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One year after L.A. Care was hit with record fines by state regulators, Southern California hospitals complain that problems at the publicly operated health plan have persisted.
Opinion | I Know What Nikki Haley Has Gone Through. That’s Why Her Rhetoric on Race Infuriates Me.
I empathize with Nikki Haley’s struggle with race because in many ways her struggle mirrors my own.
She and I were born 310 days apart in 1972. We both grew up in predominantly Black rural regions of South Carolina, she in Bamberg, the county seat of one of the state’s smallest counties, and me in the tiny town of St. Stephen in Berkeley County.
She and I went to schools still segregated and heavily underfunded decades after the Supreme Court supposedly put an end to such things with Brown v. Board of Education. Bamberg schools were among those that became known as part of the “Corridor of Shame” when 36 districts sued the state in 1993 for conditions that included raw sewage backed up in hallways, water fountains that didn’t work, and computers so old and useless they were stamped with “use by inmates only” because they had been donated by the Department of Corrections. Schools in Bamberg, Berkeley and other largely-Black areas had been sucked dry by an all-white state legislature that helped establish a private school system — for white students — by finding ways to funnel public and other dollars to them in defiance of desegregation laws.
Haley faced discrimination as part of the only Indian family in Bamberg. I faced discrimination in St. Stephen because I was Black and poor, common characteristics in town, and spoke with a severe stutter. Each of us has the kind of stories that are often used to illustrate the promise of the American Dream. If we can rise from such humble and unfair beginnings, anyone can, darn it! Our paths first intersected when I was a journalist in Myrtle Beach and she was running to become governor in 2010. I also voted for her in the Republican primary in part because I was taken aback by nasty rumors (that she denied) circulating about her private life. That she was possibly on her way to doing something I had assumed nearly impossible — winning the governorship of my native state as someone other than a white man — was a bonus.
But Haley often only empathizes with people like me when it advances her political pursuits. The discrimination she endured, which she used to craft her political brand, magically disappears (or its edges are sanded down) when she speaks to a crowd of people who want to believe it never existed. At times, she has weaponized her story against Black and brown people who don’t identify as conservative or the policies that might uplift them.
Haley is adept at deriding what she calls a destructive identity politics of the left, and in the next breath using identity politics to gain favor among a largely white GOP base desperate to hear how great America is and why it’s wrong to critique its racial past or present. In that sense, she’s very much like Dr. Ben Carson, who also ended up in former President Donald Trump’s cabinet after spending his presidential campaign admonishing Black people to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.
Or as Haley put it during the 2020 Republican National Convention: “America is not a racist country. This is personal for me. I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. They came to America and settled in a small Southern town. My father wore a turban. My mother wore a sari. I was a brown girl in a Black and white world. We faced discrimination and hardship. But my parents never gave in to grievance and hate.”
My Black parents never gave into grievance or hate either. Most Black people haven’t, despite what our families have endured for generations. I would have had no chance at success had they given in, or had I. And yet, it feels to me as though Haley expertly tells her story in a way to diminish and dismiss people like me, those who refuse to pretend the anger we sometimes feel at the obvious racism around us isn’t justified.
I know the power of Haley’s story, know of the pain she speaks when recounting what happened to her father when she was a young girl. Her father committed a cardinal sin in the Bible Belt Deep South: buying produce at a fruit stand while brown and wearing a turban. He was Sikh, the turban a part of his faith. Someone called the cops, who stood watch as he purchased his items. Haley has told the story in many ways over the years, including in her memoir. And it’s the incident Haley used when she pushed legislators in 2015 to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina State House, even though she had done nothing until then to get it removed.
“I remember how bad that felt,” Haley has said about the fruit stand incident. “And my dad went to the register, shook their hands, said ‘Thank you,’ paid for his things and not a word was said going home. I knew what had just happened. That produce stand is still there and every time I drive by it, I still feel that pain. I realized that that Confederate flag was the same pain that so many people were feeling.”
Haley’s father had to swallow their bigotry, and even thank them for it, while handing them his hard-earned dollars. That’s what was expected when white men demanded stoic subservience. In that same era, my father had to quietly endure insults even from white children who would slur him knowing their skin color would protect them.
