Daniel Cassidy
The humility of greatness vs grabbing for all you can get
By Daniel Cassidy
September 11, 2011

To those who accuse us of blind partisanship, we would suggest that the highest praise this blog has ever paid to an American politician was to President Harry S Truman. Truman loved the Constitution, read history and had a profound understanding of how a citizen in a republic, raised to leadership, should behave.

As President, Truman made some of the most momentous decisions of the twentieth century. Truman also paid for all of his own travel expenses, vacations and food, and when he completed the job he was given to do, he and his wife got in their own car and drove themselves home to Independence, Missouri. No Secret Service followed them, nor did the Secret Service pay them tens of thousands of dollars in rent each month for the privilege of protecting them. Truman refused lucrative corporate and board positions saying "You don't want me, you want the Office of President of the United States, and that doesn't belong to me."

We have thought a lot about Harry Truman on the heals of our current President's vacation looting sprees and Governor Nikki Haley calling a reporter "a little girl" for daring to write:

    Haley, who captured the governor's office preaching fiscal restraint, spent the (taxpayers') cash so she, her husband and the rest of the state's contingent could stay in five-star hotels; sip cocktails at the Paris Ritz; dine on what an invitation touted as "delicious French cuisine" at a swanky rooftop restaurant; and rub elbows with the U.S. Ambassador to France at his official residence near the French presidential palace.

    The South Carolina group also threw a soiree at the Hotel de Talleyrand, a historic Parisian townhouse where they feted foreign employers in hopes they'd set up shop in South Carolina. The Department of Commerce billed the $25,000 event as a "networking opportunity for members of the South Carolina delegation."

    "It was a great party," Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in an interview last week.

    Expenses from the trip still are being submitted, Hitt said. The $127,000 figure represents spending only by the Commerce Department, which covered many but not all of Haley's expenses, he said.

It probably gave Nikki Haley a moment of satisfaction to denigrate the reporter who wrote about her extravagant trip to Paris, but she actually did the voters of South Carolina a favor. Had Haley not made the cutting remark, revealing her lack of class, most voters would be unaware of her five star wining and dining at their expense.

Harry Truman had the kind of hard won wisdom that most South Carolinians, indeed most Americans appreciate. He once observed that you can determine the measure of a person by the point at which things begin to go to their head. Truman never forgot where he came from, nor the fact that he was the public's servant, not its master.

And one last Truman quote that better reflects current state and national leadership than it does his:

    "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!"

© Daniel Cassidy


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Daniel Cassidy

Daniel J. Cassidy served on the staff of Senator Herman E. Talmadge, while working his way through The Catholic University of America... (more)


Receive future articles by Daniel Cassidy: Click here

More by this author

November 16, 2015
Governor Haley, it is time to reverse your plan to settle Syrian "refugees" in South Carolina

August 23, 2013
Newark needs a spiritual father, not another crime boss

March 19, 2013
An old foe comes calling: Kirchner asks pope to intervene in Falklands row

September 25, 2012
Pew survey: Catholics favor Obama by 15-point margin

September 14, 2012
The Second Vatican Council: A revolution and its wreckage

September 11, 2012
Grassfire Nation outraged because a leopard hasn't changed his spots

August 28, 2012
A plague on both their houses -- Virgil Goode for President

August 16, 2012
American Life League president posts open letter to Cardinal Dolan about the Al Smith dinner invitation

August 9, 2012
Dinner with Diocletian

July 14, 2012
Condi Rice? Absolutely not!

More articles


Stephen Stone
'The fervent prayer of the righteous'

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
Busted: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Jim Wagner
True lies and alibis

Victor Sharpe
Weep for America

Rev. Mark H. Creech
A prayer for the president and vice president of the United States and their administration, for justice, peace, and fre

Judie Brown
An open letter to Joseph Biden: Redefining Catholicism

Timothy Buchanan
When evil triumphs

Michael Bresciani
Inauguration Day 2021 – A dark cloud rolls out across America

Jerry Newcombe
Abortion—The issue that will not die

Peter Lemiska
Harvard’s flock of future leaders

Tom DeWeese
Big tech dominance ties to technocracy agenda

Kari Lee Fournier
Almighty God versus Satan election finale: The final countdown

Desmond McGrath
Liberty’s sunset: Death of a nation

Tom DeWeese
Winning depends on what we do now
  More columns


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons

RSS feeds



Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites