THE CAMPAIGN AND THE CANDIDATES
NBC-TV Show No. 8, Saturday, Nov. 5, 1960, 9:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Producer: Chet Hagan. Director: Bob Priaulx. Correspondents: McGee, Vanocur, Kaplow, and Peterson.
(Teaser and announcer opener)
Mr. NIXON. * * * Now, another point that I'd like to touch upon. People have suggested to me: "Well, Mr. Nixon, we're a little worried. Maybe things haven't been standing still; maybe you do have some good programs; but we read in the paper day before yesterday where your opponent said (and these were tremendous scare headlines in the Detroit paper when I was there) 'Senator Kennedy Predicts Recession.'" Now I want to talk to that point.
That is probably the most despicable, first, and the most ignorant comment made in this campaign. [Cheers and applause.]
Senator KENNEDY. * * * The Wall Street Journal, which should be Mr. Nixon's bible, says it is a recession. I don't know what you'd call it, and I would not calculate what it is; but, in any case, it's not good enough. And if Mr. Nixon is satisfied with it, that's another argument and difference of opinion we have. [Cheers and applause.]
(ET music: "Hall of Fame" in briefly then under announcer.)
ANNOUNCER. "The Campaign and the Candidates" presented by * * *1 in association with NBC News.
McGEE. It's just past 9:30 here in New York, Saturday, November 5 - only 2 days to election day.
Good evening. I'm Frank McGee, NBC News.
Today, in New York, the Democratic candidate for President, John Kennedy, said: "I want above all else to be a President known - at the end of 4 years - as one of whom history might say: He not only laid the foundations for peace in his time, but for generations to come as well."
And today, in Oakland, the Republican candidate for President, Richard Nixon, said: "Name one Republican President in this century where we've had a war and I'll name three Democrats. We ended the war we were in. What do the Democrats offer? Untried, rash, impulsive, leadership."
And so the presidential race is nearly over. Earlier today, in the Bronx Borough of New York, Kennedy said this:
Senator KENNEDY. * * * This is an important election. It involves a high office. It is the highest responsibility that a citizen of a free country can have to pick the President. And it is the President's responsibility to set before the American people the unfinished business of our society, to rally them to a great cause. The Presidency, as Franklin Roosevelt said, is, above all, a place for moral leadership. And I believe, in 1960, the people of the great Republic, as in 1932, are going to choose progress, are going to choose to go forward, and right in the lead will be the Bronx County of the State of New York. Thank you. [Cheers and applause.]
McGEE. And, earlier today, in San Jose, Calif., Nixon said this:
Mr. NIXON. * * * But then people say, "But, Mr. Nixon, how can we vote for you, when your opponent will spend more? Doesn't this prove he cares more? Cares more for the problems of people? Cares more for progress in the United States?" And, of course, the answer is very simple. It's your money, not his, he's going to be spending.* * *
* * * [Cheers and applause.] * * * But, I recognize here that in a speech in Virginia, Harry Byrd's State, just yesterday, my opponent said, "But, look," he said, "I'm going to be for my program, but I'm against raising taxes, and I'm for a balanced budget." Now, my friends, you can't be for programs that cost $15 billion and be against raising taxes and for a balanced budget. This is just economic ignoramus, I can assure you of that, nothing more. [Cheers and applause.] What this means is then, that you have here, what I would call, a modern-day medicine man. He says, "Give me your money, and I'll solve all your problems." But the trouble is, it's a poison - a poison to our system that he's handing out, and the American people aren't going to buy it because they want progress without inflation, and that's what we will give to the American people under our program.
McGEE. The closing days of any political race, whether for the White House or the school board, bring increasingly sharp attacks by the candidates upon each other. In short, the campaign tends to become what the candidates promised it would not - a matter of personalities more than issues. It has happened again, and that report is coming up.
McGEE. In the last 2 weeks of one of the most exhaustive presidential campaigns the country has ever seen, neither Nixon nor Kennedy has brought forth new major issues. But more biting vocabularies have been developed and fewer niceties remembered in the rush toward the finish line. A new vehemence has come into their discussions of the same subjects. You will hear it as we see first, Kennedy, and then Nixon, hammering home their views on matters from social security to outer space.
Senator KENNEDY. * * * Social security? The Republicans voted 90 percent against social security in the mid-thirties and voted 99 percent against medical care for the aged tied to social security in 1960. The Republicans voted 90 percent against the 25-cent minimum wage in the mid-thirties, and voted 90 percent against $1.25 minimum wage in 1960. Now, if you think that party's committed to progress, then Mr. Nixon's your man. [Cheers and applause.]
Mr. NIXON. * * * He said: "The Republican Party has been inconsistent on many issues; but on one issue it has been wholly consistent for a quarter of a century. It has attempted to wreck social security. I believe Mr. Nixon has led the wrecking crew and has not merely been a member of it." Now, he has said this not once, he has said it not four times in the cities I have mentioned, he has said it over and over again. He's saying it again in California. Now, the first time you say something wrong, like that it's a mistake. The second time you say it, it's a bad mistake. The third time you say it, when you know it's a wrong, it's a falsehood, a lie, and that's what I call it tonight * * *.
