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William Howard Taft Was President & Chief Justice, But Never Had A Blog


Today is my birthday. I share a birthday with President William Howard Taft. I was born in 1967. President Taft was born in 1857.

(Above–William Howard Taft on a horse.) 

I also attended the same high school as President Taft. That school is Woodward High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The student body at Woodward today is more than 90% black. I wonder what Bill Taft would make of that fact.  

Bill Taft was the 27th President of the United States and also served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. You can read about Mr. Taft at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virgina. The Miller Center is an excellent resource to learn about the Presidents.

From the Miller Center profile of Mr. Taft—Taft’s disposition was more prone to judicious administration than presidential activism. Though he came to the White House promising to continue Roosevelt’s agenda, he was more comfortable executing.. existing law than demanding new legislation.. His first effort as President was to lead Congress to lower tariffs, but traditional high tariff interests dominated Congress, and Taft largely failed in his effort at legislative leadership. He also alienated Roosevelt when he attempted to break up U.S. Steel, a trust that Roosevelt had approved while President. Taft also forced Roosevelt’s forestry chief to resign, jeopardizing Roosevelt’s gains in the conservation of natural resources. By 1911, Taft was less active in “trust-busting,” and generally seemed more conservative. In foreign affairs, Taft continued Roosevelt’s goal of expanding U.S. foreign trade in South and Central America, as well as in Asia, and he termed his policy “dollar diplomacy.”…President Taft’s life-long dream of reaching the U.S. Supreme Court was satisfied in 1921 with his appointment as chief justice… Taft had been uncomfortable with politics. His tendency to contemplate every side of an issue…rendered him indecisive and ineffectual as President. His presidency is generally viewed as a failure, swinging as he did from a progressive program of “trust busting” to reactionary conservatism in the face of withering criticism… While Taft’s presidency left a mark on the organization and conduct of the executive branch, and developed the administration of anti-trust policy, his public leadership has been widely seen as below average for 20th century Presidents.”

The Taft family goes back many years in the history of the nation, Ohio and Cincinnati. Maybe it is just the Cincinatian in me talking, but I wager the Tafts have had as much or more impact on the nation than have the Kennedys or the Bush family. That said, the Taft’s have done the nation more harm than good.  

President Taft’s son, Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, was a particularly harmful political figure. Click here to read about this far-right isolationist.

William  Howard Taft may have been President of the United States and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but he never ran a blog. I guess he was just born at the wrong time.

(Below–The William Howard Taft National Historic Site in Cincinnati.)

September 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 5 Comments