History Main / WilliamHowardTaft

24th Jan '14 12:38:45 PM MarkLungo
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[[quoteright:306:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/william.howard.taft.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:306: It's the smallest picture Google could find.]]

->"We are all imperfect. We can not expect perfect government.
-->--'''William Howard Taft'''

->"I do not remember that I was ever President."
-->--'''William Howard Taft''', reflecting on his career as Chief Justice

->"Not much can be said about Taft's health without saying a great deal about his size"
-->-- ''The Health of the Presidents: The 41 United States Presidents Through 1993 from a Physician's Point of View''

->"Taft, you old dog!"
-->-- '''Homer Simpson'''

American president [[TheGildedAge 1909-1913]], following TheodoreRoosevelt and preceding WoodrowWilson. Also served as [[http://www.philippine-history.org/images/Willam-Howard-Taft.jpg Governor-General of the Philippines]] from 1901-1903, and Chief Justice of the United States from 1921-1930. New Mexico and Arizona became states during his Presidency.

One probably apocryphal legend credits him for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7th_inning_stretch "the seventh inning stretch"]]. Interestingly, he's also the first president to throw out the ceremonial "First Pitch".

Known for [[AdiposeRex being pretty heavy]] and [[NeverLiveItDown once getting stuck in his own bathtub]]. [[MoreInformationThanYouRequire We also all know that the Oval Office used to be called the Round Office until he walked in.]] Funny enough, his presidency led to at least 80 pounds' weight loss, and he became more interested in the outdoors afterward. As ''[[Series/TheDailyShow America: The Book]]'' pointed out, he was also the only President to become [[AmericanCourts Chief Justice of the United States]], but [[RuleOfFunny nobody remembers that.]] Surprising since because he also served in Congress, it makes Taft the '''''only''''' person to have ever served in ''all'' '''three''' branches of the United States Government. [[AndNowYouKnow Taft was also responsible for ordering electric power installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue]].

It's worth noting that becoming Chief Justice (or at least serving on the Supreme Court) was his life's dream: he only ran for president because [[TheodoreRoosevelt T.R.]] and his wife wanted him to (ironically, his wife suffered a stroke shortly after his inauguration and was never able to enjoy her office as much as she might have liked). Almost as ironically, it would be T.R. running third party that prevented Taft from getting a second term; said rift between T.R. and Taft drove the Republican Party away from progressivism, which would later be picked up by Teddy's cousin, [[FranklinDelanoRoosevelt FDR]]. Taft was appointed to the court by WarrenHarding, and is the only former president to have administered the oath of office to an incoming president (He did it for both CalvinCoolidge and HerbertHoover). He's usually held to have been a good Chief Justice - indeed, the traits that made his presidency somewhat messy (hesitation, considering all sides of the issue at hand, worrying over every little detail, etc.) were qualities that usually work well for a judge.

The last President to have a mustache, or indeed, facial hair of any kind, possibly reflecting a rather unfortunate [[GoodHairEvilHair bias against it]]. Also the first president to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

An Ohioan (from Cincinnati to be exact), [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taft_family his family]] is still active in Ohio state politics.
----
!!Tropes relating to President Taft:
* AdiposeRex: A story that's probably too good to be true relates that Taft once fell ill while serving as governor of the Phillippines. Secretary of War Elihu Root sent a telegram inquiring about Taft's health. Taft wired that he was feeling much better and had gone out horseback riding. Root wired back "How is the horse?".
* BewareTheNiceOnes: As a young man, Taft beat the snot out of a Cincinnati journalist for writing a slanderous editorial against Taft's father. And was applauded for it.
* TheClan: The Taft family remains prominent in Ohio state politics ''to this very day.''
* FormerlyFat: While people often linger on the fact that Taft weighed over 300 pounds during his presidency, most tend to ignore that he lost 150 of those 300 over the course of five years after leaving office.
* HeterosexualLifePartner: With TeddyRoosevelt. Both of them were best friends until Taft's presidency, when he began to go back on some of Roosevelt's policies which he'd promised to uphold. The fringe became an outright feud during the election of 1912 when they ran against each other but by the beginning of World War I they were on friendly terms once again and by all accounts they were back to being best buds before Teddy died in 1919.
* NeverLiveItDown: To this day, he's mostly remembered as the fat President who got stuck in a bathtub.
** During his own time, Progressives loathed him for causing a split in the Progressive Movement, and Republicans hated how both him and Teddy running in 1912 split the Republican votes and gave the presidency to the Democrat candidate, WoodrowWilson.
* OldShame: He viewed his presidency as this. ''Much'' preferred his time as Chief Justice.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Sensitive guy to TheodoreRoosevelt's manly man.
* ToughActToFollow: Most people who voted for him expecting basically a third term for Teddy were disappointed by the not-so-hardass Taft.

!!Taft in fiction

* In ''Theatre/ArsenicAndOldLace'', Theodore Brewster believes that he's TheodoreRoosevelt and, after being told his term is up, he mistakes someone else for Taft trying to move in early.
* In ''TheSimpsons'', Montgomery Burns' mother had an affair with him, for which Monty never forgave her. Homer, conversely, was rather impressed ("Taft, you old dog!")
* In ''Webcomic/OzyAndMillie'', Llewellyn [[http://www.ozyandmillie.org/d/20011208.html claims]] to be responsible for the bathtub thing.
* Taft appears as a villain in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad''. It was a ScoobyDoo parody and Taft haunted the White House to scare WoodrowWilson and anyone else who might foil his re-election campaign.
* In ''JohnnyDangerously'' during the flashback to Johnny's childhood, which is set in 1910, shows some silent documentary footage of Taft giving a speech while Johnny comments on the quality of life in America at the time.
* In ''FamilyGuy'', Peter & friends go to a sex shop where he finds "vintage porn" featuring a [[TheFlapper flapper girl]] voting for Taft.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}'' sang about him to the tune of the theme from - you guessed it - ''{{Shaft}}''.
-->'''Froggo''': Taft was the first president to use cars instead of horses.\\
'''Toast''': And the first president to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game.\\
'''Charity''': That's worth ''something'', isn't it?
* In ''TalesDesignedToThrizzle,'' he's in show biz with Asp, billed as Asp'n'Taft.
* He appears in the [[{{Timeline-191}} TL-191]] series by HarryTurtledove as a Democratic politician (the Democrats being the more right-wing of the parties in the rump USA) and later on so does his son Robert.
* President Taft's secret pony brigade from Creator/FilmCow.
* In ''[[NuzlockeComics Hale's Emerald Nuzlocke Adventure]]'', Glacia's Walrien briefly turns into Taft, which of course sets up the joke of [[TheodoreRoosevelt Teddy]] the Machoke caving his face in.
* The book ''Taft 2012'' depicts a Taft who fell asleep on the day of Wilson's inauguration and woke up in the 21st Century. He promptly begins a run for President, adapting his Progressivism and trust-busting to our modern woes.
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6MsGsNkFqI William Howard Taft]]" is a catchy ragtime number by the Two Man Gentleman Band that details Taft's prodigious size.
* Shows up in ''TheGreatestGameEverPlayed'' as a spectator for the titular golf game, in support of American Francis Ouimette against British legends Harry Vardon and Ted Ray.
* ''TheSylvesterAndTweetyMysteries'' had an episode where the ghost of President Taft was trying to scare the current President away. [[spoiler:The Vice-President was the culprit]], who explained he chose Taft because he was the largest President ever, which'd make him quite a scary ghost and [[CrowningMomentOfFunny the costume shop was out of]] RichardNixon masks.
----

to:

[[quoteright:306:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/william.howard.taft.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:306: It's the smallest picture Google could find.]]

->"We are all imperfect. We can not expect perfect government.
-->--'''William Howard Taft'''

->"I do not remember that I was ever President."
-->--'''William Howard Taft''', reflecting on his career as Chief Justice

->"Not much can be said about Taft's health without saying a great deal about his size"
-->-- ''The Health of the Presidents: The 41 United States Presidents Through 1993 from a Physician's Point of View''

->"Taft, you old dog!"
-->-- '''Homer Simpson'''

American president [[TheGildedAge 1909-1913]], following TheodoreRoosevelt and preceding WoodrowWilson. Also served as [[http://www.philippine-history.org/images/Willam-Howard-Taft.jpg Governor-General of the Philippines]] from 1901-1903, and Chief Justice of the United States from 1921-1930. New Mexico and Arizona became states during his Presidency.

One probably apocryphal legend credits him for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7th_inning_stretch "the seventh inning stretch"]]. Interestingly, he's also the first president to throw out the ceremonial "First Pitch".

Known for [[AdiposeRex being pretty heavy]] and [[NeverLiveItDown once getting stuck in his own bathtub]]. [[MoreInformationThanYouRequire We also all know that the Oval Office used to be called the Round Office until he walked in.]] Funny enough, his presidency led to at least 80 pounds' weight loss, and he became more interested in the outdoors afterward. As ''[[Series/TheDailyShow America: The Book]]'' pointed out, he was also the only President to become [[AmericanCourts Chief Justice of the United States]], but [[RuleOfFunny nobody remembers that.]] Surprising since because he also served in Congress, it makes Taft the '''''only''''' person to have ever served in ''all'' '''three''' branches of the United States Government. [[AndNowYouKnow Taft was also responsible for ordering electric power installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue]].

It's worth noting that becoming Chief Justice (or at least serving on the Supreme Court) was his life's dream: he only ran for president because [[TheodoreRoosevelt T.R.]] and his wife wanted him to (ironically, his wife suffered a stroke shortly after his inauguration and was never able to enjoy her office as much as she might have liked). Almost as ironically, it would be T.R. running third party that prevented Taft from getting a second term; said rift between T.R. and Taft drove the Republican Party away from progressivism, which would later be picked up by Teddy's cousin, [[FranklinDelanoRoosevelt FDR]]. Taft was appointed to the court by WarrenHarding, and is the only former president to have administered the oath of office to an incoming president (He did it for both CalvinCoolidge and HerbertHoover). He's usually held to have been a good Chief Justice - indeed, the traits that made his presidency somewhat messy (hesitation, considering all sides of the issue at hand, worrying over every little detail, etc.) were qualities that usually work well for a judge.

The last President to have a mustache, or indeed, facial hair of any kind, possibly reflecting a rather unfortunate [[GoodHairEvilHair bias against it]]. Also the first president to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

An Ohioan (from Cincinnati to be exact), [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taft_family his family]] is still active in Ohio state politics.
----
!!Tropes relating to President Taft:
* AdiposeRex: A story that's probably too good to be true relates that Taft once fell ill while serving as governor of the Phillippines. Secretary of War Elihu Root sent a telegram inquiring about Taft's health. Taft wired that he was feeling much better and had gone out horseback riding. Root wired back "How is the horse?".
* BewareTheNiceOnes: As a young man, Taft beat the snot out of a Cincinnati journalist for writing a slanderous editorial against Taft's father. And was applauded for it.
* TheClan: The Taft family remains prominent in Ohio state politics ''to this very day.''
* FormerlyFat: While people often linger on the fact that Taft weighed over 300 pounds during his presidency, most tend to ignore that he lost 150 of those 300 over the course of five years after leaving office.
* HeterosexualLifePartner: With TeddyRoosevelt. Both of them were best friends until Taft's presidency, when he began to go back on some of Roosevelt's policies which he'd promised to uphold. The fringe became an outright feud during the election of 1912 when they ran against each other but by the beginning of World War I they were on friendly terms once again and by all accounts they were back to being best buds before Teddy died in 1919.
* NeverLiveItDown: To this day, he's mostly remembered as the fat President who got stuck in a bathtub.
** During his own time, Progressives loathed him for causing a split in the Progressive Movement, and Republicans hated how both him and Teddy running in 1912 split the Republican votes and gave the presidency to the Democrat candidate, WoodrowWilson.
* OldShame: He viewed his presidency as this. ''Much'' preferred his time as Chief Justice.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Sensitive guy to TheodoreRoosevelt's manly man.
* ToughActToFollow: Most people who voted for him expecting basically a third term for Teddy were disappointed by the not-so-hardass Taft.

!!Taft in fiction

* In ''Theatre/ArsenicAndOldLace'', Theodore Brewster believes that he's TheodoreRoosevelt and, after being told his term is up, he mistakes someone else for Taft trying to move in early.
* In ''TheSimpsons'', Montgomery Burns' mother had an affair with him, for which Monty never forgave her. Homer, conversely, was rather impressed ("Taft, you old dog!")
* In ''Webcomic/OzyAndMillie'', Llewellyn [[http://www.ozyandmillie.org/d/20011208.html claims]] to be responsible for the bathtub thing.
* Taft appears as a villain in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad''. It was a ScoobyDoo parody and Taft haunted the White House to scare WoodrowWilson and anyone else who might foil his re-election campaign.
* In ''JohnnyDangerously'' during the flashback to Johnny's childhood, which is set in 1910, shows some silent documentary footage of Taft giving a speech while Johnny comments on the quality of life in America at the time.
* In ''FamilyGuy'', Peter & friends go to a sex shop where he finds "vintage porn" featuring a [[TheFlapper flapper girl]] voting for Taft.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}'' sang about him to the tune of the theme from - you guessed it - ''{{Shaft}}''.
-->'''Froggo''': Taft was the first president to use cars instead of horses.\\
'''Toast''': And the first president to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game.\\
'''Charity''': That's worth ''something'', isn't it?
* In ''TalesDesignedToThrizzle,'' he's in show biz with Asp, billed as Asp'n'Taft.
* He appears in the [[{{Timeline-191}} TL-191]] series by HarryTurtledove as a Democratic politician (the Democrats being the more right-wing of the parties in the rump USA) and later on so does his son Robert.
* President Taft's secret pony brigade from Creator/FilmCow.
* In ''[[NuzlockeComics Hale's Emerald Nuzlocke Adventure]]'', Glacia's Walrien briefly turns into Taft, which of course sets up the joke of [[TheodoreRoosevelt Teddy]] the Machoke caving his face in.
* The book ''Taft 2012'' depicts a Taft who fell asleep on the day of Wilson's inauguration and woke up in the 21st Century. He promptly begins a run for President, adapting his Progressivism and trust-busting to our modern woes.
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6MsGsNkFqI William Howard Taft]]" is a catchy ragtime number by the Two Man Gentleman Band that details Taft's prodigious size.
* Shows up in ''TheGreatestGameEverPlayed'' as a spectator for the titular golf game, in support of American Francis Ouimette against British legends Harry Vardon and Ted Ray.
* ''TheSylvesterAndTweetyMysteries'' had an episode where the ghost of President Taft was trying to scare the current President away. [[spoiler:The Vice-President was the culprit]], who explained he chose Taft because he was the largest President ever, which'd make him quite a scary ghost and [[CrowningMomentOfFunny the costume shop was out of]] RichardNixon masks.
----
[[redirect:UsefulNotes/WilliamHowardTaft]]
5th Jan '14 11:07:32 PM nombretomado
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* President Taft's secret pony brigade from FilmCow.

to:

* President Taft's secret pony brigade from FilmCow.Creator/FilmCow.
5th Jan '14 2:56:40 PM gallium
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Added DiffLines:

* AdiposeRex: A story that's probably too good to be true relates that Taft once fell ill while serving as governor of the Phillippines. Secretary of War Elihu Root sent a telegram inquiring about Taft's health. Taft wired that he was feeling much better and had gone out horseback riding. Root wired back "How is the horse?".
1st Jan '14 2:02:49 PM AllenbysEyes
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Added DiffLines:

* BewareTheNiceOnes: As a young man, Taft beat the snot out of a Cincinnati journalist for writing a slanderous editorial against Taft's father. And was applauded for it.
1st Nov '13 9:24:22 AM ThisIsATestTai
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American president 1909-1913. Also served as [[http://www.philippine-history.org/images/Willam-Howard-Taft.jpg Governor-General of the Philippines]] from 1901-1903, and Chief Justice of the United States from 1921-1930. New Mexico and Arizona became states during his Presidency.

to:

