Harry S. Truman photo

Radio Address as Part of a Program Sponsored by the Independent Citizens Committee for Lehman for Senator.

November 05, 1949

[Broadcast from the White House at 8:53 p.m.]

I AM glad to appear on this program and to speak as a Democrat. I believe sincerely that the Democratic Party is the party of the people, and that its policies are in the interest of all Americans. I have never hesitated to urge people to vote the Democratic ticket in their own interest and in the interest of our Nation.

I believe that our political system functions best when it presents a clear-cut issue to the voters. This year, in the State of New York, the voters have a clear-cut issue before them. The decision they will make next Tuesday is important not only to them but to all the people of the United States and to the whole world.

The main issue before the voters of New York State is whether or not they will have a United States Senator who will work to promote the general welfare of the people.

It is important to remember that this senatorial election is being held to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of one of the great humanitarian statesman of our time. The name of Senator Robert F. Wagner is known throughout our country for his great achievements in labor and welfare legislation--in housing, in health, and in social security-achievements which have helped to make this country the most progressive and the most powerful democratic Nation of all time. I hope that New York will again be represented in the United States Senate by a man who will carry on that tradition of working for the welfare of all the people.

Governor Lehman will carry on that great tradition. He is a man worthy to take Senator Wagner's place. The people of New York know his record as a just, humane, and liberal chief executive. As Governor, he fought for the same policies that Franklin D. Roosevelt fought for as President. I know that Governor Lehman, when he comes to the Senate, will work for the liberal policies which mean greater progress and a better life for the people of New York and of the whole country.

The office of Senator from New York is an important one. It should be filled by a man who will truly express the spirit of the people of New York. It should be filled by a man who believes in the progressive measures that brought New York to the forefront among our States in promoting the people's welfare. That office should not be filled by a man who would put a stop to the great advances in social legislation that have been pioneered by his own State.

Governor Lehman will bring to the Senate a constructive and progressive approach to domestic affairs. He will also bring wide personal experience and mature wisdom in the handling of our foreign relations. He knows at first hand the nature of our international problems.

As head of the greatest worldwide relief and rehabilitation effort in history, Governor Lehman proved himself an outstanding example of the best kind of international statesman and public servant. He has won universal respect and gratitude for his deep understanding of the problems that grew out of the war. Above all, he knows the value of peace. As a United States Senator Herbert Lehman will strengthen our efforts to bring peace and prosperity to all mankind.

I am glad this program also gives me an opportunity to speak to the people of New York City, where important city elections are being held.

Mayor O'Dwyer has a fine record of distinguished service to the people both at home and abroad, in peace and in war. His reelection will assure the continuation of a progressive and efficient government for our Nation's largest city.

I hope that on November 8th the citizens of New York will vote for Herbert Lehman, William O'Dwyer, and the whole Democratic ticket.

Note: The President was introduced by Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt. The program was carried on a New York statewide broadcast.

Both Mr. Lehman and Mr. O'Dwyer were elected to the posts that they were seeking.

Harry S. Truman, Radio Address as Part of a Program Sponsored by the Independent Citizens Committee for Lehman for Senator. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230340

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