Truman said it all!

—– Original Message —–
From: “Truman Reference” <>
To: “Sol W. Sanders” <>
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 11:55 AM
Subject: Re: media request

> Dear Mr. Sanders,
> Thank you for the e-mail message that you sent us yesterday.  I have
> not found a speech in which president Truman used the phrase “the buck
> stops here” in the context in which you refer.  In a speech he gave at
> the National War College on December 19, 1952, Truman said, “You know,
> it’s easy enough for the Monday morning quarterback to say what the
> coach should have done, after the game is over. But when the decision is
> up before you–and on my desk I have a motto which says “The buck stops
> here”–the decision has to be made. That decision may be right. It may
> be wrong. If it is wrong, and it has been shown that it is wrong, I have
> no desire to cover it up. I admit it, and try to make another decision
> that will meet the situation. And that is what any President of the
> United States has to do. Just bear that in mind.”  The full text of this
> speech is located on our website at
> In his Farewell Address of January 15, 1953, Truman stated, “The
> greatest part of the President’s job is to make decisions–big ones and
> small ones, dozens of them almost every day. The papers may circulate
> around the Government for a while but they finally reach this desk. And
> then, there’s no place else for them to go. The President–whoever he
> is–has to decide. He can’t pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do
> the deciding for him. That’s his job.”  The full text of this speech is
> located on our website at
> On a third occasion, Mr. Truman used the phrase, “the buck stops here,”
> in the context of his use of the atomic bomb in 1945.  Text of that
> campaign speech is located on our website at
> I hope that this information is helpful.
> Sincerely,
> Sam Rushay
> Supervisory Archivist
> Harry S. Truman Library
> 500 West U.S. Highway 24
> Independence, MO 64050
> 816-268-8211
> Fax: 816-268-8295
> >>> “Sol W. Sanders” <> 1/7/2010 8:06 PM >>>
> Could an archivist help me please?
> If memory serves [and it doesn’t often], the phrase “the buck stops
> here” was originally in a larger Truman quotation. I believe he said
> something along the lines of 1] the Constitution and history have made
> the American president a very strong exeecutive, 2] because of that, it
> sometimes is as important that he make a decision as to what the
> decision is, and therefore 3] the buck stops here.
> Was there such a statement by the President? Can I have the exact
> text?
> Yours sincerely
> Sol W. Sanders
> International Business Editor, The Washington Times

Ye Olde Crabb sez

Well, maybe he didn’t say it just that way. But I think the meaning was clear.

Mr. Pres. Obama, are you listening to yourself when you quote the former president?


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