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A Truman Style Surprise in 2013 Australian Election?

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WWII US. Pres Harry Truman
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PM Kevin Rudd

One thing that  might completely surprise the Australian public  but not in particular old-time Americans is if  Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd wins the Federal election on Saturday 7th September.

WWII U.S. Vice President Harry S. Truman inherited the U. S. presidency when U.S. Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt died whilst in office. In the ensuing 1948 presidential election, U.S. President Truman was written off by many and was considered merely as bench warmer to the next president.

The situation is just like what is now happening in the candidacy of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd . At the very start of the election,  one of the national dailies was practically  in auto mode  against Kevin Rudd. the newspaper headline “Abbot Defeats Rudd” might as well be its front page  during it’s election news coverage.

On a given day, Prime Minister  Rudd is lucky to escape the wrath of  the editor’s photo shop. The altered photo says it all, either he’s a dictator today or bungling fool the next.

The daily front page is short of saying, “Abbot Defeats Rudd” just like the infamous gaffe of the Chicago Tribune in the U.S. when it predicted “Dewey Defeats Truman” on 3 November 1948.

It was the notorious banner headline of Chicago Tribune when U.S. President Harry S  Truman (Democrat) defeated the next day the Republican candidate and New York Governor Thomas Dewey in the 1948 U.S. presidential election.

Chicago  Tribune’s issue that day became  President Truman’s trophy as he was photographed by newsmen holding the early edition of the paper. The paper’s chief analyst and political reporter called the shot and caused the most embarrassing front page headline ever.

Coincidence maybe, history recalls that just days before that 1948 election everybody said  President Truman was considered certain to lose.

What happened next must have been seen by colleagues and party faithful as sweet smell of success.  President Truman won and much later came to be better known in history as the US Chief Executive who authorised the use of atomic bomb in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, thus ending WWII quickly.

As the election nears, Australia’s daily newspapers continue to paint gloomy picture of the Labor Party and of Prime Minister Rudd. Twelve electoral seats lost. Safe Labor seat at risk.  Coalition recovers marginal seat. Rudd’s charm wanes.

It’s  all blue for the Australian Labor Party, when in fact winning or losing does not happen ‘til the fat lady sings.