Akin and McCaskill both seek the mantle of Harry Truman
With his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in question, conservative Republican Todd Akin stood before reporters last month and summoned the memory of Missouri's Democratic lion.
"In 1940, Harry Truman was pitched overboard by the Democrat Party in St. Louis and Kansas City, but he decided that he was going to challenge those particular leaders and let the public decide in the state of Missouri," Akin said. "The rest is history. We're going to do it again."
Truman's name is the one constant in Missouri's fast-changing U.S. Senate race. Both candidates — Akin and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill — have been underdogs at various points. And both candidates, once left for dead, have turned to Truman's memory for inspiration.
Truman, once viewed through a decidedly Democratic Party lens, is now a bipartisan icon, a modern-day folk hero of the underdog campaign.
"I would invoke Harry Truman's memory, too," said David McCullough, a historian who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for his book on Truman's life. "If you are behind, he's a marvelous example of how to stay in the fight."
"He often said that he never forgot 'who I was, where I came from, or where I'd go back to,'" McCullough noted.
One might point out to Mr. Akin that Harry Truman was a DEMOCRAT, but then he missed the whole anatomy thing and he missed the whole 10 years of pension payments thing, that such might be a difficult concept to grasp......