The Charlotte News
Friday, November 5, 1948
Site Ed. Note: The front page
reports that the President returned to Washington, greeted
On Capitol Hill, Democrats spoke openly of trying to repeal Taft-Hartley in the new Congress and draft a new labor law in its stead. They also proposed a new welfare department at the Cabinet level—to become Health, Education, and Welfare. They spoke about passing public housing legislation, did not appear to favor a return to a modified form of the excess profits tax of the war years, as the President had urged. Support for price controls appeared tepid. There was some support for the President's national health insurance program, however, and expansion of Social Security.
Marvin Arrowsmith reports that most in the camp of Governor Dewey blamed overconfidence for his defeat on the previous Tuesday, not so much his own overconfidence but of those around him. He had initially cautioned against taking the victory for granted, but eventually forgot that advice and began to believe in the victory himself. He believed that he did not need to slug it out for the presidency and so maintained a "United America" theme during the campaign. The Governor wondered whether the two million fewer voters than the predicted 50 million turnout at the polls represented many Republicans who stayed home, thinking that the election was in the bag. His advisers, believing in the accuracy of the polls, told him that he need not worry about the weak campaign of the President, could effectively coast into the White House. There was some discussion of counter-punching the President's charges during the campaign, but it was decided that it was unnecessary.
A Republican Congressman, Sid Simpson of Illinois, proposed legislation which would bar use of the mails for transmission of polls on the presidential, Senatorial or Congressional races. He said that the polls caused a "bandwagon psychology". He believed the new Democratic Congress would go along with him given the election results.
That would appear as an abridgment of freedom of speech, don't you think? It sounds like just some more of the usual malarkey which had characterized the "idiot" 80th Congress.
On Wall Street, stock prices again dropped by $1 to $6 per share, with selling so rapid that the ticker-tape could not keep track of the transactions.
Former Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes—who had quit the Truman Administration in February, 1946 after the President had said that he might be mistaken in his recollection of a conversation in which Mr. Ickes alleged that Undersecretary of the Navy-designate Ed Pauley had, as DNC treasurer in 1944, offered to raise several million dollars for Democratic coffers if the Government would cease its efforts to gain Federal control of tidelands oil, but who had also recently made up with the President and had campaigned actively for him—, was being rumored for a Cabinet post, possibly Secretary of Defense. During the campaign, Mr. Ickes had called Mr. Dewey, "Thomas Elusive Dewey—the candidate in sneakers."
Mr. Ickes would not serve in any official capacity in the Administration.
Representative William Dawson of Illinois was in line to become the first black chairman of a House committee, as the second ranking Democratic member of the Executive Expenditures Committee, behind John McCormack, in line to return to his former position as Majority Leader, a position which usually did not allow for committee chairs. The House Ways & Means Committee made chairmanship recommendations to the party caucus.
In Paris, the U.S., through U.N. delegate John Foster Dulles, speaking before the U.N. political committee, told Russia that America had stopped disarming and would be strong for itself and its friends abroad. The statement arose in the context of debate on the allegation that Russia's Eastern allies, Yugoslavia, Albania, and Bulgaria, were committing incursions of the Greek border. The Russians had referred to the Balkans Committee report, stating the fact of such incursions, as "garbage".
In China, all American dependents in the Nanking-Shanghai area were being evacuated as rapidly as possible, with the prospect of further advances by the Communists, who had just taken control of Mukden and thus all of Manchuria. U.S. military personnel were remaining at their posts. Marines might be landed at Shanghai as a protective force to the 3,500 Americans there.
In New York, a 56-year old Canadian textile executive was found slain on the 19th floor of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, having been kicked and punched or jumped on. Robbery appeared to be the motive.
In Sharpsburg, Pa., a man, a 37-year old bartender, who believed his five-year old daughter had been raped by a one-legged man, 75, fatally shot the man in the heart after summoning a police sergeant to be a witness to the murder. The shooting occurred while the elderly man was in jail. The man had denied raping the girl to the father, saying that he had only kissed her. He was then shot.
The bartender won't be mixing any more drinks for awhile.
The North Carolina Advisory Budget Commission received a request that cities be given a larger chunk of the business license taxes.
In Raleigh, former State Supreme Court Justice Michael Schenck had died after an illness of several months duration. He had resigned from the Court the previous January because of his failing health after serving since 1934.
The President would attend church on Sunday in New Bern, not Wilmington as previously reported.
The Detroit Free Press had posted a headline the previous day: "Truman 304, Pollsters 0."
Hal Boyle, as a bonus, tells of the magnanimity of Governor Dewey in defeat.
On the editorial page, "Stassen Star Shines Again" suggests that fate might now turn to former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen as the heir to the mantle of leadership in the GOP. His loyalty to party and strong campaigning for Mr. Dewey, despite being defeated by Mr. Dewey in the Oregon primary, deciding the nomination, left him with a strong claim on the party leadership for 1952. The fact that he had become the president of the University of Pennsylvania would aid him in that process.
It would not quite turn out that way.
"The Fall of Manchuria", after quoting from Li Po, an Eighth Century Chinese poet, remarks on the fall of the province of China which many historians attributed as the origin of World War II, when the Japanese first invaded in 1931, taking over the province in 1937.
A correspondent leaving Mukden on Friday night had described a chaotic scene. It signaled that warfare was not dead in the Twentieth Century.
A civil war had been in progress in China for several decades and the issues were not clear-cut. Many American soldiers who witnessed the corruption and inefficiency of the Chiang Government during the war did not believe the Chinese had much of a choice to make.
It was not clear to Americans whether the Communists should be actively opposed or whether the Chiang Government should be left to its own destiny.
It suggests that the country ought do its best to assure preservation of capitalism in China to coexist alongside Communism. The U.S. should endeavor to get the groups who might side with the Communists to identify with the interests of the people. Even then, outside aid might not be sufficient to enable the chosen groups to win the day.
"Women in White" tells of the month being dedicated by the American Nurses' Association to Linda Richards, who had been born 75 years earlier and was the first student nurse. The piece praises nurses for going into the profession and suggests that all citizens ought give them thanks.
Drew Pearson, returning from a day of penance, concedes that President Truman was his own best poll-taker, turning the faces of Messrs. Gallup, Roper and Crossley red. The President's friend Morris Ernst had predicted as much prior to the election, one of the few, however, close to the President who had. He had half-jokingly asked the President what he would do after his defeat, to which the President had responded that he was not going to lose, but that if he did, he would go into the polling business and put Dr. Gallup and company out of business.
Mr. Pearson ventures that one reason for the outcome was that Americans admired a man with courage even if they did not always agree with him. Mr. Dewey sidestepped the issues while Mr. Truman faced them head-on. Another reason was that Americans sided with the underdog. It was difficult for a candidate to win with labor, farmers, and housewives against him, all alienated by the 80th Congress.
The various lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill—for the new tax laws, for ending the grain storage capability by the Government, big business killing the reciprocal trade agreement act, money for education for raising teacher pay, and price control, the real estate lobby stopping public housing legislation while obtaining real estate subsidies, the steel lobby, and the oil lobby seeking Federal tidelands oil for the states and their own profits—, also contributed to the collective sentiment expressed in the election against the 80th Congress.
Also, HUAC chairman J. Parnell Thomas proceeded to try to label most liberals as Communists or fellow-travelers while committing fraud against the public trough with salary kickbacks from do-nothing staffers. Senators Jenner of Indiana and Ferguson of Michigan sought to expose others for headlines while running for cover when the headlines threatened exposure of them.
He concludes than in his 25 years of observing Washington politics, he had never seen the public trust so flouted—which was a remarkable statement as it embraced the rampant graft of the Harding Administration.
He predicts that Bernard Baruch, who had declined to help the Democrats in the campaign and received the President's ire for it, Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall, who had said that the President's election was not necessary to national defense, Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan, who played golf during the campaign with Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, Air Secretary Stuart Symington, and Secretary Royall, and Mr. Forrestal, himself, who, having decided that Mr. Dewey would win, offered no help to the President, all would soon be on the outside of the Administration.
He was correct. Secretaries Forrestal, Royall, and Sullivan would each resign by the end of April, 1949. Secretary Symington, a friend of the President from Missouri, would remain until April, 1950 when he resigned, then ran successfully for the Senate in 1952.
Mr. Truman would openly support Senator Symington for the Democratic nomination over Senator John Kennedy in 1960.
James Marlow finds that President Truman had used bare knuckles in the campaign while Thomas Dewey refused to get his hair mussed, the chief difference in styles and the thing which may have cost Mr. Dewey the election. He made no specific promises, refused to be pinned on the issues, chose to campaign on a theme of "unity" and generalities. He may not have wanted to make promises for fear that a GOP Congress might block him.
The President told people exactly where he stood on the issues without stint, telling them what he believed needed to be done and that which he was prevented from doing by the 80th Congress. He told them to throw out the Republican Congress and give him another chance with a new one. They had.
There were likely many reasons for the outcome, indifference, labor support of the President because of his opposition to Taft-Hartley, and natural sympathy for the underdog. In the end, the results were an expression of independent voting as never before.
They erased what was considered subsequently an error in having elected the 80th Congress in 1946 with Republican majorities in both houses for the first time in 16 years.
One clear mandate came from the electorate: that they liked the job President Truman had done and the principles for which he stood, as well as the promises he had made to them during the campaign. The proof was that they gave him the Democratic Congress he said that he needed to carry out his program.
DeWitt MacKenzie tells of a U.N. delegate from Russia saying that the results of the election meant little abroad because of the bipartisan American foreign policy. Mr. Dewey's concession message to the President reflected this bipartisan stance, giving him best wishes for achieving peace.
Since World War I, people abroad had been anxious to hear news from Washington as it affected their interests. There was little doubt at present what Truman policy was with respect to Europe and Communism. Future strategy, while it might change in the particulars, would continue to be based on the same principles. The Marshall Plan would continue apace without basic alteration. The world understood, too, from the results that Americans stood together in emergencies, irrespective of politics.
The Associated Press samples editorial opinion from around the country anent the election.
The New York Times finds the victory a personal triumph for the President. It had preferred a change, but had also agreed with the President in the past on important domestic issues.
The Louisville Courier-Journal, which had endorsed the President, finds that he "snatched victory from the jaws of defeat", was elected on his own merits.
The Omaha World-Herald says that it still believed that Harry Truman was not big enough for the job, and hoped that the "scrappy little guy" would gain in wisdom, vision, and prudent self-control in keeping with the trust reposited in him.
The Miami Herald finds that despite an impoverished campaign, during which Mr. Truman was once cut off the air because he did not finish a speech in the time allotted, the President had achieved the "greatest personal triumph in political history". He owed nothing to anyone except to the American people and could now look the party big-wigs in the eye and laugh at them.
The Denver Post finds that Dewey overconfidence may have given the victory to the President.
The Kansas City Star says that now the President, with a Democratic Congress, would need to prove his worth on the world and domestic stages.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that the election was a victory for the progressive policies and principles of FDR, that it would be a long time before a candidate would again campaign as if he had already won.
The Baltimore Evening Sun calls it "the biggest political upset of this generation". The President would be in a better position to deal with members of Congress of his own party than in the past, but Democratic control of the Congress remained only nominal.
An unnamed Providence, R.I., newspaper calls the President a "political miracle".
The New York Herald Tribune, which had supported Governor Dewey, hopes that the President's leadership would enable the country to unite behind him.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune, indulging in projection, asserts that the followers of the President likely thought that the end justified the means after what some viewed as an unbecoming campaign.
The San Francisco Chronicle hopes the nearly half of the electorate who voted against Mr. Truman would unite with those who voted for him to make the verdict unanimous.
The Chicago Tribune, which had backed Senator Robert Taft for the GOP nomination, finds fault with the "me-too" candidate and the "me-too" campaign of Thomas Dewey, the third time, it posits, that the GOP had nominated such a candidate—presumably referring to the 1944 campaign of Mr. Dewey and the 1940 campaign of Wendell Willkie. It congratulates the President for his campaign against the odds.
The Arkansas Gazette, edited by former News editor and associate editor Harry Ashmore, asserts that in turning away from the States' Rights Party, the South had given the President a basis for reasonable compromise on Federal civil rights, and it believes that the offer would not be rejected. Mr. Ashmore, it should be noted, went on in 1958 to win a Pulitzer Prize while Editor of the Gazette, for his editorials during the Little Rock Central High School integration crisis of 1957-58, credited with keeping the community calm in the midst of potential violence. For his efforts, he was essentially run out of town by the racists.
The Chicago Daily News thinks that the election might have the result in 1952 of the Democrats becoming the moderate conservatives and the Republicans and a new labor party exerting strong pull, respectively, at the right and left ends of the political spectrum.
The Salt Lake City Tribune says that Mr. Truman was "the miracle man of the century."
The Rochester Times-Union finds the decision to be of the people and therefore not necessary to explain, analyze, or excuse. It should be simply accepted.
The Washington Evening Star finds it "one of the most stunning upsets in our political history."
The Milwaukee Journal says that the result proved that the New Deal, viewed as dead as a dinosaur by many, was still viable, had moved on with a new crop from the seed sown by FDR.
The Portland Oregonian finds the results to favor intervention by the Federal Government in many fields, a direction toward Western European type democracy, toward which FDR had directed the country.
W. L. Gordon informs, among other miscellany, that Edgar Allan Poe was so poor that he once lived for nine days on boiled dandelions.
"Better English" answers are: "wrong" should be "incorrect"
and "Are you through..." should be "Uncle Charlie,
what are you doing
Links-Date — Links-Subj.