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"I do not remember that I was ever President."—William Howard Taft, reflecting on his career as Chief Justice
American president from 1909-1913. Also served as Governer-General of the Philippines from 1901-1903 (they named an avenue after him), and Chief Justice of the United States from 1921-1930. New Mexico and Arizona became states during his Presidency.
One probably apocryphal legend credits him for "the seventh inning stretch".
Known for being pretty heavy and once getting stuck in his own bathtub. We also all know that the Oval Office used to be called the Round Office until he walked in. Funny enough, his presidency led to at least 80 pounds' weight loss, and he became more interested in the outdoors afterward. As America: The Book pointed out, he was also the only President to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but nobody remembers that.
It's worth noting that becoming Chief Justice was his life's dream: he only ran for president because T.R. and his wife wanted him to (ironically, his wife suffered a stroke shortly after his inauguration and was never able to enjoy her office as much as she might have liked). Taft was appointed to the court by Warren Harding, and is the only former president to have administered the oath of office to an incoming president (He did it for both Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover).
The last President to have a moustache, or indeed, facial hair of any kind, possibly reflecting a rather unfortunate bias against it. Also the first president to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Taft in fiction
- In Arsenic and Old Lace, Theodore Brewster believes that he's Theodore Roosevelt and, after being told his term is up, he mistakes someone else for Taft trying to move in early.
- In The Simpsons, Montgomery Burns' mother had an affair with him, for which Monty never forgave her. Homer, conversely, was rather impressed ("Taft, you old dog!")
- In Ozy and Millie, Llewellyn claims to be responsible for the bathtub thing.
- Taft appears as a villain in an episode of Time Squad.
- In Johnny Dangerously during the flashback to Johnny's childhood, which is set in 1910, shows some silent documentary footage of Taft giving a speech while Johnny comments on the quality of life in America at the time.
- In Family Guy, Peter & friends go to a sex shop where he finds "vintage porn" featuring a woman voting for Taft.
- Histeria! sang about him to the tune of the theme from - you guessed it - Shaft.
Froggo: Taft was the first president to use cars instead of horses.
Toast: And the first president to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game.
Charity: That's worth something, isn't it?
- In Tales Designed to Thrizzle, he's in show biz with Asp, billed as Asp'n'Taft.
- He appears in the TL-191 series by Harry Turtledove as a Democratic politician (the Democrats being the more right-wing of the parties in the rump USA) and later on so does his son Robert.
- President Taft's secret pony brigade from Film Cow.
- In Hale's Emerald Nuzlocke Adventure, Glacia's Walrien briefly turns into Taft, which of course sets up the joke of Teddy the Machoke caving his face in.
- The book Taft 2012 depicts a Taft who fell asleep on the day of Wilson's inauguration and woke up in the 21st Century. He promptly begins a run for President, adapting his Progressivism and trust-busting to our modern woes.
- "William Howard Taft" is a catchy ragtime number by the Two Man Gentleman Band that details Taft's prodigious size.