March 16, 2008

Timely Truman

When the election season arrives, I find myself returning to all my presidential books, seeking more knowledge and tidbits to add to election discussions. I am currently re-reading/finishing David McCullough's Truman, a brilliant book on one of my favorite presidents (yes, dad, I know he was a democrat.) Whenever I am reading a book, the person I am spending the most time with is bombarded with information. Now that I am an old married person, Mr. Cool takes the brunt of this info assault.

Unfortunately, he doesn't like Truman, and considers him a party hack. I've tried numerous arguments (Marshall liked him! Sure, he started out working for a party boss, but by the time he was president Pendergast was dead! He said, "The buck stops here."), but each argument seems to fail.

As I continued to read today (my reward for finishing grades), I came across this line: "Hopkins [executive clerk], who was himself extremely punctual, also noted admiringly of Truman, 'When he went to lunch, if he left word that he would return at 2:00 PM, he was back without fail, not at 2:05, not at 1:15, but at 2:00 PM.' The longer he was in office, the more conscious Truman seemed of time. On his desk now he had a total of four clocks, as well as two others elsewhere in the room and his own wristwatch." p. 557

Perhaps this will convince my punctual husband. In reality, my bigger problem is probably my need to convince Mr. Cool that he should like Truman. I'm afraid I fall into the category of people who feel that if I like something, it is worth liking, and everyone I know should like it. If they don't, they're stupid and I must argue and debate until they agree with me. Seriously, though, Truman was a great president--and from Missouri!


Dear Ol' Dad said...

Well yes Truman was a Missouri Democrat and your paternal grandmother from Missouri cast her first vote for Truman. That was a month before her wedding to the Wyoming rancher--and her last vote for a Democrat Presidential candidate. By 1980 the Missourians like much of the South were Reagan Democrats if not full fledged Republicans. By the way, Truman is the only President whose approval ratings were as low as current Prez at the end of his term, and is now considered to have been a good Prez.

Amanda said...

Thanks for the great comments, dad! I fully agree with you--and glad to know Grandma voted for Truman! Who did Grandpa vote for in that election?

dear ol' dad said...

Tom Dewey of course. The Wyoming ranch clan had also been Democrats but were disillusioned with FDR and the New Deal Ag programs when they came to shoot the cows (a direct and drastic market intervention to reduce supply and raise the price). That also "turned" Missouri Democrat and Mema's father--the farmer, banker, county treasurer and in his later years Baptist preacher.