Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Battle of the Titans: Taft v Roosevelt

Many of the Republican millionaires on board RMS Titanic were heading home to Philadelphia to participate in the party primary that was being held there from 13 to 16 April 1912.

The Republican Primaries of April 1912 marked the beginning of a deep split in the Republican Party, resulting from a Titanic power struggle between the incumbent President William Howard Taft (Morgan's agent) and former president Theodore Roosevelt (backed by J.J. Astor and other men who had served with Roosevelt in Cuba).

A Vicious Power Struggle within the Republican Party

This was the first year for Republican primaries.

Roosevelt overwhelmingly won the primaries — and yet, through clever maneuvering by Morgan and Taft, he lost the party nomination.

Roosevelt won 9 out of 12 states (8 by landslide margins). Taft won only the state of Massachusetts (by a small margin); he even lost his home state of Ohio to Roosevelt.

Senator Robert M. La Follette, an anti-Morgan reformer who loudly opposed the Aldrich Plan, won two states.

Through the primaries, Senator LaFollette won a total of 36 delegates; President Taft won 48 delegates; and Roosevelt won 278 delegates.

That means Roosevelt won the Republican Party's nomination to run as their candidate for president, right? Wrong!

Dirty Tricks Campaign

Unfortunately for Teddy, 36 states did not hold primaries. Their delegates were chosen by state conventions, which were controlled by party politics, not by the voter. Many of the state delegates were contested.
Taft controlled the Republican National Committee, which had the power to make decisions on contested delegates. They awarded 235 of the contested delegates to Taft and 19 to Roosevelt. As a result, Roosevelt's delegates abstained from voting at his request.

The 1912 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held at the Chicago Coliseum, Chicago, Illinois, from June 18 to June 22, 1912. The party nominated William Howard Taft from Ohio for re-election as President of the United States and James S. Sherman of New York for re-election as Vice President.

Sherman died days before the election, and was replaced as Republican vice-presidential nominee by Nicholas M. Butler of New York.


Wikipedia:  "1912 Republican National Convention"