Skip to comments.In the words of this PUMA: "Holy crap, read this!" ( ironic coincidence)
Posted on 10/26/2008 7:40:14 AM PDT by dascallie
WV4Hillary Presidential Member = >1000 Posts
Join Date: Mar 2008 Posts: 1,453 Poster Rank: #87 (Oct. 26, 2008): Dewey v Truman: Holy Crap, Read This!! (Really) Replace:
Truman = McCain Dewey = Obama Republican Controlled Congress = Democrat Controlled Congress Republican = Democrat and vice versa
Given Truman's sinking popularity and the seemingly fatal three-split in the Democratic Party, Dewey appeared unbeatable. Top Republicans believed that all their candidate had to do to win was to avoid major mistakes; in keeping with this advice, Dewey carefully avoided risks.
He spoke in platitudes, avoided controversial issues, and was vague on what he planned to do as President. Speech after speech was filled with non-political, optimistic assertions of the obvious, including the now infamous quote You know that your future is still ahead of you.
An editorial in The (Louisville) Courier-Journal summed it up best: No presidential candidate in the future will be so inept that four of his major speeches can be boiled down to these historic four sentences: Agriculture is important. Our rivers are full of fish. You cannot have freedom without liberty. Our future lies ahead.
Truman, trailing in the polls, decided to adopt a slashing, no-holds-barred campaign. He ridiculed Dewey by name, criticized Dewey's refusal to address specific issues, and scornfully targeted the Republican-controlled 80th Congress with a wave of relentless, and blistering, partisan assaults.
He nicknamed the Republican-controlled Congress as the "do-nothing" Congress, a remark which brought strong criticism from GOP Congressional leaders (such as Senator Taft), but no comment from Dewey. In fact, Dewey rarely mentioned Truman's name during the campaign, which fit into his strategy of appearing to be above petty partisan politics.
Truman simply ignored the fact that Dewey's policies were considerably more liberal than most of his fellow Republicans, and instead he concentrated his fire against the conservative, obstructionist tendencies of the unpopular 80th Congress. For his part, Dewey remained aloof. Following the advice of his campaign staff, he did not respond directly to Truman's attacks. This would prove to be a major mistake.
Truman toured -- and transfixed -- much of the nation with his fiery rhetoric, playing to large, enthusiastic crowds. Give 'em hell, Harry, was a popular slogan shouted out at stop after stop along the tour. However, the polls and the pundits all held that Dewey's lead was insurmountable, and that Truman's efforts were for naught. Indeed, Truman's own staff considered the campaign a last hurrah.
The only person who appears to have considered Truman's campaign to be winnable was the President himself, who confidently predicted victory to anyone and everyone who would listen to him. However, even Truman's own wife had private doubts that her husband could win.
In the final weeks of the campaign, American movie theatres agreed to play two short newsreel-like campaign films in support of the two major-party candidates; each film had been created by its respective campaign organization.
The Dewey film, shot professionally on an impressive budget, featured very high production values, but somehow reinforced an image of the New York governor as cautious and distant.
The Truman film, hastily assembled on virtually no budget by the perpetually cash-short Truman campaign, relied heavily on public-domain and newsreel footage of the President taking part in major world events and signing important legislation.
Perhaps unintentionally, the Truman film visually reinforced an image of the President as engaged and decisive.
On election night - November 2 - Dewey, his family, and campaign staff confidently gathered in the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City to await the returns. Truman, aided by the Secret Service, sneaked away from reporters covering him in Kansas City and made his way to nearby Excelsior Springs, Missouri, a small resort town. There he took a room in the local hotel, had a Turkish bath, and went to sleep.
As the returns came in Truman took an early lead which he never lost. However, the leading radio commentators, such as H. V. Kaltenborn of NBC, confidently predicted that once the "late returns" came in Dewey would overcome Truman's lead and win.
At midnight, Truman awoke and turned on the radio in his room; he heard Kaltenborn announce that, while Truman was still ahead in the popular vote, he couldn't possibly win. Around 4 a.m. Truman awoke again, heard on the radio that his lead was nearly two million votes, and decided to ride back to Kansas City.
For the rest of his life Truman would gleefully mimic Kaltenborn's voice predicting his defeat throughout that election night. Dewey, meanwhile, realized that he was in trouble when early returns from New York and New England showed him running well behind his expected vote total. He stayed up throughout the night examining the votes as they came in.
By 10:30 the next morning he was convinced that he had lost; he then sent a gracious telegram of concession to Truman.
Oh, and don’t forget the Odinga style violent riots his “followers” will mount. Carville promises this outcome UNLESS Obama is elected. Carville is responsible for aiding and abetting those who would have this country become a third world Banana Republic with violence and riots. Carville should have moved to Venezuela or Kenya if that was what he wanted.
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