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William Howard Taft
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The Life and Presidency of William Howard Taft
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William Taft: Heavy
And the friendship had been more political than personal. The men were such different personalities that a true intimate friendship would have been difficult-Roosevelt the brash "big picture" thinker, and Taft the affable but reserved detail person. Ultimately, Roosevelt, having given Taft the presidency, believed it was his to reclaim.
The progressives wanted Teddy Roosevelt back in the White House. When the Republican convention of , controlled by the conservatives, renominated Taft, they bolted and formed the Progressive, or "Bull Moose" Party, to support Roosevelt. Once Roosevelt was on the ballot, Taft was doomed. Though Roosevelt and Taft together outpolled the Democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson, by over a million votes, the spilt gave an overwhelming Electoral College victory to Wilson.
Taft came in third, carrying only two states Vermont and Utah. Taft's presidency is remembered as honest, civilized, and middle-of-the-road.
The latter was its downfall. Aside from the achievements mentioned above, a few notable facts from the Taft administration are that he had the first presidential automobile and the largest bathtub. Taft was a large man -our biggest president- standing 6'4" and weighing more than pounds. He began the presidential tradition of throwing out the first pitch of the baseball year at the season opener between the Washington Senators and the Philadelphia Athletics on April 14, After the Presidency, Taft went back to his first love, the law -first as a professor of law at Yale.
The Senate confirmed him the same day-certainly a contrast with today's often-grueling confirmation process. He was the only person in history to be both President and Chief Justice. Taft was concerned about the delay and inefficiency in the federal court system.