07 January 2009

Commander-in-Chief to Chief Justice

William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) was the twenty-seventh President of the United States and, to date, the only ex-president to serve on the Supreme Court as the tenth Chief Justice.

Chosen by Teddy Roosevelt as his successor in the 1908 elections, Taft defeated William Jennings Bryan who ran for the third time as the Democratic nominee. The relationship soured in 1910 when Roosevelt did not see agree with Taft's governing and set up one of the biggest schisms in the Republican party. Roosevelt put his name back in the ring for president in the 1912 election. Taft was able to win the Republican nomination for re-election by garnering the support of the delegates despite Roosevelt's popularity with the people.
After the convention, Teddy Roosevelt promptly created the "Progressive" party as a third party contender in the election which divided the Republicans and handed Taft the worst defeat as an incumbent President. Taft finished third with 23% of the popular vote (8 electoral), Roosevelt 27% (88 electoral) and handed Woodrow Wilson an overwhelming victory with 42% of the popular (435 electoral).

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