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"Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick"

As Governor of New York Teddy Roosevelt fought with the party bosses, who threatened, to "ruin" him if he didn't cooperate with appointements. In the end the boss gave in.

Nathan Miller in his book "Theodore Roosevelt, A Life", page 337, writes

"Looking back upon his handling of the incident, Roosevelt thought he 'never saw a bluff carried more resolutely through to the final limit.' And writing to a friend a few days later, he observed: 'I have always been fond of the West African proverb: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." ' "

This proverb popularly attributed to Roosevelt served him well in his presidency.


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