33rd President. Typed letter signed “Harry S. Truman”, 7.25×10.5, June 3, 1960, personal Independence, Missouri stationery, to Lewis W. Scott as Chairman of the National Dog Week for Mississippi, in full:
I wish it were possible for to say ‘yes’ to your invitation of May 15 but from July 15 to November 8 I will be working for the election of a Democratic President.
Because of this I cannot make any dates until the campaign is outlined. You can understand my situation.
In very good condition, mailing folds.
The Democratic National Convention was held July 11 to July 15 in Los Angeles. John F. Kennedy was nominated as President and Lyndon B. Johnson as Vice President. Former President Truman did not attend the convention because he thought it was rigged for Kennedy.
Truman was not particularly fond of Kennedy, whom he regarded as too young, too inexperienced, and too Catholic for the presidency. He also intensely disliked Kennedy’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy.
But Truman detested Richard Nixon, who he thought had accused him of treason while running with Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952. At a news conference, he said that Nixon “never told the truth in his life.” He characterized Nixon as “a no good lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he’d lie just to keep his hand in.” Speaking at a Democratic dinner in San Antonio, Truman told those gathered, “If you vote for Nixon, you ought to go to hell.”
The combination of Truman being a staunch Democrat, on the one hand, and Nixon being both a Republican and personally detestable to Truman, on the other, led Truman ultimately to support Kennedy in 1960, despite his private reservations about Kennedy’s relative youth and inexperience. At Kennedy’s request, Truman actively campaigned for the eventually successful Kennedy-Johnson ticket.