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The Democratic Party's 1944 nomination for Vice President of the United States was determined on July 21, 1944, when United States Senator Harry S. Truman was nominated to be President Franklin D. Roosevelt's running-mate in his bid to be re-elected for a fourth term. Truman's predecessor as Vice President, the incumbent Henry A. Wallace, was unpopular with some of the leaders of the Democratic Party, who didn't like his liberal politics and considered him unreliable and eccentric in general. The leaders undertook a veritable conspiracy to outmaneuver him. How the nomination went to Harry S. Truman, who did not actively seek it, is, in the words of his biographer Robert H. Ferrell, "one of the great political stories of our century".[1]

The fundamental problem was that Roosevelt's health was seriously declining and in the case of his death the Vice President would become President. The leaders of the Democratic Party, and everyone who saw the President, were aware of this, and it made the vice presidential nomination very important. The nomination would take place at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago Stadium in Chicago, July 19 – July 21, 1944.

Contents

Anti-Wallace movement

A powerful group of party leaders tried to persuade Roosevelt to not keep Wallace as Vice President. Ferrell calls this process "a veritable conspiracy."[2] The group consisted of Edwin W. Pauley, treasurer of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Robert E. Hannegan, Democratic national chairman, Frank C. Walker, Postmaster General, George E. Allen, the Democratic party secretary, and Edward J. Flynn, political boss of New York. They considered several people to replace Wallace. Among the possible candidates were James F. Byrnes, Roosevelt's "assisting president," who initially was the prominent alternative, Associate Justice William O. Douglas, and U.S. Senators Alben W. Barkley, Henry J. Kaiser, Sam Rayburn, and Harry S. Truman.[3] Finally the group decided on Truman, but this decision was secondary to the goal of not nominating Wallace.[4] By late spring 1944, the group had succeeded in turning Roosevelt against Wallace, but the president didn't tell Wallace directly. In May the president sent Wallace on a trip to China and Russia, probably with the intention to get him out of the country at an inconvenient time and to obstruct his campaign.[5]

On July 11, the leaders met with Roosevelt in the White House. They recommended Truman. The names of Sam Rayburn, Alben Barkley, James F. Byrnes, and John G. Winant were also raised but they were dismissed − Byrnes because of his being unpopular among blacks and among the labor.[6] Roosevelt hardly knew Truman, but he knew of the senator's leadership of he Truman Committee, and that he was a supporter of the New Deal. Roosevelt suggested William O. Douglas. However, after much debate, the president said, "Bob [Hannegan], I think you and everyone else here want Truman." There are however other accounts of Roosevelt's exact statement. Pauley, for example, claimed that he said, "If that's the case, it's Truman."[7] Just before the meeting ended, Roosevelt instructed Hannegan and Walker to notify Wallace and Byrnes, respectively, that they were out.[8] After the group left the meeting, Hannegan asked Roosevelt to put his decision down in writing. Roosevelt wrote a note on a piece of scratch paper and gave it to Hannegan.

The next day Hannegan and Walker thus tried to convince Wallace and Byrnes to withdraw, but they refused unless the president himself asked them. Roosevelt did not want to disappoint any candidate.[9] He told Wallace, "I hope it will be the same old team." But Wallace nevertheless understood the president's real intentions, and he wrote in his diary, "He wanted to ditch me as noiselessly as possible." Roosevelt also promised to write a letter, saying that if he, Roosevelt, were a delegate to the convention he would vote for Wallace. To Byrnes Roosevelt said, "You are the best qualified man in the whole outfit and you must not get out of the race. If you stay in the race you are certain to win." He also explained to Byrnes that he was having trouble with Wallace who refused to withdraw unless the president told him so, and that he would write Wallace a lukewarm letter.[10]

Maneuvering

On July 15, Roosevelt was on en route to San Diego. He stopped in Chicago where the Democratic national convention was to be held. Hannegan and Edward J. Kelly, mayor of Chicago, met Roosevelt on board the train. They obtained a typewritten version of the note from July 11:

Dear Bob:

You have written me about Harry Truman and Bill Douglas. I should, of course, be very glad to run with either of them and believe that either one of them would bring real strength to the ticket.

