Anonymous said: Dance contest : Taft vs. FDR. Who wins?
Well, that one would be a little unfair, wouldn’t it? You know…because of…I mean…you know.
Also — and I swear this isn’t one of those sarcastic, smart-ass falsehoods that I toss in to my answers once in a while — William Howard Taft was genuinely said to be a good dancer. I’m dead serious. On page 129 of Michael L. Bromley’s exhaustively researched and highly-detailed book, William Howard Taft and the First Motoring Presidency, Bromley writes:
"Additionally, and to the shock of unsuspecting hosts and the ladies of the ballroom, Taft was a superb dancer. In Panama [where then-Secretary of War Taft visited Panama to observe the construction of the Panama Canal], the girls were amazed and thrilled by his light feet. In Atlanta, Taft refused to leave the floor. ‘I can’t leave now,’ he announced between dances, ‘please have the train held.’ He danced past midnight, leaving only after he had charmed all the lives of the local notables."
A footnote on that same page in Bromley’s book cites a quote from a 1909 New York Times article:
"The women were charmed with Judge Taft as a dancer. They say that he keeps perfect step, knows how to protect his partner, and is surprisingly nimble on his feet. ‘To dance with him,’ one partner said, ‘you would never think he weighed so much.’"
So, even if FDR wasn’t…you know…well…I mean…you know…he probably would have danced circles around Roosevelt despite his weight.
(P.S.: Two other Presidents who were famously known to be excellent dancers were George Washington and Lyndon B. Johnson. I think that just gave me an idea for a feature film — You Got Served: Presidential Pop-Lockers — where those three Presidents travel through time and straight break it down. In my mind, I can already see the climactic scene. Let’s just say it involves two words [SPOILER ALERT]: “Taft” and “Twerking”.)
(P.P.S: Wow, now I can’t unsee that image.)