The senator chuckled at the criticism.
"Once again, the Republicans don't know history, and they don't know facts," he said. "The truth is that it used to be that the convention, after nomination, traveled to the home or the state of the nominee to inform them they've been nominated. Woodrow Wilson was at his house in Princeton, N.J.; Harry Truman was in Independence," Mo., he said. "They're trying to make an issue out of something that they're surprised by, because . . . they're very upset someone might have a way of neutralizing their advantage."
Yes, but wouldn't it be funny if Kerry himself got history wrong? It just so happens he did!
Read pages 637-646 of David McCullough's biography "Truman." Listen to the speech here. Truman was quite clearly at the convention in 1948 and gave a big speech, the first televised speech. The band played "Hail to the Chief," and Truman strode out. Here's a description:
[A] dispute occupied so much "prime time" that when the party's candidate, President Truman, came to the podium to speak to America on TV, it was 2:00 a.m. and most sets were turned off. Truman was dressed perfectly for TV, however, in a crisp white linen suit with a black tie for the cameras. And he'd prepared his speech on small notecards so he could face the cameras when he spoke....
One viewer who'd stayed up to watch Truman was TV critic Jack Gould of the New York Times. To him, Truman looked "relaxed and supremely confident, swaying on the balls of his feet." And he claimed that Truman's performance "removed any doubt that television was going to place an increasing premium on personality in politics."
Ah, how I would love to hear a candidate deliver a speech extemporaneously from note cards that he'd written up himself!
(Note: I criticized Republican William Safire for misstating the history of the conventions here.)
UPDATE: Thanks for linking to Instapundit and to the official Bush campaign blog. By the way, in my post title, I meant that Kerry was lecturing us and it was embarrassing for him to take such a pedantic tone and then turn out to be wrong (especially about one of his own party's heroes). I didn't mean to cast myself as a lecturer out to embarrass him, but if you want to see me as the lecturer, okay.