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H.Appleby

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The Election of 1912: The Republican Convention, Part One


Republican-Convention-1912.jpg

Delegates at the 1912 Republican National Convention​

The first day of the Republican National Convention was inauspicious to say the least. Even though it was widely assumed by the cognoscenti that Taft would win renomination, the delegate totals entering the convention. On June 17th, none of the three men had the 540 votes needed to push them past the mark. Roosevelt controlled 411 delegates, Taft 367 and LaFollette a mere 46. The outcome of the entire convention hinged around the 254 unassigned delegates, who would be awarded by the Republican National Committee. Believing that Taft was conspiring to steal the nomination from him, Roosevelt led his partisans to Chicago personally. The night before the convention, Roosevelt delivered a short address to his delegates, exhorting them to join with him in preventing Taft from stealing the eighty or so delegates to which he thought he was entitled. Archibald Butt, a longtime friend to both Taft and Roosevelt, was dispatched to Roosevelt’s hotel in a last ditch effort to convince him to either step aside for Taft in exchange for platform concession or to step aside for a compromise candidate. As Butt recalled, “Roosevelt flew into a rage, declaring ‘I'll name the compromise candidate. He'll be me. I'll name the compromise platform. It will be our platform.’”

220px-Elihu_Root%2C_bw_photo_portrait%2C_1902.jpg

Senator Elihu Root, Chairman of the RNC​

The next morning, a test vote for chairman of the Republican National Committee was taken. The first three ballots proved inconclusive. But on the fourth ballot, Elihu Root; Roosevelt’s former Secretary of State now a Senator from New York, was chosen as the temporary chairman. Root was a Taft man, and was somewhat clear by this point that Roosevelt would lose. However, Roosevelt’s supporters were fanatical and although Root awarded 235 of the delegates to Taft and a mere 19 to Roosevelt, they were not finished. The rest of the day was consumed by the Progressives repeated forced votes on awarding Roosevelt 72 of Taft’s delegates, mainly portions of the California, Arizona, Washington and Texas delegation. Although these votes failed and it was now apparent that Roosevelt would lose, they ensured that the formal business of the convention would not begin until the next day. As it turned out, this delay would prove crucial.

@Nikephoros: Yeah, Taft's gonna lose, I can tell you that much.
@Agent Larkin: Well, I can rule out Taft getting shot. Butt was very close to both Roosevelt and Taft and their feud was part of the reason he took a vacation to Europe to the first place, which is why he died IRL.

@Everyone: Two more convention updates tomorrow and then one Bull Moose update and a half update on the Socialists and then we are into the general election campaign!
 

NikephorosSonar

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@Nikephoros: Yeah, Taft's gonna lose, I can tell you that much.

Personally, I see TR winning the Presidency as a stretch, especially since Taft is still running. Since it is your timeline I'll defer to your design for it.

I've flirted with an AH timeline with either Taft losing the nomination or TR deciding to put party ahead of personal ambition, but I've never went anywhere with it.
 

Milites

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Please, please, please have Roosevelt and Lafolette enter into partnership. Let the progressives give old Teddy the edge he needs to lead the nation into the Weltkrieg and thus dispatch moose-mounted Rough Riders to the Western Front!

I'll name the compromise candidate. He'll be me. I'll name the compromise platform. It will be our platform.

Badass.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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TR for the win, that's for sure.
 

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I'm for TR winning as well. One, he is probably our most badass president, though he might have to wrestle Jackson for that distinction, though he definitely has Jackson beat on likeability. The dude got shot and still gave a speech because he wasn't going to let something as insignificant as getting shot stop him from giving a bully speech. That is commitment right there and I think we could use more people like that as President. Two, I like his progressive politics.
 

