The Big Story Blog

Iowa: Could a candidate today talk like Truman?

Posted at 5:41 PM on January 3, 2012 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Politics

Political candidates say a lot of stuff about each other in Iowa. But you won't find them pointing fingers at Iowans -- not like Harry Truman did in 1948.

The Miller Center at the University of Virginia tonight has been posting some great pieces of political history to go along with the Iowa caucuses. That includes Truman's September 1948 whistlestop campaign speech in Chariton, Iowa.

The usual platitudes are there. But in the speech, Truman takes aim at the people he hopes will vote for him.

You stayed at home in 1946 and you got the 80th Congress, and you got just exactly what you deserved. You didn't exercise your God-given right to control this country. Now you're going to have another chance. If you let that chance slip, you won't have my sympathy.
Truman won the election, of course, including Iowa.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.