Senator KENNEDY. * * * How, as an American, concerned with the full use of our powers, can you come to any conclusion but that the domestic economy has been mishandled, when we had a recession in 1958, 1954, and now, this slowdown. You know, this year in September, we've built 30 percent less homes than we did a year ago. And that our steel mills are working at 50 percent of capacity. And that by the middle of November, we will have more automobiles in inventory than we've ever had in our history. It's estimated that there will be, by the middle of November, in spite of the fact that this is a changing season, nearly a million unsold cars in the United States.
Mr. NIXON. * * * I read, what I think, was one of the most despicable and ignorant comments ever made in this campaign by my opponent the other day. And that was the one in which he said: "I predict we're going to have a depression in the United States - a recession in the United States." It was an eight-column head. You probably saw it here in Chicago, didn't you? Remember in the Detroit paper, when I was there, eight-column head: "Kennedy Predicts Recession." Now, my friends, anybody who says that in order to attempt to get votes from the American people, I think, isn't worthy to be President of the United States, because that's [cheers and applause]
Senator KENNEDY. * * * We are second in outer space, but this administration has failed to recognize, has failed to recognize that, in these changing times with a revolution of rising expectations sweeping the globe, the United States has lost its image as a new strong, vital, revolutionary society. This administration will not release the polls which demonstrate that. What are we going to do - get them released neat November or December - which show that our prestige has dropped around the world and prove that the Vice President is wrong, when he said that there's an alltime high? If Mr. Nixon believes that, if he believes that, he is misinformed. If he doesn't believe it, he shouldn't run on it. [Cheers and applause.]
Mr. NIXON. * * * We've heard so much talk about American being second in education, second in science, second in space, in this field and that. We have heard so much talk about our prestige falling around the world. Well, my friends, we're in a great battle. We're in a great game - we can call it that - of competition. Have you ever seen a team in a game that won when it thought it was a second-rater. We're not a second-rate country; we're a first-rate country, and it's time for [cheers and applause].
McGEE. Now, these issues the candidates have discussed and are discussing. But as all of us know, there is another factor in the campaign - the Catholic religion of Senator Kennedy. Now, from the beginning, Nixon and Kennedy have refused to permit this to become an issue between them; yet, despite their pleas, it has become an issue in the country. For the most part, it's a matter of emotion; and hence it's submerged. But this makes it more, rather than less, real; and because it is real, it must be reported.
The fundamental law of the United. States - the Constitution - has two provisions bearing directly on this subject. In one part it says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise, thereof." The effect of this was to create a state that was separate from the church. In other part, the Constitution says: "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the United States." The effect of this was to permit a person of any religious persuasion to hold public office. Together, they say that Americans cannot be required to believe any religious doctrine, but an American of any religious belief can serve his fellows. Well, that's the legal, even the ethical, framework within which the religious issue is being discussed. It affords a wide spectrum of opinion. Some fundamental Protestants hold it is impossible for a Catholic to honor separation of church and state, and Catholics should, therefore, be denied the right to hold public office. This week, Texas Southern Baptists held a convention; adopted a resolution that was milder, really, than some had expected.
SPEAKER. We urge our people to examine the position on separation of church and state of every candidate for public office at every level of American life, in the light of his statements, sincerity, and stamina. We believe that this is one of the legitimate factors in the formation of the decision to cast the ballot. We urge that continued vigilance, during the term of a candidate's office, be exercised so that there will be created the public support essential for the application of the principle of separation of church and state.
McGEE. After the convention approved the resolution, Dr. Ramsay Pollard, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, expressed his personal views in somewhat stronger terms.
Dr. POLLARD. * * * I think the religious question will have a tremendous effect upon the South and upon the North and the East and the West. But I would say that we didn't necessarily raise it. The religious issue has been raised for many hundreds of years, because of the bigotry, the persecution of the Roman Catholic hierarchy and church.
McGEE. A sincere Protestant fearful of Catholicism. Other Protestant leaders believe such fears are primitive; believe Catholicism in democracies differs from Catholicism elsewhere. This liberal view is taken by Dr. John C. Bennett, dean of the Union Theological Seminary.
Dr. BENNETT. * * * Those who continue to oppose Senator Kennedy on religious grounds, alone, show that they believe that no Catholic, whatever his views, should be President. But Kennedy's own statements, of his convictions about church-state issues have been satisfactory to most Protestant critics.
