Long ago, a young farmer and a haberdasher from Missouri, he followed an unlikely path — he followed an unlikely path to the vice presidency. And a writer observed, “We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity,” and I know just the kind of people that writer had in mind when he praised Harry Truman.
— Sarah Palin in her convention speech, Sept. 3, 2008, comparing her qualifications for the vice presidency to those of Harry Truman.
Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now. I don’t know whether you fellows ever had a load of hay fall on you, but when they told me yesterday what had happened, I felt like the moon and stars and all the planets had fallen on me.
— Harry Truman, speaking to reporters on April 13, 1945, upon learning that Franklin Roosevelt had died and he had ascended to the presidency. Truman was serving in his second term as a U.S. senator when FDR chose him to be his third-term running mate, and had won plaudits for his work as chairman of a committee that investigated military waste during World War II.
[O]n January 20, when John McCain and I are sworn in, if we are so privileged to be elected to serve this country, will be ready. I’m ready…. I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink.
— Sarah Palin, Sept. 11, 2008, responding to Charlie Gibson’s question asking her whether she was ready to be president of the United States.