Truman didn't lose, and the rest is History.
In 2012, we had a similar story of the media painting the President as having a fight on his hands, but when the votes were counted, President Obama easily beat Mitt Romney. Instead of the famous newspaper photo, we got Karl Rove's famous on-air meltdown at Fox News. Both claiming what had actually happened couldn't be true.
Now, as 2016 approaches, the question looms: what historical quirks will show their heads this time? Will it resemble Franklin Roosevelt's confident win in 1936? 1992's fractured electorate bringing Bill Clinton into the White House? Or could we see a repeat of the Obama-style groundswell in 2008?
I think, as much as the opinion of old Doremus is concerned, that we should look to the election of 1968. A turbulent time both foreign and domestic, with riots at home and wars abroad. A time of great upheaval as a massive generation comes of age in the nation. The old specters of race and hatred bubbling to the surface once again, leading to insurgent candidates on the Republican side that threaten to jeopardize the party itself.
And, most importantly: a Democratic primary split between the young and rebellious and the old and staid, leading to a compromise candidate with years of experience within the government structure but lukewarm support among the base. It breaks my heart to say it, but Minnesota's own Hubert H. Humphrey, a good man, wound up being the sacrificial lamb to a Republican party that embraced fear and racism, and the failure of a Democratic party suffering indigestion as a new generation looked for their voices to be heard. If we are not careful, we could see a similar fractured base leading to ruin again in 2016.
America knows it does not want another Presidency like Richard Nixon's that started in 1968, but this time around we have the ability to vote in even worse candidates who will do nothing good for the vast majority of Americans. The Democratic Party needs to act quickly and with genuine interest to balance out the young with the experienced, the new with the old and the idealistic with the traditional if it wants to secure a motivated electorate come next November.
As a cautionary tale, I present the following PBS documentary "Nixon's the One." If you have the time, please watch it and understand the lessons of 1968 so that we do not repeat them in 2016. America can scarce afford another Nixon... or worse.
At Your Service,