This general rejection of any Catholic candidate for the Presidency, I find intolerable. As a Protestant, I resist the continued identification of protestantism with political anticatholicism for this brings out the worst in protestantism. As an American, I believe that this position is incompatible with the realities of our religious pluralism. To contend that Catholics on principle should be excluded from the Presidency, is to cause 40 million of our fellow citizens to be outsiders of this symbolically important point. This, indeed, casts a shadow over all Americans who are not Protestants. It threatens our institutions and our morale as a national community.
McGEE. Between these widely divergent Protestant views is another that deplores charges of bigotry against those with honest fears about separation of church and state. More on that view from Dr. Herman L. Turner, moderator of the United Presbyterian Church.
Dr. TURNER. The General Council of the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, expresses its outrage and concern at the exploitation of the religious issue in the presidential campaign, which has caused the American people chiefly, to hear extremists in discussion of the religious aspects of the presidential election. The 172d general assembly in May 1960, stated that it considers it the duty of all citizens to examine a candidate's position on important issues of public policy, including those related to the separation of church and state, and believes that it is an act of irresponsible citizenship to support or oppose a candidate solely because of his religious affiliation.
McGEE. Now a great many American Catholics resent the view that a person of their faith should not be as free as any other to hold the Presidency. This position is taken by James Finn, associate editor of Commonweal, a Catholic magazine, often classified as "liberal."
Mr. Finn. I think it is becoming increasingly clear that, insofar as there is a religious issue in this campaign, it is because of the fact that there is a minority of American citizens who are willing to determine their vote for a particular candidate solely on the basis of his religion. I'm optimistic enough to think that this is a decreasing minority. I think that, as a Nation, we are becoming increasingly mature, that we're coming more and more to understand the profound implications of the first amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees what is normally called - usually called - separation of church and state. I think, as citizens, we are also coming to realize, for several reasons, the duties and obligations laid upon us by article VI of the Constitution which guarantees that there will be no religious test for any candidate for public office; not the least of these reasons, I think, is Senator Kennedy's own strong statements on church and state relations in this country.
McGEE. There remains the question of whether Catholics or Protestants will vote as blocs in the election, or whether they will consider their politics separate from their religion. In the larger cities, at least, it appears the pull of politics will be stronger than that of religion.
FIRST SPEAKER. My name is Arthur Moore. I am a Protestant, and I plan to vote for Senator Kennedy for President of the United States. I hesitate to mention these two facts in connection with each other, because I believe that this election is so important that the issue of religion as it has been used in this campaign only detracts and distracts the voters from the important issues of the campaign. Whatever relevant questions concerning the relation of a man's religion to his performance in public duty, have long since been answered by Senator Kennedy in a way to satisfy any honest voter. It seems to me that this election must be decided on America's role in the world and its treatment of its citizens in this country in the next 4 years. In this connection, I believe that Senator Kennedy has a much better program and a much better capacity for leadership than Vice President Nixon. I, therefore, plan to vote for Kennedy and Johnson and the Democratic ticket.
SECOND SPEAKER. My name is Barbara Mitchell. I am a Catholic who will vote for Richard Nixon. The fact, however, that I am a Catholic is irrelevant to my decision to vote for Mr. Nixon. In my mind, there is only one priority worthy of debate and that is national survival. I am much more interested in how each of the candidates will lead our Nation in its position as leader of the free world, than I am in additional social welfare, for instance. Mr. Nixon's voting record and his statements throughout the campaign convince me that he will take a firmer stand re the Sino-Soviet bloc. An additional reason for my decision is Mr. Nixon's running mate. There is, undoubtedly, no individual in this country who has had more experience in the past decade in dealing with all other nations of the world than Henry. Cabot Lodge. This combination is a much more important reason, in my mind, for those voting for a man, than his religion.
McGEE. Now, it would be too much to conclude from the two voters you've just heard, that all or even most, voters will exercise the same independence - despite the earnest appeals from Vice President Nixon and Senator Kennedy that they do so. The full influence of the religious issue in the campaign is not known, and will never really be known. To determine it would require an invasion of privacy as repugnant to democratic beliefs as denying public office because of religious persuasion. But, another factor in the campaign, one that can be charted, is the phenomenal registration of voters, and that report is coming up.
McGEE. Already both political parties have delivered on one promise often made and nearly as often broken - to put on the most intensive drive to register voters that the country has ever seen.
That effort has resulted in more Americans being legally armed to cast a ballot than ever before in history - almost 85 million.
The prospecting has been carried on everywhere, with Democrats - naturally - mining the regions more likely to turn up Democratic nuggets and Republicans working their mother lodes.
Denver, Colo. - an old mining capital - it's never been prospected more thoroughly. Here's the report from NBC's Elmer Peterson:
PETERSON. 1960 has been a good year for the city and county of Denver, Colo. Mining, banking, oil, aircrafts, population - on the increase. 1960 is also the year the political parties really got out and registered the vote. The drive got rolling early in August and wound up in a frenzy of last minuters 12 days ago. The secretary of the election commission, Don Nicholson, contemplates 265,000 registrants out of a total population of less than half a million and avers that every human in town eligible to vote is registered.