American president 1909-1913.[[TheGildedAge 1909-1913]], following TheodoreRoosevelt and preceding WoodrowWilson. Also served as [[http://www.philippine-history.org/images/Willam-Howard-Taft.jpg Governor-General of the Philippines]] from 1901-1903, and Chief Justice of the United States from 1921-1930. New Mexico and Arizona became states during his Presidency.
10th Jul '13 4:35:20 PM StevieC
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Known for [[AdiposeRex being pretty heavy]] and [[NeverLiveItDown once getting stuck in his own bathtub]]. [[MoreInformationThanYouRequire We also all know that the Oval Office used to be called the Round Office until he walked in.]] Funny enough, his presidency led to at least 80 pounds' weight loss, and he became more interested in the outdoors afterward. As ''[[Series/TheDailyShow America: The Book]]'' pointed out, he was also the only President to become [[AmericanCourts Chief Justice of the United States]], but [[RuleOfFunny nobody remembers that.]] Surprising since because he also served in Congress, it makes Taft the '''only''' person to have ever served in ''all'' '''three''' branches of the United States Government. [[AndNowYouKnow Taft was also responsible for ordering electric power installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue]].

to:

Known for [[AdiposeRex being pretty heavy]] and [[NeverLiveItDown once getting stuck in his own bathtub]]. [[MoreInformationThanYouRequire We also all know that the Oval Office used to be called the Round Office until he walked in.]] Funny enough, his presidency led to at least 80 pounds' weight loss, and he became more interested in the outdoors afterward. As ''[[Series/TheDailyShow America: The Book]]'' pointed out, he was also the only President to become [[AmericanCourts Chief Justice of the United States]], but [[RuleOfFunny nobody remembers that.]] Surprising since because he also served in Congress, it makes Taft the '''only''' '''''only''''' person to have ever served in ''all'' '''three''' branches of the United States Government. [[AndNowYouKnow Taft was also responsible for ordering electric power installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue]].
10th Jul '13 4:34:25 PM StevieC
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Known for [[AdiposeRex being pretty heavy]] and [[NeverLiveItDown once getting stuck in his own bathtub]]. [[MoreInformationThanYouRequire We also all know that the Oval Office used to be called the Round Office until he walked in.]] Funny enough, his presidency led to at least 80 pounds' weight loss, and he became more interested in the outdoors afterward. As ''[[Series/TheDailyShow America: The Book]]'' pointed out, he was also the only President to become [[AmericanCourts Chief Justice of the United States]], but [[RuleOfFunny nobody remembers that.]]

to:

Known for [[AdiposeRex being pretty heavy]] and [[NeverLiveItDown once getting stuck in his own bathtub]]. [[MoreInformationThanYouRequire We also all know that the Oval Office used to be called the Round Office until he walked in.]] Funny enough, his presidency led to at least 80 pounds' weight loss, and he became more interested in the outdoors afterward. As ''[[Series/TheDailyShow America: The Book]]'' pointed out, he was also the only President to become [[AmericanCourts Chief Justice of the United States]], but [[RuleOfFunny nobody remembers that.]]
]] Surprising since because he also served in Congress, it makes Taft the '''only''' person to have ever served in ''all'' '''three''' branches of the United States Government. [[AndNowYouKnow Taft was also responsible for ordering electric power installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue]].
2nd Jul '13 6:21:41 AM Austin
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* He appears in the TL-191 series by HarryTurtledove as a Democratic politician (the Democrats being the more right-wing of the parties in the rump USA) and later on so does his son Robert.

to:

* He appears in the TL-191 [[{{Timeline-191}} TL-191]] series by HarryTurtledove as a Democratic politician (the Democrats being the more right-wing of the parties in the rump USA) and later on so does his son Robert.
28th May '13 2:51:02 PM MysteriousF
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** During his own time, Progressives loathed him for causing a split in the Progressive Movement, and Republicans hated how both him and Teddy running in 1912 split the Republican votes and gave the presidency to the Democrat candidate, WoodrowWilson.



** During his own time, Progressives loathed him for causing a split in the Progressive Movement, and Republicans hated how both him and Teddy running in 1912 split the Republican votes and gave the presidency to the Democrat candidate, WoodrowWilson.
28th May '13 2:50:22 PM MysteriousF
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Added DiffLines:

* OldShame: He viewed his presidency as this. ''Much'' preferred his time as Chief Justice.
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