Friday, September 3, 2021

the last book I ever read (Truman by David McCullough, excerpt twenty-three)

from Truman by David McCullough:

“I shall not be a candidate for re-election. I have served my country long, and I think efficiently and honestly. I shall not accept a renomination. I do not feel that it is my duty to spend another four years in the White House.”

It was said without buildup, almost matter-of-factly, and for a few seconds the immense audience sat silent and confused. Then followed a strange mixture of automatic applause and shouted cries of “No,” even from some of those who had hoped he would step down. “I found myself shouting ‘No’ with vigor,” recalled Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who had tried to stop Truman’s nomination in 1948. “Then I wondered the hell I was shouting ‘No,” since this is what I had been hoping would happen for month. Still the shouts of ‘No’ seemed the least due to the President for a noble and courageous reununciation.”

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