review in the New York Sun of President Wilson’s first week as a political campaigner, we take the following excerpts:

Woodrow Wilson, president of Princeton University, the “scholar in politics,” has finished the first week of his gubernatorial campaign in New Jersey and the Democrats all over the State are unaffectedly happy over his start. They say and plainly believe that Dr. Wilson has reached the hearts of his audiences. Republican leaders throughout the State appear buried in the same doubt that seize them upon Dr. Wilson’s nomination. Such of them as will talk frankly say that their hope, hardly their conviction, is that the Princeton man will not get in contact with the mass of voters, especially the sedate people of south Jersey.

Something of Dr. Wilson’s unusualness as a campaigner has been indicated in dispatches to The Sun, but not all. In two minutes he has his audience in the attitude of leisurely students listening to a lecture in a course they elected because they liked the professor. If some of the fulness of youth has gone from Dr. Wilson’s face since those days when he delighted the upper classes at Princeton with his discourses on jurisprudence and politics there is a thoughtfulness and a courage in his plain, attractive countenance which enhanced by his pleasant winning voice seems instantly to prepossess his audience in his favor.

In a man of his attainments it would not be surprising if occasionally he were to go off a bit on a mental tangent from his theme, but he has done this only once, and then he immediately checked himself. At Red Bank yesterday in his talk to the hot and dusty Monmouth folks he referred once to Dante and the Inferno and said that the curious thing was that many of the folks Dante depicted in the circles of hell were then alive. Mightn’t it be, Dr Wilson asked, that a man did carry his hell around with him in this world? And for one sentence he touched on death and the implied question of immortality of the soul. A second later he was back on the topic of corporations. “A hint of theological doctrine in a political speech! Fancy!” even the sanest man making allowances might exclaim.

The homely tang found in a few men in this country, the outstanding trait in Lincoln, the flavor that crops out in Mayor Gaynor’s words at times, streaks through all of Dr. Wilson’s addresses. It was in a discussion of the tariff at Red Bank yesterday that he remarked:

“I purchased a pair of socks in Aberdeen, Scotland. And I never did like their color in the first place. But American socks! Well, I have purchased a dozen pairs of them since I bought those Scotch hose, and such is the nature of the American goods that my family is constantly employed in darning them!”

There is one speaking trait Dr. Wilson has shown which doesn’t seem to belong to any other man in public life to-day. He is naïve as well as daring. It takes temerity to say that you stand not only on your written platform but on some planks not in it, and then name those planks, as Dr. Wilson did in Newark. But after enumerating some things wrong at Long Branch last night Dr. Wilson said sudcan’t.”

“Now don’t think that you and cure these things by electing me Governor, because you can’t.”

He went on to tell his hearers that they must decide which set of men for office would vision these wrongs with new eyes, would study how they were done and would enact specific laws killing them. But who else among campaigners would have been so initially frank?

No thoughtful man, however partisan he may be, denies that Dr. Wilson’s campaign is one of the most interesting and important political experiments made in this country in this generation. For the whole issue hangs on his personality, charming, sincere, but without flares or the thunder crash.

This was originally published in the October 5, 1910 issue of PAW.