Harry S. Truman
"Give 'em hell, Harry!" That encouraging shout from the voices of his supporters during Harry S Truman's whistle stop campaign says a great deal about the thirty-third President of the United States. Truman's self confident up-hill battle for reelection and the robust response of his audience was reminiscent of Andrew Jackson and the throngs who cheered him on. Truman spoke the language of the common man and inspired the broad support he needed to win his first elected term in 1948.
Truman was a politician by profession. He was a diligent student of the tasks set before him, honest to a fault in a field frequently lacking that quality, fiercely loyal to his party, to his friends and to his allies. He was extremely well versed in history with a deep understanding of the American presidency and the objectives of the Founding Fathers. He was a man of courage, unshaken by criticism or adversity or crisis. He was resolute, decisive, and methodical yet on several occasions he made momentous decisions with too little planning or insight. To many he appeared an average Midwesterner, a modest man who almost seemed to wear the presidency as a mantle of authority and honor as a means of carrying out his stewardship. He had been rather soft spoken until well into his tenure in the White House, when he developed a confrontational and acerbating tone. He had extraordinary self-confidence. He was a political realist who understood the electorate, but uniquely for a presidential office holder, he did not choose to follow the mood of the voter, he chose to lead.