Black and white photograph of William Howard Taft
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BASTIAN BROS. CO. RIBBON, METAL AND CELLULOID NOVELTIES ROCHESTER, NY
William Taft was the 27th President of the United States (1909-1913). He used campaign buttons with his picture and no words on them in almost every campaign he ran. This button is from his 1908 presidential campaign against William Jennings Bryan. Despite saying that the only way he was likely to move to Washington was if his wife became the Secretary of Treasury, Taft served as Secretary of War under Theodore Roosevelt from 1904-08. Roosevelt then chose Taft to succeed him as the Republican party's Presidential nominee after the end of his second term and Taft accepted the nomination at the urging of his wife. Taft was a very capable lawyer, jurist, and administrator, but not interested enough in politics to be an especially successful President. He did not have the leadership qualities his predecessor did and was unable to keep the loyalty of his party. He rarely gets credit for his substantial efforts to break up trusts and is more often remembered for getting stuck in a White House bathtub.
Biography.com. "Howard Taft Biography." A&E Television Networks.
Freidel, F. and Hugh Sidey. (2006) "The Presidents of the United States of America." White House Historical Association.