Truman's Character, in Reference to the Paradoxes of the Presidency

Essay by calkiss5505University, Bachelor'sB+, January 2010

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Truman’s Place in the Political Cycle and in Political TimeThe actual time Harry Truman decided to run for “re-election” is still unknown. However, his motivations have been clearly documented despite his reluctance. Despite many historians’ opinions, Truman was not initially relieved that Eisenhower would not be running for the presidential ticket. On a few occasions, in 1946, Truman pleaded with Eisenhower to run even if it meant that Truman would reside as Vice President to help solidify Eisenhower’s decisions. Much to Truman’s chagrin, Eisenhower had no motivation to run for the party’s nomination. Truman knew Eisenhower’s folklore status as a war hero would allow him to gain support from all Americans. Truman’s true intention in the election of 1948 was not to win the presidency himself; however it became clear he was the only man strong enough to take on the Republicans. This election was much more to him than merely hoping his team won, rather he wanted FDR’s ideals to remain intact in the American executive.

His place in the political time cycle clearly illustrates the president of articulation which will be covered soon.

After being relatively silent during mid-term elections of 1946, Truman sat back and watched his party get humiliated. Truman relished in the idea of “taking on the Republicans in an all-out, full-scale championship fight” 585 He was merely a partisan politician and this was the fight he simply could not walk away from. He knew how quickly his own and New Deal programs (sixteen years of liberal gain) could be undone by a Republican president backed by a Republican Congress (McCullough, 586). Truman believed, “they (the Republicans) did not understand the worker, the farmer, the everyday person… Most of them honestly believed that prosperity actually began at the top and would trickle down in...