Skip to comments.Brown Coakley race has echoes of 1952: JFK attended tea parties as Lodge promoted Ike
Posted on 01/17/2010 5:56:37 PM PST by nwrep
The Brown-Coakley Senate race has echoes of another time, another era when a Mass. Senate race generated extraordinary enthusiasm and created a seismic shift in voter attitudes that came to define a lasting political realignment.
In 1952, a young Irish Catholic Democratic Congressman named John F. Kennedy took on sitting Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, who had previously defeated three similar Irish Catholic candidates. Lodge, of course, was from one of the "first families" of Massachusetts, and with his WASP pedigree and Republican heritage, typified New England political structure of the time.
However, solidifying the trends of the previous decades, New England in general, but Mass. in particular was turning Democrat, and the young JFK was eager to tap into and exploit this trend.
Lodge took this challenge in stride, but from the New York Times reports of the time, did not campaign hard, instead spending most of his time promoting the Presidential candidacy of General Dwight Eisenhower, and angling for the VP slot on the ticket.
According to the New York Times article from November 2, 1952:
Mr. Lodge was busy all spring furthering the General's candidacy, and Mr. Kennedy was busy attending tea parties around Massachusetts in the interest of making himself better known. This is Mr. Lodge's fourth Senate campaign; he has defeated his previous challengers by substantial margins.
Henry Lodge...Now *there’s* a blast from the past.
In my wildest dreams I never thought it would be the State of Mass. To save the Republic.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find only things evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelogus
Oh, JFK was a teabagger?
I know someone who is now a fanatic Democrat who was a young Republican attending the University of Tennessee in 1960. He went to meet Lodge when he arrived in Knoxville for a campaign stop and claims that Lodge was drunk when he got there. Whether that's true or not, the Nixon-Lodge ticket carried Tennessee. (Nixon never lost Tennessee the five times he was on a national ticket.)
Nixon picked Lodge as a kowtow to Rockefeller and the liberal wing of the Republican party. It was a stupid pick. He should have picked Goldwater, whose book was the best selling manifesto since Common Sense. Nixon going to see Rockefeller and asceding to his demands was called the American Munich.
Lodge, Jr. was also a VERY liberal RINO, unlike his namesake grandfather, who would’ve been horrified at Junior’s liberalism. JFK’s victory in 1952 was a victory for Conservatism, as JFK was well to the right of Lodge. Had Junior Lodge been more like his grandfather, JFK would’ve lost that race.
I tactfully asked him WHY he was going to vote for Brown and his answer was: Because of the healthcare bill Obama is trying to pass. I carefully agreed with him and reinforced the fact that Obama wants to gut Medicare/Medicaid by taking away 500 BILLION DOLLARS from the system and that if he adds 40 million people to the rolls, especially illegal aliens the health care system would collapse I told him that Brown is an honorable man and that he is totally opposed to the healthcare bill and would vote against it MY DAD AGREED! I was flabbergasted!
If my own father; a life-long Massachusetts FDR Democrat who has voted for EVERY Kennedy, Kerry/democrat to ever come down the pike, is going to vote for Scott Brown, a REPUBLICAN, BECAUSE OF HIS OPPOSITION TO Obama and his evil healthcare debacle then things are looking VERY promising for Scott Brown and we could all be in for an incredible victory on Tuesday. To this end I am fervently praying.
The Second American Revolution begins, where the first one began.
Partying like it is 1775.
WAY TO GO DAD!!!!!!!
A ping to ltos!!!
LOL, great post! 1952, as long as hubby has been alive!
That’s *so* invigorating- to read about! :)
The Lord works in mysterious ways, indeed.
His Grandfather was a buddy of TR—a progressive. The young Lodge, of course, was an internationalist, but given the elder Lodge’s bent for power politics, he probably would not have disapproved. TR would not have supported the league, but he wouldn’t have taken down the Navy as Harding and Coolidge did, and he would definitively been willing to confront Stalin.
But so far as the younger Lodge, He was the SOb who orchestrated the assasination of the Diem brothers in South Vietnam, which wrecked the whole enterprise.
HCL, Sr. was friendly with TR, but he was still a stalwart Conservative, regardless (although more of the Paleo variety by today’s standards). Junior marked the change from Conservative Republicanism to liberalism that would ultimately lead to the death of the MA GOP. Even if Brown is elected, that won’t resurrect the party. His is a victory for an anti-Democrat establishment Oppositionist coalition, but not the state party.
Massachusetts does seem to like divided government. Patrick’s poor performance in office ought to be a caution that might persuade the Independents to give Brown a chance.
No, they were tea parties of the old-fashioned kind:
(I can’t post the photo directly due to copyright restrictions.)
A famous innovation by the Kennedys in the 1952 Senate race were a series of “tea parties” sponsored by Kennedy’s mother and sisters in the fall. Congressman Kennedy attended each of the tea parties and shook hands and charmed the voters (usually female) who were present; it is estimated that a total of 70,000 voters attended the tea parties, which was roughly his margin of victory over Lodge.