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Tall Hat Diplomacy

May 22, 2006

"Speak softly and carry a big stick." America's 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt, famously applied this pithy West African proverb to his foreign policy.

In December 1907, T.R. sent 16 U.S. Navy battleships around the globe to strike fear into the empire-building Japanese. The "Great White Fleet," as it came to be known later, was one notable example of Roosevelt's "Big Stick" diplomacy.

"Never mind sticks and ships," says Mr. Crumpet. "Teddy Roosevelt was a man who understood the power of hats. Tall hats. That's why he was one of our greatest Presidents."

"No, not sticks, ships or hats," counters Orange Bear. "Surely you know the reason for Teddy's success. He was a bear."

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