The 1960 political punditry dictates that not only must you get out the vote, but the right vote. To that end, Denver Democrats, and Republicans have devoted great effort and not inconsiderable sums of money. Colorado offers three choices to registrants - Democratic, Republican, or independent. The independent vote has been the political plum pie both parties have sought - the Democrats to date have been getting the larger, sweeter slices. In the 1952 election, Democrats had 30 percent. Republicans 22 percent, independent registration 48 percent. By the close of registration this year, the percentages read thusly: Democrats 42 percent, Republicans 25½ percent - with the independents shaved down to 32½ percent.
While partisans of all varieties in this campaign will agree there is no major disparity in political issues, in the Denver registration derby there were definite party differences in approach and results.
The Republican county organization is well disciplined, adequately financed, and very active. Beginning before the September 13th primary, it marshaled 900 canvassers to go house to house in the major Republican districts and heavily independent sections of the city and county. In Republican headquarters the results of the canvass were tabulated - those indicating they were unregistered, but willing to go Republican were called only notarized registrars in their own homes.
This Colorado wrinkle is called affidavit registration - a system whereby a notary public (invariably subsidized by one of the political parties) can call on a voter at home and sign him. up. Republican, registrars such as semiretired real estate broker Esther Maitlen, make the registration circuit in answer to specific requests assigned by Republican headquarters. Concentrating on suburbia, old folks' homes, and occasional waivering independents, Mrs. Maitlen operates in brisk efficient fashion - signing them up, reassuring those needing bolstering, and moving on.
Republican county secretary, Ralph Clark, is undaunted by the registration gains made by the Democrats. He says Colorado Republicans turn out and vote better when they wear the label of underdog. Clark concedes the older, "tenderloin" sections of the city to the opposition - says GOP registrants in the newer, outlying sections of the city will go to the polls on the eighth - the Democrats won't.
Democratic headquarters two flights up in the same Denver hotel, appear on the surface much less organized, much less effective. On a county level, this is probably true. In the precincts, it's a different story. The Democrats have the manpower to conduct the house-to-house registration. In the cozy living room of precinct vice captain Mrs. Mary Butler, Democratic registration chairlady Doris Banks organizes the block-by-block teamplay to scour ripe neighborhoods. In the 1958 State elections, Democrats took all 17 Colorado State Legislature seats for Denver County.
Now these representatives, many of them young, are standing for reelection. They represent a real plus in the Democratic registration drive. Roy Romer, 32-year-old freshman, has spent several afternoons and evenings a week since last summer going door to door, pushing both the national candidates and his own campaign. At times voters can be tough. They want to discuss the campaign's elusive issues. They like a little political dialectics before committing to a party registration. Neither party wants to register members of the opposition, although technically they both claim they'll register anyone.
Sometimes the job is easy. This 29 year-old mother of three has never before registered or voted. She didn't know the names of the presidential candidates, and expressed absolutely no inclination toward either party. When State Representative Elmer Johnson asked her to register as a Democrat, she readily agreed. He was a Democrat, so she'd be one, too. Johnson left leaflets with both his picture and that of Senator Kennedy so there would be no doubts on election day.
Unquestionably, the single factor that has thrown the balance to the Democrats has been the overwhelming successful efforts of COPE, the Committee on Political Education of the AFL-CIO. Armed with union membership rolls, registration lists, cross-indexed file cards, and the phone book, an intensive, highly organized campaign has been mounted. Under the direct supervision of the Denver Labor Council, enormous reserves of manpower have been organized to canvass the labor and allied vote of Denver.
Teams of readily available COPE workers operate on the telephone, in the streets, door to door. Mobile notarized registrar units operate at industrial plants during lunch hours and shift changes. The approaches are direct, forceful and extremely successful. The union-furnished organization and manpower has far overshadowed any organizational or financial advantage the Republicans might have held.
Neither party feels the job is done. They still have to turn out the vote on Tuesday. In both 1952 and 1956, Democrats crossed over to vote for Eisenhower. This year the Republicans hope they'll cross over the bridge again - the Democrats with their significantly increased registration are gambling they won't.
McGEE. If we have more people than ever ready to vote - and we do - we also have two men working harder than any before them to capture those votes.
Never have two candidates enslaved themselves to such rigid schedules or extended themselves to the limits of their physical strength to meet those schedules. It will not be for want of work that either fails, as one of them surely must.
To see, for only one day, what their lives have been like nearly every day since early September, we filmed their moves from early morning until late at night.
For Senator Kennedy, that day was in Illinois, October 24. And the reporter is Sander Vanocur.
(Vanocur SOF, "Day in the Life of Kennedy")
VANOCUR. Senator Kennedy left his suite at Rockford's Hotel Faust at 8:50 a.m. - shook bands and said a few words to the waiting chambermaids - then crowded into the elevator and was on his way.
