In June, 1951, Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr. and Charles F. Willis, Jr.-two WWII fighter pilots with no political experience or contacts-were frustrated with what they saw as "that mess in Washington" and were convinced that General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower was the ideal 1952 candidate for President of the United States. They did not know whether he was Republican or Democrat, had never communicated with the General, and were so naive that they didn't even know how candidates were nominated. But they made it work. Within eight months, self-funded, with no help from the Republican Party (which at that point favored Senator Robert Taft), they had thousands of supporters active in 800 "Eisenhower for President Clubs" in 38 states and were instrumental in convincing Eisenhower to run for President.
"Citizens" brought creativity to the primaries and the Republican National Convention, including brass bands, teams of cheerleaders, and illuminated "IKE" branded barrage balloons floating in the nighttime skies. And . . . along the way . . . "Citizens"-NOT the formal party organization-participated in the creation and sponsorship of the first-ever TV spot commercials used in a Presidential election campaign.
"Citizens for Eisenhower" provides a roadmap for successful Presidential campaigns. Someone smart enough to use this model in politics could be the next Republican or Democratic President of the United States--unless, of course, he or she is the first Independent President of the United States.
As Republican Presidential nominee Dwight D. Eisenhower said, at the time of the 1952 Republican Convention: "I would not have been here as a candidate if it had not been for Charlie Willis and Stan Rumbough, who started the Citizens for Eisenhower"
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