William Howard Taft: Living Beats the Vice President

Intro  
"My dear, all I have to do to beat the Vice President is to live." 1a SEE BELOW

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Here is the full anecdote, as recorded by Taft's aide 1a
"You don't mean to say that the Vice President beat you [at golf]?" said Mrs. Taft.

"He did yesterday, my dear, but if I live four years I will give him such a beating that he will not recover from it."

"I don't understand," said one of the Anderson girls.

We all laughed, but the President said quite seriously:

"My dear, all I have to do to beat the Vice President is to live."

Cited Sources
  1. Butt, Archibald W. Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt, Military Aide. Garden City, NY: Doubleday (1930). Volume 1: pages 1-432. Volume 2: pages 433-862.
        
    a  p.326

    Comment: Butt, an Army officer, was military aide first to President Theodore Roosevelt and then to President William Taft. On April 14, 1912, Butt was at sea aboard the Titanic returning from a European vacation that Taft had insisted he take. President Taft later said: "When I heard that part of the ship's company had gone down, I gave up hope for the rescue of Major Butt, unless by accident. I knew that he would certainly remain on the ship's deck until every duty had been performed and every sacrifice made that properly fell on one charged, as he would feel himself charged, with responsibility for the rescue of others." Taft was correct. Butt did not survive the sinking.


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