Four years later, Theodore’s biggest hurdle was now his own creation, the Progressive Party. They were devoted to Theodore, but the Republicans blamed them (and Theodore) for their defeat in 1912. Rejoining the two antagonists to retake the White House seemed an impossible goal - just the sort of thing Theodore excelled at doing.
At this inopportune moment, Mary Kihm took a bathroom break. It was a little reminiscent of Ms. Woods and the 18 1/2 minute gap in the Watergate tapes, although I certainly hope Mary was not gone that long. When she did return to her duties, Theodore was lamenting, “...much as I despise Hughes I would prefer him to one of the burglars (meaning a Taft man, meaning a Hughs man). Even the members of our lunatic fringe take that view.” It seemed that at the precise moment that Mary had been taking a tinkle, Theodore had been accepting the unpleasant truth.
But Theodore was now rethinking his position. He had fought Hughes. He did not like Hughes. He did not trust Hughes, as long as he stood a chance of beating Hughes. But he now told his son Kermit, “Of course I will support him, but I will not be responsible for him.” In other words, Theodore had decided to cut the ground out from under his own Bull Moose Progressive Party. And they were the last third party to have a real chance of winning a presidential election in the United States. They may call this stuff "Political Science", but its all about ego.
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