Trump and Truman

Thu, 2017/02/23 - 3:23pm | Your editor
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It's one of those news-heavy Thursdays, so I am going to keep my commentary short. I had a sudden epiphany when I recalled the first US president who was considered unqualified for the job in my lifetime, and that of the current office-holder. It was Harry Truman, a haberdasher with a record of bankruptcies, who had never gone to college. His wife Bess preferred to stay in Independence, MO, rather than live in Washington, so their daughter Margaret handled some of the protocol.

It reminds me a bit of Melania Trump and Ivanka. And the two presidents' names start with the same four letters.

While not hiding his taxes, Truman won his Senate seat despite the Kansas City Democratic boss, Tom Prendergast, having been convicted for tax evasion. Truman as a Senator then headed a special “Truman
committee to cut wasteful spending during World War II. He got the vice-presidential job because the incumbent, Henry Wallace, was an extremist (on the left not the right, but you can't make everything fit.)

Then he won on his own in 1948 to the surprise of pollsters defeating an establishment Republican favored by the media.

Of course Trump did go to college but he majored in business. And unlike Harry Truman he is not a lifetime reader of history books. Moreover Truman's daughter married a member of the press, New York Times reporter Clifton Daniel, who was never accused of lying by her dad. Still, there is a parallel.

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