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The Truth-Nixon's Southern Strategy

The Truth-Nixon's Southern Strategy

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Published by whentheycome666

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categoriesTypes, Research, History
Published by: whentheycome666 on Jul 17, 2012
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11/16/2012

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howard dean babbling about the southern strategy ....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09MLUVVg6D8
Richard M. Nixon: Politician, President, Administrator 
Richard Nixon: The Southern Strategy and the 1968 PresidentialElectionGLEN MOORESome critics of Richard M. Nixon have vigorously attacked his1968 presidential campaign in the South. The 1968 Democraticparty nominee Hubert H. Humphrey said that, unlike Nixon, "Hewent to the South and refused to play the cheap politics of saying we would slow down desegregation." 1 Two AtlantaConstitution writers, Reg Murphy and Hal Gulliver, in TheSouthern Strategy, say Nixon's dealings with the South in the1968 election were based on a "calculated appeal to whitesegregationists sentiment." 2 In fact, the term itself, "SouthernStrategy," as Nixon's former senior speech writer William Safirewrites, implies "deviousness" and "discrimination." 3However,
Nixon's 1968 campaign in the South is too complex asubject to be so simply dismissed as is done in suchcriticism. This paper will more carefully examine thistopic as outlined here. First, in the campaign for theRepublican nomination, Nixon's primary victories and hisweak opposition gave him strong bargaining power withthe South. And as a result, Nixon at times clearly veeredfrom a Southern Strategy. Third, the South had a limitedrole in the general election. Last, Nixon's meetings andagreements with Southern leaders, and the specificattacks by Humphrey and by Gulliver and Murphy ondesegregation will be analyzed.
Nixon says that he had met with most southern leaders by thefall of 1967. After the great defeat of the 1964 GOP presidentialcandidate Barry Goldwater, Nixon believed that many Goldwatersupporters now wanted a candidate who could win, and theseconservatives would back him if he won in the primaries. 4Nixon won with huge majorities in almost all of the Republicanprimaries he entered--often outdrawing winners of theDemocratic primary. Then New York Governor Nelson A.Rockefeller's write-in candidacy, with the exception of Massachusetts, drew poorly. In the New Hampshire primaryNixon won over 84,000 votes, 79 percent of the vote, whileRockefeller received only 11,691 votes, or 11 percent of thevote. 5 Although not then a candidate, Rockefeller saidhe would accept a draft. The governor of Michigan at the time,George Romney, trailed Nixon so far in polls on the NewHampshire primary that he withdrew his candidacy about twoweeks before the election.Nixon drubbed Rockefeller in the Wisconsin primary on April 2,as he won 358,052 votes to his opponent's 7,296 write-in votes.6 Just after the Wisconsin primary, Nixon supported animportant open housing bill. Nixon talked with congressmen,
 
 ncung on nerson R-.. Representatve arMacGregor said at his suggestion -
Nixon had called Republican members of the House RulesCommittee and asked them to drop opposition to a swiftvote on the bill, which had already passed in the Senate.One of the members changed his position on the bill andsupported it, after talking with Nixon. 8 The open housingbill, which outlawed most discrimination in housing, waspassed on April 10, with all of Georgia's ten congressmenvoting against it, and only ten southern congressmen inthe South supporting it. 9When Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, Nixonhad only praise for the civil rights leader's career andgoals. 10 Nixon flew to Atlanta on April 7 to see Mrs.Coretta Scott King, Dr. King's widow, and pay his respectsto her. Nixon also canceled all of his political campaigningfor two weeks. 11 These are several examples of Nixon'snot adhering to a Southern Strategy.
On May 7, Nixon won over 500,000 votes in the Indianaprimary, which set a record primary popular vote total in thestate. 12 Rockefeller was an announced candidate, andsupporters of him and California's then Governor Ronald W.Reagan campaigned in the next primary in Nebraska. Rockefellerreceived only 5 percent of the vote. Nixon won 70 percent of thevote, while modest television campaigning helped Reagan win22 percent of the vote. 13In the May 28 Oregon primary, Nixon completed his string of primary wins with a particularly convincing finish, getting 73percent of the vote. Rockefeller and Reagan supporters made astrong effort in Oregon. Reagan's campaign used fairlysubstantial newspaper and television advertising, as well asdistribution of his 1965 autobiography. 14 Rockefeller backersspent possibly as much as $200,000, sent out over 200,000letters, and had Mayor John V. Lindsay of New York speak fortheir candidate. 15 They also provided 247 televisioncommercials and 564 newspaper ads. 16 Despite these efforts,Rockefeller again drew poorly with only 5 percent of the vote. 17Nixon now talked confidently about winning the GOPnomination, saying "The chances of my being derailed are prettywell eliminated. This big win will help in making some of thefencesitters move over." 18As Nixon swept the primaries, southern delegations begansupporting him. In late April it was announced that most of therecently elected Kentucky delegation leaned heavily towardNixon. The delegates wanted some room to maneuver, but most"personally favored Nixon," and the article cited here placedquotation marks around the word uncommitted in its title, andevery time the word was used in the story. 19 About a weeklater Republican gubernatorial candidate A. Linwood Holton of Virginia said Nixon was "the obvious favorite of the party faithfulhere" 20 and would win all of Virginia's twenty-two delegates.Then on May 25 the entire Tennessee delegation gave itssupport to Nixon. The head of the delegation, Senator HowardBaker, stressed that Nixon "was a candidate who could win." Hesaid that all of Tennessee's delegates "without a doubt would be"
 
