From corpo-Republican William McKinley's loyal veep to the fighting leader of the Progressive Party in the election of 1912, T.R. pulled what might be the most Francis-like transformation of any political figure in U.S. history. During his presidency he regulated business, busted trusts and fought for the successful passage of public safety and conservation laws. When his successor in the White House, William Howard Taft, didn't follow through on his agenda, Roosevelt completed what historian Richard Hofstadter called a "tardy but opportune conversion to radicalism" and ran for another term as president on a platform that included old-age insurance, a national health service, relief to farmers, an eight-hour workday and other initiatives that'd show up two decades later in his cousin Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.
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