Always Sincerely,
Franklin D. Roosevelt

According to some sources, the letter as originally written put Douglas's name first, but Hannegan asked Grace Tully, the president's private secretary, to juxtapose the names, so it would appear as if Roosevelt preferred Truman. Tully asserted this in her memoirs, but Hannegan has denied it.[11] According to Truman's biographer Conrad Black, Tully switched positions of the names, but it was probably at Roosevelt's wish.[12] Truman later claimed that Hannegan had shown him a letter from Roosevelt that did not mention Douglas's name. "Bob, it's Truman. FDR," it said, but this letter has never been found.[13]

Hannegan also tried to get Roosevelt to tone down the Wallace letter. The situation became even more complicated by the fact that Roosevelt said pleasant things about Byrnes, so Hannegan believed the president had changed his mind and wanted Byrnes. However, Roosevelt also said that Hannegan must clear Byrnes' nomination with labor leader Sidney Hillman, whom he knew opposed Byrnes.[14] The line "Clear it with Sidney" was subsequently used by Thomas Dewey and the Republicans in their campaign.[15]

On July 17, the chairman of the convention, Samuel D. Jackson, released Wallace's letter. It said, somewhat ambiguously, that the president, if a delegate, would vote for Wallace, but that he did not want to dictate to the convention. Because it was a lukewarm endorsement the letter became known as the "kiss-of-death" letter among the Byrnes and Truman supporters, but some people, on the other hand, pointed out that Wallace was the only candidate who had received a written endorsement. Hannegan had not told anyone about the letter he received on July 15, but now he said that he had a letter in which the president mentioned Truman.[16]

July 16 and 17, Sunday and Monday, Byrnes had several setbacks. One was Flynn's concern about losing black votes in case Byrnes got the nomination. The other, more serious, was the increasing opposition against Byrnes from labor, in particular Sidney Hillman.[17] On Monday evening the party leaders telephoned Roosevelt, saying that labor would not accept Byrnes and mentioned Flynn's concern as well.[18] Roosevelt concured and told them to "go all out for Truman". Now, when the president had really decided on Truman, the leader's next step was to convince Truman he was Roosevelt's pick.[19] They let Byrnes's friend Leo T. Crowley inform Byrnes. Truman probably learned of Roosevelt's endorsement the same evening, but he was aware of the president's inconsistency and could not be sure of what it meant. Truman had previously, just like Hannegan, got the impression that Roosevelt wanted Byrnes. But the next morning Truman met with Sidney Hillman who refused to accept Byrnes and said that labor's first choice was Wallace, and if that was impossible they could also consent to Truman. Roosevelt had met Hillman the previous Thursday. There is no proof that Roosevelt conspired and struck a deal with Hillman not to accept Byrnes, but it might very well have been like that, according to Ferrell. Byrnes believed that Roosevelt slipped a knife into his back.[20]

Only now, after his meeting with Hillman, Truman knew that he had a good chance to be nominated.[21] He had, however, repeatedly said that he was not in the race and that he did not want to be Vice President and continued to be reluctant.[22] One reason was that he had put his wife Bess on the payroll and he didn't want her name drug over the front pages of the papers. Since 1943 he also had his sister Mary Jane on the payroll. Moreover, Bess disliked Roosevelt and the White House in general. Byrnes, who was disappointed with Roosevelt, withdrew on Wednesday, July 19, "in deference to the wishes of the president."[23]

On Wednesday, Truman and the leaders gathered in Hannegan's suite in Blackstone Hotel. Hannegan called Roosevelt while Truman listened, and told him that Truman was a contrary Missouri mule. Roosevelt replied loudly, so everyone in the room could hear, "Well, tell him if he wants to break up the Democratic Party in the middle of a war, that's his responsibility," and slammed down the receiver. Truman was dumbstruck, but after a few moments replied, "Well, if that is the situation, I'll have to say yes. But why the hell didn't he tell me in the first place?" By another account he just said, "Jesus Christ." Before the call, Hannegan and Roosevelt had agreed what each one should say.[24]

Roosevelt, Truman and Wallace, November 10, 1944, after the Democratic Presidential election victory.

