Teddy Roosevelt's experience in the Dakotas gave him several things in life. Number one, Roosevelt had left New York after the death of his first wife... both his wife and his mother died on the same day (Valentine's day no less) and this obviously hit Roosevelt hard and he, I believe, needed to get away for a while. Secondly, while in North Dakota, Roosevelt owned a cattle business that ultimately failed... the bottom dropped out of the beef market not long after Roosevelt began his venture... this taught him about failure and how to bounce back (and ultimately led him back to New York and to politics). And finally, Roosevelt's experience in the west gave him an understanding of the people in the west... what they were about, what they wanted... this is key for any politician. Roosevelt then understood and could relate to the "two Americas" at the turn of the century... the western cowboys and ranchers and the east coast industrial crowd... If a politician can relate to everyone; it makes it much easier to win.