Harry Truman: What We Can Learn From The Man From Missouri [7]

Align Yourself With Successful Political Bosses: Harry met the Pendegast Family through the army since Tom’s nephew was under Harry’s command. Harry’s business failed so he ran for East Judge in Jackson County. Tom Pendegast was a corrupt political boss but Truman was only able to rise through Pendegast’s help. Truman attached his political fortunes to Tom Pendergast in Jackson County, Missouri. Harry disagreed with Pendergast’s belief that “contract bids need merely be doctored so that the right people got the contract”. Harry refused to be a stooge. Truman decided that Pendergast who ran (and grew up) in gambling houses and parlors was ultimately a good man deep down. In 1934, Pendergast wanted Harry to run for the Senate. Harry had the backing of the Pendegast machine, which he needed to be successful. Harry was not a Senator from Missouri but a Senator from Pendergast. Pendegast eventually went to jail for tax evasion, this tarnished Truman substantially but he overcame it by being a great, honest leader. Truman worked hard to prove that he was far from a Pendergast stooge.