Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Taft, Robert A. (Robert Alphonso), 1889-1953.; Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945; Russell, Richard B. (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971; Kefauver, Estes, 1903-1963; Lucas, Scott Wike, 1892-1968; Barkley, Alben William, 1877-1956; Harriman, W.
Presidential campaign, 1952; Presidential candidates; Legislators; Political parties; Political conventions

Longhand Note of President Harry S. Truman, July 7, 1952. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

July 7, 1952

The Republicans are meeting today in Chicago to select a candidate. Taft has control of the organization and will no doubt seat enough delegates to have himself nominated.

In 1940 Wall Street took on Wilkie, an Indiana Democrat, and by the same methods that Taft is using at Chicago today kept Taft out of the race.

Wilkie was beaten by F.D.R. and Henry Wallace. He was a bad loser. Cried like a baby over a national hookup-figuratively I mean. The defeat was too much for him.

In 1944, the same big business gang took up Dewey, F.D.R. and I gave him a drubbing as bad as Willkie's was in 1940.

In 1948, Taft was sure he would be the nominee. Again the same Wall Street gang gave the nomination to Dewey. He failed again in the campaign, due to a special effort on the part of the Democrats to tell the people the truth.

Now Taft has control of the machinery and the "kept press" is yelling thief and robber. I'm very happy over the situation. But I'm not happy over the situation with which the Democratic Convention is faced.

There are five candidates. Three from the South, one from Kentucky and one from New York.

Senator Russell is an able and an intelligent man. He has been Governor of Georgia and is now Senator from that great State. He has all the qualifications as to ability and brains. But he is poison to Northern Democrats and honest Liberals. I doubt if he could carry a single State north of the Ohio River or 36?30'. Too bad he had to be born in Georgia, home of the modern Ku Klux Klan and the most vicious of anti-Catholics. There is no chance for Dick.

Then there is Kefauver, the Junior Senator from Tennessee. He served in the House from his home State and had no reputation for anything in particular but his being unable to understand what was going on when the House was in session. He has the same sort of reputation in the Senate.

He had a crime committee, started in Kansas City with great headlines, and finally he told Roy Roberts that the Atty. Gen. had already cleaned up the town. It was placed on page nine in very fine print. Then the great crime investigator went to St. Louis.

He found something in East St. Louis, Illinois-nothing in Missouri. But St. Louis, Mo., was used in the headlines. So the President of the United States had all the credit for Illinois crime.

The "great" investigator went to Chicago, found some rotten situations as is always possible in that sprawling town. He succeeded in beating a good Senator, Scott Lucas.

Philadelphia was the home of the crookedest city administration in the country. Did the great crime investigator go to Philadelphia to make an investigation? He did not.

Polk County, Tennessee, is the sinkhole of iniquity and it lies south and adjointing [sic] the home country of the "great investigator." Did he look into it? He did not.

When the time came for a report to the United States Senate the "great crime investigator" took his report, copyrighted it and sold it as a book over his own name! Talk about ethics-well he has none. He has made speeches to all the "economic royalist" organizations in the country at from $500.00 to $1500.00 an appearance. More ethics!! What a President this demagogic dumb bell would make!

Now we come to a grand man, a good administrator, former governor and United States Senator from Oklahoma. He is a great speaker-a convincing one on the platform. But he has a gas record and a cloture record. Labor, liberals and New Deal-Fair Deal Democrats won't support him.

Then comes Alben Barkley-Congressman, U.S. Senator, floor leader of the majority in the Senate longer than any other man, Vice President for four years-75 years old Nov. 24, 1952! He wants to be President more than he wants anything else in the world. He can't see, he shows his age. I wish he could be 64 instead of 74 at this date! It takes him five minutes to sign his name and, as President, he'd have to sign it 600 times a day-and no one can do it for him. It is a felony for anyone to sign the President's name. My good friend Alben would be dead in three months if he should inherit my job!

Harriman is an active candidate. He is the ablest of them all. But he has been a Wall Street Banker, is the son of one of the old time pirates of the first score of years of this century. Can we elect a Wall Street Banker and a railroad tycoon President of the United States on the Democratic Ticket? Ask someone else. I can't answer!


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