The Presidency: The Power of Charm

Over and over the word recurred as Biographer Edmund Morris made his way through research on Theodore Roosevelt. His contemporaries talked of T.R.'s "sweetness." Even Roosevelt's political opponent Woodrow Wilson was smitten. "There is a sweetness about him that is very compelling," he said. "You can't resist the man." Mark Twain, William Jennings Bryan and even the peevish Henry Adams all were beguiled at one time or another, according to Morris.

"Sweetness" was a word scorned by muscular America. It became "charm." And that is what T.R.'s fifth cousin Franklin Roosevelt was...

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