I know such incidents leave an indelible mark on your psyche, on your soul. You never grow out of it, especially if, like Haley, you and your family faced racial and religious discrimination in numerous ways. Her parents, immigrants from India, initially had trouble finding housing in Bamberg because of Jim Crow laws and social norms. Haley was removed from the Little Miss Bamberg beauty pageant as a 5-year-old because the insidious race-based system did not make space for someone like her, not white but not Black either. She wanted to be a pilgrim in a school play but had to portray Pocahontas instead. (“Did they realize that I wasn’t that kind of Indian?” she would later say.)
She endured racism as an adult when in 2010 she was vying to become the first woman and person of color to become South Carolina’s governor. State Sen. Jake Knotts, a Republican like Haley but an ally of one of her opponents, slurred her as a “raghead.” (He applied the term to then-President Barack Obama as well.) The Lexington County Republican Party censured him and told him to resign. Instead, he gave a half-hearted apology “for an unintended slur” but proclaimed that Haley was “pretending to be someone she is not, much as Obama did.”
Growing up in the circumstances Haley and I did, you realize quite early you will be pressured to make a certain number of compromises and sacrifices to become successful in white people’s eyes. You may cry in private but present a stiff upper lip in public. That might mean swallowing hard, like Haley’s parents did and my parents did, to accommodate the white people in your orbit. And sometimes that meant unintentionally buying into their delusions, or having the good sense and good “God bless your heart” Southern manners to not shatter their myths. We were taught by history teachers in our public schools from books written by Confederate apologists and descendants. We learned that enslaved people were happy and that enslavers treated them like family members, and that the Confederate flag was “a symbol of respect, integrity and duty” and “a way to honor ancestors who came to the service of their state.” Those were Haley’s words. But she has also said the opposite, reminding audiences the flag was also seen by some as “a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past.”
In an interview with “The Palmetto Patriots” during her first run for governor in 2010, Haley defended states’ right to secede and said the Confederate flag was not racist and its location was a “compromise of all people, that everybody should accept.” She was referring to the general assembly’s decision in 2000, under pressure from a boycott by the NAACP, to remove the flag from atop the statehouse and place it in front of the building. As part of the “compromise,” the legislature also initiated plans for the construction of an African American monument to be installed at the state Capitol and established an official Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. state holiday to go along with a Confederate Memorial Day. That “compromise” was what counted for racial progress in South Carolina. In exchange for the privilege of having the flag of traitors relocated — but continuing to fly on Capitol grounds — Black citizens had to accept a state holiday dedicated to the traitors who wanted us to be enslaved forever.
At the same time, Haley made history by appointing Tim Scott to the U.S. Senate, making him the first Black man from the Deep South to serve in that chamber since Reconstruction. And she signed into law a bill that began to correct for decades-deep inequalities suffered by school districts like the ones she and I attended.
I know, in my bones, why Haley compromised so frequently on race, including when she declared during a reelection debate that the Confederate flag’s continued presence was no big deal. “I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag,” she said in 2014 on her way to a comfortable victory.
I made similar compromises, convinced that was the best way to maintain friendships and relationships with white neighbors, friends and fellow Christians. Which is why I can tell you that a part of me for a very long time had an affinity for Robert E. Lee. I know he was an enslaver and the leader of the Confederate army. But growing up, he was “General Lee,” the cool orange car on the Dukes of Hazzard driven fast and wild by the good ole Duke boys and the man who allegedly knelt next to a Black person in a church after the Civil War to supposedly signal to white Southerners it was time to accept Black people as equals. Those were the stories and tall tales we were bathed in, fed, literally preached from the pulpit by white pastors. At the time, I didn’t know it was part of a decades-long Lost Cause campaign to reimagine those who seceded from the union to protect the peculiar institution that was race-based chattel slavery as the true heroes of American history.
But I know now. And Haley should too.
In 2016, I sincerely thought she had pulled off the impossible, criticizing Trump on the issue of race but politically deft enough to not forever alienate him and his strong base of support. “I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK. That is not a part of our party,” she said of Trump in February of that year. “That is not who we are.” She took far too much credit for removing the Confederate flag, but she was still building up credibility with voters of color I knew in South Carolina and beyond.
