Monthly archives "September 2011"

Barack Obama & Harry Truman

Harry Truman is the first President I can remember.   I was days old when FDR died.   Along with Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy, Truman is a favorite of mine among 20th century Presidents.  

It is clear that HST is on the mind of Barack Obama.   He quoted from Truman’s 1948 Labor Day message in his Labor Day address on September 5.   The 1948 speech was Harry Truman’s kick off to the Presidential campaign of that year.   Obama is off and running a year early  and seeking to model Truman.   Will it work?   

Obama’s biggest problem is the economy and an unemployment rate of 9.1 %–much higher than the President promised with his trillion dollar stimulus package.    Persons are naturally skeptical of Son of Stimulus now being pushed by the Administration.   Fool me once. . .

And most economists feel these dismal figures are not likely to improve before November 2012.   Truman faced a bad economy in 1948 but not like this.   Like  Truman, Obama wishes to run against a do nothing Congress.   However, Democrats control the Senate and the House Republicans have passed a budget and a plan to balance the budget.   The Democrat controlled Senate has not passed a budget in over 800 days.   When Obama calls Congress do nothing he is really describing his own Party in the U.S. Senate.

Harry Truman had another advantage Barack Obama does not.   His opponent, Thomas Dewey, had run in 1944 as well and was criticized for running too hard against FDR in war time.   In 1948 he over compensated and hardly ran at all.   Whomever Obama faces will not have run before.   It appears likely to be either Mitt Romney or Rick Perry, and they will run hard as will any other Republican who might receive the GOP nomination.

One suggestion to the Republican nominee–learn from Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.   When Reagan was called too simple or too prone to misspeak he would say, “I am not the issue.   Jimmy Carter’s dismal record is and I am just going to keep talking about it.”   And he did.   When the Republicans called out Bill Clinton for being a Moscow trained war protester and a womanizer he kept going back to what he called the “worst economy in 50 years.”   It wasn’t.  This is.   But it worked for Clinton.

Obama is going to run a vicious campaign.   It is his nature to do so and the Donkey Party will give him plenty of help as they are naturally negative.   But the Republican nominee will have plenty of ammo on the President this time as he has a record.   Laugh the man off and just keep returning to that sorry record.    When he speaks of the Do Nothing Congress turn the conversation back to the Do Nothing Right President.

The Republicans have one more advantage.    Barack Obama is no Harry Truman.