Obama's Speech—Where's Truman?

He set the country on a course that ultimately won the Cold War—isn't that worth remembering?

By SHARE

DENVER—One thing occurs to me on the pre-released Obama remarks we've seen: Where's Harry Truman?

Here's what Obama is slated to say:

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe.

FDR? Led the country through World War Two—got it. JFK? His calm led us through the most dangerous moment in human history—the Cuban Missile Crisis—another good choice.

I can see where you leave out Bill Clinton (he dusted a few tents in Afghanistan?), and certainly Lyndon Johnson (Vietnam).

But what about Truman? Granted he got us into an unpopular war and left office with (until now—thanks, W.) record-low approval ratings. But he's been redeemed in the eyes of history and the public, and set the United States on a foreign policy course that ultimately led to victory in the Cold War. (Sorry Reaganites, your boy gets the save at best.)

One other unrelated note: The view from the press box is great, but I feel a bit sealed off up here. The audio from outside is piped in, but I feel a bit disconnected, especially when the crowd gets whipped up and (I assume) start banging their feet. It feels like a mild earthquake is rolling up the tiers towards us.