Pinback button promoting William Howard Taft for president, 1908. The Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, New Jersey.
Having served with distinction as War Secretary in the cabinet of Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft was TR's hand-picked successor. An able administrator but poor politician, the former jurist had no designs on the White House and otherwise would not have run. Despite only nominal support from the Republican Party, he handily won over his Democratic rival, the two-time loser William Jennings Bryan. When in office, Taft bowed to the party establishment, appointing conservatives to key posts and blocking reform legislation. His actions alienated progressives, including Roosevelt, who would deny Taft a second term by running for president in 1912.
We offer this original button from the 1908 campaign picturing Taft.