WI TR was the Republican nominee and elected POTUS in 1912?

If TR were the unified Republic nominee in 1912

  • If TR is unified Republican nominee in 1912 he would defeat Wilson

    Votes: 42 82.4%
  • If TR is unified Republican nominee in 1912, Wilson would still defeat TR

    Votes: 6 11.8%
  • POTUS TR would diplomatically intervene to prevent the July crisis from turning to war

    Votes: 8 15.7%
  • POTUS TR would succeed in brokering a settlement to WWI between 1914 and 1916

    Votes: 3 5.9%
  • POTUS TR would fail to broker a settlement ending WWI

    Votes: 18 35.3%
  • TR would build up the Army and Navy more than Wilson in 1914-1916

    Votes: 30 58.8%
  • TR would not build up the Army and Navy more than Wilson in 1914-1916

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • Germany would hold back its submarines and saboteurs out of fear of TR

    Votes: 11 21.6%
  • Germany would not hold back its submarines and saboteurs out of fear of TR

    Votes: 16 31.4%
  • Britain would not enforce blockade measures against US ships against TR’s protests

    Votes: 7 13.7%
  • Britain would treat US ships as in OTL

    Votes: 13 25.5%
  • TR’s America would be at war with Germany by Nov 1916 - why?

    Votes: 13 25.5%
  • TR’s America would not be at war with Germany by Nov 1916 - why?

    Votes: 6 11.8%
  • TR’s America would be at war with Mexico by Nov 1916 - why?

    Votes: 8 15.7%
  • TR’s America would not be at war with Germany by Nov 1916 - why?

    Votes: 3 5.9%
  • TR’s America would not be at war with Mexico by Nov 1916 - why?

    Votes: 1 2.0%

  • Total voters
    51

raharris1973

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First of all, he's not getting it by challenging an incumbent President who wants to run again. Nor is he getting it by being a third party candidate.

But under circumstances outlined elsewhere by @Mikestone8, Theodore Roosevelt becomes the Republican nominee for 1912:

Taft would need to die in office (preferably before Nov 1910) and Sherman decide not to run.

That allows TR to run on a much more moderate platform, with no nutty fantasies about recall of judicial decisions or making it easier to amend the Constitution.

Once he gets into the Primary fight with Taft, the GOP cause (with *any* candidate) is hopeless, as any nominee will have alienated half the party.
....from there, things work out, so that Roosevelt beats Wilson.

Theodore Roosevelt is POTUS in 1913, having run on a more moderate platform than his Bull Moose platform, but something reformist enough to stay true to his reputation and past administrations and to compete with Wilson's promises.

How will TR's Congressional coattails for the GOP be, and how will his legislative and domestic policy record compare with Woodrow Wilson's historic first term?

What will he be going for, and getting, in the 1913 and 1914 Army and Navy budgets?

How will he be reacting to ongoing events in Mexico?

What about incidents with Japanese ships visiting Mexico that the Hearst papers spun into a big deal at the time?

Let's assume the July crisis happens, will he try to intervene diplomatically?

Assuming that fails (success would be pretty miraculous by the time the urgency to lean in is noticed), what's the Roosevelt Administration's posture towards the warring alliances and American military capabilities, including preparedness to project power to Europe?

Are the Germans any more fearful/respectful of American neutral rights under Roosevelt than in OTL? IE, the Germans keeping U-boats away from passenger ships or American-flagged ships? What about German sabotage operations? Why or why not? Will the British be any more circumspect?

Once the war is underway, might TR attempt any mediating or pressuring to end it diplomatically in 1915 or 1916? Could he have a shot at brokering something, or getting close to it.

....and before anybody says it, the first person who makes a reply about Roosevelt rallying the US into declaring war right after the Lusitania gets sunk gets the newbie boobie prize pinned on them. (hint: it's not coveted)
 

raharris1973

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Added a poll onto this, dealing with several of the possibilities of a TR presidency at this time, especially dealing with a WWI.
 
One thing to remember about America being "more prepared" under TR. You need Congress to vote more ships, a bigger Army, etc. The President can't do it by himself. And IMO the 1914 election is going to see Democratic gains, not only because the opposition party usually makes gains in midterm elections, but because the 1913-14 recession is still going to take place. The new Congress will include a lot of "Bryanites" from the South and West who in OTL didn't even like Wilson's limited preparedness program.
 
