I think your daughter's right.
This is from a letter by a Russian diplomat:
The delegates from both countries developed a warm respect for the
President, whom they had judged
before the peace talks as impetuous to the point of rudeness. An advisor
to the Russian envoys and an
expert on international law said of T.R.:
His conduct during the whole time that the peace negotiations lasted has
been a marvel of tact. Without appearing to inject himself into the course
of the conversations and discussions which took place
between the delegates, he contrived to keep himself exactly informed as to
all that was going on, and more than once intervened in the most discreet
manner by conveying a hint or a message to the plenipotentiaries which
cleared the skies and brought things back to their true level.
I have often wondered where Roosevelt could have acquired the immense amount
of information which he suddenly displayed, and I have come to the
conclusion that a great deal of it was due to his extraordinary powers of
intuition which made him draw deductions and conclusions where others saw
only the bare facts. And, moreover, that Portsmouth Conference, which will
surely mark in the history of the
world the first effort made by the United States to stand as an equal at the
side of the great nations of other continents, was essentially Roosevelts
work, and as such he showed us immediately that he
intended, and that indeed he would, bring it to a good and safe conclusion.
That he contrived to do so without showing openly his hand, and while
abstaining from everything that could have been interpreted as an attempt to
interfere in matters which were not supposed to concern
him, was a work which perhaps no one in the whole world outside of himself
would have been able to perform. The hints which he conveyed to the
plenipotentiaries, and which invariably threw a new light
upon the points that they had not been able to see or to bring to a
solution, were something quite wonderful. All through our conferences the
personality of Roosevelt made itself felt, but this was done
so artistically, if such a word may be used, that nobody could have been
offended at the advice which he tendered with such consummate discretion. We
Russians had come to Portsmouth without taking anything
that he had said seriously and yet when we left the United States it was
with the knowledge that all through our stay there we had been brought in
close proximity with one of the most powerful
personalities now alive in the whole of the world.....The man who had been
represented to us as impetuous to the point of rudeness displayed a
gentleness, a kindness, and a tactfulness mixed with
self-control that only a truly great man can command.
According to writer William Harbaugh:
Roosevelt had gotten the Czar to agree to the peace talks. He had broken the
deadlock in the conference by convincing the Japanese to moderate their
terms. He had saved the lives of thousands of men.
A treaty was signed on September 5, 1905. As a result he was given the Nobel
The Pope said, This is the happiest news of my life. Thank God for
President Roosevelts courage.
Roosevelt was uncomfortable with so much praise. Now I am over-praised, he
said. Dont be misled by the fact that just at the moment men are speaking
well of me. They will speak ill soon enough. He was
credited with being extremely farsighted. But he did it because, he said, I
would have felt as if I was flinching from a plain duty if I had acted other
Check out William Harbaugh's book, Power and Responsibility the Life and
Times of Theodore Roosevlet (1997 edition by American Political Biography
Press, Newtown, Conn)
> H. J. Hendrix
> Thanks for the reply. I only take issue with one word,
> "overstretch". Overstretch implies that the suggestion that TR
> may have stopped WWI was impossible (beyond reach). I would
> prefer a term like "highly unlikely" or "darn near impossible"
> when faced with seeming insurmountable odds. We will never know
> the answer but we know the odds would have been great against
> success. We also know that TR had a few key traits that could
> have shuffled the deck of cards. He knew the history of many
> nations, he knew their literature. He knew how to use these
> pieces of information to get people to listen to him.
> When TR could get peoples attention he had a chance to make them
> consider alternatives. The key to stopping war is to get people
> talking. Could TR have talked and pressured the right people to
> act in a manner to stop a war? Saying that someone knows the
> answer to that is a stretch, because it is impossible to know
> for sure. But I think TR had chance and that was a far better
> chance than Wilson or Taft.
> It is said that we reap what we sow. I think there is shame to
> be viewed in the election process of 1912 and we as a nation
> received a man less suited for the job that was at hand. I take
> that as fact & as an indication that TR had a greater good that
> was our's to reap if the election was not stolen.
> We are still paying a high price if we reap what we sow. We
> participate in a political process today where lack of honesty
> in spoken words is expected from the winner. I for one would
> love to vote for a person that backed up his spoken words and
> convictions with a lie detector test :-) TR may have taken that
> challenge but that is just wishfull dreaming to think people
> should be placed in office based on what they really think. That
> type of election would require a educated electorate. Now that
> may be a strech.
> It may seem like I am angry stating my observation. My daughter
> considers me a philosopher seeking truth. Since you can not see
> or hear me and my writing is not always as revealing of my true
> attitude as something well written should be, please accept my
> dental student daughters observation.
> Bob Kuniegel
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