The Truth-Nixon's Southern Strategy | Strom Thurmond | Richard Nixon

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 Presidential Election GLEN MOORE Some critics of Richard M. Nixon have vigorously attacked his 1968 presidential campaign in the South. The 1968 Democratic party nominee Hubert H. Humphrey said that, unlike Nixon, "He went to the South and refused to play the cheap politics of saying we would slow down desegregation." 1 Two Atlanta Constitution writers, Reg Murphy and Hal Gulliver, in The Southern Strategy, say Nixon's dealings with the South in the 1968 election were based on a "calculated appeal to white segregationists sentiment." 2 In fact, the term itself, "Southern Strategy," as Nixon's former senior speech writer William Safire writes, implies "deviousness" and "discrimination." 3 However, Nixon's 1968 campaign in the South is too complex a subject to be so simply dismissed as is done in such criticism. This paper will more carefully examine this topic as outlined here. First, in the campaign for the Republican nomination, Nixon's primary victories and his weak opposition gave him strong bargaining power with the South. And as a result, Nixon at times clearly veered from a Southern Strategy. Third, the South had a limited role in the general election. Last, Nixon's meetings and agreements with Southern leaders, and the specific attacks by Humphrey and by Gulliver and Murphy on desegregation will be analyzed. Nixon says that he had met with most southern leaders by the fall of 1967. After the great defeat of the 1964 GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, Nixon believed that many Goldwater supporters now wanted a candidate who could win, and these conservatives would back him if he won in the primaries. 4 Nixon won with huge majorities in almost all of the Republican primaries he entered--often outdrawing winners of the Democratic primary. Then New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller's write-in candidacy, with the exception of Massachusetts, drew poorly. In the New Hampshire primary Nixon won over 84,000 votes, 79 percent of the vote, while Rockefeller received only 11,691 votes, or 11 percent of the vote. 5 Although not then a candidate, Rockefeller said he would accept a draft. The governor of Michigan at the time, George Romney, trailed Nixon so far in polls on the New Hampshire primary that he withdrew his candidacy about two weeks 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 an important open housing bill. Nixon talked with congressmen, including John Anderson (R-Ill.). 7 Representative Clark MacGregor said at his suggestion Nixon had called Republican members of the House Rules Committee and asked them to drop opposition to a swift vote on the bill, which had already passed in the Senate.

George Romney, trailed Nixon so far in polls on the New Hampshire primary that he withdrew his candidacy about two weeks 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 an important open housing bill. Nixon talked with congressmen, including John Anderson (R-Ill.). 7 Representative Clark MacGregor said at his suggestion Nixon had called Republican members of the House Rules Committee and asked them to drop opposition to a swift vote on the bill, which had already passed in the Senate. One of the members changed his position on the bill and supported it, after talking with Nixon. 8 The open housing bill, which outlawed most discrimination in housing, was passed on April 10, with all of Georgia's ten congressmen voting against it, and only ten southern congressmen in the South supporting it. 9 When Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, Nixon had only praise for the civil rights leader's career and goals. 10 Nixon flew to Atlanta on April 7 to see Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Dr. King's widow, and pay his respects to her. Nixon also canceled all of his political campaigning for two weeks. 11 These are several examples of Nixon's not adhering to a Southern Strategy. On May 7, Nixon won over 500,000 votes in the Indiana primary, which set a record primary popular vote total in the state. 12 Rockefeller was an announced candidate, and supporters of him and California's then Governor Ronald W. Reagan campaigned in the next primary in Nebraska. Rockefeller received only 5 percent of the vote. Nixon won 70 percent of the vote, while modest television campaigning helped Reagan win 22 percent of the vote. 13 In the May 28 Oregon primary, Nixon completed his string of primary wins with a particularly convincing finish, getting 73 percent of the vote. Rockefeller and Reagan supporters made a strong effort in Oregon. Reagan's campaign used fairly substantial newspaper and television advertising, as well as distribution of his 1965 autobiography. 14 Rockefeller backers spent possibly as much as $200,000, sent out over 200,000 letters, and had Mayor John V. Lindsay of New York speak for their candidate. 15 They also provided 247 television commercials and 564 newspaper ads. 16 Despite these efforts, Rockefeller again drew poorly with only 5 percent of the vote. 17 Nixon now talked confidently about winning the GOP nomination, saying "The chances of my being derailed are pretty well eliminated. This big win will help in making some of the fencesitters move over." 18 As Nixon swept the primaries, southern delegations began supporting him. In late April it was announced that most of the recently elected Kentucky delegation leaned heavily toward Nixon. The delegates wanted some room to maneuver, but most "personally favored Nixon," and the article cited here placed quotation marks around the word uncommitted in its title, and every time the word was used in the story. 19 About a week later Republican gubernatorial candidate A. Linwood Holton of Virginia said Nixon was "the obvious favorite of the party faithful here" 20 and would win all of Virginia's twenty-two delegates. Then on May 25 the entire Tennessee delegation gave its support to Nixon. The head of the delegation, Senator Howard Baker, stressed that Nixon "was a candidate who could win." He said that all of Tennessee's delegates "without a doubt would be firmly for Nixon." 21 Rockefeller's poor showing in the primaries as well as his liberal political philosophy hurt him greatly with southern delegates. Nelson Rockefeller met with ten GOP state chairmen in New Orleans and won no support from his trip there. Although some of the southern leaders were "impressed," they remained "unchanged." 22 Also meeting with the Republican leaders, in a