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raharris1973

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One thing to remember about America being "more prepared" under TR. You need Congress to vote more ships, a bigger Army, etc. The President can't do it by himself. And IMO the 1914 election is going to see Democratic gains, not only because the opposition party usually makes gains in midterm elections, but because the 1913-14 recession is still going to take place. The new Congress will include a lot of "Bryanites" from the South and West who in OTL didn't even like Wilson's limited preparedness program.
That's a good point.

Another focus of my questions is how TR being in the White House may change German calculations and behaviors. If he's a tough talker with a pro-Entente reputation, maybe the Germans will be more careful to not provoke him. If an accident happens that he protests vigorously, they may be more cautious in response and reign in their subs, and thus deny Roosevelt any further provocations to justify hostility towards Germany.

On the other extreme, if he's expressing tough talk and pro-Entente bias, maybe the the Germans will figure that keeping the US out of the war is a lost cause by 1915 or 1916, and they may lift restrictions on submarine attacks on neutral commerce. But, because of TR's rhetoric, and the cloud of suspicion it has created from Bryanite Democrats and others, TR would have no chance of getting a DoW passed if he wanted one.

I'm coming to thinking that contrary to the cliche of a TR presidency meaning the US being rallied to enter WWI earlier, the probable result is the US simply *cannot* be brought into the war because TR is under close surveillance from war skeptics for his whole administration. Thoughts?

.....and of course I already had to use a very special scenario to get him back into the White House in 1912, and not just the usual, 'because he says 'bully', and the opposition melts away'.
 

Driftless

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Could TR play the counterpart role that Nixon would later perform in the early 70's? Meaning that Nixon, because of his anti-communist history, was the one US leader who could make a rapprochement with both the Soviets and Red Chinese and not be accused of being a "pinko" softie. In TR's case, could his tough guy history and Congressional and public reluctance to jump into war allow TR to play the role of peacemaker? He comes out looking well however the peace overtures play out. If they succeed, even modestly, he's a hero. If the overtures fail.... Well, he tried, but entering the fray is now necessary.....
 

bguy

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On the other extreme, if he's expressing tough talk and pro-Entente bias, maybe the the Germans will figure that keeping the US out of the war is a lost cause by 1915 or 1916, and they may lift restrictions on submarine attacks on neutral commerce. But, because of TR's rhetoric, and the cloud of suspicion it has created from Bryanite Democrats and others, TR would have no chance of getting a DoW passed if he wanted one.
If German subs are sinking American ships what would stop TR from doing what FDR did IOTL in 1941 and just sending the US Navy out into the Atlantic with shoot on sight orders for German U-boats? TR doesn't need congressional approval for that and once US and German warships are shooting at each other war is pretty much inevitable.
 
Here's a fun point. Teddy would probably have lived a much longer life than OTL if he were elected President again in 1912. During the election he was in very robust health, even the assassination attempt had not really shaken him. But when he lost the 1912 election to Wilson, he was convinced to go on an expedition to South America during which he was severely ill with a malarial fever, to the extent that he considered committing suicide during the expedition because he felt like he was slowing up his travelling companions. Of course he made it back, but his physical decline was obvious to all, and it was the after-effects of tropical diseases that probably killed him in 1919. Butterfly away his expedition and Teddy is easily healthy enough to stay at the forefront of politics. Unless something goes *really* wrong in his third term, he probably seeks and wins re-election in 1916.
 
TR had a stature that Wilson didn't. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for moderating the end of the Russo-Japanese War. He'd met many of the heads of state of Europe. He's the best situated man to prevent the 1914 war or bring it to an early close.
 
Just finished Morris 3 books on tr.. the third book colonel roosevelt talks about his European tour and meetings with all the key heads of state in 1910. I think he could have brought a settlement or possibly had the credibility to pull everyone together pre the war to head things off. It could have been a last ditch move for GB and the Kaiser to head things off. USA being unaligned and respected could have been the neutral party to negotiate it away.
 

raharris1973

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If German subs are sinking American ships what would stop TR from doing what FDR did IOTL in 1941 and just sending the US Navy out into the Atlantic with shoot on sight orders for German U-boats? TR doesn't need congressional approval for that and once US and German warships are shooting at each other war is pretty much inevitable.
How does that end up paying for the raising of troops and their transportation over to Europe?
 
