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Thread: The Presidents: The Vietnam War Edition

  1. #1261
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    H.Appleby: Hey! Glenn Miller is in the suggestion box! That gives me an idea.
    Last edited by Nathan Madien; 28-05-2012 at 19:41.
    "In America, anybody can be President. That's one of the risks you take."
    -Adlai Stevenson

    The Presidents: The Vietnam War Edition
    President of the United States in 1962: Henry M. Jackson (Democrat-Washington)

  2. #1262
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    The Road to Chicago
    A month after New Hampshire, Wisconsin became the second state to hold a primary. Known as "America’s Dairy Land" due to her robust agriculture industry, Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848. Politically, the state developed an interesting track record which made her stand out from her neighbors. In her first election, she voted for Democrat Lewis Cass in his unsuccessful campaign against Whig Zachary Taylor. She remained with the Democrats until 1856 when her citizens decided to get behind John Fremont and the new Republican Party (which incidentally was established in the state two years earlier). From that point on, the state became a Republican stronghold – only voting Democratic in 1892 (Grover Cleveland), 1912 (Woodrow Wilson), and 1932 (Franklin D. Roosevelt). However, starting in the 1920s, Wisconsin developed a fine taste for third parties. Progressive Robert Lafollette (1924), Share Our Wealth William Lemke (1936), and Progressive Hubert Humphrey (1948) all came out as winners here. Although the state stayed red electorally during the 1950s, her politics on the state level swung towards the Democrats. Thomas E. Fairchild captured one of her two Senate seats in 1950 and William Proxmire captured the other in 1958. Also in 1958, Gaylord Nelson gave the Republicans one of their few setbacks in their otherwise strong midterm showing by winning the Governorship. According to polls taken in 1960, their two victories in the midterm gave the Democrats momentum and created the possibility of Wisconsin going blue in November for the first time since 1932.

    On April 5th, Wisconsinites headed to the polls and the results were a replay of New Hampshire: Jackson cruised to victory over Byrd and Rockefeller once again defeated Knowland. The latter was stung by his second consecutive loss. He was supposed to be a shoo-in for the nomination but yet kept losing to Rockefeller. How was he supposed to win with these unpleasant winds blowing against him? His original strategy of behaving like the presumptive winner in New Hampshire failed. His next strategy of trying to compete with Rockefeller by trying to sound like a moderate in Wisconsin failed as well. When CBS newsman Walter Cronkite asked the Governor the day after his defeat what the next move would be, Knowland was barely able to answer that question. With the next contest a week away in Illinois, he clearly needed help in turning his struggling campaign around. The question was how? Fortunately for him, someone who was watching the Cronkite interview decided to intervene.

    That “someone” was Barry Goldwater. A savvy businessman and efficient-minded Mayor of Phoenix (1956-1957), the lean Arizonan was appointed to fill a Senate seat in 1957 and was elected to a full six-year term of his own a year later. As an anti-Communist, Goldwater personally liked the Vice President and was one of the first to congratulate him for his performance in the Kitchen Debate. As a Taft Conservative, Goldwater found Jackson’s Fair Deal proposals unacceptable because of its’ Big Government nature. He believed the Republicans in 1960 should nominate a Conservative who would offer a strong alternative to the Democrats and their “more of the same” message of building a welfare state. As a Conservative, Knowland was exactly the type of candidate Goldwater believed should be nominated. The fact that the Governor was struggling in the primaries against Rockefeller distressed Barry greatly. He disliked Rockefeller, considering him to be another Tom Dewey (whom he also didn’t like). The reason: as a Taft Conservative, he was opposed to what he called the “dime store New Deal” attitude of Eastern Republicans. Goldwater was afraid of what might happen to the G.O.P. if Rockefeller got the nomination and maintained the “dime store” mentality. Not wanting that to happen, he decided to do something that would hopefully rescue Knowland from his primary doldrums. Knowing the Governor personally, the Senator called on him and asked him this straightforward question:
    “What kind of a Republican are you, Bill?”
    When Knowland responded that he was a Conservative, Goldwater told him to act like one then. His advice was to forget about competing with Rockefeller and instead run his campaign on the twin themes of limited government and individual freedom. If Nelson was going to be a “me too” candidate, Barry argued that William should offer “a choice, not an echo.”
    His argument was that the Republicans would do themselves no good nominating a candidate whose positions weren’t much different from those of Jackson’s. After listening intently to Goldwater, Knowland decided to give his strategy a try. Since he lost New Hampshire and Wisconsin using strategies that didn’t work, he figured he had nothing more to lose by using yet another approach in Illinois.