On Thursday, July 20, Hannegan released the letter which Roosevelt had given him on board the train, and its text appeared in the newspapers the next morning, but as it mentioned both Truman and Douglas it made people confused. The ballot was also held on Thursday. Wallace supporters had packed the convention hall and tried to stampede the convention. Banners for Wallace were everywhere. There were parades and chants for Wallace. The organist played the Iowa song, "Iowa, Iowa, that's where the tall corn grows!" Only four years earlier Wendell Willkie had successfully stampeded the Republican convention. Entrance tickets for each day to the Chicago Stadium had been printed in the same color, and probably the Wallace supporters used all their tickets for the Thursday, and the ushers and takers at the gates couldn't see the difference. Another explanation could be that they counterfeited the tickets.[25] To avoid the risk of victory for Wallace, the leaders got the organist to change his tune and they replaced Jackson, a Wallace supporter, with mayor David L. Lawrence of Pittsburgh, who moved an adjournment until the next morning.[26]

Until the next day, according to Truman biographer David McCullough, the leaders tried to convince the delegates to vote for Truman. He writes in his book Truman: "But Hannegan, Flynn, Kelly, and the others had been working through the night, talking to delegates and applying 'a good deal of pressure' to help them see the sense in selecting Harry Truman. No one knows how many deals were cut, how many ambassadorships or postmaster jobs were promised, but reportedly, by the time morning came, Postmaster General Frank Walker had telephoned every chairman of every delegation." But this was not what happened, according to Robert Ferrell. Their tactics were not to stay up all night, offering ambassadorships or postmaster jobs, but to, during Friday, talk to the delegates and tell them the president wanted Truman.[27]

Vote

At the presidential balloting, Roosevelt got a clear majority, 1086 votes, ahead of Harry F. Byrd with 89 votes and James A. Farley who got one vote.

The first vice presidential ballot showed Truman with 319.5 votes and Wallace with 429.5 votes, 159.5 votes from a majority, but on the second roll call Truman won with 1031 to 105.[28]

Analysis and Aftermath

Both Ferrell and McCullough compares the way Truman was nominated with more recent presidential elections, where the candidates must participate in state primaries to receive delegates to the national convention. Ferrell remarks that Truman was a product of the boss system in Kansas City, and that he was nominated in 1944 by the boss system.[29]

Ferrell also writes that Roosevelt was disingenuous, in particular towards Byrnes, and "elevated untruthfulness to a high art." Roosevelt used subordinates for tasks that were unpleasant, like telling Byrnes and Wallace to withdraw. The Roosevelt administration, writes Ferrell, saw many examples of the president welcoming enemies into the oval office, charming them, giving every evidence of friendship, whereupon they later received unmistakable evidences of where they stood within the administration.[30] Edward Flynn, however, believed that Roosevelt because of his poor health was reluctant to get involved in quarrel: "I believe that in order to rid himself of distress or strife and rather than argue, he permitted all aspirants for the nomination to believe it would be an open convention."[31]

Ferrell asks himself if Truman, who appeared to gain the office without the effort, in reality was playing a calculated and sly game. Ferrell claims that everything points to Truman's trying to achieve the office he insisted he was not interested in. He would have been a strange politician otherwise, according to Ferrell. Roosevelt disliked ambitious people, and Truman knew this, so it was probably an advantage to be humble and deny he was a candidate.[32]