H.Appleby

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Convention Interlude Number Two

Backstage at the Chicago Coliseum
11:37 am, June 19th, 1912​
Warren Harding crossed the hot backstage of the Coliseum, eager to find someplace where he could get a decent lunch and perhaps a nice tumbler of scotch. He sighed; the speech had gone as well as could be expected, given the current environment in the hall. There had been a rather nasty fist fight inside the California delegation about a third of the way through his speech. He gave a rueful sigh, somehow that felt a fitting metaphor for the whole convention. It was like a fist fight, this election, bare-knuckled, bitter brawling and it was all the fault of that egotistical so-and-so. While he had supported Roosevelt before, he couldn’t bear to see one man tearing an entire party apart to indulge a petty personal feud. He was about to head down the stairs at the back of the stage to collect the cigar he knew Harry was saving for him when another man smacked into him, shouldering him aside. Almost instantly Harding realized that he would have to cancel his lunch plans as he watched Theodore Roosevelt stride purposefully towards the podium.

Section 52 of the Chicago Coliseum
11:38 am, June 19th, 1912​
Frank Rossner (Rosenblum, really, but his parents, bless them, had changed it on the way over), was seriously considering smacking the man to his left. The fat little man with the porkpie hat and the tiny wire-rimmed glasses had first admonished him for rolling a cigarette, and had then swatted it out of his hand. It was good tobacco too, a Turkish blend he had bought specially for the convention. But he had refrained, especially after receiving an icy glare from the fat man’s ostensible wife, a woman who looked disposed to run him through with one of her hatpins. He redirected his attention to the stage. The last man had given a good speech for Taft, although Frank was more of a Roosevelt man himself. He ran a hand through his black hair and yawned, the boiling heat beginning to get to him. Suddenly, the curtains parted and there stood Theodore Roosevelt himself. The Coliseum resounded with the cheers of his supporters and the gasps of the pro-Taft crowd. Frank jumped to his feet and cheered wildly as the hero of San Juan Hill made his way to the podium. “My friends,” he began, as a tense hush fell over the crowd, “I have come to take my name out of contention for the Republican nomination.” The entire crowd, regardless of their feelings towards Roosevelt, gasped. “It has become apparent that certain factions in this party have conspired to obstruct the will of the electorate,” he continued, “and since this party does not wish to acknowledge the will of the people, the people will create their own party!” The Coliseum exploded in a deafening mixture of boos and cheers. Most of the rest of Roosevelt’s speech was inaudible over the rapidly growing chaos of the hall, but then suddenly all of Roosevelt’s supporters were streaming for the doors. Turning to leave, he looked straight at the now horrified couple, rolled himself a cigarette and blew a perfect smoke ring in the fat man’s face. Then he turned on his heel and dashed forward into the crush of people exiting the building and tumbling into the street, the air of a new, Progressive, dawn filling their lungs.


Sorry for the lack of promised updates, life stuff interfered. Mainly the final revisions on that Warren Harding paper (he was a BAMF, just as an FYI :wub:).

@NikePhoros: I didn't say Roosevelt would win, I just said Taft would lose. And you should do something like that, maybe Taft until 1916 replaced by some sort of Progressive Republican like Hiram Johnson or by a Prog/Dem coalition with some sort of Progressive Dem President/Conservative-Southern Dem Veep (Carter Glass?)
@Milites: I don't see Roosevelt or La Follette as being good coalition partners, they were both headstrong and stubborn. Plus, La Follette was a bit paranoid and IIRC he and Roosevelt already hated each other by 1912.
Best thing about that quote? It's one hundred percent real, just changed the context.
@Agent Larkin, HistoryBuff and Kurty: We'll see, I'll say this much: it's between Roosevelt and Wilson.
 

H.Appleby

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The Election of 1912: The Republican Convention, Part Two


640px-Republican_National_Convention_1912.jpg

The Chicago Coliseum during the 1912 Republican Convention​

As acting chairman Root opened the second day of the convention, the entire party was in a state of flux. After losing the delegate count, Roosevelt had delivered a short address to his followers telling them not to give up hope, indeed, only Roosevelt and his closest aides knew how the next day would play out. After the convention rejected him, he retreated to his suites at the Chicago Plaza to confer with his aides about strategy. Upon arriving Roosevelt announced that he had decided to run as an independent, which his aides agreed with. They had already begun laying the groundwork for an independent run and so there was already infrastructure in place to support an independent bid for the presidency. Indeed, even Taft was preparing for a third-party challenge from Roosevelt and many of Roosevelt's delegates were amenable to the idea in principle. However, even Roosevelt's most staunchly partisan advisers were shocked by what he suggested.

