Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
to the amused contempt of all honest Americans, was what the late Horace Greeley would have called mighty interesting. It was also very instructive.
It was that. The whole country took an interest in the show. Politics woke right up and got the ear of the White House. Mr. Roosevelt respectfully but firmly refused to back down. He was doing his sworn duty in enforcing the law. That was what he was there for. He urged his reform measures once, twice, three times, then went to the people, telling them all about it. The measures went through. Surveying the clamoring crowd that railed at him and his work, he flung this challenge to them in an address in the Madison Street Theater in Chicago in March, 1890, the year after he was appointed:
Every ward heeler who now ekes out a miserable existence at the expense of office-holders and candidates is opposed to our policy, and we are proud to acknowledge it. Every politician who sees nothing but reward of office in the success of a party or a principle is opposed to us, and we are not sorry for it.… We propose to keep a man in office as long as