The 1912 US Presidential election


Feb 14, 2011
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Anyone here who is well read on the details of the 1912 uS Presidential election?
Former friends Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft had a falling out, and x-pres. Roosevelt would make a bid to rerun againt then current pres. Taft, who felt had undone many of his achievements.
Once when givng a speech, Roosevelt was shot, but continued to finish his speech anyway. Roosevelt had moxie.
On April 15 1912, had the primaries already occoured? Where was the center for activity in the reelection on that day?


Tarn Stephanos
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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I can add a bit. The split beween Taft and Roosevelt was so deep that Roosevelt split from the Republicans and formed a party called the Progressives. Its symbol was the Bull Moose. Roosevelt stood for President as its candidate. As a result of the split, the Democrats bolted home in the 1912 Presidential election. I'm pretty sure that the primaries had not been held as of April 1912.

A point related to Titanic is that in those days the outgoing president did not leave office until March 4th of the year after the election. That's why you'll find Taft presenting Captain Rostron with his Congressional Gold Medal on March 1st 1913.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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I wonder then if their mutual friend, Titanic victim Archibald Butt could have mended their friendship.
Accounts I have read ome reason for Butt's traveling overseas was the get away from the spectacle of his two friends squabbling...

Did Taft and Roosevelt drop their mutual animosity to reflect on their shared freindship with Archibald Butt?




Tarn Stephanos
 

Dave Gittins

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According to Wyn Craig Wade, Roosevelt was campaigning somewhere in the western states at the time, so they can't have got together. Roosevelt seems to have been more interested in joining those who demanded that Taft should order all US flags flown at half-mast. Taft wasn't keen on this but eventually gave in.

Checking some history, the Republican primaries were getting going in April 1912. The Pennsylvania primary was held on April 14th. Apparently Roosevelt contested them until he could see that he wouldn't win. Then he began to campaign as a Progressive, using as his base a group of dissident Republicans formed in 1911.
 
May 12, 2005
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Archie Butt was most definitely central to the relationship between Taft and Roosevelt and their feuding caused him much grief. I believe it's true that his trip abroad was to take a rest from the trouble between his friends. If Doug Willingham sees this thread, he might have more to add about Archie's situation.

Dave mentions the newly-formed Progressive Party. A bit of trivia that is indirectly Titanic-related is that one of the founders of this party, to which Roosevelt became allied, was Bainbridge Colby, then a top New York "celebrity" attorney and later Secretary of State to Woodrow Wilson. The Titanic connection is that Colby was Lucy Duff Gordon's legal rep in the US and was one of the group who greeted her on her arrival aboard Carpathia. From Colby's letters we know that BOTH Cosmo and Lucy Duff Gordon kept their lifejackets.
 
Jun 8, 2002
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Dear Tarn, Dave and Randy,

I doubt that Archie's death on the Titanic changed the outcome of the 1912 Presidential election, in spite of suggestions to that effect in several historical works and at least one film, an '80s made-for-tv miniseries, "Backstairs at the White House", starring the late Victor Buono as Taft.

Still, I would like to think of Archie as more than a footnote to history, and his published papers reveal perhaps his highest importance to both Titanic scholars and students of the political and social scene of the Edwardian Age, especially in North America--that of an astute observer and writer.

Best regards,
Doug
 
Feb 14, 2011
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There is a book out called '1912', which is about the 1912 presidental election- and it makes no mention of the titanic.
What a glaring omission, concidering Archibald Butt, a mutal friend of Taf and roosevelt went down with the ship....

regards


Tarn Stephanos
 
Feb 14, 2011
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I have always wondered had William Howard Taft or Teddy Roosevelt won reelection in 1912- How would they have handled America's involvment in the 'Great war'? I'm not sure Roosevelt would have gotten involved- in his later years he became very anti-foreigner-Perhaps he would have seen WW1 as a Europen matter. But perhaps the lusitania sinking would have forced him to act...Is it possible Taft or Roosevelt would have handled America's involment with WW1 better than Woodrow Wilson?