b3668ea9bfb1c906de2093c8f0fa00e3.jpg

Roosevelt leaving the Coliseum​

After the Convention convened, the nominating speeches began. First came Warren G. Harding, a surprising choice giving his relative lack of national stature. Yet Harding was a loyal republican, and a rock ribbed Taft supporter from Taft's home state of Ohio and so he was chosen to give the nominating address. By all accounts he gave an excellent speech, marred only by a fistfight which broke out before he had even completed his introduction. Then came the shock. Violating all precedent, Theodore Roosevelt appeared on stage, ostensibly to nominate himself for president. In an instant the hall was wracked by chaos as spontaneous pro- and anti- Roosevelt demonstrations began on the floor. But Roosevelt's first words would prove an even bigger shock. In a single stroke he declared his candidacy for the nomination over, saying the Republican Party had forsaken the will of the people and calling on his delegates to form their own party. As the convention went wild, Roosevelt continued with his speech, condemning Taft's "theft" of delegates, the refusal by many states to hold primaries and the betrayal of the Progressives by the establishment. He concluded with a stirring line that echoed through the convention hall, "My fellow Progressives, we stand as the one force between the poor, the exploited and the meek and the cruel depredations of the powerful. My friends, we stand at Armageddon and we fight for the Lord!" And with those words still ringing in the air, he led his delegates out of the convention hall.
 

Nathan Madien

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By the way, Alf Landon was a TR supporter in 1912.


I love this drawing because I can't imagine William Howard Taft actually wrestling Theodore Roosevelt. :laugh:

I'm for TR winning as well. One, he is probably our most badass president, though he might have to wrestle Jackson for that distinction, though he definitely has Jackson beat on likeability. The dude got shot and still gave a speech because he wasn't going to let something as insignificant as getting shot stop him from giving a bully speech. That is commitment right there and I think we could use more people like that as President. Two, I like his progressive politics.

Oh! You're talking about Andrew Jackson! For a moment there I thought you were talking about Henry Jackson. :confused:

So there we have it. The Republicans are tearing themselves apart into two factions. I hope you're taking notes, Robert Taft. You might end up in this situation yourself in 40 years.

By the way, since your PM box is full, I'll post my answer here. I think you should try out option one.
 
Last edited:

Kurt_Steiner

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My friends, we stand at Armageddon and we fight for the Lord!" And with those words still ringing in the air, he led his delegates out of the convention hall.

I have had a dejà vú and returned to one of the most depressing moments in the Reagan era...
 

H.Appleby

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Nathan Madien

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Bill Bennett?

Pat Robertson's '92 Convention Speech (I know it's not Reagan, but still)?

Reminds me of what a certain Arizona Senator once said:

I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the [rear].

-Barry Goldwater
 

NikephorosSonar

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H.Appleby

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It's a shame that Goldwater himself was a huge scumbag though.



...you came to the wrong neighborhood.

Anyway, update this weekend, I've been freaking out about exams and so progress has been delayed, however the updates about the Progressive Party, the Socialist Party and the first election update should hit sometime during the next weekend/week
 

blitzthedragon

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I ought to show this to my history advisor. She specializes in the Progressive Era and labor history, so I will have to see how much she appreciates alternate history.
 

Nathan Madien

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...you came to the wrong neighborhood.

Anyway, update this weekend, I've been freaking out about exams and so progress has been delayed, however the updates about the Progressive Party, the Socialist Party and the first election update should hit sometime during the next weekend/week

Don't mind the anti-Goldwater post from that guy, Appleby. He's probably a Johnson supporter.

Anyhoo, I am looking forward to seeing what you do with Mr. Eugene Debs. Gotta love a Presidential candidate who runs for office from the comfort of his jail cell.
 

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  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
...you came to the wrong neighborhood.

Anyway, update this weekend, I've been freaking out about exams and so progress has been delayed, however the updates about the Progressive Party, the Socialist Party and the first election update should hit sometime during the next weekend/week

I'll grab one stick and you grab another one, Appleby.

... No? Okay. :(
 

NikephorosSonar

Blue Paradoxian
23 Badges
Nov 19, 2009
1.651
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  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
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  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
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  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
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  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • BATTLETECH