Theodore Roosevelt: Pro and Con


 “With All His Faults, We Love Him - Still
  Cartoonist:  William Allen Rogers
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   August 27, 1904, p. 1303

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This Harper’s Weekly cartoon parodies the usually Democratic New York Sun’s endorsement of President Roosevelt’s reelection, “Theodore! With all thy faults.” The Sun had been an advocate of labor in earlier decades, but as unions grew in number, the newspaper became more pro-business. In selecting Roosevelt over his Democratic challenger, Alton B. Parker, the Sun explained, “We prefer the impulsive candidate of the party of conservatism to the conservative candidate of the party which the business interests regard as permanently and dangerously impulsive.”

Here, President Roosevelt has set aside his previous active life in exchange for serious study of the U.S. Constitution, referring to criticism that his aggressive use of executive authority was unconstitutional. On the wall, pictures of his days as a big-game hunter and Spanish-American War hero are being covered by a spider’s web. In an 1899 speech, “The Strenuous Life,” Roosevelt praised vigor in the life of individuals and nations. The title was also used for his collection of commentaries published the next year, in which the speech was the first chapter. Here, “The Strenuous Life” is padlocked shut, indicative of the president’s effort to moderate his image in order to win reelection.













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