When Pols Knew Their Limits

A reader writes:

As a student of Indiana political history, I immediately noted a striking historical analogue to McCain’s selection of Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate.

Back in 1944, Franklin Roosevelt was running for his last term as President, and had decided to replace Henry Wallace (his second of three Vice Presidents) on the ticket. Roosevelt asked Indiana Governor Henry Schricker, a popular first-term Governor, and strong partner in the New Deal era, to be his running mate.

Schricker was a popular, honest, and capable politician, who went on to become the first Governor to serve two terms in Indiana.  However, Schricker – unlike Palin – had humility.  He famously declined the offer by telling Roosevelt "a man ought to know his own limitations."

History went on to famously catapult Harry Truman (a similarly modest, hardworking Midwesterner) into the job as the nation’s 33rd President, and Henry Schricker remains a footnote to the era.

I think Schricker would have served admirably as Vice President or President, but his display of humility in the face of serious obligation serves to contrast the hubris with which Palin has treated her own candidacy.