    When a circus audience in Southern Illinois watched Knowland ride in atop an elephant (the symbol of the Republican Party), it became clear that they were seeing a new Knowland in action. His new strategy was to balance showing people his “warm and fuzzy” side with an aggressive promotion of conservative principals. He attacked Rockefeller with a passion that had not yet been seen, slamming him as a “me too Republican” whose advocacy for Big Government was such that he would be virtually indistinguishable from Scoop if nominated to challenge him. “If that happened,” he warned in a speech, “Men and women who go into the voting booth on Election Day would have no reason to vote Republican since Governor Rockefeller would not offer anything different from the status quo.”
    By contrast, Knowland offered as an alternative a vision of a smaller government which would respect the need for social progress but would empower individuals instead of expanding welfare. He promised to lower the national debt – which had ballooned under the Democrats and their high Federal spending – and balance the budget (a sight ironically not seen since the Dewey years). In a preview of general election rhetoric, Knowland lambasted the Fair Deal as “a contradiction of those principals of individual responsibility and limitation of the power of the central government on which this great nation was founded.”
    In 1952, Robert Taft ran for President as a diehard conservative and was beaten in a landslide. His running mate learned from that experience and eight years later tried to walk a fine line between being conservative and not being too conservative. While portraying Rockefeller as a weak candidate, Knowland made a strenuous effort not to scare off the moderates. He pledged to continue existing programs like Social Security, reminded people of his support for civil rights, and stressed his experience in reaching across the ideological divide to get things done. Unlike icy Taft, Knowland had a warm personality and possessed charisma – something Jackson lacked. On April 12th, voters in Illinois rendered their verdict on the new Knowland.

    In 1956, The Land of Lincoln gave Lodge his first victory and shut down Adams’ momentum. Four years later, history repeated itself. Knowland won Illinois by a respectable margin, seemingly validating his third strategy. Feeling cautiously optimistic, the new Knowland took his message east to the April 19th primary in New Jersey. Here, he found out that he wasn’t the only one who had a problem with Rockefeller. Republican Governor Malcolm Forbes (of the famed publishing family) had been in office for two years, keeping the state's finances on sound footing. He was a man who didn't believe in rushing things and had little patience for those who wanted to rush. He therefore resented the fact that his northern neighbor was running for President a year after taking office and with barely any excutive experience under his belt. Forbes, who harbored Presidential ambitions himself, thought that a Governor shouldn’t run for President unless they had built up a considerable record. The fact that Nelson was seeking the Presidency now instead of waiting until he had accomplishments in which to run on irked him greatly. As a result, Malcolm endorsed William’s candidacy and urged New Jersey Republicans to get behind the “more experienced” Governor of California. It was true that Knowland didn't have much executive experience either, but he did have a solid Congressional record which Forbes believed made up for it. When asked why he didn’t think Rockefeller would make a good President, Forbes went after his business background as evidence:
    “Few businessmen are capable of being in politics. They don’t understand the democratic process; they have neither the tolerance nor the depth it takes. Democracy isn’t a business.”