I was cheering on that version of Haley and didn’t even mind when she joined Trump’s cabinet, which she could explain as more a duty to country than loyalty to Trump. At the time, I would have considered voting for her to become president or would not have been upset had she made it to the White House without my vote.
But that was then. And that’s why I can’t fully empathize with her. Since 2016, I have watched her compromise her principles to achieve her personal ambitions. After becoming U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, I initially understood why she couldn’t fully condemn Trump as fiercely as she had during the campaign, but soon it became clear that she had abandoned her moral opposition to him altogether. In 2017, she declined to publicly rebuke Trump’s comments equating white supremacists with anti-racist protesters after Charlottesville. To cozy up to Trump in 2020 and maintain good standing among his overwhelmingly white base, she was comfortable using her immigrant story to downplay claims by Black people about the need for further racial progress, a tactic she has doubled down on. “It has become fashionable to say America is racist,” Haley said in her 2020 RNC speech. “That is a lie. America is not racist.” She goes on to decry “Democrats turning a blind eye to riots and rage” without ever acknowledging the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer that prompted the protests. America, Haley asserted vaguely, is “a work in progress.” And when she mentions the “white supremacist” who shot and killed nine Black people in a church, it is presented as evidence of how she engineered the removal of a “divisive symbol peacefully and respectfully.”
Let me be clear. The Confederate flag didn’t come down because of Haley’s leadership. It came down because Dylann Roof made it impossible to ignore what that flag has long stood for, and still does, the hatred of Black people, a hatred so deep it led Roof to massacre nine Black people after they welcomed and prayed for him. The flag came down because of the spilling of the blood of those Black people, including a sister of a friend of mine, not because of Haley’s supposed moral clarity on race. Indeed, in late 2019, Haley again muddied her position on the issue by saying the banner represented “service, sacrifice and heritage” for some people in South Carolina until Roof “hijacked” it.
Her willingness to use race when it helps her rather than her constituents is clear from her record. She prevented maybe a quarter of a million poor residents in South Carolina from securing health coverage when she refused billions of dollars for a Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. One of her most notable acts during her first term was signing into law a bill that established a new state law enforcement unit and required cops to check the immigration status of people they stopped or arrested if they suspected they might be here illegally, an anti-immigrant move that was red meat for her base. (Haley’s parents benefitted from the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which smoothed the path for highly skilled immigrants.)
In February, when she announced her presidential run, she made clear that the 2016 Haley I considered politically talented and a potential breath of fresh air for a party that needed to rid itself of the open bigotry of Trump, was nowhere to be found. She invokes race in the very first words of the video, evoking the image of the train tracks that run through her home town and many other towns through South Carolina, to let us know she understands America’s race problem. But then she reprises her RNC rhetoric. “Some think our ideas are not just wrong but racist and evil,” she said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
It was another deflection from the racism she supported in the form of Trump, and from the very real racism that continues to hold back too many of the Black and brown people who grew up like where Haley and I did. It was a reminder to GOP voters that she is eager to give them a pass on the issue, ensuring them she won’t make them too uncomfortable in exchange for their vote.
Given our backgrounds, Haley and I should be allies. But I haven’t been able to support her because she’s decided to deploy her inspiring story — it’s no easy feat to become the first woman and person of color to serve as South Carolina’s governor — in service of men and women who have been fighting rather than advancing racial progress.
I want that 2016 Haley back in 2024. But I fear she’s gone forever.
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Missouri AG issues emergency regulation, tip line to report transgender procedures on minors: ‘Child abuse’
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey issued an emergency regulation last week regarding gender transition interventions on minors and launched a website to report allegations of malpractice at gender clinics in the state.
“It’s about protecting children for me,” Bailey told Fox News Digital. “We’ve got to inject some sanity into this conversation. Gender is an objective reality defined by biology, in the same way that gravity is an objective reality. It is unhealthy to deny objective reality.”
The emergency regulation, which was announced last Monday, notes the “skyrocketing number of gender transition interventions despite rising concerns in the medical community that these procedures are experimental and lack clinical evidence of safety or success,” according to a press release from Bailey’s office.
