Ninety-nine years and five days ago Theodore Roosevelt was shot in the chest in Milwaukee while on the campaign trail . . . he proceeded to deliver a 90-minute speech before seeking medical attention. His opening statement was, “Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” A copy of the speech can be found here. As a colleague of mine just remarked, “that is old school.”
As we gear up for the next presidential election, I’m not sure what this story may or may not say about today’s politicians and presidential candidates, but I know this: I would not want to be following the legacy of TR! I can also imagine that if a candidate were to display those kinds of heroics, he or she would be nearly impossible to beat. Less than a month after the Bull Moose speech, President Roosevelt lost the November 1912 election to Woodrow Wilson.