Theodore Roosevelt relinquished the White House in 1908 with the mistaken belief that he could take a four year vacation leaving the job in the capable hands of 'Bill' Taft and that Taft would gladly step aside when Roosevelt wanted to resume the Presidency. Actually the mainstream Republican Party was appalled by Roosevelt, they thought they had bottled Teddy up by sweet talking him out of New York Governor's Office and into the Vice Presidency. Then President McKinley was shot by an anarchist and 'CHRIST ALMIGHTY' Teddy was President. Republicans couldn't do much to stop Roosevelt from running and winning election in 1904. They were relieved when Roosevelt stepped down in favor of Taft in 1908 and were not about to let Roosevelt back into the White House, even if that meant losing the White House for a few years.
Yes is true, Taft did accomplish more Progressive Reforms than Teddy but that was more a matter of timing. Taft pushed through reforms in Interstate Commerce/Railroad Regulation, Anti Trust Measures against US STeel and Standard Oil, and Conservation Measures such as strengthening the National Park System...
Roosevelt viewed Taft's refusual to step down as a personal betrayal but aside from that Teddy truly believed that Americans loved him enough to vote for a Third Party Candidate. Teddy was an opyimist.
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"""Ironically, a greater number of progressive reforms were accomplished in Taft's four years in office than in Roosevelt's seven. Taft undertook the first tariff revision since 1897. He improved upon Roosevelt's conservation work, made advances in railroad regulation, and launched an antitrust crusade with which Roosevelt's paled in comparison. He successfully avoided American military involvement in various international disputes during his term. Among other achievements, his administration created the postal savings bank and parcel post systems, added two states to the Union and two amendments to the constitution, established a Department of Labor separate from Commerce, nearly completed the Panama Canal, regulated corporate campaign contributions, and strengthened the Pure Food and Drugs Act.""""
"""Like Taft a strict constructionist, Ballinger questioned the legality of some of Roosevelt's conservation measures, such as letting Gifford Pinchot, head of the Forestry Service in the Department of Agriculture, grant forest and mineral rights to land whose title was vested in the Department of the Interior. Moreover, Ballinger wanted to sell rather than lease coal lands and waterpower sites. Without specific congressional authority, Roosevelt and Garfield had withdrawn from settlement lands along rivers and streams in the Northwest and failed to inform Ballinger, who within ten days of his taking office stopped granting waterpower permits in the public domain and began restoring the right of private use. Taft supported him against Pinchot by saying that Congress, not the executive, could withdraw lands for conservation purposes. At Taft's request, Congress set aside, between 1910 and 1912, all valuable waterpower sites, thus legitimizing the work begun under Roosevelt yet giving waterpower magnates a lucrative opportunity to develop waterpower on the national domain. Pinchot was soon in disgrace with Ballinger, and the public quickly became interested in the personal battle between the exemplars of Roosevelt's and Taft's conservation methods and in how Taft would solve this interdepartmental squabble.
Taft's greatest political crisis in the conservation issue came over the coal-lands problem. To foil speculators who merged dummy entries on 160-acre homestead claims in order to exploit coal beneath, in 1905 Roosevelt had directed that coal lands be leased rather than sold. He then withdrew 66 million acres, 7.68 million of them in Alaska, from entry. When one Clarence Cunningham, aided by Ballinger, then a Seattle lawyer, amassed 5,280 acres, rumors began about the impending r**e of Alaska's mineral resources by unscrupulous Wall Street interests. Although as land commissioner Ballinger found Cunningham's claim legal, upon the report of a special investigator named Louis R. Glavis he rescinded the approval order. After becoming secretary of the interior, he had still another investigation made. This also upheld Cunningham. Blocked at Interior, Glavis turned to Pinchot in Agriculture, saying he had damaging evidence against Ballinger. Pinchot hoped to be able to drive him from office, but by attacking strict constructionists who favored "the great interests as against the people," he earned Taft's ire."""