Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
as democratic and American as the common-school system itself.
And as for the countrys end of it: This is my rule, said he, speaking of it at the time: if I am in such doubt about an applicants character and fitness for office as would lead me not to put my private affairs in his hands, then I shall not put public affairs in his hands. Simple and plain enough, is it not?
For all that they called it a first-class trouble job and the wise, or those who thought they were wise, laughed in their sleeves when Roosevelt tackled it. For at last they had him where he would be killed off sure, this bumptious young man who had got in the way of the established order in everything. And they wished him luck. President Harrison was in the White House, well disposed, but not exactly a sympathetic court of appeals for a pleader like Roosevelt. In fact, he would have removed him within a year or two of his appointment for daring to lay down the law to a Cabinet officer, had it been expedient. It was not expedient; by that time Theodore Roosevelt had made his own court of appealsthe country and public opinion.