THE PRESIDENCY: Fencing Match

"Good afternoon," barked Harry S. Truman as he marched briskly into the stuffy Treaty Room of the old State Department at 4:04 p.m. and stood warily behind the big walnut desk. The 132 reporters readied their pencils, and the match began.

After a few warm-up parries, one of them made a serious thrust by bringing up the fact that Harry Truman's candidate in the Missouri Democratic Senate primary—Emery Allison—had lost. Would the President support the Democrat who won, anyway?

He always did that, said Party Regular Truman, grinning slyly.

Would the President appoint a...

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