As a border state and, compared with the liberal Wallace and the conservative Byrnes, moderate Senator, Truman was humorously dubbed the "Missouri compromise." The liberal group of the party was disappointed with Truman's nomination. Some newspapers claimed that he had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan (this wasn't true, see the Harry S. Truman main article). Additionally, he was criticized for having his wife Bess on the payroll. However, these controversies didn't have any impact.[9] Few Americans wanted to change their leadership as the Second World War was still going on, so Roosevelt and Truman easily defeated the Republican candidate Thomas E. Dewey and his running mate John Bricker. On January 20, 1945, Truman was sworn in as Vice President of the United States. He was destined to hold the job for just 82 days. On April 12, 1945 he succeeded to the Presidency on Franklin Roosevelt's death.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, preface, page x.
  2. ^ Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life, page 163.
  3. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 4-6.
  4. ^ Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a life, page 164.
  5. ^ Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life, page 164.
  6. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 12-13.
  7. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, page 14.
  8. ^ Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life, page 165.
  9. ^ a b "Harry S. Truman, 34th Vice President (1945)", U.S. Senate.
  10. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 25, 28-29.
  11. ^ McCullough, pages 306-307; "William O. Douglas 'Political Ambitions' and the 1944 Vice-Presidential Nomination: A Reinterpretation."
  12. ^ Conrad Black, Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom (2003), ISBN 1-58648-184-3, page 971.
  13. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 82-83, 120n. Years later Hannegan's son William P. Hannegan visited the Truman library in Independence. The retired president asked if William's mother had the letter. He wanted them to look for it. (Ibid).
  14. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 36-; Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life, pages 166-167; Arnold A. Offner, Another Such Victory: President Truman and the Cold War, 1945-1953 (Google Books), page 15.
  15. ^ Tom Robbins, "SIDNEY HILLMAN CONSTRUCTIVE COOPERATION", Daily News, May 4, 1999; "End of Strife", Time, 22 July, 1946; Marc Karson, "Labor Will Rule: Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American Labor." - book reviews, The Progressive, June 1994.
  16. ^ McCullough; Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 74-75, 82.
  17. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 43-44.
  18. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, page 47.
  19. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, page 50.
  20. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 44-45, 54; Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life, page 167.
  21. ^ Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life , page 167; Choosing Truman, page 53.
  22. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 50-52.
  23. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, page 61.
  24. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 61-62; Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life, page 170
  25. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 78, 118n.
  26. ^ "Oral History Interview with David L. Lawrence", trumanlibrary.org
  27. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 85-86.
  28. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 87-88.
  29. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 90-91.
  30. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 91-92.
  31. ^ Jean Edward Smith, FDR (2006), page 619.
  32. ^ Ferrell, Choosing Truman, page 93.

References

External links

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On July 21, 1944, United States Senator Harry S. Truman was nominated to be President Franklin D. Roosevelt's vice-presidential running-mate in his bid to be re-elected for a fourth term. Truman's predecessor as Vice President, the incumbent Henry Wallace, was unpopular with some of the leaders of the Democratic Party, who didn't like his liberal politics and considered him unreliable and eccentric in general. The leaders undertook a veritable conspiracy to outmaneuver him. How the nomination went to Harry S. Truman, who did not actively seek it, is, in the words of his biographer Robert H. Ferrell, "one of the great political stories of our century".[1]

The fundamental problem was that Roosevelt's health was seriously declining and in the case of his decease the Vice President would become President. The leaders of the Democratic Party, and everyone who saw the President, were aware of this, and it made the vice presidential nomination very important. The nomination would take place at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago Stadium in Chicago, July 19 – July 21, 1944.

A powerful group of party leaders tried to persuade Roosevelt to not keep Wallace as Vice President. Ferrell calls this process "a veritable conspiracy."[2] The group consisted of Edwin W. Pauley, treasurer of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Robert E. Hannegan, Democratic national chairman, Frank C. Walker, Postmaster General, George E. Allen, the Democratic party secretary, and Edward J. Flynn, political boss of New York. They considered several people to replace Wallace. Among the possible candidates were James F. Byrnes, Roosevelt's "assisting president," who initially was the prominent alternative, Associate Justice William O. Douglas, and U.S. Senators Alben W. Barkley, Henry J. Kaiser, Sam Rayburn, and Harry S. Truman.[3] Finally the group decided on Truman, but the most important for them was not to nominate Truman, but to get rid of Wallace.[4] By late spring 1944, the group had succeeded in getting Roosevelt to turn against Wallace, but the president didn't tell Wallace directly. Instead he hoped that Wallace somehow would understand anyway. In May the president sent Wallace on a trip to China and Russia, probably with the intention to get him out of the country at an inconvenient time and to obstruct his campaign.[5]