 .Rockefeller's poor showing in the primaries as well as his liberalpolitical philosophy hurt him greatly with southern delegates.Nelson Rockefeller met with ten GOP state chairmen in NewOrleans and won no support from his trip there. Although someof the southern leaders were "impressed," they remained"unchanged." 22 Also meeting with the Republican leaders, in aseparate and apparently not coordinated visit, was RonaldReagan. Texas state Republican Chairman Peter O'Donnell saidRockefeller had only "scattered support" among southerndelegates and that Nixon had more support than Reagan orRockefeller. 23 A few southern leaders, such as Louisiana stateRepublican Chairman Charles Degravelles, expressed interest inReagan, but little concrete backing. Mississippi GOP ChairmanClark Reed said, "We hope to keep the delegations open," 24hardly an indication that Reagan had a strong following.Rockefeller's own statements reflect his lack of delegatestrength. After going to Florida, he said that he found"flexibility" among the delegates and that the delegate countwas "more fluid than most people thought," 25 but mentionedno specific support. At Tallahassee, Governor Claude Kirk of Florida was the only major officeholder to meet with Rockefeller.26 And even Kirk did not say that he would help Rockefeller withthe Florida delegation. 27Reagan, unlike Nelson Rockefeller, did have potential strength inthe South. Richard Nixon acknowledged this point in saying that"On the Republican side, it was Ronald Reagan, who set thehearts of many Southern Republicans aflutter." 28 One verydetailed volume on the 1968 presidential election discussedReagan's meeting with the southern Republican chairmen andtheir guests in New Orleans. These authors believe thatReagan's failure to even hint or suggest he might run lost himsupport from most of the southerners at the meeting. While hemay not have wanted to directly say he was a candidate,Reagan should have at least indirectly given the chairmen sometype of hint that he would run. Instead, Reagan rigidly adheredto noncandidacy. 29Nixon's trip to Atlanta on May 31, for his meeting with the 12southern Republican party chairmen there, was his firstcampaign swing in the South. Thus, at that time Nixon seemedto be neglecting the region. He could not afford to take forgranted a region whose state chairmen in Atlanta representedstates with about 330 national convention votes, or about half of the 667 votes the Republican nomination required. 30 Nixonhimself said, "I was doing serious courting and hard counting."31 However, he also held other regional meetings in Denver andMinneapolis, with a fourth one scheduled for New England inJuly, 32 so the importance of the meeting in the South should bekept in perspective.Nixon came to the Atlanta session with the advantage of beingthe front runner and received two endorsements before he evenarrived. At the time Nixon said he "was not dangling plums" tothe chairmen. 33 On May 30, just before Nixon came, twoRepublican party chairmen, James E. Holshouser, Jr., of NorthCarolina and Sam Carpenter of Virginia, endorsed Nixon. 34 At aJune I press conference, two GOP party chairmen, Bud Stewartof Oklahoma and Claude Robertson of Tennessee, madeenthusiastic endorsements of Nixon. 35 The Republican party

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