Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Kefauver, Estes, 1903-1963; Russell, Richard B. (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971; Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965; Penrose, Boies, 1860-1921; Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845; McKellar, Kenneth Douglas, 1869-1957; Polk, James K. (James Knox), 1795-1849
Presidential candidates; Legislators; Political corruption; Political parties

Longhand Note of President Harry S. Truman, December 25, 1952. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

Dec. 25, '52

Senator Kefauver of Tennessee is a peculiar person. He is ignorant of history, an amateur in politics and intellectually dishonest.

What a combination! Between Russell of Georgia and the amateur politician (the Governor) from Illinois the Senator from Tennessee came very nearly accomplishing his ambition. Had he been politically astute he would have succeeded. He was made chairman of a special Senate Committee to investigate crime around the country. He called on the President and asked for advice. He was told to obtain an attorney on whom he could relie [sic] as a councelor [sic], and to hire a couple of good investigators to prepare the way for any open hearings he expected to hold.

His first appearance was in Kansas City! Two grand juries had been on the job there and after about four days he told the opposition newspaper that he found nothing to investigate!

When he arrived the Star-Times had two inch block headlines about his arrival and what he would do. When he left town after announcing that he found nothing four lines in small type appeared on page nine!

He went to St. Louis and was heralded by the papers there as a great crusader. He found nothing to investigate in St. Louis-but he did find some sinkhole stuff in East St. Louis, Illinois. He held his hearings in St. Louis, Mo. And made it appear the home state of the President was all wrong and rotten. The terrible Green-McCormick machine was passed by.

Then the "able and distinguished" Senator from Tennessee went to the Democratic strong hold of Chicago and went into local politics and city crime conditions. He did the same sort of ballyhoo job in New York City.

Philadelphia, at the time had the rottenest Republican city machine since Quay, Penrose and Vare. Did the "able' Senator look into it? He did not.

In Tennessee the county of Polk adjoining his home county is rotten to the core as is the city of Chattanooga. Did the "able" Senator look into conditions in his home state? He did not. He toured the country in 1952 after using the report of his crime committee as the basis for a book, which he sold at a long price. He also received fantastic fees to make speeches on his "crime crusade."

After all this counterfeit talk and campaign he had the nerve to ask the President to support him for the nomination for President! The country cannot afford an intellectually dishonest man for President. It should never have a man ignorant of the history of his country. So the Democratic Party turned Mr.Cow Fever of Tennessee out of the convention.

I wonder how that great State could produce Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, & Sam Houston and then come up with Kefauver and M.Keller.


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