Harry Truman Speaks.

Harry Truman, campaigning more than 60 years ago, said,

I will win this election and make those Republicans like it… We will do that because they are wrong and we are right… [T]he people know the Democratic Party is the people’s party, and the Republican Party is the party of special interests and it always has been and always will be… The Republican Party… favors the privileged few and not the common, every-day man.  Ever since its inception that Party has been under the control of special privilege, and they concretely proved it in the 80th Congress.  They proved it by the things they did to the people and not for them. They proved it by the things they failed to do.

Not much has changed since then, has it?

I once met Harry Truman. It was a few years after he left the White House. I was traveling on business in Iowa City, Iowa and was sitting in a hotel coffee shop. I had already checked out and was waiting for the hotel driver to take me to the airport. It was 5:00am.

There was only me and a waitress who looked like she would have prefered to be somewhere else at that hour. But she also had the genuine small town hospitality that was so common across the midwest before television homogenized everything into the cliche of “have-a-nice-day.”

She had just delivered my coffee and asked me where I was going this morning. Before I could answer. there was a small commotion at the entrance.

Harry Truman walked in. That was not a total surprise. I knew from yesterday’s newspapers that he would be arriving the previous night. Today he would be dedicating the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library at Hoover’s birthplace a few miles away.

Behind Truman I saw Iowa Senator Burt Hickenlooper who looked just as loopy as his name. Big sloppy guy, a double for Senator Claghor . .  AH SAY, SENATOR CLAGHORN’s double.

Truman looked just like his name, too. Short but militarily straight and quick. Dapper in a dark, double-breasted, lightweight, wool suit, a bright tie, brilliantly shined shoes and a wide-brimmed hat in his hand.

“Good morning. How are you this morning?”

That was to the waitress as he put out his hand.  He shook her extended hand and looked her right in the eye but did not wait for her answer.

He turned to me. “Good morning young man. Up and ready early, aren’t you?”

He wanted an answer and I stammered, “I’m catching a plane to Des Moine. Going there to . . . ”

But he had shaken my hand and moved on. He may have been one of the greatest presidents this country ever had, but he was still a politician.

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