JULY 12, 1960
LOS ANGELES—I am glad that Adlai Stevenson has said that if nominated he would campaign vigorously. I hope it will be the kind of campaign which he made in 1952.
In 1956, I felt that he and Sen. Estes Kefauver had worn themselves out in the primary campaign and that the campaign against their real rivals, the Republican candidates, was thereby weakened. As a result, they listened to advisers without really asserting their own natural tendencies.
Mr. Stevenson was a better campaigner in 1952 than in 1956, and if he should be nominated, I hope he will campaign as he did in 1952.
From the pre-convention reports, I gathered that with Sen. Lyndon Johnson's arrival in Los Angeles he had begun to attack Sen. John Kennedy as his main rival. I do not feel that Sen. Stuart Symington has enough strength to be of much importance in the fight between the two main contenders.
If it should turn out that Senator Johnson can really bring about a stalemate, then, it seems to me, it is obvious Senator Kennedy, with his liberal feelings, will have to turn to Mr. Stevenson. He cannot allow what might be called the more conservative wing to really win, even if he himself is obliged to take second place.
I personally do not think Senator Kennedy's age should be attacked, but we want the best ticket we can have because we want to win as strongly as possible in November. Without a question, that ticket seems to me to be Stevenson and Kennedy.
With such a ticket, labor will know that its interests are safeguarded. And business will know that they have an administration that will analyze financial and economic problems and deal with them in a careful and imaginative way.
Men like Chester Bowles, Hubert Humphrey and the better leaders in labor and in all the religious and racial groups also will know that they are dealing with men who believe that the good of human beings has to be considered, and that the future well-being of the United States, economically and socially, lies in our understanding of our own interests in the context of the world situation.
A Stevenson-Kennedy ticket, with the men they would draw around them, would give confidence to the world in a way that no other ticket I can think of would do. It would probably not please the conservative Republicans nor the reactionary Democrats, and as a ticket it would mean that reactionary elements of the South would be very unhappy.
These reactionaries would know that law enforcement would be considered important and, while common sense would be used, there would certainly be a steady pressure for the acceptance of the fact that our attitude on civil rights is of paramount interest because it affects our leadership throughout the world.
We could not successfully fight the battle against communism in the world unless at home we demonstrated that we believed in equal opportunity for all our citizens and that in a democracy each individual had equal rights and dignity before the law.