Margaret Truman to George Bush: You’re No HST
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Margaret Truman Daniel charged the Republican Party in general - and George Bush in particular - with hijacking her father, Harry S. Truman.
In an op-ed page article in today’s Washington Post, Mrs. Daniel, the only daughter of Harry and Bess Truman, said her father ″would not be flattered, but he surely would be flabbergasted to learn that he has become a model for President Bush’s campaign for reelection.″
She noted the numerous favorable references to her highly partisan and dyed-in-the-wool Democratic father at the Republican National Convention last week and a passage in Bush’s speech accepting renomination in which Bush recalled Truman’s come-from behind 1948 campaign for the presidency.
″As he stood before his party to accept their nomination, Harry Truman knew the freedom I know this evening, the freedom to talk about what’s right for America and let the chips fall where they may,″ Bush said.
Since then, Bush has been comparing his underdog campaign for re-election to Truman’s.
Truman’s defeat of Republican Thomas E. Dewey has been considered the greatest presidential upset of the 20th Century. The pollsters were so certain of Dewey’s victory that they stopped polling.
″Personally,″ wrote Truman’s daughter, ″I have always found President Bush to be a friendly, pleasant man, invariably courteous to me. I never suspected that behind this Ivy League facade there was a political plagiarist.
″Of course, after many years on the political battlefronts, nothing should surprise me. It would not surprise Harry Truman. The Republicans are just lucky that he’s no longer around to shoot back. I don’t think they would dare try to entice him or kidnap him or steal his best lines if he was still with us.′ She concluded by paraphrasing what Sen. Lloyd Bentsen said to his vice presidential opponent, Dan Quayle, in 1988, when Quayle compared himself to John F. Kennedy.
Said Mrs. Daniel: ″I would say to George Bush, ’you are no Harry Truman.‴