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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 106

with my Danish pedigree of blessed Christmas trees reaching ’way back into the day of frocks and rag dolls, and my own children’s tree to remind me of it—never!
  So I overcame my repugnance to schedules and tables and examinations, and got behind it all to an understanding of what it really meant. And there I found the true view of this champion of civil service reform as I might have expected; fighting the spoilsman, yes! dragging the sting from his kind of politics; hitting him blow after blow, and with the whole pack of politicians, I came near saying good and bad together, in front hitting back for very life. That was there, all of it. But this other was there too: the man who was determined that the fellow with no pull should have an even chance with his rival who came backed; that the farmer’s lad and the mechanic’s son who had no one to speak for them should have the same show in competing for the public service as the son of wealth and social prestige. That was really what civil service reform meant to Roosevelt. The other was good, but this was the kernel of it, and the kernel was sound. It was, as he said in his first Presidential message,