If the PoD is in 1912 then TR probably loses to Wilson as the GOP id too deeply divided to win with *any* c

If by some freak he gets in, not a lot changes as Congress isn't interested in rearming or (until USW was declared) fighting Germany. Nothing *any* POTUS can do about that.
 

bguy

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How does that end up paying for the raising of troops and their transportation over to Europe?
Because eventually Germany is going to get sick of US destroyers sinking their u-boats and declare war on the US, and I'm pretty certain even a Byranite dominated Congress will agree to fund an army after Germany declares war on the US.
 

raharris1973

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If the PoD is in 1912 then TR probably loses to Wilson as the GOP id too deeply divided to win with *any* c

If by some freak he gets in, not a lot changes as Congress isn't interested in rearming or (until USW was declared) fighting Germany. Nothing *any* POTUS can do about that.
Check the OP, the PoD is before Nov 1910. I took the PoD from you, as the only plausible pathway to get TR nominated and elected in 1912!

I'm kind of establishing that even with that, the 90% of scenarios with him getting elected in 1912, that do tend feature early US entry into WWI, are still implausible.

So Mikestone8 - how convincing are you finding these arguments:

How may TR being in the White House may change German calculations and behaviors. If he's a tough talker with a pro-Entente reputation, maybe the Germans will be more careful to not provoke him. If an accident happens that he protests vigorously, they may be more cautious in response and reign in their subs, and thus deny Roosevelt any further provocations to justify hostility towards Germany.

On the other extreme, if he's expressing tough talk and pro-Entente bias, maybe the the Germans will figure that keeping the US out of the war is a lost cause by 1915 or 1916, and they may lift restrictions on submarine attacks on neutral commerce. But, because of TR's rhetoric, and the cloud of suspicion it has created from Bryanite Democrats and others, TR would have no chance of getting a DoW passed if he wanted one.

I'm coming to thinking that contrary to the cliche of a TR presidency meaning the US being rallied to enter WWI earlier, the probable result is the US simply *cannot* be brought into the war because TR is under close surveillance from war skeptics for his whole administration. Thoughts?

If German subs are sinking American ships what would stop TR from doing what FDR did IOTL in 1941 and just sending the US Navy out into the Atlantic with shoot on sight orders for German U-boats? TR doesn't need congressional approval for that and once US and German warships are shooting at each other war is pretty much inevitable.
or the alternative that his diplomatic genius will stop the war in the first place:

TR had a stature that Wilson didn't. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for moderating the end of the Russo-Japanese War. He'd met many of the heads of state of Europe. He's the best situated man to prevent the 1914 war or bring it to an early close.
Just finished Morris 3 books on tr.. the third book colonel roosevelt talks about his European tour and meetings with all the key heads of state in 1910. I think he could have brought a settlement or possibly had the credibility to pull everyone together pre the war to head things off. It could have been a last ditch move for GB and the Kaiser to head things off. USA being unaligned and respected could have been the neutral party to negotiate it away.
 

raharris1973

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Unless something goes *really* wrong in his third term, he probably seeks and wins re-election in 1916.
This is breaking the third term tradition, no ifs, ands or buts. It could happen if he's really well regarded. But what's his excuse for not moving on, retiring and letting others emerge?
 
This is breaking the third term tradition, no ifs, ands or buts. It could happen if he's really well regarded. But what's his excuse for not moving on, retiring and letting others emerge?
He did not because of this in 08. However technically he had not won twice but served his first term when McKinley was assassinated
 
Check the OP, the PoD is before Nov 1910. I took the PoD from you, as the only plausible pathway to get TR nominated and elected in 1912!

I'm kind of establishing that even with that, the 90% of scenarios with him getting elected in 1912, that do tend feature early US entry into WWI, are still implausible.

So Mikestone8 - how convincing are you finding these arguments:
Sorry I missed the bit about the PoD. Even then, though, I suspect his victory, if any, will be narrow at best. Contrary to what some around here seem to assume, he wasn't noticeably more of a vote-getter than other Republicans. The Dems handed him an easy win in 1904 by nominating someone that Bryan's people couldn't stomach. That won't be the case in 1912.

As for the other points , I agree. The notion of him preventing WW1 is the naivest wishful thinking afaics, and the idea that he would or could bring the US into the war noticeably sooner than OTL is if anything even less credible. Though his style and rhetoric would be very different from Wilson's, I don't see the actual course of events 1914-17 being greatly changed from OTL.
 