Virginia said Nixon was "the obvious favorite of the party faithful here" 20 and would win all of Virginia's twenty-two delegates. Then on May 25 the entire Tennessee delegation gave its support to Nixon. The head of the delegation, Senator Howard Baker, stressed that Nixon "was a candidate who could win." He said that all of Tennessee's delegates "without a doubt would be firmly for Nixon." 21 Rockefeller's poor showing in the primaries as well as his liberal political philosophy hurt him greatly with southern delegates. Nelson Rockefeller met with ten GOP state chairmen in New Orleans and won no support from his trip there. Although some of the southern leaders were "impressed," they remained "unchanged." 22 Also meeting with the Republican leaders, in a separate and apparently not coordinated visit, was Ronald Reagan. Texas state Republican Chairman Peter O'Donnell said Rockefeller had only "scattered support" among southern delegates and that Nixon had more support than Reagan or Rockefeller. 23 A few southern leaders, such as Louisiana state Republican Chairman Charles Degravelles, expressed interest in Reagan, but little concrete backing. Mississippi GOP Chairman Clark Reed said, "We hope to keep the delegations open," 24 hardly an indication that Reagan had a strong following. Rockefeller's own statements reflect his lack of delegate strength. After going to Florida, he said that he found "flexibility" among the delegates and that the delegate count was "more fluid than most people thought," 25 but mentioned no 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 with the Florida delegation. 27 Reagan, unlike Nelson Rockefeller, did have potential strength in the South. Richard Nixon acknowledged this point in saying that "On the Republican side, it was Ronald Reagan, who set the hearts of many Southern Republicans aflutter." 28 One very detailed volume on the 1968 presidential election discussed Reagan's meeting with the southern Republican chairmen and their guests in New Orleans. These authors believe that Reagan's failure to even hint or suggest he might run lost him support from most of the southerners at the meeting. While he may not have wanted to directly say he was a candidate, Reagan should have at least indirectly given the chairmen some type of hint that he would run. Instead, Reagan rigidly adhered to noncandidacy. 29 Nixon's trip to Atlanta on May 31, for his meeting with the 12 southern Republican party chairmen there, was his first campaign swing in the South. Thus, at that time Nixon seemed to be neglecting the region. He could not afford to take for granted a region whose state chairmen in Atlanta represented states with about 330 national convention votes, or about half of the 667 votes the Republican nomination required. 30 Nixon himself said, "I was doing serious courting and hard counting." 31 However, he also held other regional meetings in Denver and Minneapolis, with a fourth one scheduled for New England in July, 32 so the importance of the meeting in the South should be kept in perspective. Nixon came to the Atlanta session with the advantage of being the front runner and received two endorsements before he even arrived. At the time Nixon said he "was not dangling plums" to the chairmen. 33 On May 30, just before Nixon came, two Republican party chairmen, James E. Holshouser, Jr., of North Carolina and Sam Carpenter of Virginia, endorsed Nixon. 34 At a June I press conference, two GOP party chairmen, Bud Stewart of Oklahoma and Claude Robertson of Tennessee, made enthusiastic endorsements of Nixon. 35 The Republican party chairman from Georgia, G. Paul Jones, all but gave official support to Nixon, saying that he was "a man who speaks our language" and who "has demonstrated his winning credentials." 36 During the time of the Atlanta meeting, Nixon showed strength in Florida. It was announced that the state Republican Chairman

arrived. At the time Nixon said he "was not dangling plums" to the chairmen. 33 On May 30, just before Nixon came, two Republican party chairmen, James E. Holshouser, Jr., of North Carolina and Sam Carpenter of Virginia, endorsed Nixon. 34 At a June I press conference, two GOP party chairmen, Bud Stewart of Oklahoma and Claude Robertson of Tennessee, made enthusiastic endorsements of Nixon. 35 The Republican party chairman from Georgia, G. Paul Jones, all but gave official support to Nixon, saying that he was "a man who speaks our language" and who "has demonstrated his winning credentials." 36 During the time of the Atlanta meeting, Nixon showed strength in Florida. It was announced that the state Republican Chairman William J. Murfin was elected over Governor Claude J. Kirk as chairman of the Florida delegation to the GOP convention. Murfin leaned strongly to Nixon, while Kirk supported Rockefeller. 37 Texas state Republican Chairman Peter O'Donnell presided over the Atlanta sessions. Senator J. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was one of the most important participants, and he flew into Atlanta for the second and last day's session on Saturday. After attending the meeting, the South Carolina senator said, "I've been highly pleased with the statements the former VicePresident made today. I think he's a great man, a great American, and I think he would be a great president." 38 Nixon said the main issues they discussed were national defense, protections against textile imports (the textile industry is very important in South Carolina), and civil rights. Nixon points out that Thurmond knew that he supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act and would not compromise this position. Nixon only promised on desegregation not to make the South "a whipping boy." 39 Nixon strongly supported civil rights. When he had campaigned for president in 1960, he issued a statement with Nelson Rockefeller that included a strong civil rights stand. Their statement said: Our program for civil rights must assure aggressive action to remove the remaining vestiges of segregation or discrimination in all areas of national life--voting and housing, schools and jobs. It will express support for the objectives of the sit-in demonstrations and will commend the action of those businessmen who have abandoned the practice of refusing to serve food at their lunch counters to their Negro customers and will urge all others to follow their example. 40 A 1968 biography of Nixon said that it was revealed in the 1960 presidential campaign that Nixon had been a member and contributor to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for ten years. 41 Wallace for President Chairman Frank Best expressed a view held by some southerners in saying that Nixon was "up to his ears in the civil rights movement." 42 Later on June 22, Strom Thurmond endorsed Nixon and announced that all of South Carolina's twenty-two delegate votes would be cast for him. He gave his reasons for supporting Nixon and listed the issues he was concerned about in the presidential race, which included domestic lawlessness, Vietnam, the rise in the cost of living, a too powerful Supreme Court, and the need for the United States to maintain its military strength. Thurmond said that "he did not agree with Nixon on every single issue," but added, "He is the most acceptable and electable candidate." 43 Nixon's belief in a nonactivist Supreme Court was probably a major reason Thurmond endorsed him. Just the day before his announcement for Nixon, Thurmond had said that he was "delighted" Chief Justice Earl Warren was retiring and that Warren "has done more harm to the American way of life than any other man holding public office in the history of our country." 44

Nixon and listed the issues he was concerned about in the presidential race, which included domestic lawlessness, Vietnam, the rise in the cost of living, a too powerful Supreme Court, and the need for the United States to maintain its military strength. Thurmond said that "he did not agree with Nixon on every single issue," but added, "He is the most acceptable and electable candidate." 43 Nixon's belief in a nonactivist Supreme Court was probably a major reason Thurmond endorsed him. Just the day before his announcement for Nixon, Thurmond had said that he was "delighted" Chief Justice Earl Warren was retiring and that Warren "has done more harm to the American way of life than any other man holding public office in the history of our country." 44 Many southern Republicans' first choice would have been Ronald Reagan, or even George C. Wallace, the former Alabama governor and American Independent party candidate. Thurmond said he had "no harsh words" for Wallace. 45 However, Reagan and Wallace stood little chance of being elected president, and so many conservatives turned to the more electable candidate, Nixon. Thurmond's endorsement helped Nixon, and one South Carolina newspaper predicted that Nixon would win on the first ballot, with almost total support from the South. 46 In a more conservative estimate, United Press International said Nixon had over 600 delegates and was close to winning the nomination. 47 Nixon himself was certain enough of victory that he said he was no longer campaigning for delegates on a full-time basis. 48 [b]The biggest fallacy in the Southern Strategy viewpoint is that it ignores the fact that Nixon had to win in other regions in order to get the 270 electoral votes necessary for winning the presidency. If Nixon emphasized winning southern votes, then he risked losing support in the major industrial states, which would be committing political suicide. In fact, his emphasis had to be with the industrial states. Some papers even in very early June said that Nixon was looking beyond the Republican convention to November. 49 Nixon needed to consider the general election early because he could not afford a preconvention strategy that would destroy him in November. Nixon said, "There were going to be seven key states in the 1968 presidential campaign: New York, California, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Michigan. Of these I had won only California and Ohio in 1960. This time I had to win at least three in order to have a chance of winning the election." 50 These key states listed by Nixon had 210 out of the 270 electoral votes needed to be elected president. 51 The South was not central to Nixon's campaign, as William Safire noted when he quoted from an article by Don Irwin of The Los Angeles Times: "Richard M. Nixon's avowed determination to concentrate on voters in large industrial states if he wins the Republican presidential nomination tells much about the election campaign he has in mind. It appears to bar revival of the all-out Southern strategy that proved so disastrous for the GOP in 1964." 52 Two statements by Nixon before the convention showed him deviating from a Southern Strategy. In New York, Nixon told newsmen that he did not want the support of George Wallace and that it appeared Wallace's appeal was in the direction of the "racist element." 53 [/b] A few days later, an article said that Nixon would select a moderate to liberal running mate and that Reagan and Texas Senator John G. Tower were not being seriously considered. The article said that one of the two would be selected only if Nixon pursued a "Southern Strategy," which he said he would not do. The story stressed that Nixon was hoping to win some votes in the cities and among blacks; Reagan and Tower would hurt the ticket with these groups. 54 While far ahead of his opponents, Nixon still did not have the nomination absolutely nailed down. On the day before the convention opened, one comprehensive survey showed that Nixon was about 50 votes short of the 667 needed to win. 55 As the convention opened, Nixon had to hold on to southern

