THE CAMPAIGN: The Other McCarthy

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More than six weeks ago, when the political woods still buzzed with rumors that Adlai Stevenson planned to keep Harry Truman in a minor role in the 1952 presidential race, Mr. Truman firmly announced that he himself was the key to the campaign. Last week, haranguing his way through the Far West, Harry Truman went a long way toward proving his point.

The significance attached to Truman by the Republican opposition was attested by the G.O.P.'s first countermove: Michigan's Senator Homer Ferguson, Iowa's Senator Bourke Hickenlooper and South Dakota's Senator Francis Case joined to form a Republican "Truth Squad," set out to follow Truman through the same whistle stops and present the Republican rebuttal to his "facts." The Republican vigilance was thoroughly justified; the President was engaged in a no-holds-barred assault on the Republican Party's strongest asset. At Montana's Tiber Dam, Truman pushed down a plunger setting off a dynamite charge. Playfully, he told reporters: "This is what we're going to do to Eisenhower."

Whistle-stopping at Havre, Mont., the President charged that Ike had been slow to recognize the Soviet threat after World War II. "His advice," said Truman, "carried great weight and it therefore did a great deal of harm." (New York's Governor Tom Dewey countered this charge in a television show—see below.)

Moving on to dedicate Montana's Hungry Horse Dam, where he donned a safety hat labeled "Harry," Truman warned his audience: "All of you who are here today better go over and take another look at this dam, because if the Republicans win this election it will be a long time before you see another structure of this kind." This statement brought forth from the "Truth Squad" the assertion that the Republican-controlled 80th Congress had appropriated more money for Hungry Horse than had the Democratic-controlled 79th Congress. Replied Eisenhower: "Anyone who thinks I am not interested in flood control and all the reclamation projects that we have in sight ... is just talking through his hat."

In Seattle Harry Truman ridiculed Ike's promise that as President he would eliminate waste in the armed services. Said Harry: "When he was Chief of Staff . . . he did just the opposite. He eliminated the Army Service Forces, the combined procurement agency that had been so successful during the war ..."

Truman's real job was to cut Eisenhower down to size. At San Francisco he did this in the most effective possible way —by reminding his audience that the general used to work for Truman. "He is," said Harry, "the man I chose to be a chief lieutenant in some of the greatest and gravest undertakings of my Administration . . . The reason I have spoken out ... is that the general has betrayed himself ... by his wild attacks on policies and programs for which he had a great responsibility—and received great credit."

Renewing Adlai Stevenson's charge that Ike in 1947 had joined in recommending withdrawal of U.S. troops from Korea, Truman also implied that the Berlin blockade might never have taken place if Ike had followed instructions in 1945 and had gotten from the Russians written assurances that the U.S. would be permitted free access to Berlin.

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