THEODORE ROOSEVELT: THE PHRASE MAKER

A walk back in history…..

 

Theodore Roosevelt. Unquestionably a great President! He also had a way with words. Gems. Some that he uttered have stayed with us over the years. A phrase maker he was!

 

Roosevelt was the first to call the White House a “bully pulpit.” Roosevelt recognized the great stage that was the White House. How it could be used to make a President’s views known worldwide.

 

Roosevelt was confronted with an uncontrolled corporate America. Perhaps as we face today. He went after corporate America and forced it to get in line. He referred to his way of going after the corporations as “…speak softly and carry a big stick.” He did!

 

Political lunacy existed in Roosevelt’s day, also. The extremists in each political party. He referred to them as the “…lunatic fringe.”

 

Roosevelt was asked in 1912 if he was going to run for the Presidency again. He said, “My hat is in the ring.”

 

The phrase actually originated in the Old West. Roosevelt was familiar with it and made it popular. In the West of old if a boxer was ready to take on all challengers, he would toss his hat into the boxing ring.

 

Last but not least is a Roosevelt gem that was born in 1907. Roosevelt was at the Hermitage visiting the Tennessee home of Andrew Johnson. He was served coffee.  He drank it down and exclaimed, “Good to the last drop!” The coffee was a local brew. It came from one of Nashville, Tennessee’s leading hotels. The Maxwell House. Within a decade of Roosevelt’s exclamation, the Maxwell House used his words to turn its coffee into a national brand. To this day. “Good to the last drop!”

 

I hope you have enjoyed this walk down history lane.

 

2 comments on “THEODORE ROOSEVELT: THE PHRASE MAKER

  1. Wish you’d explained exactly what Teddy Roosevelt meant by the phrase he coined, “bully pulpit.” At that time, the word “bully” meant “terrific” or “wonderful” it had nothing to do with meanness or pushing someone smaller or weaker around, as it’s usually used now.. The phrase “bully for you ” meant “good for you!” Teddy was pointing out that as president he was in the best position to promote his ideas, to be a powerful advocate for his programs. His “bully pulpit” was a position of strength in a positive, not a negative way!

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