At a speech given to the Commercial Club in Spokane, Washington, former President Theodore Roosevelt told the assembled luncheon that he was not running for the presidency in 1912 against his former vice-president and now President, William Taft. He said:
I am not an aspirant for anything because I have had everything. No other man alive has had--I don't know whether I out to use that simile in the presence of a chaplain, but I am going to take chances--no other man alive has had such a good run for his money.While many have speculated that his current national tour, started shortly after his return from his African safari last year, was to drum up support for a Presidential run in 1912, he stated that the tour had no other purpose than to thank the American people for electing him to the Presidency. His stops in his tour of the west and south have included Washington, DC, where he spoke at the Press Club about his African adventure, Atlanta, Arkansas, Arizona Territory, where he dedicated a dam on the Salt River named in his honor, and now Washington state.
He told the Spokane luncheon that he was not there to see their votes and that the only thing he wished of them was their "respect and good will." He did state that he wished to continue to help those assembled in the progressive cause, "for the good of the common country."
He felt that that wealthy business men in New York disliked him, even though they read nothing of what he says or about what he says. However, he feels that the vast majority are "honest men who are absolutely hindered by their environment."
Whether Roosevelt will remain honest about this desire not to run next year remains to be seen. His row with the current occupant of the Oval Office and his national tour have made it appear that he is considering a run, despite the fact that Taft was essentially his hand-picked successor.
Link: Presidency Doesn't Tempt Roosevelt [The New York Tribune]