    With Forbes' assistance, Knowland won The Garden State. The victory made the primary scorecard a tie with 2-2. A week later, Rockefeller bounced back by winning the dual primaries in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately for him, May proved to be a bad month for his race to the White House. The Californian won the Indiana and Ohio dual primaries on May 3rd, followed by wins in Nebraska, Maryland, Oregon, Florida, and South Dakota. By the time California went to the polls on June 7th (spoiler alert: her Governor won), Knowland held a commanding lead in the delegate count ahead of the party convention in Chicago. Part of the reason Rockefeller’s campaign slid backwards was his own attitude: he was childish when things didn't go his way. Alarmed at his primary losses, the New Yorker decided to be a bad sport and go negative in his attacks. He called his opponent “too conservative” and reminded people that he had been Taft’s running mate in 1952 in a way that suggested it was the worse thing in the world to be. He even went as far as to say that “if we nominate Governor Knowland, we will have shown the country that we have learned nothing over these last eight years. This Party will once again have placed its’ fate in the hands of a man so far to the right that victory will be all but impossible. Let us not repeat the mistakes of the past.”
    These kinds of remarks were received bitterly by conservatives and even by some of Rockefeller’s own supporters – such as Harold Stassen, the former “boy wonder” Governor of Minnesota (1939-1941) who served as Postmaster General in the Willkie and Vandenberg Administrations (1941-1945). Everyone knew how destructive 1952 had been to the G.O.P. and people weren’t happy that Rockefeller wanted to reopen that wound simply as a desperate campaign tactic. It would take the intervention of an elder statesman to prevent another fatal liberal-conservative breech...a man who knew a thing or two about political in-fighting.
    Last edited by Nathan Madien; 30-05-2012 at 03:55.
    "In America, anybody can be President. That's one of the risks you take."
    -Adlai Stevenson

    The Presidents: The Vietnam War Edition
    President of the United States in 1962: Henry M. Jackson (Democrat-Washington)

  3. #1263
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    I'm sorry but, even if Rockefeller has chosen the wrong tactic, my dislike for Rowland had risen beyond control even before Nelson (ah ah!) lost his temper.
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  4. #1264
    Second Lieutenant J.J.Jameson's Avatar
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    Herbert Hoover?

  5. #1265
    Karl Popper Fanboy H.Appleby's Avatar
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    I'm guessing Dewey. And I'm just wild about Barry! I'm hoping Knowland goes down and Barry can take up the mantle of Conservatism in '64 or '68.
    Obessively following Nathan Madien's excellent AAR: The Presidents: Vietnam War Edition and check out my own AAR: The American Experience 1912-1964

    Unapologetic, Arrogant, Unserious, Uncultured, Warmongering, Pyromaniac American Patriot. (As in I can take a joke about my country as long as you can take a joke or to about yours.) But seriously, I love the whole world, so don't take offense at my occasional bits of exaggerated jingoism, I'm really actually pretty open-minded.

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  6. #1266
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Kurt_Steiner: Who is Rowland?

    J.J.Jameson: Nope.

    H.Appleby: Yup. Here's a funny tidbit: if you type in "dapplemere" on Google Image, a bunch of pictures from this series pop up.

    As for Barry, your pro-Goldwater advocacy inspired me to include him.

    I’ll tell you what: if you come up with a plausible-sounding way Goldwater can win in '64 or '68, I will consider him on my list of possible Presidential candidates.
    "In America, anybody can be President. That's one of the risks you take."
    -Adlai Stevenson

    The Presidents: The Vietnam War Edition
    President of the United States in 1962: Henry M. Jackson (Democrat-Washington)

  7. #1267
    Second Lieutenant J.J.Jameson's Avatar
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    Yeah! Goldwater and Reagan in 64!

  8. #1268
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    I meant Knowland, sorry. See? I dislike him so much that I'm even unable to write his surname in the right way
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  9. #1269
    Karl Popper Fanboy H.Appleby's Avatar
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    @Nathan: I don't care if he wins the whole point was that he was an exciting fresh leader, who energized the conservative movement and whose campaign provided the base for later Republican victories.
    Obessively following Nathan Madien's excellent AAR: The Presidents: Vietnam War Edition and check out my own AAR: The American Experience 1912-1964

    Unapologetic, Arrogant, Unserious, Uncultured, Warmongering, Pyromaniac American Patriot. (As in I can take a joke about my country as long as you can take a joke or to about yours.) But seriously, I love the whole world, so don't take offense at my occasional bits of exaggerated jingoism, I'm really actually pretty open-minded.

