Election Year 1968: The Turning Point

Election Year 1968: The Turning Point

by Dennis D. Wainstock

Paperback(Second Edition)

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The 1968 election saw the return of the Republican party to the White House and major changes in the political landscape. It was one of the most contentious and unpredictable contests in American history. From Lyndon Baines Johnson's exit following Eugene McCarthy's win in New Hampshire to the Robert Francis Kennedy murder, the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination, and the Chicago Democratic Convention, it relives in this recounting of that explosive year. Vietnam was the main issue but also civil rights and George Wallace, who captured an astounding thirteen percent of the vote.

The author interviewed some thirty-five politicians and players, most of them previously unpublished.

Dennis D. Wainstock, PhD, is the author of Malcolm X: The Life and Times of an African-American Revolutionary, The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb, and Truman, MacArthur and the Korean War. He teaches history at Fairmont State University and lives in Salem, West Virginia.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936274413
Publisher: Enigma Books
Publication date: 10/09/2012
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Dennis Wainstock is a professor of American history in West Virginia and the author of numerous books on contemporqry issues of broad interest to students and scholars as well as the general public. Among his best known titles: Macolm X; The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb; Truman, McArthur and the Koran War.

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

About this Book 3

Domestic Issues in the Johnson Presidency 3

United States Involvement in Vietnam 5

Rolling Thunder 8

Troop Escalation 10

Controversy and Opposition 12

Chapter I The Challengers 15

Johnson's Reelection Strategy 15

The Dump Johnson Movement 15

Eugene J. McCarthy 19

McCarthy's Early Campaign 23

The New Hampshire Primary 26

Robert F. Kennedy's Dilemma 29

The Tet Offensive 31

Kennedy's Reassessment 32

Green Bay Meeting 34

Kennedy's Announcement 34

Chapter II The Republican Comeback 37

Background 37

George Romney 38

Richard M. Nixon 39

Romney Withdraws 44

Nelson A. Rockefeller 45

Ronald Reagan 46

Charles H. Percy 48

John V. Lindsay 49

Harold E. Stassen 49

New Hampshire Primary 50

Rockefeller's Noncandidacy 50

Chapter III The Turning Point 52

Johnson Ponders Reelection 52

Post-Tet Troop Requests 53

Clifford's Task Force 54

Clifford's Reassessment 56

Johnson Searches for a Policy 56

The Speech 58

Epilogue 60

Reaction and Analysis 60

Chapter IV Aftermath of Johnson's Withdrawal 63

Robert Kennedy Takes the Lead 63

Hubert H. Humphrey 64

Humphrey's Announcement 68

George C. Wallace 69

Chapter V The Democratic Primaries 71

The Wisconsin Primary 71

Martin Luther King's Assassination 72

The Connecticut Primary 73

The Pennsylvania Primary 73

The Polls 74

Smear Tactics 74

The Indiana Primary 75

The District of Columbia 77

The Nebraska Primary 78

The Oregon Primary 79

Humphrey's Delegate Lead 84

The California Primary 84

The California Returns 89

Robert Kennedy's Assassination 90

Chapter VI The Republicans Before their Convention 92

Nelson Rockefeller Enters the Race 92

The Indiana and Nebraska Primaries 94

The Southern State Chairmen 95

The New Orleans Meeting 96

The Oregon Primary 97

The Atlanta Meeting 98

Nixon's Summer Campaign 98

Rockefeller's Summer Campaign 99

Reagan's Summer Campaign 100

The Battle of the Polls 101

Chapter VII The Republican Convention 103

Arrangements 103

The Candidates 104

Credentials and Rules 105

The Platform Committee 106

The Platform 106

Reagan's Candidacy 107

Southern Rumblings and Nixon's Reassurances 108

The Tuesday Delegate Hunt 109

Mississippi, Florida, and Albama 111

Nominations and Balloting 113

Reaction to Nomination 113

The Vice Presidential Choice 115

Reactions to the Vice Presidential Choice 117

Nixon's Acceptance Speech 118

Chapter VIII The Democrates Before Their Convention 120

After Kennedy's Assassination 120

The New York Primary 121

McCathy's Summer Campaign 122

The Coalition for an Open Convention 123

Humphrey's Summer Campaign 123

George McGovern's Entry 125

Leaster G. Maddox 127

Chapter IX The Democratic Convention 129

Arrangements 129

Antiwar Protesters 130

Police, Military, and Convention Security 132

The Candidates 132

The Credentials Committee 134

The Platform Committee 134

The Unity Peace Plank and Rusk Testimony 135

The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia 136

A Minority Vietnam Plank 136

Johnson Influences the Vietnam Plank 137

The Platform 138

Democaratic Reforms 139

Pre-Convention Clashes 141

A Johnson Boomlet 142

Johnson Cancels Convention Visit 142

An Edward Kennedy Boomlet 143

Police and Demonstrators Battle 144

Vietnam Floor Debate 145

Nominations and Balloting 146

The Reaction to Humphrey's Nomination 147

Wednesday's Violence 147

The Vice Presidential Selection 148

Humphrey's Acceptance Speech 149

Final Protest Activities 151

Reaction to the Week's Violence 153

Chapter X September: Nixon's Month 155

The Republican Battle Plan 155

The Kick-off and a Centrist Theme 156

The September Polls 156

The Agnew Problem 157

Law and Order and Wallace 158

The Democratic Battle Plan 161

Post-Convention Problems 162

Humphrey and Johnson Clash on the War 164

Johnson's Inactivity 165

Muskie as an Asset 165

Humphrey Loosens the Vietnam Knot 166

The Salt Lake City Speech 168

The Reaction to Humphrey's Speech 169

Chapter XI October: Humphrey's Month 171

An Upturn in the Humphrey Campaign 171

Curties E. LeMay 172

The Mid-October Polls 173

Nixon Steps Up the Offensive 174

A Bombing Halt 175

Reaction to the Bombing Halt 176

The Chennault Connection 177

The Final Days 178

The Election Returns 179

Analysis of the Election 180

Chapter XII Conclusions 197

The Consequences 200

Bibliography 204

Notes 212

Index 218

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