"racist element." 53 [/b] A few days later, an article said that Nixon would select a moderate to liberal running mate and that Reagan and Texas Senator John G. Tower were not being seriously considered. The article said that one of the two would be selected only if Nixon pursued a "Southern Strategy," which he said he would not do. The story stressed that Nixon was hoping to win some votes in the cities and among blacks; Reagan and Tower would hurt the ticket with these groups. 54 While far ahead of his opponents, Nixon still did not have the nomination absolutely nailed down. On the day before the convention opened, one comprehensive survey showed that Nixon was about 50 votes short of the 667 needed to win. 55 As the convention opened, Nixon had to hold on to southern delegates, who leaned heavily toward him, but who could switch to Reagan. Reagan still could have taken enough delegates in the South to deny Nixon a majority. However, he and Rockefeller did not coordinate their efforts, which limited their effectiveness. 56 Also, Reagan did not announce and officially begin his campaign until August 5, which was, as a political editor and John Tower said, too little, too late. 57 When Reagan began actively campaigning, he appeared to be gaining support among southern delegates. He was helped by articles published at this time that said Nixon was considering selecting a liberal running mate, such as John Lindsay or Illinois Senator Charles Percy. 58 Regardless of whether the Nixon spokesmen mentioned in the articles correctly represented their candidate's position, southern delegates read or heard about the articles, and this produced a rebellion of sorts in at least several southern states. The Florida delegation was especially worried about Nixon's selecting Percy, Lindsay, or Edward Brooke, senator from Massachusetts. 59 In order to check a Reagan surge with Dixie delegates, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater canceled a fishing trip to meet with them, and Thurmond talked with some of the delegations. 60 Clark Reed and Fred Larue had earlier said that they would be able to hold their Mississippi delegates for Nixon, but Reed now said, "The delegation was loose and could go either way." 61 Goldwater's and Thurmond's visits helped placate some wavering delegates from the South, but probably even more important was a meeting between Nixon and southern delegates at the Hilton Plaza, where the candidate was staying. The Miami Herald persuaded one of the Florida delegates to conceal a tape recorder and tape Nixon's brief speech and discussion with the delegates. The following quotes from Nixon are taken from the transcript of the meeting. Nixon met with two groups of delegates from the South on Tuesday morning, August 6. The delegates from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, and the District of Columbia were in the session that was taped. 62 Nixon squarely addressed the stories that said he was going to pick a liberal running mate, saying "There have been some cockeyed stories that Nixon has made a deal with this one or that one. 63 He then discussed his qualifications for a vice presidential candidate and concluded with "I am not going to take, I can assure you, anybody that is going to divide this party." 64 In his talk, Nixon stressed points that would appeal to conservatives, but was cautious enough not to make any kind of blatant regional, much less racist, appeals. On busing he said, "My feeling is this: I think that busing the child-a child that is two or three grades behind another child--into a strange community . . . I think that you destroy that child. . . . We have got to educate them, and I don't believe in that manner of approach." 65 On the Supreme Court and judges, Nixon denounced judges for running school boards and said, "I think it is the job of the courts to interpret the law, and not make the law." 66

divide this party." 64 In his talk, Nixon stressed points that would appeal to conservatives, but was cautious enough not to make any kind of blatant regional, much less racist, appeals. On busing he said, "My feeling is this: I think that busing the child-a child that is two or three grades behind another child--into a strange community . . . I think that you destroy that child. . . . We have got to educate them, and I don't believe in that manner of approach." 65 On the Supreme Court and judges, Nixon denounced judges for running school boards and said, "I think it is the job of the courts to interpret the law, and not make the law." 66

If there was an embarrassment for Nixon, it was probably in the area of open housing. Nixon's role in the passage of an open housing bill in April 1968 was mentioned earlier in this paper. A delegate asked Nixon about his stance on the issue, and he explained: "So I had a hard decision to make . . . and I talked to Gerry Ford about it--vote for it and get it out of the way. . . . In my view-and I think it vitally important--to get the civil rights and open housing issues out of our sight so we didn't have a split party over the platform when we came down here to Miami Beach." 67 Nixon concluded on the subject by saying "I would have preferred that it be handled at the state and local level." 68 As one source recognized, Nixon made it appear that he opposed open housing in principle, but not in this case on practicalities. 69 Even so, he had been deft enough to not say this directly. Reactions to his speech differed. For example, there was some criticism from Florida delegates who did not think Nixon was conservative enough. 70 But these delegates were in the minority. For those who claimed Nixon appeased the southerners, this belief is countered by his refusal to give any specific names of whom he was considering for a running mate. Also, as one newspaper noted about the Nixon meeting with delegates from the South, "Most of what he said was consistent with what Mr. Nixon has been saying publicly." 71 By Wednesday August 6, the Reagan drive had faltered. Nixon and his workers had well checked the drive by Reagan, who won 182 delegates at the convention, which was 10 votes less than a New York Times survey two days before the convention opened. Nixon won the nomination with 692 delegates on the first ballot.