    -.-. --.- -.. / -- --. -.--

  10. #1270
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    J.J.Jameson: The only problem I have with that is no ticket balancing. Two conservative westerners doesn't really make the ticket nationally appealing.

    Kurt_Steiner: Rowland...hmm...you might have given me an accidental idea, though.

    H.Appleby: That's true. He certainly was a trailblazer.
    "In America, anybody can be President. That's one of the risks you take."
    -Adlai Stevenson

    The Presidents: The Vietnam War Edition
    President of the United States in 1962: Henry M. Jackson (Democrat-Washington)

  11. #1271
    Second Lieutenant J.J.Jameson's Avatar
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    If the dems win you should give Harry S a better job. He doesn't get to be president this time around, but he should do better than agriculture!

  12. #1272
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    Kurt_Steiner: Rowland...hmm...you might have given me an accidental idea, though.
    Dunno whether to feel happy or worried...
    Fan número uno de Ailee para el resto de la eternidad y un poco más.
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  13. #1273
    Quote Originally Posted by J.J.Jameson View Post
    If the dems win you should give Harry S a better job. He doesn't get to be president this time around, but he should do better than agriculture!
    By my count Harry S is past the 70s mark (born 1884), so I guess that train's already left the station..
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  14. #1274
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    J.J.Jameson: I plan on retiring Truman in 1961. Being in his late 70s and having been in D.C. since 1935, I think he would be ready to head home to Missouri and enjoy retirement. Perhaps he could write a memoir. As for his career, I think he has had a good run:
    • Missouri Senator: 1935-1953
    • Democratic Senate Whip: 1947-1953
    • Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate: 1948
    • Secretary of Agriculture: 1953-1961
    Not bad for a farmer with bad eyesight.

    Kurt_Steiner: I might need to make someone up to fill a cabinet post.

    Mr. Santiago: Wait until you see who I replace him with if Jackson wins.
    "In America, anybody can be President. That's one of the risks you take."
    -Adlai Stevenson

    The Presidents: The Vietnam War Edition
    President of the United States in 1962: Henry M. Jackson (Democrat-Washington)

  15. #1275
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Santiago View Post
    By my count Harry S is past the 70s mark (born 1884), so I guess that train's already left the station..
    Something like that...also very old candiates dont' do that well. Just look at the fate of the Ron Paul campaign....

  16. #1276
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    Mr. Santiago: Wait until you see who I replace him with if Jackson wins.
    Don't tell me you're turning Agriculture into a political elephant's gaveyard....
    "Let's be free, the rest doesn't matters"

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  17. #1277
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xie View Post
    Something like that...also very old candiates dont' do that well. Just look at the fate of the Ron Paul campaign....
    What about Reagan?

  18. #1278
    Second Lieutenant J.J.Jameson's Avatar
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    And Eisenhower.

  19. #1279
    Quote Originally Posted by Undead-Hippie View Post
    What about Reagan?
    Reagan wasn't that old, and Eisenhower was in his sixities, old but not close-to-death old.

  20. #1280
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Xie: I don’t really think that is true.

    Mr. Santiago: Maybe...or maybe not...

    Undead-Hippie: Good point. He did do well in 1984 against Walter Mondale.

    J.J.Jameson: Who had health problems to boot.

    Xie: Reagan was 69 when he became President and Eisenhower was 62 when he replaced Truman in office.

    Since we are talking about ages (as of May 1st, 1960):
    • John Sparkman (60)
    • Henry M. Jackson (47)
    • Lyndon B. Johnson (51)
    • William F. Knowland (51)
    • Nelson Rockefeller (51)
    • Harry F. Byrd (72)
    By the way, Jackson's 100th birthday was last Thursday. I forgot to mention that.
    "In America, anybody can be President. That's one of the risks you take."
    -Adlai Stevenson

    The Presidents: The Vietnam War Edition
    President of the United States in 1962: Henry M. Jackson (Democrat-Washington)

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