William Howard Taft

(1857-1930 / Cincinnati, Ohio)

William Howard Taft Quotes

  • ''Well, children, enjoy this all you can, for in four years you may begin to walk over again.''
    William Howard Taft (1857-1930), U.S. president. Taft to his son Robert and daughter Helen while being driven about Beverly, Massachusetts, in an automobile. Archie Butt, Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt, Military Aide, 1: 174, Doubleday, Doran & Company (1930). For the first time in his life, Taft did not have to worry about his personal finances.
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  • ''I have come to the conclusion that the major part of the work of a President is to increase the gate receipts of expositions and fairs and by tourists into town.''
    William Howard Taft (1857-1930), U.S. president. Letter, Butt to his sister-in-law, Clara F. Butt, June 1, 1909. Archie Butt, Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt, Military Aide, 1: 108, Doubleday, Doran & Company (1930). Taft felt that he must answer many requests for personal appearances.
  • ''I don't know the man I admire more than [Charles Evans] Hughes. If ever I have the chance I shall offer him the Chief Justiceship.''
    William Howard Taft (1857-1930), U.S. president. Letter, Butt to his sister-in-law, Clara F. Butt, March 21, 1910. Archie Butt, Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt, Military Aide, 1: 310, Doubleday, Doran & Company (1930). Taft's comment to Butt after he had urged Hughes to seek reelection as governor of New York.
  • ''Doctor, I want you to make it known to your government that it can trust us implicitly, for we do not want any of your territory. We only want your trade.''
    William Howard Taft (1857-1930), U.S. president. Letter, Butt to his sister-in-law, Clara F. Butt, November 21, 1909. Archie Butt, Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt, Military Aide, 1: 215, Doubleday, Doran & Company (1930). Taft to Dr. Wu, the Chinese Minister.
  • ''There is no "but" in it. The way to be an administration Senator is to vote with the Administration.''
    William Howard Taft (1857-1930), U.S. president. Letter, Butt to his sister-in-law, Clara F. Butt, March 4, 1910. Archie Butt, Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt, Military Aide, 1: 297, Doubleday, Doran & Company (1930). Taft to a senator who had voted for a bill he himself opposed.
  • ''She does not realize that the only difference between us is that she is on one stage and I on another. I feel that I am acting just as much as she is.''
    William Howard Taft (1857-1930), U.S. president. Taft to Butt, cited by Butt, January 12, 1910. Archie Butt, Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt, Military Aide, 1: 258, Doubleday, Doran & Company (1930). Taft's comment when a female singer concentrated on him throughout an opera.
  • ''No, the only things which do not bother me are the elements. I can overcome them without a fight. All one has to do to get the best of the elements is to stand pat and one will win.''
    William Howard Taft (1857-1930), U.S. president. Archie Butt, Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt, Military Aide, 1: 84, Doubleday, Doran & Company (1930). Taft's reply to Butt's asking, while horseback riding, if he objected to a rain shower.
  • ''Well, from what you tell me I should say that it was not only a landslide but a tidal wave and holocaust all rolled into one general cataclysm.''
    William Howard Taft (1857-1930), U.S. president. Taft to his Secretary of State, Philander C. Knox, who had called the election returns of 1910 "a landslide." Archie Butt, Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt, Military Aide, 2: 556, Doubleday, Doran & Company (1930).
  • ''That all may be so, but when I begin to exercise that power I am not conscious of the power, but only of the limitations imposed on me.''
    William Howard Taft (1857-1930), U.S. president. Letter, Butt to his sister-in-law, Clara F. Butt, March 22, 1909. Archie Butt, Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt, Military Aide, 1: 26, Doubleday, Doran & Company (1930). Reporter Al Lewis told Butt that the press was getting very angry with Taft, who did not give out press releases every hour, as Roosevelt had done.
  • ''It does seem strange that the only place in the government which I would have liked to fill myself I am forced to give to another.''
    William Howard Taft (1857-1930), U.S. president. Letter, Butt to his sister-in-law, Clara F. Butt, July 8, 1910. Archie Butt, Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Taft, Military Aide, 2: 439, Doubleday, Page & Company (1930). Taft's life goal was to serve on the Supreme Court. He made this comment following the death of Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller and visit to moribund Justice William H. Moody.

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