Because of their experimental nature, such procedures are subject to Missouri law governing unfair, deceptive and unconscionable business practices, Bailey said.
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Citing state law that already prohibits experimental procedures without specific “guardrails,” Bailey’s regulation ordered that gender transition intervention in Missouri must include specific informed-consent disclosures.
Patients must be informed that the Food and Drug Administration has not approved puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to treat gender dysphoria and has warned they can lead to brain swelling and blindness. They must also be told of the recent declaration from Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare that the risks of puberty-suppressing drugs and cross-sex hormones for minors “currently outweigh the benefits.”
Healthcare providers must also mention scientific studies suggesting transgender identity can emerge because of social factors, and note that the Endocrine Society found that about 85% of pre-pubescent children with gender dysphoria outgrow it during adolescence.
MISSOURI ATTORNEY GENERAL LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL TRANSGENDER CENTER
The regulation also prohibits gender transition intervention if a healthcare provider fails to provide a full psychological or psychiatric assessment that screens for mental health comorbidities and autism. Providers must also obtain written consent, track any adverse effects from any gender transition intervention and annually check if the patient has been subject to “social contagion.”
Bailey told Fox News Digital his order comes on the heels of the investigation his office is leading into a whistleblower complaint against the Washington University Pediatric Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Jamie Reed, former case manager at the hospital’s transgender center, said in an affidavit submitted to the attorney general’s office she was employed at the hospital from 2018 until November 2022 as a case manager at the pediatric transgender center, which she accused of lying to the parents of patients, among many other issues.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, some parents have pushed back on her allegations.
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Bailey said that even if a fraction of Reed’s allegations is true, they point to “a shadowy, clandestine web of these types of clinics across the state of Missouri.”
“This is nothing short of child abuse masquerading as medicine, and we’ve got to stand up, take it seriously and put a stop to this,” he added.
Bailey believes there are both political and financial incentives behind the proliferating number of pediatric gender clinics in the U.S.
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“I think there are those who would rather push a radical left-wing ideology than protect children, and they will harm children in their march toward this radical left-wing ideology,” Bailey said. “But then there’s a money component, as well.
“If companies can get kids addicted to these treatments and these procedures and, ultimately, surgery, then they’re addicted to both mental health procedures and mental health treatments,” Bailey added. “They have a chemical dependency on these kinds of drugs moving forward. So there’s an economic benefit to certain bad actors.”
“So, we need to widen the scope of our investigation and look into all facets of why this is happening and how it’s happening and how the state of Missouri can hold wrongdoers accountable,” he added.
Bailey’s office on Thursday launched an online tip form for people to submit allegations of malpractice at Missouri gender clinics.
Fox News’ Adam Sabes contributed to this report.
Truman’s Secret Plea to Eisenhower: Take My Job
It was surely an incredible frustration for the Democratic president: Huge swaths of his party’s electorate didn’t want him to run again.
Joe Biden? Well, yes, but also Harry Truman.
The two politicians have a lot in common — plain-spoken with an everyman aura, former No. 2s to historic presidents, and frequently underestimated figures in Washington. And they both faced resistance from within their own party to their bids to hold on to the White House.
Some 75 years ago, everyone, it seemed, thought the Democrats would be better off running Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the hero of World War II, instead of Truman, the current president.
Among those who secretly proposed the idea: Harry Truman.
There were reasons for Democrats to be pessimistic about Truman’s chances of winning the 1948 election. After all, Americans had never chosen him for the job — he was elected vice president in 1944 as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s running mate and became president when FDR died just a few months into his new term. By 1948, Truman’s approval rating had sunk to 36 percent amid a weak economy. He faced intraparty rivals from the right (Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond) and the left (Progressive Party candidate Henry Wallace, Truman’s predecessor as vice president). And he made some big league gaffes, like his take on the Soviet Union’s dictator: “I got very well acquainted with Joe Stalin, and I like old Joe! He is a decent fellow.”
Throughout 1948, there was open talk of drafting Eisenhower and nominating him at that summer’s Democratic National Convention. But it wasn’t known at the time that even Truman had suggested to Ike that they run as a ticket — with Truman returning to the role of vice president.