On July 11, the leaders met with Roosevelt in the White House. They recommended Truman. The names of Sam Rayburn, Alben Barkley, James F. Byrnes, and John G. Winant were also raised but they were dismissed − Byrnes because of his being unpopular among blacks and among labor.[6] Roosevelt hardly knew Truman, but he knew that the senator had done a good job in the Truman Committee, and that he was a supporter of the New Deal. Roosevelt suggested William O. Douglas. However, after much debate, the group thought they had talked Roosevelt into accepting Truman, and the president said, "Bob, I think you and everyone else here want Truman." There are however various accounts of Roosevelt's exact statement. Pauley, for example, claimed that he said, "If that's the case, it's Truman."[7] Just before the meeting ended, Roosevelt instructed Hannegan and Walker to notify Wallace and Byrnes, respectively, that they were out.[8] After the group left the meeting, Hannegan asked Roosevelt to put his decision down in writing. Roosevelt wrote a note on a piece of scratch paper and gave it to Hannegan.

The next day Hannegan and Walker thus tried to convince Wallace and Byrnes to withdraw, but they refused unless the president himself asked them. Roosevelt did not want to disappoint any candidate.[9] He told Wallace, "I hope it will be the same old team." But Wallace nevertheless understood the president's real intentions, and he wrote in his diary, "He wanted to ditch me as noiselessly as possible." Roosevelt also promised to write a letter, saying that if he, Roosevelt, were a delegate to the convention he would vote for Wallace. To Byrnes Roosevelt said, "You are the best qualified man in the whole outfit and you must not get out of the race. If you stay in the race you are certain to win." He also explained to Byrnes that he was having trouble with Wallace who refused to withdraw unless the president told him so, and that he would write Wallace a lukewarm letter.[10]

On July 15, Saturday, Roosevelt was on his way with train to San Diego and stopped by in Chicago where the Democratic national convention was to be held. Hannegan and Edward J. Kelly, mayor of Chicago, met Roosevelt on board the train. They obtained a typewritten version of the note from July 11:

Template:Blockquote

According to some sources, the letter as originally written put Douglas's name first, but Hannegan asked Grace Tully, the president's private secretary, to juxtapose the names, so it would appear as if Roosevelt preferred Truman. Tully asserted this in her memoirs, but Hannegan has denied it.[11] According to Truman's biographer Conrad Black, Tully switched positions of the names, but it was probably at Roosevelt's wish.[12] Truman later claimed that Hannegan had shown him a letter from Roosevelt that did not mention Douglas's name. "Bob, it's Truman. FDR," it said, but this letter has never been found.[13]

Hannegan also tried to get Roosevelt to tone down the Wallace letter. The situation became even more complicated by the fact that Roosevelt said pleasant things about Byrnes, so Hannegan believed the president had changed his mind and wanted Byrnes. However, Roosevelt also said that Hannegan must clear Byrnes nomination with labor leader Sidney Hillman, whom he knew opposed Byrnes.[14] The line "Clear it with Sidney" was subsequently used by Thomas Dewey and the Republicans in their campaign.[15]

On July 17, the chairman of the convention, Samuel D. Jackson, released Wallace's letter. It said, somewhat ambiguously, that the president, if a delegate, would vote for Wallace, but that he did not want to dictate to the convention. Because it was a lukewarm endorsement the letter became know as the "kiss-of-death" letter among the Byrnes and Truman supporters, but some people, on the other hand, pointed out that Wallace was the only candidate who had received a written endorsement. Hannegan had not told anyone about the letter he received on July 15, but now he said that he had a letter in which the president mentioned Truman. [16]

July 16 and 17, Sunday and Monday, Byrnes had several setbacks. One was Flynn's concern about losing black votes in case Byrnes got the nomination. The other, more serious, was the increasing opposition against Byrnes from labor, in particular Sidney Hillman.[17] On Monday evening the party leaders telephoned Roosevelt, saying that labor would not accept Byrnes and mentioned Flynn's concern as well.[18] Roosevelt concured and told them to "go all out for Truman". Now, when the president had really decided on Truman, the leader's next step was to convince Truman he was Roosevelt's pick.[19] They let Byrnes's friend Leo T. Crowley inform Byrnes. Truman probably learned of Roosevelt's endorsement the same evening, but he was aware of the president's inconsistency and could not be sure of what it meant. Truman had previously, just like Hannegan, got the impression that Roosevelt wanted Byrnes. But the next morning Truman met with Sidney Hillman who refused to accept Byrnes and said that labor's first choice was Wallace, and if that was impossible they could also consent to Truman. Roosevelt had met Hillman the previous Thursday. There is no proof that Roosevelt conspired and struck a deal with Hillman not to accept Byrnes, but it might very well have been like that, according to Ferrell. Byrnes believed that Roosevelt slipped a knife into his back.[20]

Only now, after his meeting with Hillman, Truman knew that he had a good chance to be nominated.[21] He had, however, repeatedly said that he was not in the race and that he did not want to be Vice President and continued to be reluctant.[22] One reason was that he had put his wife Bess on the payroll and he didn't want her name drug over the front pages of the papers. Since 1943 he also had his sister Mary Jane on the payroll. Moreover, Bess disliked Roosevelt and the White House in general. Byrnes, who was disappointed with Roosevelt, withdrew on Wednesday, July 19, "in deference to the wishes of the president."[23]

On Wednesday, Truman and the leaders gathered in Hannegan's suite in Blackstone Hotel. Hannegan called Roosevelt while Truman listened, and told him that Truman was a contrary Missouri mule. Roosevelt replied loudly, so everyone in the room could hear, "Well, tell him if he wants to break up the Democratic Party in the middle of a war, that's his responsibility," and slammed down the receiver. Truman was dumbstruck, but after a few moments replied, "Well, if that is the situation, I'll have to say yes. But why the hell didn't he tell me in the first place?" By another account he just said, "Jesus Christ." Before the call, Hannegan and Roosevelt had agreed what each one should say.[24]


On Thursday, July 20, Hannegan released the letter which Roosevelt had given him on board the train, and its text appeared in the newspapers the next morning, but as it mentioned both Truman and Douglas it made people confused. The ballot was also held on Thursday. Wallace supporters had packed the convention hall and tried to stampede the convention. Banners for Wallace were everywhere. There were parades and chants for Wallace. The organist played the Iowa song, "Iowa, Iowa, that's where the tall corn grows!" Only four years earlier Wendell Willkie had successfully stampeded the Republican convention. Entrance tickets for each day to the Chicago Stadium had been printed in the same color, and probably the Wallace supporters used all their tickets for the Thursday, and the ushers and takers at the gates couldn't see the difference. Another explanation could be that they counterfeited the tickets.[25] To avoid the risk of victory for Wallace, the leaders got the organist to change his tune and they replaced Jackson, a Wallace supporter, with mayor David L. Lawrence of Pittsburgh, who moved an adjournment until the next morning.[26]

Until the next day, according to Truman biographer David McCullough, the leaders tried to convince the delegates to vote for Truman. He writes in his book Truman: "But Hannegan, Flynn, Kelly, and the others had been working through the night, talking to delegates and applying 'a good deal of pressure' to help them see the sense in selecting Harry Truman. No one knows how many deals were cut, how many ambassadorships or postmaster jobs were promised, but reportedly, by the time morning came, Postmaster General Frank Walker had telephoned every chairman of every delegation." But this was not what happened, according to Robert Ferrell. Their tactics were not to stay up all night, offering ambassadorships or postmaster jobs, but to, during Friday, talk to the delegates and tell them the president wanted Truman.[27]

At the presidential balloting, Roosevelt got a clear majority, 1086 votes, ahead of Harry F. Byrd with 89 votes and James A. Farley who got one vote.

The first vice presidential ballot showed Truman with 319.5 votes and Wallace with 429.5 votes, 159.5 votes from a majority, but on the second roll call Truman won with 1031 to 105.[28]

Both Ferrell and McCullough compares the way Truman was nominated with more recent presidential elections, where the candidates must participate in state primaries to receive delegates to the national convention. Ferrell remarks that Truman was a product of the boss system in Kansas City, and that he was nominated in 1944 by the boss system.[29]

Ferrell also writes that Roosevelt was disingenuous, in particular towards Byrnes, and "elevated untruthfulness to a high art." Roosevelt used subordinates for tasks that were unpleasant, like telling Byrnes and Wallace to withdraw. The Roosevelt administration, writes Ferrell, saw many examples of the president welcoming enemies into the oval office, charming them, giving every evidence of friendship, whereupon they later received unmistakable evidences of where they stood within the administration.[30] Edward Flynn, however, believed that Roosevelt because of his poor health was reluctant to get involved in quarrel: "I believe that in order to rid himself of distress or strife and rather than argue, he permitted all aspirants for the nomination to believe it would be an open convention."[31]

Ferrell asks himself if Truman, who appeared to gain the office without the effort, in reality was playing a calculated and sly game. Ferrell claims that everything points to Truman's trying to achieve the office he insisted he was not interested in. He would have been a strange politician otherwise, according to Ferrell. Roosevelt disliked ambitious people, and Truman knew this, so it was probably an advantage to be humble and deny he was a candidate.[32]

As a border state and, compared with the liberal Wallace and the conservative Byrnes, moderate Senator, Truman was humorously dubbed the "Missouri compromise." The liberal group of the party was disappointed with Truman's nomination. Some newspapers claimed that he had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan (this wasn't true, see the Harry S. Truman main article). Additionally, he was criticized for having his wife Bess on the payroll. However, these controversies didn't have any impact.[9] Few Americans wanted to change their leadership as the Second World War was still going on, so Roosevelt and Truman easily defeated the Republican candidate Thomas E. Dewey and his running mate John Bricker. On January 20, 1945, Truman was sworn in as Vice President of the United States. He was destined to hold the job for just 82 days. On April 12, 1945 he succeeded to the Presidency on Franklin Roosevelt's death.

Contents

See also

Notes

  1. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, preface, page x.
  2. Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life, page 163.
  3. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 4-6.
  4. Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a life, page 164.
  5. Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life, page 164.
  6. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 12-13.
  7. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, page 14.
  8. Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life, page 165.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Harry S. Truman, 34th Vice President (1945)", U.S. Senate.
  10. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 25, 28-29.
  11. McCullough, pages 306-307; "William O. Douglas 'Political Ambitions' and the 1944 Vice-Presidential Nomination: A Reinterpretation."
  12. Conrad Black, Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom (2003), ISBN 1-58648-184-3, page 971.
  13. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 82-83, 120n. Years later Hannegan's son William P. Hannegan visited the Truman library in Independence. The retired president asked if William's mother had the letter. He wanted them to look for it. (Ibid).
  14. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 36-; Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life, pages 166-167; Arnold A. Offner, Another Such Victory: President Truman and the Cold War, 1945-1953 (Google Books), page 15.
  15. Tom Robbins, "SIDNEY HILLMAN CONSTRUCTIVE COOPERATION", Daily News, May 4, 1999; "End of Strife", Time, 22 July, 1946; Marc Karson, "Labor Will Rule: Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American Labor." - book reviews, The Progressive, June 1994.
  16. McCullough; Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 74-75, 82.
  17. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 43-44.
  18. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, page 47.
  19. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, page 50.
  20. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 44-45, 54; Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life, page 167.
  21. Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life , page 167; Choosing Truman, page 53.
  22. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 50-52.
  23. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, page 61.
  24. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 61-62; Ferrell, Harry S. Truman: a Life, page 170
  25. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 78, 118n.
  26. "Oral History Interview with David L. Lawrence", trumanlibrary.org
  27. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 85-86.
  28. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 87-88.
  29. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 90-91.
  30. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, pages 91-92.
  31. Jean Edward Smith, FDR (2006), page 619.
  32. Ferrell, Choosing Truman, page 93.

References

Template:RoughTranslation

External links


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