Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The 1908 US Presidential Election

The Wall Street Journal has a retrospective on the 1908 US Presidential election contested by Democrat, WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN and Republican WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT.
Bryan and Taft were the first political candidates to make commercially recorded campaign speeches on their own behalf, and the records they made were frequently played in alternation at public meetings in order to create the illusion of an actual debate.

There is something eerily familiar about the foreign and domestic issues debated by those two great political orators, with especial resonance for the Philippines...

IMPERIALISM by William Jennings Bryan (MP3 of 1908 speech)

THE PHILIPPINES by William Howard Taft (MP3 of 1908 speech)

GUARANTY OF BANK DEPOSITS by William Jennings Bryan


William Howard Taft (still the named-source of a major thoroughfare in modern day Manila) would go on to win the 1908 election, but lose a re-election bid in 1912 to Woodrow Wilson. Taft was distinguished as civilian Governor of the Philippines, President of the United States, and Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, the only American ever to hold those posts. William Jennings Bryan ran three times in a row for President, and lost each time.

Don't you just miss the good ole 20th Century...

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