In 2003, a newly discovered Truman diary showed that he was concerned that the popular Gen. Douglas MacArthur, then the military governor of Japan, could win the Republican presidential nomination and be well positioned for the White House. In the July 25, 1947 diary entry, Truman described “a very interesting conversation” he had with Eisenhower, then the Army chief of staff. The president summarized his unorthodox offer to Eisenhower:
“We discussed MacArthur and his superiority complex … Ike & I think MacArthur expects to make a Roman Triumphal return to the U. S. a short time before the Republican Convention meets in Philadelphia. I told Ike that if he did that that he (Ike) should announce for the nomination for President on the Democratic ticket and that I’d be glad to be in second place, or Vice President. I like the Senate anyway. Ike & I could be elected and my family & myself would be happy outside this great white jail, known as the White House. Ike won’t quot [sic] me & I won’t quote him.”
There was already talk that year of Eisenhower running for president in 1948, but as early as January 1947 he tamped down such speculation, and continued to do so. That didn’t stop the formation in August 1947 of the “Draft Eisenhower for President League.”
It wasn’t crazy for Truman or his fellow Democrats to pursue Eisenhower. Ike had yet to publicly announce his party affiliation, and no one knew that he would become a Republican president just a few years later. For now, he was simply the popular World War II hero, who would make for an enticing candidate as the party tried to hold on to the White House for a fifth straight term.
Truman’s diary entry didn’t indicate how Eisenhower responded. But it turned out the general wasn’t interested in Truman’s pitch. “At that time, Truman’s chances for reelection appeared to be nil,” Stephen E. Ambrose wrote in his Eisenhower biography. “Eisenhower assumed that Truman wanted to use him to pull the Democrats out of an impossible situation. The general wanted nothing to do with the Democratic Party; his answer was a flat ‘No.’”
Today, there isn’t a consensus alternative candidate whom Democrats are rallying around. But they have expressed a clear preference that it be somebody other than Biden. Many are concerned that the president — who was 5-year-old Joey when Truman sought a new term — is too old. A recent survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that only 37 percent of Democrats say they want him to run for reelection.
Still, Biden is expected to jump into the 2024 campaign in the coming weeks. And if the analogy to Truman holds up, he and his party will be happy he did.
Back in 1948, many Democrats were excited about Ike, but he wasn’t the only famous figure floated for the ticket. One prominent Republican suggested that Truman tap former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt as his running mate in a move that would have revived and reversed the 1944 Roosevelt-Truman ticket. (It’s eerily similar to Republicans who claim today that former first lady Michelle Obama will seek the 2024 nomination; Obama, of course, has said she’s not interested.)
In a June 1948 New York World-Telegram column, former GOP Rep. Clare Boothe Luce called Eleanor Roosevelt “the only person in the Democratic Party who could take back from Mr. Wallace the Negro vote, the labor vote, the underdog minority vote, and, as the mother of four boys in the service, the Pacific vote.”
“She would give many disgruntled liberals who cannot stomach Mr. Wallace’s Moscow axis and still distrust Republicans an excuse to rally to the Truman banner,” she added, referring to Wallace’s friendliness to the Soviet Union.
But Luce said that Democrats, “being men first and Democrats second,” probably lacked “the courage, vision, or intelligence to adopt it.” (Luce, a playwright and former managing editor of Vanity Fair, and the wife of one of the nation’s most influential publishers, Henry R. Luce, was way ahead of her time. It would be 36 years before Democrats made Geraldine Ferraro the first woman to be nominated for vice president by a major political party — and another 36 years before Kamala Harris would be the first woman elected to the post.)
There was reason to be skeptical of Luce’s motives behind the free strategic advice. Just the week before, in a speech at the Republican convention, “the GOP’s glamorous Clare Boothe Luce,” as the Washington Post called her, mocked Truman and called her party’s victory in the presidential election a lock.
“Why is everyone so certain?” she asked on June 21, the opening day of the convention. “For three reasons: our people want a competent president; our people want a truthful president; our people want a constitution-minded president.” She mocked Truman as “the unfortunate man in the White House,” adding, “Frankly, he is a gone goose.” Luce called the Democrats less a party than a “mishmash of die-hard warring factions” — white supremacist “lynch-loving bourbons” on the right, and the “Moscow wing” on the left.