The foundation for Nixon's winning the South had been laid long before. Nixon won the support of key Goldwater Republicans, such as Peter O'Donnell of Texas, James Martin of Alabama, Clark Reed of Mississippi, and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. By getting financial and organizational help early, Nixon made it difficult for the less-organized Reagan to be able to overtake him. Nixon, according to one story, sewed up backing from these key leaders in the Atlanta meeting by promising that he would not have a "philosophically split" ticket. 72 Nixon's choice of Spiro T. Agnew as his running mate aroused some liberal opposition at the convention, and his selection was seen by some as a concession to the South. 73 However, Agnew actually did not have solid conservative credentials. In March 1968, Agnew was recognized as being a longtime Rockefeller supporter and was a leader of a Draft Rockefeller Committee. 74 When Rockefeller announced he was not running on March 21, he did not tell Agnew in advance. Rockefeller's failure to tell

to overtake him. Nixon, according to one story, sewed up backing from these key leaders in the Atlanta meeting by promising that he would not have a "philosophically split" ticket. 72 Nixon's choice of Spiro T. Agnew as his running mate aroused some liberal opposition at the convention, and his selection was seen by some as a concession to the South. 73 However, Agnew actually did not have solid conservative credentials. In March 1968, Agnew was recognized as being a longtime Rockefeller supporter and was a leader of a Draft Rockefeller Committee. 74 When Rockefeller announced he was not running on March 21, he did not tell Agnew in advance. Rockefeller's failure to tell Agnew he was not going to run caused his supporter embarrassment with newsmen. 75 Agnew had invited newsmen into the governor's mansion to watch Rockefeller's speech on television. Much to Agnew's surprise, the New York governor announced he was not a candidate. When Rockefeller reversed himself on April 30 and declared his candidacy, Agnew was then neutral. 76

Agnew had strong black support when he ran for governor in 1966. 77 He ran against George P. Mahoney, a Democrat, who strongly opposed open housing. 78 In 1963, when Agnew was elected executive of Baltimore County, he passed the first local public accommodations law in the South. 79 As governor, he passed an open housing bill, hired many blacks, passed fair hiring bills, and helped enact other progressive legislation, including a tough antipollution bill and a large tax increase, which one author thought was necessary to pay for neglected programs. 80 Agnew, after being nominated, told reporters that he had not changed and that he "never felt more liberal in my life." 81 After rioting took place in Maryland when Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, Agnew began taking a strong stand against rioting and seemed less sympathetic and more critical of black leaders. But even after this change, liberal black columnist Carl Rowan said Agnew"is a moderate and clearly no racist." 82 Agnew was not an archconservative. He was not one of Strom Thurmond's own choices; Thurmond had preferred Tower or Reagan. Thurmond's response to Agnew was mixed, telling southerners he talked to that he believed Agnew will not add to the ticket, but is not especially objectionable. From all I hear about him he is a fine man, who is strong for law and order." 83 The ideology of Agnew and the South's influence on Nixon were distorted to some extent. The Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina stated the inaccurate, but widely held, view that Agnew's nomination "was a victory for the South, and Senator Strom Thurmond played a key role in shaping that ticket. " 84 Agnew's liberal stands in the past were mostly forgotten and probably did little more than help to limit the Republican left's rebellion against him. Nixon himself was partly responsible for the distorted view of Agnew, as he was not emphasizing Agnew's liberal acts as governor. The thrust of Nixon's general election campaign has been described earlier. More specifically regarding the South, Nixon said, "The Deep South had to be virtually conceded to George Wallace. I could not match him there without compromising on the civil rights issue, which I would not

Nixon himself was partly responsible for the distorted view of Agnew, as he was not emphasizing Agnew's liberal acts as governor. The thrust of Nixon's general election campaign has been described earlier. More specifically regarding the South, Nixon said, "The Deep South had to be virtually conceded to George Wallace. I could not match him there without compromising on the civil rights issue, which I would not do." 85 As one of Nixon's leading political strategists wrote, Nixon would focus his southern campaign in the Outer South, including Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. 86 Nixon's campaign in the South ignored Wallace for the most part, saying only that a vote for the third-party candidate was wasted since he could not win. In Atlanta, Nixon directly attacked Wallace, saying he was not fit to be president because of his statement that he would have his driver run over any protesters who blocked his way, but such attacks were rare. 87 Nixon did not soften his stand on civil rights. He did strongly support law and order, but so did many other candidates in 1968. The more liberal Humphrey, for example, during one campaign stop told a group of blacks about the need for law and order. 88