Outside, his supporters were waiting at the hotel entrance, like countless others elsewhere, to wave at him as he left.
Then - down the streets of Rockford to the nearby Coronado Theater where 3,000 persons were waiting. It's difficult for any candidate to be inspirational at this hour - especially on about 5 hours sleep. Kennedy said here that Senator Goldwater had taken Vice President Nixon into a hotel room in Phoenix - had told him "Dick you're a Republican - you better start talking like one." Said Kennedy, "No one had to remind me I was a Democrat." Kennedy finished his speech and left the theater at 9:35. Those who could not get in were waiting outside. A woman shouted the familiar chant, "We Want Jack."
From the theater, Kennedy went to Rockford Airport, where there was another crowd waiting to see him - a crowd waving, shouting, trying to attract his attention. Kennedy has steadily become more adept at greeting his well-wishers. Earlier in the campaign, he was more reserved - but not any more. The greetings continued as he boarded his plane to take off at 10:10 for the next stop.
The flight to Champaign-Urbana took 40 minutes. At 10:50, the plane, which is named after his daughter, Caroline, was back on the ground. With Kennedy that day was Senator Paul Douglas, running for his third Senate term. The race in Illinois is close and if Kennedy wins there, he'll be helped by Douglas and Otto Kerner, Democratic candidate for Governor - both of whom are figured to win handily. More women were at this airport. Kennedy seems to have a certain effect on them - young, middle aged, and old.
At 11:15, Kennedy arrived at the University of Illinois where 12,000 students and older persons were waiting. There was the usual enthusiasm he generates on university campuses and again the cry, "We Want Jack."
Kennedy called for a greater student exchange program, especially with Africa - said this election was a contest between the contented and the concerned.
He left at 11:40 - the students jamming against his car, trying to touch him. Kennedy produces several effects on people. One of them is jumping. Reporters, with a tendency toward categorizing things, have called such types "jumpers."
Back at the airport, signing his autograph for the lady with the hat who had greeted him earlier, proving that patience or pretty hats have their rewards.
In flight again at 12:15 and on the way to Peoria, landing there at 12:40.
And once again, more of the same - shaking hands, saying a few words, thanking the people for coming out to hear him.
After a speech in City Hall Square, Kennedy went to a local television station for a half-hour program with Senator Douglas and Judge Otto Kerner. It was devoted to bread-and-butter issues because Peoria has had a recent rise in unemployment.
Outside, his sister, Eunice, took over the greeting chores. Kennedy left the station at 2:30 after saying our economic growth rate had not been good enough under the Eisenhower administration - that high interest rates had been one of the causes - that they ought to be lowered.
After a pause for lunch, Kennedy went to the East Peoria Caterpillar tractor plant, where at 3:45 he picked up an enthusiastic lady on his car. People like this are not mere "jumpers" - they are classified as "leapers."
Kennedy went on, then stopped for a short speech. He told the workers that Vice President Nixon had been standing still for the 14 years he had been in Washington. Said Kennedy: "I know because I've been there with him for the past 14 years. The Republicans, like Nixon," he continued, "have also stood still." Then, the motorcade continued, followed by the "pacers" - the people who run alongside or after Kennedy's car.
Back at the airport at 4:45, where he was greeted by a young man who could not contain his enthusiasm. At 4:50, Kennedy boarded his plane and left Peoria where he appeared to have done well in a city normally considered Republican.
In the air by 5 o'clock and on the way to the adjacent cities of Rock Island and Moline, Ill., and Davenport, Iowa. He arrived there at 5:25 and came down the ramp of his plane with his sister, Eunice, who has worked with him in all his campaigns.
Up on the platform for a short speech, and more hands to shake. Sometimes, you feel the crowds want as much to see and touch Kennedy as to hear him.
Across the bridge over the Mississippi to Iowa for a street parade through downtown Davenport at 6:30. Again, more girls rushing up to the side of the car to shake Kennedy's hand or touch him.
Back across the river, and on the bridge, back into the car with the candidates from Illinois.
Then, at 7 o'clock, more crowds in downtown Moline - in the shopping area.
Up to the Le Claire Hotel where Kennedy and his party were to have dinner and a short rest. For a politician, the shortest route from a car to a rest seems to be through a crowd - aided by local police. Up in his suite, where at 8, a waiter appeared with four glasses of milk. Kennedy was not just bidding for the farm vote. He really does like milk and consumes great quantities of it.
Outside in the hallway, Kennedy's security escort mingled with local politicians, all of them waiting for the candidate to emerge.
He came out at 8:35 and went down the hall. Downstairs, out through the crowded lobby and into his waiting car, surrounded, as usual, by people waiting to see him.
At 9:10, Kennedy arrived at the Rock Island High School gym where his speech was being televised. It was here that Kennedy told the crowd that his opponent had accused him of causing all the speculation over the price of gold. He said this indicated the Vice President was showing some tension. "Now he's blaming me for the rise in the price of gold," said Kennedy. And, he went on. "Mister Nixon, if you're listening in, I didn't do it. I promise you." The crowd was enthusiastic. One man shouted, "Pour it on, Jack, you've got him on the run."