Taft would definitely not have to die in office. OTL the two men were both sorry they ran against each other by the time of the election. Taft was just a pretty weak person; when TR handed the Presidency to him with his blessing as his legacy successor, the reactionary-corporate wing of the party moved in to lobby the hell out of him and Taft pretty much rolled over like a good doggy for them. TR, returning from his world tour/safari after many years abroad, was appalled, but I think he understood deep down that Taft couldn't have been expected to show much backbone--indeed I think he understood Taft just wasn't a Progressive Republican. Taft for his part was appreciative of Roosevelt's support and basically terrified of his ambitious wife. TR might quite possibly have taken some breaths, thought things over, and just gone to Taft and told him he ought not run again, and if he just stepped aside and let him take up the reins again, he'd take care of Taft. And Taft would be grateful to get the heat off. His wife would give him hell for it of course, but Taft would take comfort that Teddy is back in town to set things right again. Good doggy, Taft!

It would be the Republican factions that liked what Taft had been rubber stamping who would put up the fight, but TR would hold the major part of Republican grassroots support in his hand. He'd send them packing.
 
If German subs are sinking American ships what would stop TR from doing what FDR did IOTL in 1941 and just sending the US Navy out into the Atlantic with shoot on sight orders for German U-boats? TR doesn't need congressional approval for that and once US and German warships are shooting at each other war is pretty much inevitable.

Because 1916 was not 1941.

In 1941, iirc, opinion polls showed most Americans expecting that they'd have to fight Hitler sooner or later. Ditto in congress, which that year .
passed a Lend-Lease Act which would have been inconceivable 25 years earlier.

In 1916 the public and congressional moos was utterly different. Had TR tried to behave as you suggest, Congress would have passed Neutrality laws (over his veto if necessary) and had h persisted might well move on to impeachment proceedings. His popularity would have collapsed overnight.
 
...what's the Roosevelt Administration's posture towards the warring alliances and American military capabilities, including preparedness to project power to Europe?
I should take the Mexico distraction more seriously I guess, but with or without entanglement in Mexico, TR is not going to be able to stop the Great War. He might try but no one in Europe who can matter in this will listen to him.

And he's warlike. He believes war is a manly man thing, and good for the political health of a nation. And his lean is Anglophilic and anti-German, which is one reason the CP will shrug off any overtures he makes toward trying to head off war. Nor would he advise the British not to get into it. The invasion of Belgium would settle it for him, in terms of what he'd think the British should do anyway.

OTL he attacked Wilson for not being assertive enough against the CP.

Doesn't mean he would push to enter the war as early as possible, but the only reason he would not would be if he judged the US voter is not quite ready to enter. He'd give free rein to British propagandists and endorse their position.
Are the Germans any more fearful/respectful of American neutral rights under Roosevelt than in OTL? IE, the Germans keeping U-boats away from passenger ships or American-flagged ships? What about German sabotage operations? Why or why not?
Nope, Europeans did not take the USA seriously as a peer power, that's why not. The Spanish-American War was hardly impressive. Some Germans will have witnessed Union performance in the Civil War and be a bit uneasy we might be serious trouble, but they would be laughed off as generations out of touch, and would, those who understood Americans the best, reason that an existential struggle for our existence was a different thing to US voters than getting into a European brouhaha we had little direct stake in. We might foolishly stick our nose in in general filibuster spirit, but finding said nose very much battered, the war would become unpopular and we'd back out again.
Will the British be any more circumspect?
Nope, they wouldn't take us seriously either. Their attitude would be that they are the grownups and they know what they are doing, and we should just listen to and respect our elders, and stay out of their way.

Later in the war they'd want us in of course. But I believe you are talking about attitudes in 1914.
Once the war is underway, might TR attempt any mediating or pressuring to end it diplomatically in 1915 or 1916? Could he have a shot at brokering something, or getting close to it.
He'd probably try but fail for the same reasons he would try but fail to defuse it in advance. Again the Europeans in general would like our brat teenage self to get out of serious business among serious grown up nations, and the Germans in particular would rightly see TR as taking the Entente, specifically British, side and having no understanding, sympathy for, or concern for the welfare of the CP.
....and before anybody says it, the first person who makes a reply about Roosevelt rallying the US into declaring war right after the Lusitania gets sunk gets the newbie boobie prize pinned on them. (hint: it's not coveted)
Go ahead and pin it on me if you like. I don't know enough detailed timeline of the OTL US response to judge if Lusitania sinking is too early. But if TR felt he had patriotic righteousness sufficiently on his side to launch the US alliance to the Entente on this excuse he would go for it then and there, and if not--as soon as the CP handed the USA another pretext at a time he judged the US iron was hot enough to strike. He wants in on this war, mainly because he would think it a grand and bully adventure and he would want the US people to see it that way too.

With or without yet persuading sufficient domestic support to go all in yet, meanwhile he would definitely be urging expansion of both Army and Navy. Especially the latter though.
 
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