Teddy Roosevelt




Ascension To The White House
As Governor of New York, Roosevelt would once again stand on his own and distance himself from the political bosses and machines that got him elected. The head of the Republican machine, Thomas Platt, had misgivings about making Roosevelt governor of New York because of Roosevelt\'s total independence and his reform nature. But in the gubernatorial race of 1898, with the bad press the Republican Party was receiving, there seemed to be no one else who had a chance. Roosevelt was riding the crest of the wave of being a true war hero, and with Platt\'s help together they might keep the Democrats from winning the office. Platt in return for his help expected Roosevelt to let him make the appointments and carry the party line. Roosevelt had no intentions of being Platt\'s puppet, and as soon as he got in office the two would begin to battle. Roosevelt had to be careful, because to totally alienate Platt would cripple his chances to go any further politically or even threaten his chances to be reelected governor. Roosevelt made his point by declining to appoint Platt\'s first suggested appointee. After making his point, however, Roosevelt tried to work with the Republican boss to the extent of not abandoning his own principals. Platt for his part could not toss the war hero out on his ear in 1900, but at the same time, he wanted to find a way to gracefully get Roosevelt out of his hair.
Platt\'s opportunity to get rid of Roosevelt came with the approach of the presidential election of 1900. McKinley was discretely looking for a new running mate to replace Hobart in the upcoming election. It was fairly obvious that the Democrats would choose William Jennings Bryan as their candidate of choice again, and McKinley would need a fiery speaking running mate to offset Bryan\'s oratory abilities. McKinley would simply sit back and look Presidential while his running mate would attack Bryan. Hobart was not a gifted orator, and this decision to replace him became all that much easier when he died just prior to the national Republican convention. Mark Hanna had run McKinley\'s campaign in 1896 and wanted nothing to do with Roosevelt in 1900. Platt on the other hand saw his opportunity to get rid of Roosevelt at the same time saving face in his own home state of New York. The men of the west deeply distrusted Mark Hanna, and loved Roosevelt, so a vote for Roosevelt would both serve to promote their hero, while at the same time taking a shot at Hanna.
Roosevelt for his part did not want the Vice Presidency, but instead he wished to be reelected as governor of New York. As time went by, it became more and more apparent that Platt did not want Roosevelt to remain in office and that, even if nominated, he would have a tough time being reelected. From Roosevelt\'s perspective, the governor\'s job paid much better than that of Vice President, plus the work of governor was more exciting. Roosevelt knew that the position of Vice President was one of obscurity, and judging from history wasn\'t the best approach to the White House. However, the Vice Presidency was still better than no job at all so when the nomination came he was happy to except it. Platt had arranged things so well, that by the time the convention rolled around, Hanna could do nothing to stop Roosevelt\'s nomination. Hanna was furious at the convention believing that the rest of the party had gone mad. When someone asked Hanna what was the matter, he retorted, "Matter! Matter! Why, everybody\'s going headlong for Roosevelt for Vice President. Don\'t any of you realize that there\'s only one life between that madman and the Presidency?" Hanna then threw in the towel and made the nomination of Roosevelt for Vice President unanimous.
As the campaign began to wind up, Roosevelt consulted Hanna on what his part should be in the election. Roosevelt was sent west to canvass the men with whom he connected so well. Roosevelt played a successful role in the election, and McKinley won by a bigger majority then he had in 1896.
A problem arose when Roosevelt\'s