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

Page 290

We were talking about a public institution I wished to see reformed, and he was anxious to know if there was any way in which he could help. “If there is,” he said, “let me.” But there was not, and I was sorry for it; for the matter concerned the growing youth and the citizenship of to-morrow, and I knew how near his heart that lay.
  I have been rambling along on my own plan of putting things in when I thought of them, and I cannot say that I feel proud of the result; but if from it there grows a personality whose dominating note is utter simplicity, I have not shot so wide of the mark, after all. For that is it. All he does and says is to be taken with that understanding. There again is where he unconsciously upsets all the schemes and plots of the politicians. They don’t understand that “the game can be played that way,” and are forever looking for some ulterior motive, some hidden trap he never thought of. Bismarck, it is said, used to confound his enemies by plumping out the truth when, according to all the rulers of the old-school diplomacy, he should have lied, and he bagged them easily. Roosevelt has one fundamental conviction,