JULY 16, 1960
NEW YORK—I received the news on my plane flight from Los Angeles Thursday night that Sen. Lyndon Johnson would be the Democratic party's Vice-Presidential nominee.
Senator Johnson's selection was logical, of course, for he was the second strongest Presidential candidate at the convention, he comes from Texas, and his nomination should please the South. He is an old enough politician to know that platforms rarely mean a great deal and that as good as the Democratic platform is, its implementation is dependent upon the future.
Although I would have thought the Senate leadership more important, I am happy that Senator Johnson accepted, because as Vice-President he certainly can exert great influence.
I note with interest the report that the New York Democratic party chiefs have received assurances from our Presidential nominee that he "will neither sponsor nor authorize the creation of any organization to run his campaign except the Democratic State Committee." This should help the New York machine financially to build an organization in the state—an organization that is necessary if the state is to be found in the Democratic column in November.
All Democrats should begin at once, I think, to organize and prepare to do what they can in their localities. The Republicans may be as quick and as unanimous in their choice of a Presidential candidate as were the Democrats, and if this is the case, the most important thing for the Democrats will be an organization that reaches down to the grass roots. This is necessary so that when the candidates make appearances in different states they will be assured of preparation and follow-up.
I was greatly disturbed by the fact that the United States postponed its talks with the Soviet Union on a civil airline agreement.
With the new disorders that are breaking out in almost every part of the world, inspired if not actually aided by the Communists, and with the reaffirmation of the Monroe Doctrine in reply to Premier Nikita Khrushchev's threats, we seem to be in a dangerous world situation.
If we decide to protest in Cuba the arrangements that Castro may make with the Soviets, some rather important developments may occur just at the time when we would be arguing in the United Nations as to whether or not our planes have been crossing Soviet borders. We seem, therefore, to be facing trouble on many fronts.
I am happy that the U.N. is taking affirmative action in the troubled Congo. I have great confidence in Dr. Ralph Bunche's diplomatic ability.
I would like, however, to see the U.N. move, and move quickly, for an agreement against the use of atomic weapons and for the creation as soon as possible, within the U.N. organization, a body to bring together for negotiation the parties to disputes that now are threatening the peace in so many parts of the world.
The Soviets contend we have been "violating the sovereignty of the Soviet Union" as a persistent policy. I cannot believe this is true, but as far as I can see the only way to clear up the situation is through the U.N. In continuing with the talks in Geneva without the Soviets, we would seem to recognize the inability to reach any future agreements with them, and this is where the tension lies.