In the weeks leading up to the Democratic National Convention, meanwhile, party members continued to agitate for a change at the top of the ticket. Jeremiah T. Mahoney, a delegate from New York, argued in a letter to his state party chairman that Truman’s nomination would cost other Democrats down-ballot.
Mahoney, a nationally prominent attorney and former judge, wrote that “our dear President Truman, of whom we are all so fond, cannot possibly be re-elected,” and urged the party to continue recruiting Eisenhower to take his place at the top of the ticket. Even though Ike had repeatedly stated that he wouldn’t accept the nomination, Mahoney predicted that if the party nominated him, the general would accept out of “duty” to the country.
By the time the two parties gathered for their conventions that summer in Philadelphia, Republicans still seemed like the one on the ascent. In 1946, they had won both houses of Congress, the first time the GOP achieved that feat since before the Great Depression.
To take on Truman, Republicans nominated New York Gov. Thomas Dewey for president and California Gov. Earl Warren as his running mate: “a dream ticket of two hugely popular governors,” as Truman biographer Alonzo L. Hamby called them.
Democrats, meanwhile, were bracing for a nightmare. Earlier that year, Truman’s bold civil rights proposal — including a federal anti-lynching law, home rule for Washington, D.C., and his announcement that he would desegregate the military — had splintered the party into the “mishmash of die-hard warring factions” Luce had maligned.
On the eve of the party’s convention, many Democrats fretted that Truman was a fatally weak incumbent. It was a continuation of how the political establishment had underrated him his entire career. When Truman became FDR’s running mate in 1944, for example, Time magazine mocked him as “the mousy little man from Missouri.” The taunts didn’t let up after he became president. Another popular one: “To err is Truman.”
“Truman seemed very much alone, cheering himself on in a hopeless cause — an election very few thought he had a chance of winning,” wrote Jeffrey Frank in The Trials of Harry S. Truman: The Extraordinary Presidency of an Ordinary Man, 1945-1953.
A July 1 White House news conference, less than two weeks before the Democratic convention, seemed to epitomize Truman’s falling political stock, when a reporter told him about Luce’s advice that he name Eleanor Roosevelt to his ticket and asked if she would be an acceptable running mate.
“Why, of course, of course,” Truman replied. Then he brought down the house with this postscript: “What do you expect me to say to that?”
A reporter asked Truman if he would welcome Eisenhower on the ticket; he punted by saying that would be “up to General Eisenhower.” Finally, someone blurted out, “You definitely won’t retire, though, as a candidate will you?”
“No, certainly not. That is foolish question number one,” Truman parried, to more laughter.
But behind the joking and despite his own proposal to Eisenhower, Truman was irritated at what he considered disloyalty from many in his party — including on the part of three of FDR’s sons, James, Franklin Jr. and Elliott, who were active in the draft Ike movement. Not only had Truman been their father’s vice president, but he had appointed Franklin Jr. to his Committee on Civil Rights, which led to Truman’s historic order to desegregate the armed forces.
In a March 31, 1948 letter to his sister, Mary Jane Truman, the president complained about people “whose definition of loyalty is loyalty to themselves … Take the Roosevelt clan as an example. As long as Wm Howard Taft was supporting Teddy he was a great man — but when Taft needed support Teddy supported Teddy. The present generation of Franklin’s is something on that order.”
For her part, Eleanor Roosevelt, whom Truman had appointed as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations, tried to stay above the fray.
“My sons, as a rule, tell me what they are going to do, but they are grown men and I decided long ago that once children were grown they must be allowed to lead their own lives,” she wrote in a March 30, 1948 column, referring to Elliott and Franklin, Jr., who had just come out for Eisenhower. “If they feel it right to take a stand of any kind, they must abide by the results of their own decisions. I do not interfere with them now that they are grown to man’s estate.”
She also wrote, “I am not dabbling in politics. I am not trying to do anything whatsoever in the way of party politics,” and made a point that year of not getting involved in domestic politics while a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. (Ultimately in late October, she said that “I am a member of the Democratic Party and will support the Democratic ticket.”)