The Southern Strategy was more complex than has been recognized. In fact, there was no Southern Strategy, but rather an Outer South Strategy. Victories in the primaries, combined with Rockefeller's and Reagan's belated and uncoordinated campaigns, never put Nixon in a position in which he had to desperately bid for southern delegates. During the meeting with the Republican state chairmen in Atlanta and with the delegates in Miami, Nixon made no unreasonable commitments. While he emphasized issues likely to be popular with southerners, even the transcript of his private meeting with southern delegates is consistent with his public statements of the time. One key test of the Nixon strategy is on the issue of desegregation. The Southern Strategy claims that Nixon told Strom Thurmond he would slow down desegregation if elected president. 89 Exactly the opposite happened, as Nixon describes in his memoirs: Schools in the South and all across the country opened in the fall of 1970 without violence and in compliance with the Supreme Court's order. The dramatic success of our Southern desegregation program is eloquently told by the statistics. By 1974 only 8 percent of black children in the South were attending all-black schools, down from 68 percent in the fall of 1968. 90 Daniel Patrick Moynihan recognized the success of desegregation under Nixon, as he said in 1970, "There has been more change in the structure of American public school education in the past month than in the past 100 years." 91 There was nothing inherently wrong with Nixon's bringing southerners into the electoral process; in fact, it

the fall of 1970 without violence and in compliance with the Supreme Court's order. The dramatic success of our Southern desegregation program is eloquently told by the statistics. By 1974 only 8 percent of black children in the South were attending all-black schools, down from 68 percent in the fall of 1968. 90 Daniel Patrick Moynihan recognized the success of desegregation under Nixon, as he said in 1970, "There has been more change in the structure of American public school education in the past month than in the past 100 years." 91 There was nothing inherently wrong with Nixon's bringing southerners into the electoral process; in fact, it probably made desegregation easier. And in 1970, there was no violence, as when John F. Kennedy was president, for example, and over 375 people were injured and 2 persons were killed at the University of Mississippi when it integrated. 92 Nixon's desegregation followed his general policy of dealing with the South, which one of his main domestic advisers, John Ehrlichman, said was done "his way, with conciliation and understanding and not in a fashion that would abrade the political sensibilities of Southerners and conservatives." 93 The true test of the Southern Strategy was shown in the 1972 presidential election when Nixon carried the region with 70.5 percent of the vote. 94 Nixon's campaign in the 1968 presidential election in the South has not deserved its scathing attacks. Its great success was well shown by the fact that the South underwent its most massive school integration in history peacefully, while President Nixon's popularity in the region increased. These positive fruits were largely the results of Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign and his Southern Strategy. __________________ NOTES 1. Hubert H. Humphrey, The Education of a Public Man: My Life and Politics ( Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1976). 2. Reg Murphy and Hal Gulliver, The Southern Strategy ( New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1971), p. 249. 3. William Safire, Safire's Political Dictionary ( New York: Ballantine Books, 1978), p. 671. 4. Richard M. Nixon, RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon ( New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1978), p. 287. 5. Warren Weaver Jr., "Total Vote for McCarthy May Exceed Johnson's," The New York Times, March 14, 1968, p. A31. 6. Richard Witkin, "Rockefeller Urged by GOP to Get into Race," The New York Times, March 11, 1968, p. A32. 7. William Safire, Before the Fall: An Inside View of the PreWatergate White House ( New York: Doubleday, 1975), p. 49. 8. "Nixon Reportedly Aids Open Housing Plan," Atlanta JournalConstitution, April 7, 1968, p. 2A. 9. Wayne Kelley, "Open-Housing Bill Sent to President," Atlanta Journal, April 11, 1968, p. 1. 10. Paul Hofman, "National Political, Labor, and Religious Leaders Mourn Dr. King," The New York Times, April 6, 1968, p. A27. 11. Safire, Before the Fall, p. 49; Nixon, RN, p. 301; "World Who's Who Attending Rites," Atlanta Journal, April 9, 1968, p. 6A.

