Truman had served as vice president just a few months when he was thrust into the presidency itself by the death of Franklin Roosevelt in April 1945. Like all "accidental" presidents, his early tenure was plagued by questions of legitimacy, with the implication that he was merely a place-holder until the next election. By 1948, he had so gained the confidence and trust of the public that his party nominated him to run. Nevertheless, he was the underdog in the race against Republican Thomas Dewey. After 15 years of Democratic administration, Americans seemed ready for a change, and Dewey, a well-funded veteran politican who had won 46% of the popular vote in 1944, expected to be called to serve. No one was betting on Harry, even his supporters. But perhaps Harry knew something they didn't, as betrayed by the confident smile he wears on this button, a souvenir of his inauguration.