1904

Theo Lippman Jr.

October 02, 1992|By Theo Lippman Jr.

This is the 52nd presidential election.

In the 30th, in 1904, Theodore Roosevelt sought election after three and a half years in the office. President McKinley had been shot and killed six months into that term.

Conservative Republicans had pushed TR into the vice presidency to stop his reformist, progressive activism as governor New York. This he continued after his unexpected entry to the White House, to the distress of conservatives, but his popularity and control of the party made him secure. He was nominated unanimously.

Democrats nominated a New York State judge, Alton B. Parkerwho opposed his party on the currency issue (he favored the gold standard). He was no match for the energetic and idea-filled Roosevelt. The president promised a ''square deal'' for working men and the busting of the trusts that had grown so since the Civil War, while maintaining America's role as an international power.

Roosevelt won with the largest percentage of the vote since reliable popular-vote counts became available in 1824.

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