Skip to comments.The Presidential Race: 40 Years Ago Today
Posted on 01/11/2008 6:00:49 AM PST by Nextrush
(This is part of an actual newscast from 40 years ago today as broadcast in Los Angeles at 1pm Pacific Time.)
"Its 1pm, 61 degrees at Civic Center, no smog, this is David Rogers, KFWB News.....
California seems to be a veritable stomping ground for those who desire White House occupancy. The most recent to be hitting the hustings, one who doesn't like the way the current chief executive is handling things across the Pacific.
KFWB's Charles Arlington has details of what he has to say:
'Minnesota's Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy in Los Angeles to campaign to get on the ballot in this state is what many call a peace candidate in this year's elections said he honestly believes he can win the presidential nomination.
He said he did have support of many Democratic Party liberals and said the fact that the Democrats have allowed him to come to their Fresno conclave was a true indication that he has support from many of them.
He denied reports that he had stalking horse or any other kind of arrangements with New York Senator Robert Kennedy and said that former Alabama Governor George Wallace's effect upon the elections will hurt the GOP more than the Democrats.
Then he estimated the cost of his campaigning in California .. something around 200-thousand dollars, saying it would cost about a million for the five or six states where he hopes to get on the primaries.
Eugene McCarthy in Los Angeles.
This is Charles Arlington at the Press Club in Los Angeles.'
Senator George Murphy isn't aiming for the Presidency, but he'll ride the bandwagon of any Republican who is. KFWB's Arlington also attened his news conference at which he declined predicting who would be standard bearer, but Murphy did look at the front runners.
According to the former actor Richard Nixon 'is conceded to be the best qualified'. New York Governor Rockefeller in Murphy's words 'may not be running but he's certainly in the bullpen warming up.' And of California's chief executive Ronald Reagan again 'has the same attraction as Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and the finest record of any first term governor I've ever heard of.'
KFWB news time is 1:02.
A select committee has been named by Governor Ronald Reagan to put together his favorite son presidential delegation to the GOP national convention. Even though all 36 members are firmly loyal to the man who appointed them, they did work in previous elections for former Vice-President Richard Nixon and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller.
Expectations are they will pick delegates who would stay on Reagan's bandwagon so long as there were a chance he would garner the nomination himself. The steering committee will be headed by Los Angeles attorney William Smith.
In the meantime, the governor has pictured his five-day Eastern and Midwestern trip next week as his 'final swan song of political tours' saying he has no intention of campaigning in open primary states.
Reagan has said he'd discourage any formation of any group to press his candidacy in primary election states, however at the same time, he also won't file an absolute disclaimer of being a contender....."
There were only a handful or primaries contested back then and California's wasn't coming until June.
Then U.S. Senator George Murphy was a former actor who surprised many in 1964 by bucking Barry Goldwater's loss in California and beating Democrat and former JFK Press Secretary Pierre Salinger.
I suspect Murphy's example helped to inspire the GOP to put Ronald Reagan up at its candidate for Governor or California in 1966.
Reagan was in or out of the race depending on what you wanted to believe.
First in line after the Goldwater loss in 1964 was Richard Nixon, with Nelson Rockefeller entertaining hopes of coming back in 68.
Rockefeller's 1964 effort was crushed after he divorced his first wife and married a younger woman.
It turned off women voters especially.
I fear we Republicans are in the same position politically that the Democrats were in the 1968. Weak candidates and scrambled messages. The other side wins mostly by default.
There’s still time for things to change.
In this day and age they change on a dime (very quickly).
We can hope for this thing to sort itself out in the next two months or so.
To put this ridiculous presidential campaign in perspective, RFK didn’t declare his candidacy until March of 1968.
I am convinced Lyndon Johnson intended to run for re-election in 1968. He loved power too much to even think otherwise. But he won New Hampshire by only 7% over Gene McCarthy on March 12. For an incumbent President, that’s a loss.
Fatally wounded, he withdrew. Johnson was nothing if not pragmatic - he knew he would have a bruising primary season. By that time of his life his health wasn’t the best and he was tired.
RFK, sensing opportunity, declared. In my opinion, he would have been the Democrat nominee had he not been killed.