After Luce’s column, Roosevelt said on July 1 she wasn’t interested in being Truman’s running mate, and he wound up having trouble finding someone to take the gig. (This was before the 25th Amendment established today’s line of succession, and no one had replaced Truman as vice president after he stepped up to the presidency upon FDR’s death.) First, Truman offered the position to Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, but he declined. In his memoir, Truman would later lump Douglas in with “crackpots whose word is worth less than Jimmy Roosevelt’s.”
At the Democratic National Convention in mid-July, delegates settled on Kentucky Sen. Alben W. Barkley as the president’s running mate, whom a less-than-enthusiastic Truman called “Old Man Barkley.” Barkley was 70 at the time, 10 years younger than Biden is today.
Prior to Barkley’s nomination, columnist Walter Lippmann urged the party to make him their presidential candidate, with some unusual logic.
“Since Senator Barkley could not be elected to the Presidency, the questions do not arise which would otherwise have to be asked about his age and his experience in executive office,” Lippmann wrote in the New York Herald Tribune. Nominating Barkley for president, he reasoned, “would be a frank and honest acceptance of the realities of the political situation — that the Democrats are not out to win the Presidency but to survive as the national party of opposition, to be critical, vigilant, but good humored about the return of the Republicans and the rise of Dewey.”
A.J. Liebling, the New Yorker’s acerbic press critic, described Lippmann’s plan as “the first printed appeal to a major party to throw an election … The concept of a national election as a fake, or shoo-in, in which the administration agrees to lie down, reminded me of the late wrestling trust, an organization that promoted prearranged matches for the heavyweight wrestling championship of the world.”
Under withering TV lights in Convention Hall in Philadelphia, Democrats gathered for their midsummer convention as a low-energy party. “IT’S LIKE A WAKE AS DEMOCRATS GET TOGETHER,” bemoaned a Chicago Tribune headline. The story described an atmosphere of “party gloom and defeatism.”
Divisions over race were a key factor. Democrats were split between civil rights champions such as Minnesota Senate candidate Hubert Humphrey, the 37-year-old mayor of Minneapolis, and Southerners who wanted to preserve Jim Crow discrimination against Black citizens.
“The time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadows of states’ rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights,” Humphrey declared in a soon-to-be famous convention speech. On the final day of the convention, liberals won passage of a strong civil rights platform that encompassed some of Truman’s proposals, such as abolition of state poll taxes in federal elections and an anti-lynching law.
That led to a dramatic rupture: The Mississippi delegation and half of the Alabama delegates walked out of the convention hall. A few days later, disgruntled Southern Democrats met in Alabama and nominated South Carolina Gov. Strom Thurmond as the nominee of the newly formed Dixiecrat party amid “cheers, and rebel yells,” as the New York Times described it.
Truman ultimately gave his acceptance speech at 2 a.m. on the final night of the Democratic convention, another sign of a flailing party. Wearing a white linen suit and two-tone black-and-white shoes, he delivered a fiery speech.
“Senator Barkley and I will win this election and make these Republicans like it — don’t you forget that!” Truman said, announcing that he’d call Congress back into session on July 26 (“which out in Missouri we call Turnip Day”) to vote for laws to expand civil rights, lower housing costs and tackle other priorities that Republicans had backed at their convention.
In other words, Truman was daring the GOP “to pass all the liberal-sounding legislation endorsed in the Republican platform,” as Hamby, the Truman biographer, wrote.
Congress didn’t pass Truman’s civil rights agenda, but that gave the president something to campaign on and help boost his support among Black voters in the face of Southern defections. He talked up the issue in an appearance in Harlem in late October, which one newspaper story characterized as reflecting “the major objective of the final phase of Mr. Truman’s campaign to rally all minority groups under the Truman banner.”
Truman engaged in an energetic “whistle-stop” train tour, covering more than 31,000 miles and giving over 250 speeches during the campaign, in which he ridiculed the “do-nothing Congress” in front of crowds that cheered him on with chants of “Give ’em hell, Harry!” Dewey, meanwhile, played it safe, speaking “in polished and euphonious generalities, virtually ignoring his opponent,” according to the New York Times. “He pleaded for ‘unity’ among the voters, much like a man who had already won an election. The polls and the commentators all predicted he would win, and he did not see how he could lose.”
