New Yorkers Speaking Softly

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Theodore Roosevelt — he’s the one who doesn’t have a highway in Manhattan named after him — seems to be enjoying a resurgent popularity among the city’s political and chattering classes.

T.R. re-entered the collective consciousness on Monday when Bob Turner, a Republican, officially kick-started his campaign to fill the vacancy in New York’s Ninth Congressional District. You probably know it better as Anthony D. Weiner’s former House seat.

Mr. Turner will run against the Democrats’ choice, Assemblyman David I. Weprin. Party leaders, not voters, picked both of these candidates to run in a special election that the governor set for Sept. 13. Sic transit the new era of political openness we’d been hearing so much about.

Mr. Turner got rolling on Monday at Station Square in Forest Hills, Queens. His campaign pointed out that on the same spot, during World War I and well past his presidency, Roosevelt delivered a line that would be quoted across the decades. “There can be no 50-50 Americanism in this country,” he said. “There is room here for only 100 percent Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else.”...

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