Kennedy was in a buoyant mood when he reached the airport and boarded his plane at 10:15. The day, from his point of view, had been a good one. The crowds in normally Republican territory had been large and enthusiastic. There was also the general pleasure that comes to a candidate when he knows he is coming to the end of a good day and has only one more airport crowd to greet.
Another crowd was waiting for Kennedy at 11 o'clock at O'Hare Airport outside Chicago. The people had been waiting for quite a while because Kennedy was behind schedule. He had now been on the go since 9 that morning. But there were new faces to smile at, new hands to shake, and if you're running for the Presidency, and you're tired, you mustn't show it.
Up to the O'Hare Inn near the airport at 11:30, Kennedy was to spend the night here, before campaigning the next day outside Chicago, but before he could go to bed, he had to go over details with his press secretary, Pierre Salinger. A day in the life of the Democratic presidential candidate was coming to an end.
McGEE. All of that in 1 day. An equally grueling pace has been set and followed by Republican Candidate Nixon. But though the theme is the same, it has it variations. And that report is coming up.
McGEE. We followed the Democrat through normally Republican territory. And so we followed the Republican through normally Democratic territory. For Vice President Nixon, the day was October 25. And the reporter is Herb Kaplow.
(Kaplow SOF, "Day in the Life of Nixon")
KAPLOW. The railroad train played its role in campaigning this year. On this day - October 25 - it rolled south from Pittsburgh bearing Republican nominee Nixon in search, primarily, of the 25 electoral votes of Ohio.
On the way, the 15-car Nixon campaign special stopped at Williamstown, W. Va. Time, 8:30 a.m. Williamstown is a Democratic controlled community, but there were those who turned out to see the man from that other party. And for the first of many times that day, the nominee and his wife climbed down from their special car, went through the by now usual amenities, and doubtlessly heard the eternally optimistic but primarily wishful forecasts of a November 8 victory.
Then, after a short motor ride across the Ohio River, the nominee arrived, at about 9 o'clock, in Marietta, Ohio, where he made the first of many speeches that day. The Vice President delivered his standard speech - striking at Senator Kennedy, as being impulsive on foreign policy - extravagant on Federal spending.
Then, partaking of all the little things candidates have felt for decades and decades victory is made of - appreciation of the little courtesies, handshaking with the still-too-young voters - possessors of the not-too-young parents.
Back then, on the campaign road - perhaps the most fatiguing of all campaigning, but perhaps the most effective.
This time, to Parkersburg, W. Va. For the umpteen-hundredth time - the Nixons gave the onlookers the smiling greeting. And for the umpteen-hundredth time, Richard Nixon moved onto a campaign platform to espouse the Republican - and his own - cause.
And when the serious talk - and the reminiscences ended - the candidate again paid tribute to the auxiliary forces working in the field - the forces which are so much a part of the spirit of victory everyone is trying to dispense in the air, and which Mr. Nixon was trying to find in the voting booth.
This is part of the "exposure" they talk about - letting the voters see the candidate - and sometimes letting them touch the candidate. There have been times when over-enthusiastic hand graspers have almost pulled the candidate from his motorized perch - just one of the hazards of wanting to be President.
From Parkersburg, the Nixon train moved out again - the Vice President giving a last, lingering goodby wave. Then, into the special car - for some relaxation and some work between stops - catching up on communications from Washington, getting the latest reports on the opposition, briefings for the. next stop - all sandwiched in before the train reaches Athens, Ohio. Time, 11:40 a.m.
Some votes possibly made in Athens, the Nixon train moved on. Moments after it left, a Kennedy sound truck pulled up to the tracks, blaring the Kennedy fight song "High Hopes." Then came another Nixon sound truck.
At about this time - 12:40 - the train was nearing Hamden, Ohio. This is a. community of about a thousand people. The Vice President noted the crowd was more than double the population. A police officer put the crowd at considerably more than double. He said 6,000. To this point, by one unofficial reckoning, official police crowd estimates for both camps already exceeds the national population - three times over.
At 1:55 p.m., arrival in Chillicothe, Ohio. Most of these stops are 35 to 45 minutes apart - snaking them just right for train campaigns. By air, many of the communities would have to be skipped in favor of the larger cities. But in relatively heavily populated Ohio, with its relatively heavily weighted electoral vote of 25, the campaign train was viewed by Nixon strategists as the most effective, practical way of reaching the voters.
The Vice President had just about started then to open up on his opponent. This bid for the votes of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois - States all combed by the Nixon party this last week in October - was the final in-person push for many of these areas.