Would RFK have won the presidency in 68 ?
I forget which historian/analyst said Nixon would have been so unnerved facing another Kennedy that his campaign would have failed and Bobby would have won. Sounds plausible though Bobby did not have the good TV presence that Jack and even Teddy have. Didn’t have the same charisma. When I see video of some of his speeches I’m shocked at how badly he comes across as a speaker. Plus he had that squeaky voice. If his name had not been Kennedy he would have gotten nowhere.
RFK would have beaten Dick that year. He had alot of support from the urban, blue collar base of the party, yet attracted alot of young people as well. The Hump was a parochial pol from the midwest who couldn’t hold the party together.
1. RFK had lived and defeated Nixon or
2. Henry "Scoop" Jackson had beaten Jimmy Carter in 1976...
The Dem party would be very different than it is today, as would the Republican Party.
I think he would have... I remember the assassination like it was yesterday. He was rolling across the country and I do believe Nixon was worried.
RFK was a good man from what I have read. He was nothing like the current 21st century “hug a thug” liberal. Defended Joe McCarthy. He went after the mafia as AG. I think he took the anti war position on Viet Nam because he thought that was the best position to take in 1968. It may have been. Maybe he genuinely felt that way.
It is hard to believe that RFK and JFK could be related to that fat alcoholic that currently darkens the halls of the US Senate.
Don't pay too much attention to history books written about Robert Kennedy. Since he was martyred, historians have seen fit to airbrush out the flaws. He was actually the most liberal of the three brothers. Wealth redistribution (except his family), stridently anti-military, pro-Marxist and all the other ultra-liberal positions. Since so many historians are liberal, they portray such political leanings favorably.
woulda really sucked
Nothing personal, it’s not your fault but your post is another example of one of two things about youngsters today:
either academia brainwashed your historical perspective or you’re just another moderate who would have made a nice Scoop Jackson Democrat....but 9-11 or Dem excesses drove you here....I suspect the former....
Robert Kennedy was a leftist...a committed one....and not above doing anything to preserve his political power.
whether or not he was genuine was irrelevant....Ho was genuine as was I’m sure Giap too
and don’t let your teacher’s notions that RFK was some noble race God influence you either....he spied on Martin Luther King and instituted spying on several black civil rights groups...not that they might not have deserved it but he was no black man’s Ghandi....he saw votes same as LBJ did...but he was suspect of their power...he was an architect of what started the sordid legacy of black cultural intergenerational dependence on the government and led to a collapse of much of their culture...a price we all pay
and both he and his brither used our tax dollars to fely around the country chasing poonanny ...sometimes the very poonanny that could have easily compromised them....gangsters etc.
he and his brother were both reckless arrogrant pricks (RIP and ciao is about all I can say)
you want a 60s hero...try Reagan....or Goldwater or Buckley.....the GOP was not so great either then....not terribly socially conservative except for a few....Southern Dems were more socially right wing than the GOP then....there is no direct line from here to there except Reagan..
how young are you?
if you’re like a teen or something....I should apologize for not being more polite....in that case.
I dont care how old I am. I form my own opinions. Robert Kennedy was one of very few who stood by Joe McCarthy while others dismissed him as a loon. I disagree with most of RFK’s politics, but admire the man.
Ted sold his soul. He is a disgrace to the Kennedy name as is his nephew and son of RFK.
well, that’s too bad, I can’t see much goiod about him at all
all the Kennedy’s supported McCarthy because believe it or not their largely Catholic consituency did...
that some young conservatives in 2007 say they admire RFK shows too well how the left has done their job sadly.
are you saying the man did absolutely nothing good in his lifetime ?
we are discussing his legacy....that entails weighing good and bad.
he was something of a race baiting hypocrite which doesn’t do much for me
a bigtime nany stater
a big part of the Kennedy brothers losing their vaunted balls and leaving men to die on the beach in Cuba ...just for starters
but I’m sure he kissed Ethel before going out philandering
and tucked the kids into bed
Hitler patted his Alsatian too on occasion I’m told
and Saddam was known to get teary at Tikrit sunsets I’m told