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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago today in Spokane: Local reporter gets the scoop on Taft’s plan

Front page of the May 20, 1920 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (S-R archives)
Front page of the May 20, 1920 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (S-R archives)

Former U.S. President William Howard Taft provided a scoop for a Spokane Daily Chronicle reporter, while both men were standing on a train platform Missoula, awaiting a train to Spokane.

“No, sir, I am not a candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States,” Taft said. “I have an arrangement with Yale University whereby I am to teach classes in constitutional law from September to February, which leaves the remainder of the year open for other engagements. But I am emphatically not a candidate for the presidency.”

There had been speculation that Taft would be a compromise candidate. Taft had served one term as president from 1909 to 1913, but was eligible to run again, if he chose.

The Chronicle man then asked about Taft about the chances that Sen. Miles Poindexter, a Spokane man, might capture the Republican nomination.

“You are not asking me seriously, are you?” replied Taft.

“Yes, judge, certainly,” said the reporter.

“Well, then I’ll have to answer you seriously,” said Taft. “If Poindexter’s candidacy has any strength, I have failed to discover it.”

Taft then embarked on a train to Spokane to deliver a speech on the League of Nations, which he favored “with reservations.”

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