Altogether, they add up to 104 electoral votes. The candidate coming away with most of these November 8, may have garnered just the edge necessary for victory. And so, this day - October 25 - 2 weeks to the day before election - and the days following October 25, were the days to intensify the arguments why John Kennedy should not be elected and why Richard Nixon should.
And so with another pitch made, at 1:55, goodbye to Chillicothe.
It was in the late afternoon when the Nixon special pulled into Cincinnati, one of the State's largest cities, one of the Republican Party's most reliable strongholds. Running-mate Lodge had already arrived in Cincinnati, and now was on hand to greet the top of the ticket. There were a few informal remarks at the station, then the motorcade to the downtown section of the city. Some Republicans say the effort to turn out a crowd here was diverted to turning out the people for something yet to come - a nationally televised speech that night. Still, there were the people on the streets.
Republican officials said they bought 8 tons of confetti and 2 tons of ticker tape - which might set some sort of Cincinnati record for political organization - we're not sure.
The big political event of the day was in the Cincinnati Gardens Arena. The arena was filled - about 18,000 people - several thousand others could not get in. It was a steamed-up, highly partisan crowd - ideal for a nationally televised program - to demonstrate to the country the high hopes the Republican cause had - and the high spirit of the GOP campaign.
Vice Presidential Nominee Lodge, after receiving the initial roar of approval, stood before the thousands in the arena and introduced the other half of the ticket. With television cameras poised the Republican choice appeared in an aisle, and surrounded by an eardeafening roar, a smiling, and obviously exhilarated Nixon was escorted to the rostrum where he and Lodge basked in still more roars of approval and adulation.
After some informal comments about the warm reception, the Vice President again challenged Kennedy's foreign policy experience - pointed out his opponent's remarks on Quemoy and Matsu - Cuba - the U-2 incident. He did not deliver prepared remarks given out earlier in which Nixon answered a Kennedy challenge by saying the President had not tried to convince Chiang Kai-shek to pull his troops off Quemoy and Matsu.
But to practically everything Nixon and Lodge did say, there was loud applause and demonstrating - the audience responded enthusiastically and often. And when October 25 was over, the Nixons and the Lodges had absorbed the spirit.
McGEE. And all of that in one day. The Constitution is noticeably barren of details concerning the office of President and Vice President. Each holder has made something different of the office, depending on his views and his personality. So we asked both the presidential and vice presidential candidates to state their views of the office they seek.
The Democratic vice presidential candidate, Lyndon Johnson, was unable to find time in his schedule to provide an appraisal for this program. So we turned to an interview he provided us earlier with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.
JOHNSON. Under the Constitution, the Vice President's sole duty, sole constitutional duty, is to preside over the Senate. Of course, the presiding officer of the Senate can be an effective force in the Senate, and a good many of our Vice Presidents have been. They have actually been the strong arm of the leadership in the Senate.
In addition, the Vice President should be willing and ready to assume any duties that the President might see fit to ask him to perform. That would depend entirely upon the judgment of the President, however.
Question. Should the Vice President be an assistant President?
JOHNSON. No, I don't think so. I think that the Vice President should carry out any missions that the President would care for him to carry out, but I wouldn't want ever to think that he was a deputy President, and was actually second in command of the executive department of the Government.
I think he should sit in and have as much information available to him about the operations of the Government as possible. But there must be one unquestioned head of the Government, and that person must be the President of the United States.
McGEE. The Republican vice presidential candidate, Henry Cabot Lodge, holds this view.
Mr. LODGE. Well, first, there is the constitutional function of the Vice President to preside over the U.S. Senate, to cast the deciding vote in case of a tie, to make parliamentary rulings, and to enforce Senate rules. Then, in addition, the Vice President sits in the Cabinet. He sits in the National Security Council, so that he's always thoroughly informed of the whole business of the executive branch. In addition to that, Vice President Nixon has announced that, if elected, he will give the next Vice President a very important new function and that is to direct all the nonmilitary activities of the world struggles. There are three-broadly speaking, there are three divisions under which our foreign policy divides itself. There's the regular diplomatic work under the State Department. Then, there's loans and grants - economic aid. And, then there is cultural and information. And these need to be pulled together, so that we can take the initiative in the "cold war" and keep the Soviets on the defensive. I believe that there is a real place for the Vice President rendering an extremely useful service along that line.
McGEE. Now, both candidates for the Presidency have provided exclusive statements on their view of the office they seek, especially for this program tonight. And that report is corning up.
McGEE. The American Presidency is an imprecise office. Each of the 33 men who have held the Presidency has shaped it according to the quality of his wisdom and the strength of his will. So, it's of more than philosophical interest to know how each of the men now seeking the Presidency views that office. Vice President Nixon gave us this statement on the west coast.
