More interesting history in this political season.
Taft dominated the Republican Party machinery in many states, but a few state primaries gave the voters a chance to express themselves. The president and his former friend took to the hustings, and across the country in the spring of 1912 the campaign rhetoric escalated. Roosevelt described Taft as a “puzzlewit,” while the president labeled Roosevelt a “honeyfugler.”
He wore a white linen suit and dark tie, ideal for the stifling hall and the rudimentary capabilities of 1948 television. His speech sounded almost spit into the ether at the opposition. “Senator Barkley and I will win this election and make these Republicans like it—don’t you forget that!” He announced he would call Congress back into session on July 26—Turnip Day to Missouri farmers—and dare it to pass all the liberal-sounding legislation endorsed in the Republican platform. “The battle lines of 1948 are the same as they were in 1932,” he declared, “when the nation lay prostrate and helpless as a result of Republican misrule and inaction.”