I would like to have been present on that post-election morning in 1948 when Harry S. Truman heard that he had won over the invincible Thomas Dewey.
I would love to have seen his face and heard his feisty remarks. His victory was so personal and so double-edged it proved how wrong we all were about the man. In the campaign he was underestimated and demeaned. We were oblivious to his nature, his strong characteristics. He refused to accept defeat, he came out fighting. He had faith in himself and his purpose, he ran a remarkable underdog campaign. He captured the imagination of America and pulled off one of the most amazing campaign upsets in American history. We should have learned from this victory never to underestimate this man again, this haberdasher from Independence, Missouri, who grew in the job and made the tough decisions at a time when our nation needed tough decisions.
Time is giving us a more constructive historical perspective of Harry Truman. Many of us are now cognizant of how wrong we were about him. I would love to have seen his face on the morning that was the beginning of his triumph and our future understanding of him.