Constitution, April 7, 1968, p. 2A. 9. Wayne Kelley, "Open-Housing Bill Sent to President," Atlanta Journal, April 11, 1968, p. 1. 10. Paul Hofman, "National Political, Labor, and Religious Leaders Mourn Dr. King," The New York Times, April 6, 1968, p. A27. 11. Safire, Before the Fall, p. 49; Nixon, RN, p. 301; "World Who's Who Attending Rites," Atlanta Journal, April 9, 1968, p. 6A. 12. Tom Wicker, "The Impact of Indiana," The New York Times, May 8, 1968, p. A26. 13. Warren Weaver Jr., "Nebraska Gives 53% to Kennedy; Nixon Far Ahead," The New York Times, May 15, 1968, p. A1. 14. Lawrence E. Davis, "McCarthy Beats Kennedy in Oregon Primary; Nixon Is a Strong Winner," The New York Times, May 29, 1968, p. A1, A18. 15. Ibid.; "Morse Appears Narrow Winner," The New York Times, May 30, 1968, p. A14. 16. Nixon, RN, p. 303. 17. "Morse Appears Narrow Winner," p. A14. 18. Davis, "McCarthy Beats Kennedy," p. A1, A18. 19. Kenneth Looms, "State GOP Delegation Is Left 'Uncommitted,'" Louisville Courier Journal and Times, April 21, 1968, p. 1. 20. "Nixon Seen As Favorite of Virginia GOP," The Washington Post, May 5, 1968, p. A7. 21. William Bennett, "GOP Endorses Race by Nixon," Memphis Commercial Appeal, May 26, 1968, p. 11. 22. "Rockefeller Woos Dixie After Meet with Reagan in New Orleans," Mobile Register, May 21, 1968, p. 2A. 23. Ibid. 24. Ibid. 25. "Jovial Rockefeller Fields Questions from UF Students," Florida Times-Union, May 21, 1968, p. 1. 26. Ibid.; "Rockefeller Woos Dixie," p. A2. 27. "Jovial Rockefeller Fields Questions," p. 1. 28. Nixon, RN, p. 304. 29. Lewis Chester, Godfrey Hodgson, and Bruce Page, An American Melodrama: The Presidential Campaign of 1968 ( New York: Dell, 1969), p. 497. 30. Atlanta Journal, June 2, 1968, p. 1; Florida Times-Union and Journal, June 2, 1968, p. D6. 31. Nixon, RN, p. 304. 32. "Thurmond Praises Nixon," Florida Times-Union and Journal, June 2, 1968, p. D5. 33. "Nixon Campaigns for Votes in South," Charleston News and Courier, June 1, 1968, p. 7.

American Melodrama: The Presidential Campaign of 1968 ( New York: Dell, 1969), p. 497. 30. Atlanta Journal, June 2, 1968, p. 1; Florida Times-Union and Journal, June 2, 1968, p. D6. 31. Nixon, RN, p. 304. 32. "Thurmond Praises Nixon," Florida Times-Union and Journal, June 2, 1968, p. D5. 33. "Nixon Campaigns for Votes in South," Charleston News and Courier, June 1, 1968, p. 7. 34. "Nixon's Swing South Viewed as Profitable," Florida TimesUnion and Journal, June 2, 1968, p. D5. 35. Charles Pou and Hugh Nations, "Nixon Nearing Magic Number," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 2, 1968, p. 1. 36. Charles Pou, "Nixon Nearing Dixie Lockup," Atlanta Journal, June 1, 1968, P. 1. 37. Hank Drane, "Murfin Picked over Kirk," Florida Times-Union and Journal, June 2, 1968, p. D5. 38. "Thurmond Praises Nixon," p. D5. 39. Nixon, RN, pp. 304-305. 40. Theodore H. White, The Making of the President 1960 ( New York: Pocket Books, 1961), p. 466. 41. Earl Mazo and Stephen Hess, Nixon: A Political Portrait ( New York: Harper & Row, 1968), p. 238. 42. Hugh E. Gibson, "Thurmond's Endorsement Brings Blast from Best," Charleston News and Courier, June 25, 1968, p. A6. 43. "Thurmond Throws Support to Nixon, Says He Offers America's Best Hope," Charlotte Observer, June 23, 1968, p. A10. 44. "Thurmond Urges Johnson Not to Fill Court Vacancy," Charleston News and Courier, June 22, 1968, p. A6. 45. "Thurmond Throws Support to Nixon," p. A10. 46. Frank van der Linden, "Nixon Nomination on First Ballot Predicted," Charleston News and Courier, June 23, 1968, p. 13. 47. "Nixon Within Short Grasp of Clinching Nomination," Charleston News and Courier, June 25, 1968, p. B4. 48. Robert B. Semple, "Nixon Preparing to Court 7 or 8 Industrial States," The New York Times, June 21, 1968, p. A20. 49. Atlanta Journal, June 1, 1968, p. A4; Florida Times-Union and Journal, June 2, 1968, pp. D1, D5. 50. Nixon, RN, p. 316; Semple, "Nixon Preparing to Court 7 or 8 Industrial States," p. A20. 51. Relman Morin, The Associated Press Story of Election 1968 ( New York: Pocket Books, 1969), p. 182. __________________ 52. Los Angeles Times, July 14, 1968, quoted in Safire's Political Dictionary, p. 672. 53. "Wallace's Aid Not Wanted," Florida Times-Union, June 27, 1968, p. A2.

