State of the Union Address
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William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857-March 8, 1930) was the twenty-seventh president of the United States (1909-1913) and later the tenth chief justice of the United States (1921-1930). He is the only person to have served in both of these offices. Riding a wave of popular support for fellow Republican Roosevelt, Taft won an easy victory in his 1908 bid for the presidency. In his only term, Taft’s domestic agenda emphasized trust busting, civil service reform, strengthening the Interstate Commerce Commission, improving the performance of the postal service, and passage of the Sixteenth Amendment. Abroad, Taft sought to further the economic development of nations in Latin America and Asia through Dollar Diplomacy and showed decisiveness and restraint in response to revolution in Mexico.
The task-oriented Taft was oblivious to the political ramifications of his decisions, often alienated his own key constituencies, and was overwhelmingly defeated in his bid for a second term in the presidential election of 1912. In surveys of presidential scholars, Taft is usually ranked near the middle of lists of all American presidents.