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Quotation for Today, Thursday 12 February

12/02/2009

A leader in the Democratic Party is a boss, in the Republican Party he is a leader.

Harry S. Truman -(May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the thirty-third President of the United States (1945–1953). As the thirty-fourth vice president, he succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died less than three months after he began his fourth term.

During World War I Truman served as an artillery officer. After the war he became part of the political machine of Tom Pendergast and was elected a county judge in Missouri and eventually a United States Senator. After he gained national prominence as head of the wartime Truman Committee, Truman replaced vice president Henry A. Wallace as Roosevelt’s running mate in 1944.

As president, Truman faced challenge after challenge in domestic affairs. The disorderly reconversion of the economy of the United States was marked by severe shortages, numerous strikes, and the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act over his veto. He confounded all predictions to win re-election in 1948, helped by his famous Whistle Stop Tour of rural America. After his re-election he was able to pass only one of the proposals in his Fair Deal program. He used executive orders to begin desegregation of the U.S. armed forces and to launch a system of loyalty checks to remove thousands of communist sympathizers from government office, even though he strongly opposed mandatory loyalty oaths for governmental employees, a stance that led to charges that his administration was soft on communism. Truman’s presidency was also eventful in foreign affairs, with the end of World War II and his decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan, the founding of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, the Truman Doctrine to contain communism, the beginning of the Cold War, the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the Korean War. Corruption in Truman’s administration reached the cabinet and senior White House staff. Republicans made corruption a central issue in the 1952 campaign.

Truman, whose demeanor was very different from that of the patrician Roosevelt, was a folksy, unassuming president. He popularized such phrases as “The buck stops here” and “If you can’t stand the heat, you better get out of the kitchen.”[1] He overcame the low expectations of many political observers who compared him unfavorably with his highly regarded predecessor. At different points in his presidency, Truman earned both the highest and the lowest public approval ratings that had ever been recorded (George W. Bush eventually earned more extreme numbers in both directions).Despite negative public opinion during his term in office, popular and scholarly assessments of his presidency became more positive after his retirement from politics and the publication of Truman’s memoirs. Truman’s legendary upset victory in 1948 over Thomas E. Dewey is routinely invoked by underdog presidential candidates. Truman has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents

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Harry Truman

Wikipedia

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