Pinback button promoting William Howard Taft for president, 1908. Hyatt Mfg. Co., Baltimore.
The hand-picked successor of Roosevelt, Taft, an able administrator but poor politician, would not otherwise have been the Republican nominee in 1908. Despite having only nominal support from the party, he handily won over Democratic challenger Bryan. When in office, he bowed to the party establishment, appointing conservatives to key posts and blocking reform legislation. His actions alienated progressives, including Roosevelt.
In 1912, when Taft ran for re-election, Roosevelt challenged him in the primaries and later mounted a third party campaign which resulted in Taft's defeat in the general election and the presidency of Woodrow Wilson.
This original Taft campaign button features an actual photograph of the candidate.