William Howard Taft, 1909-1913
Taft had a lifelong fascination with courts, judges, and the judicial system. He longed to be Chief Justice of the United States, but under intense pressure from his buddy Teddy Roosevelt, he ran for the Presidency, and won. He was Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor.
In the oval office, he lowered tariff rates, enforced the Sherman Antitrust Act (which brought suits against monopolistic corporations), and streamlined conservation efforts in the government.
In a different era Roosevelt might have lauded Taft’s work, but a series of falling-outs—ideological, political, and personal—had turned Roosevelt bitterly against him. Roosevelt formed a third party, the uber-progressive Bull Moose Party, for the express purpose of defeating Taft in the 1912 election. But both were easily trounced by democrat Woodrow Wilson.
(And yes, Taft would go on to become Chief Justice under Warren Harding.)
SEE THE SHOW: http://www.mrt.org/45Plays