(Hollywood, Calif., remote. SOF begins)
Mr. NIXON. I've often been asked what constitutes a great President, and my answer is that greatness in a President is not the result of his ambition. A President will be great, only to the extent that he represents and articulates the ideals - the highest ideals - of the people of the Nation. In other words, a President will be great to the extent that the people, themselves - in their ideals - are great.. For example, when we look through America's history, we find that our greatest Presidents were ones who were in tune with the idealism of America at its best. And, as I look in this period of the 1960's, I am convinced that the next President will be great, provided that he represents what America really feels about the problems of the world. Now, I know that there are many that say that our people have lost their sense of purpose, that they're more interested in deodorants and in tail fins than they are in their responsibilities in their community in the world. But there's one conviction I have, after traveling to 50 States in this campaign - there's nothing wrong with the American people; nothing wrong with their idealism. They are deeply dedicated to peace. They are deeply dedicated to freedom. They have faith in God. They have faith in the rights of men, and they recognize that those rights are rights that belong, not just to Americans, but to all mankind. The next President will be just as great as he effectively articulates these basic fundamental ideals of America at its best. And I can only pledge that, if I am elected President of the United States, I will attempt to represent these ideals, not only in America, but to the whole world. Because, we have the responsibility to lead the world, to lead the forces of freedom to victory without war. We can win this victory. We can win it, provided our President is worthy of the idealism of the American people.
(Remote ends. SOF ends)
McGEE. Now, Senator Kennedy also provided a statement, especially for this program, outlining his view of the Presidency.
Senator KENNEDY. The powers given to the President of the United States by the Constitution are numerous, and in many ways, the powers are flexible. They leave it to the man. They leave it to his own good judgment. Some Presidents have been passive. Buchanan and Lincoln came within succeeding years. Buchanan did nothing, and let the country drift toward the war of 1861; Lincoln did everything. There is a Lincoln Room in the White House, not a Buchanan Room. Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt., Harry Truman - all saw the Presidency as a strong, powerful voice of the United States. Only the President speaks for the American people. I speak in the Senate for Massachusetts. Senator Engle may speak for California. Senator Douglas, for Illinois. But the President of the United States speaks for Massachusetts, Illinois, California. In a free society, he is the center of action. Only the President of the United States can place before the American people the unfinished business of our society, can serve to direct them toward the goal of great national purpose, can rally their forces and energy. And I believe that this will be, perhaps, the great responsibility of the President in the 1960's. We are in a deadly competition with a totalitarian state, which is able to mobilize all of its resources - human and material - for the state. We are free. We pursue our own interests. We have freedom of choice, freedom of opportunity. Only the President of the United States, in a very real sense, can place before us the public interest, can rally the people of the United States to compete successfully, which I believe we can do, against our adversaries. The President wears many hats. He is a legislative leader.
The Congress has the great responsibility in this field, but the President must play an important role, if action is to be secured. He has the power of appointment. The kind of men that he picks for his Cabinet, for the administrative agencies, for our embassies overseas - this can make a great deal of difference to the successful functioning of a democracy. If he picks ambassadors who know the language, if he picks people who are intellectually curious, who are foresighted, who understand the revolution of our times, then this country can prosper and be stronger. If he picks the others, then the country will be passive and lose prestige and influence. The Presidency is also a place for moral leadership. Franklin Roosevelt said: "It is this, above all." The President must be for the people. He must sound the chord that is in all of us, of devotion to our country, and I believe, in the 1960's, the President of the United States must rally the people, must move them forward, must move our country, must place before the American people our unfinished business. I believe the Presidency can be the greatest possible importance - and is really the reason I run for the Presidency, after 14 years in the Congress - can be the greatest possible importance in the great struggle for freedom which takes place here and all around the world. And for freedom to be successful requires a strong, progressive, and vital America. That's the kind of America that we're going to build. That's the kind of America that the next President of the United States must set before the world.
McGEE. Now, this has been the final program in our series on "The Campaign and the Candidates." The purpose of NBC News and * * * has been simple: to help you toward a fuller understanding of the candidates and the issues.
We have received many comments. And, as we fully expected before we began, a few of you have felt that we favored the Republicans and a few have felt that we favored the Democrats. Sometimes, the same evidence has been cited for these conflicting accusations.
We appreciate these comments no less than those from most of you who realized we were trying our best to be impartial.
The story ends Tuesday when it's expected that 65 million Americans or more will step individually, into booths, and draw the curtains about them and secretly vote their choice. NBC News will bring you their collective answer Tuesday night.
Frank McGee, NBC News. Goodnight.
(ET music: "Hall of Fame" up until cue to announcer, then under)
ANNOUNCER. "The Campaign and the Candidates" has been brought to you by ,* * *.
More people will know the winners of the 1960 elections first on NBC. Join Huntley and Brinkley heading the award-winning NBC News staff. Together with the word's most modern data processing system, they combine to bring you the fastest, clearest, and most accurate and comprehensive election returns.
See your vote count first on NBC, Tuesday night, November 8, starting at 7: 30, eastern standard time.
Jack Costello speaking. This has been a presentation of NBC News.
1Commercials are omitted.