Neither did the Chicago Tribune, which went to press before all the results were in and infamously published a banner headline in its early edition, “Dewey Defeats Truman.” In the end, Truman won by a comfortable Electoral College margin, with 303 votes to Dewey’s 189 and Thurmond’s 39; Wallace didn’t win any electoral votes. It was Dewey’s second consecutive defeat for president, after losing the 1944 election to FDR.
Truman had built a winning coalition among Black and Jewish voters, farmers and labor. The unions had been especially helpful in getting out the vote. Democrats also swept into power in both chambers of Congress.
The day after the election, a reporter gave Truman a chance to skewer the nation’s pollsters — something he had done mercilessly during the campaign — but the president demurred.
“When you win, you can’t say anything,” he said. “I’m just happy.”
Honduras establishes ties with China after breaking off relations with Taiwan
The Honduran Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Twitter that its government recognizes “only one China in the world” and that Beijing “is the only legitimate government that represents all of China.”
Gove vows to stop ‘unscrupulous landlords’ profiting from cost of living crisis
Housing secretary Michael Gove has said a ‘tiny minority’ of landlords are using the ‘threat of eviction to jack up rents and victimise tenants’.
Photos: Now that the sun is out, time to enjoy the gift Mother Nature provided
Officials at Big Bear Mountain Resort, half-buried under the heaviest snowfall there in more than 20 years, said they would be extending their season through April 30.
Greene, Gaetz take shots at presidential hopeful Nikki Haley during Trump rally over foreign policy, appeal
Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ga., and Matt Gaetz, Fla., joined former President Trump’s first official campaign rally on Saturday and took turns delivering blows to presidential candidate Nikki Haley.
The rally was in Waco, Texas, during the 30th anniversary of federal agents burning down the compound belonging to the religious cult Branch Davidians. The federal law enforcement siege killed more than 80 people, including nearly 30 children. But Trump’s team says the location and timing of the rally have nothing to do with the siege.
Greene and Gaetz, both of whom are allies of Trump, delivered remarks in support of the former president during the rally on Saturday.
The representatives both hit at Haley, a former South Carolina governor and former United Nations ambassador under Trump, over her foreign policy agenda while also questioning whether she is a serious presidential contender.
NIKKI HALEY UNLOADS ON BIDEN PROJECTING ‘AMERICAN WEAKNESS’ ON WORLD STAGE: ‘WE HAVE TO WAKE UP’
The Georgia congresswoman knocked Haley as a legitimate presidential opponent to Trump, saying nobody has a “list of names” like the former president does to “clean out the swamp.
“Here’s what we know about President Trump,” she said in an interview with the conservative outlet Right Side Broadcasting Network. “President Trump has a list of names, and no one else has that. Ron DeSantis doesn’t have that. Nikki Haley, or whoever she is, she doesn’t have anything like that. No one else knows how to clean out the swamp like President Trump.”
Greene’s dig at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis comes despite him not declaring a run for president, although he is expected to enter the race in the coming months. Trump has made repeated attacks on the Florida governor, who is widely viewed as the ex-president’s biggest threat for the GOP nomination in 2024.
TRUMP WELCOMES NIKKI HALEY INTO THE 2024 RACE: THE MORE THE MERRIER’
In Gaetz’s speech targeting Haley, he mocked her previous comments in a campaign video in which she said, “I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you are wearing heels.”
“Nikki Haley says that we must kick all of the world’s bullies with heels,” Gaetz said at the rally. “But we cannot go kicking and screaming around the globe, starting new wars behind every Middle Eastern sand dune as Nikki Haley would have us do.”
“So, Nikki Haley can keep clicking her heels,” he continued. “What we know is that President Donald Trump will bring America’s enemies to heel.”
And while Trump has ramped up his attacks on DeSantis in recent months, he has not taken the same approach toward Haley, who he welcomed to the presidential race last month by saying, “the more the merrier.”
“I’m glad she’s running,” Trump told FOX News Digital at the time. “I want her to follow her heart — even though she made a commitment that she would never run against who she called the greatest president of her lifetime.”
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has also declared that he is running for president and other Republicans are mulling a White House run, including DeSantis, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Vice President Mike Pence.