title: Theodore Roosevelt: Icon of the American Century

The Question: Can a Champion Come Back? Coaxed by his political admirers, and personally dissatisfied with what he considered to be President Taft's lack of leadership, Roosevelt announced early in 1912 that he would run for a historic third presidential term, if the GOP nomination were tendered to him. This was a monumental decision on his part, one he made contrary to his own established beliefs in the tradition of party loyalty, and without the full backing of party leaders. Roosevelt was counting on winning the support of the people, and was successful in those states that had direct primaries. But in June, at the Republican convention in Chicago, the party machine wrested control of the proceedings and nominated President Taft easily after the Roosevelt delegates had walked out. This was the start of the Progressive Party, in which Roosevelt proudly accepted the nomination. The press was especially happy to have him back in the running. From the moment he declared, "My hat is in the ring," he became the most visible, if not viable, candidate. Ultimately, Roosevelt would beat Taft in the election, but he would lose to the Democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson. This cover of Judge, August 6, 1910, raised "the question" from early on--"Can a champion come back?"

The Question "Can a Champion Come Back?"
Eugene Zimmerman (1862-1935)
Chromolithograph, 1910
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
National Park Service
Buffalo, New York


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