"We are all imperfect. We can not expect perfect government."William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 — March 8, 1930) was the American president between 1909 and 1913, following Theodore Roosevelt and preceding Woodrow Wilson. Also served as 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 "the seventh inning stretch". Interestingly, he's also the first president to throw out the ceremonial "First Pitch". Known for being pretty heavy and once getting stuck in his own bathtub (though that was a myth; Taft had an extra-large tub installed before taking office, and when he traveled, he showered). 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 America: The Book pointed out, he was also the only President to become Chief Justice of the United States, but 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. Taft was also responsible for ordering electric power installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It was his wife Helen who suggested that Japanese cherry trees be planted throughout the city of Washington, and these remain one of the city's most famous features to this day. 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 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, FDR. Taft was appointed to the court by Warren Harding, and is the only former president to have administered the oath of office to an incoming president (He did it for both Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover). 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. Moreover, these very traits are probably what led him to write a famous dissenting opinion in Adkins v. Children's Hospital, in which he argued against the very laissez-faire and classically Republican idea of "freedom of contract" as a fundamental constitutional right. (Taft's view of the issue would be adopted in due course, over several cases, primarily issued by justices appointed by FDR).note The last President to have a mustache, or indeed, facial hair of any kind, possibly reflecting a rather unfortunate bias against it. Also the first president to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. An Ohioan (from Cincinnati to be exact), his family is still active in Ohio state politics.
—William Howard Taft
Tropes relating to President Taft:
Taft in fiction