50. Nixon, RN, p. 316; Semple, "Nixon Preparing to Court 7 or 8 Industrial States," p. A20. 51. Relman Morin, The Associated Press Story of Election 1968 ( New York: Pocket Books, 1969), p. 182. __________________ 52. Los Angeles Times, July 14, 1968, quoted in Safire's Political Dictionary, p. 672. 53. "Wallace's Aid Not Wanted," Florida Times-Union, June 27, 1968, p. A2. 54. Robert B. Semple, "Nixon Considering Moderate on Ticket," The New York Times, June 30, 1968, pp. A1, A40. 55. Warren Weaver Jr., "Survey Finds Nixon Close to a First Ballot Victory," The New York Times, August 4, 1968, p. A1. 56. Tom Wicker, "GOP Convention Will Open Today," The New York Times, August 5, 1968, p. A1. 57. Hank Drane, Florida Times-Union and Journal, August 6, 1968, p. B2; Gladwin Hill , "Reagan Officially in Race; Acts to Bar Nixon Sweep," The New York Times, August 6, 1968, p. A1. 58. Warren Weaver Jr., "Nixon Said to Want Rockefeller, Lindsay, or Percy for 2nd Place," The New York Times, August 5, 1968, p. A1. 59. Hank Drane, "State Delegation Debates Choice of Nixon, Reagan," Florida Times-Union and Journal, August 7, 1968, p. 1. 60. The Washington Post, August 6, 1968, p. A7; The Washington Post, August 7, 1968, p. A11. 61. The Washington Post, August 6, 1968, p. A7. 62. Chester Hodgson, and Page, An American Melodrama, p. 515; The Washington Post, August 7, 1968, p. A8. 63. Chester, Hodgson, and Page, An American Melodrama, p. 516. 64. Ibid. 65. Ibid. 66. Ibid. 67. Ibid., p. 517. 68. Ibid.; "Nixon Housing Stand Reported," The Washington Post, August 7, 1968, p. A8. 69. Chester, Hodgson, and Page, An American Melodrama, p. 518. 70. Drane, "State Delegation Debates Choice," p. 1. 71. "Nixon Said to Bar Southerners' Bid: Shuns Pledge on Choosing Conservative for Ticket," The New York Times, August 7, 1968, p. A30. 72. William Chapman, "How Nixon Held Dixie Votes," The Washington Post, August 9, 1968, p. A10. 73. Richard Reeves, "Lindsay Resists Plea by Liberals," The New York Times, August 9, 1968, p. A1.

518. 70. Drane, "State Delegation Debates Choice," p. 1. 71. "Nixon Said to Bar Southerners' Bid: Shuns Pledge on Choosing Conservative for Ticket," The New York Times, August 7, 1968, p. A30. 72. William Chapman, "How Nixon Held Dixie Votes," The Washington Post, August 9, 1968, p. A10. 73. Richard Reeves, "Lindsay Resists Plea by Liberals," The New York Times, August 9, 1968, p. A1. 74. Richard L. Madden, "Supporters from 15 States Urge Rockefeller to Enter Race Now," The New York Times, March 19, 1968, p. A37. 75. Richard Homan, "Snub Influenced Agnew Shift," The Washington Post, August 7, 1968, p. A9. 76. Ibid. 77. Tom Stuckey, "Agnew Seen Law-Order Hard Liner," Florida Times-Union and Journal, August 9, 1968, p. A2. 78. Ibid.; John Woodfield, "Agnew's Career Called Meteoric," Florida Times-Union and Journal, August 9, 1968, p. A3. 79. "The Candidate from Maryland: Spiro Theodore Agnew," The New York Times, August 9, 1968, p. A18. 80. Ibid. 81. Stuckey, "Agnew Seen Law-Order Hard Liner," p. A2. 82. Carl Rowan, "Maryland Governor Succumbs to Backlash," Charlotte Observer, June 24, 1968, p. A2. 83. "Dixie: Agnew Acceptable," Florida Times-Union and Journal, August 9, 1968, p. A2. 84. Walter R. Mears, "Agnew to Steal the Wallace Vote," Florida Times-Union and Journal, August 9, 1968, p. A2. 85. Nixon, RN, p. 316. 86. Ibid., p. 317 ; Kevin P. Phillips, The Emerging Republican Majority ( New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1969), pp. 206-207. 87. "Nixon Calls Wallace Unfit for President, Attacks LeMay," Charlotte Observer, October 9, 1968, p. A3. 88. "Humphrey Calls for Law, Order, Social Justice," Charleston News and Courier, June 25, 1968, p. B4. 89. Murphy and Gulliver, The Southern Strategy, p. 2. 90. Nixon, RN, p. 443. 91. Ibid., p. 445. 92. C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow, 3d rev. ed. ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1974), p. 163. 93. John Ehrlichman, Witness to Power: The Nixon Years ( New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), p. 198. 94. Numan V. Bartley and Hugh D. Graham, Southern Politics and the Second Reconstruction ( Baltimore: Johns Hopkins

90. Nixon, RN, p. 443. 91. Ibid., p. 445. 92. C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow, 3d rev. ed. ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1974), p. 163. 93. John Ehrlichman, Witness to Power: The Nixon Years ( New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), p. 198. 94. Numan V. Bartley and Hugh D. Graham, Southern Politics and the Second Reconstruction ( Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975), p. 173.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful