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Diane Francis

Diane Francis

Posted: September 5, 2008 01:02 PM

Palin Ain't no Truman


Sarah Palin's comparison, in her acceptance speech, of her career to similar to that of the late, great President Harry S. Truman is entertaining but delusional. "He was a haberdasher and farmer", she waxed, with an unorthodox background who came from a small town where honest and dignity reigns and where people "love their country".

Here are the facts:

1. Truman was born in 1884 and reportedly attended his first political convention at age 16 in 1900.

2. He became an artillery officer who served in Europe during the First World War.

3. Truman was a very successful farmer.

4. Truman was also a very successful livestock dealer.

5. Truman became a successful businessman who ran a haberdashery in Kansas City.

6. Truman was elected a country court judge and served on the bench from 1925 to 1934, eventually presiding over the bench.

7. In 1934, Truman was elected as a U.S. Senator and for the next ten years undertook a distinguished career in Washington DC representing the people of Missouri.

8. As a result of his achievements and vast political network in the U.S. Senate, Truman was selected by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944 to be his running mate. In 1945, the two won election and within months of taking office, FDR died.

At this point, Truman was 60 years old and had more than four decades of political and public and business successes as a veteran, business success in many sectors, a judge, chair of many commissions and agencies and as a distinguished U.S. Senator. He was well-traveled and globally-oriented.

He was ready, before becoming Vice President, to be President of the United States. He finished the war, negotiated treaties with heads of state in a dangerous world and served as judge and jury in life-and-death situations involving excruciating decisions such as whether to drop the atom bomb on Japan or adopt the Marshall Plan to rebuild America's enemies.

Palin's self-comparison is either dishonest or ignorant or both. The facts are if she's the little guy from Independence, then I'm a banana.