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242   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

the right policies for our country than any other man except the secretary of state, Mr. Elihu Root, whose possible election to the presidency he felt would be very doubtful. Many have criticised in later years, especially after the trouble in 1912, his choice of Mr. Taft to succeed him. There came out at one time an article in the periodical Life which, to my mind, explained well the confidence which my brother placed in almost every man who worked with him. The article said approximately: "The reason that Theodore Roosevelt occasionally made mistakes in feeling that some of his associates in the work of the government would continue to be what he believed them to be, is as follows: While any individual was working with Mr. Roosevelt, in fact, under Mr. Roosevelt, the latter had the power of inspiring the said individual with his own acuteness, his own energy, his own ability. The person, therefore, frequently shone with a reflex light, a light which seemed to Mr. Roosevelt to originate in him, but in fact, came from his own unfailing sources. The consequence is that when some official who had seemed to Mr. Roosevelt to be almost a rara avis, was left to his own devices, and without the magnetic personality of his chief to inspire in him qualities not really indigenous in him, the change in what that official could accomplish was very marked." Theodore Roosevelt was convinced that Mr. Taft was entirely in accord with the policies in which he so fully believed, and he had absolute confidence that in leaving in his hands the work which he had striven so hard to perfect. he was doing the best thing possible for the United States.

At that time the people wanted to renominate my brother as President. He, however, was convinced that a renomination would have defeated the spirit of the unwritten law that no man should succeed himself a third time in succession.

I was present at the convention in Chicago in r9o8, and have fortunately retained a letter written to my children the very morning of that convention, which runs as follows:

"Oh, how I wish you could have been here this morning.

Such an ovation was never known as greeted Mr. Lodge's mention of your Uncle Ted. Mr. Lodge's speech was most scholarly and reserved, and in referring to the laws, he said, `The President has invariably enforced the laws, and the President is the most abused and the most ' popular man in the country.' Then came a ripple and then a mighty shout of applause, growing louder and louder, increasing and increasing more and more every moment. They clapped, they shouted, they cheered. The whole great Convention sang the Star Spangled Banner, and then they clapped again, and carried 'Teddybears' around the hall. They took off their coats and swung them around their heads. You have never even imagined anything like it. Several times, Mr. Lodge raised his gavel, but with no result, and finally he started his speech again, and persevered until the deafening noise began to subside fifty minutes after it began. It really was a wonderful and thrilling scene. It was three o'clock before we could keep our luncheon engagement at George Porter's that first day."

The following day it required all Mr. Lodge's determination, and a ringing message over the telephone from the White House itself, to prevent the renomination of my brother. Not only did the people want him, but, what has been so often not the case, the delegates wanted him as well. It was one of those rare moments at a great convention when the people and the delegates were in accord, and yet, it was not to be. The will of Theodore Roosevelt was carried out, and William Howard Taft was chosen as the nominee of the Republican party for the next President of the United States.

On June 23, r9o8, came a letter from the White House to me: "Darling Corinne-It was very good of you and Douglas to telegraph me. I am extremely pleased with the result of the Convention. I think Cabot's handling of it was masterly." And then, on June 26, an extremely interesting letter came, one, I think, which, written as it was four years before the great controversy of 1912, settles forever that question which was

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