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

Page 63

  Another was the power of confirmation the Aldermen had over the Mayor’s appointments in New York. Thus even the best administration would be helpless with a majority of Tammany members on the Board of Aldermen. Such a thing as the election of a reform Board of Aldermen was then unthinkable. He wrested that power from them and gave it to the Mayor, and, in doing it, all unconsciously paved the way for himself to the office in which, under Mayor Strong, he leaped into National importance. There are many striking coincidences of the kind in Theodore Roosevelt’s career. I have noticed that they are to be found in the life of every man who goes straight ahead and does what he knows is right, taking the best counsel he can and learning from life as it shapes itself under his touch. All the time he is laying out grappling-hooks, without knowing it, for the opportunity that comes only to the one who can profit by it, and, when it passes, he lays hold of it quite naturally. It is only another way of putting Roosevelt’s philosophy that things happen to those who are in the way of it. It is the idlers who prate of chance and luck. Luck is lassoed by the