NOVEMBER 7, 1960
HYDE PARK—The election will take place tomorrow, the excitement will be over, thank heavens, and we can then settle down to peace and quiet.
Mr. Nixon, according to newspaper accounts, is hoarse of voice and his face is lined with fatigue. But he is still putting every bit of strength he has into these last days of fighting and is so desperate that he would even risk landing in a blinding snowstorm in Casper, Wyoming.
This seems to me an unnecessary risk to take, especially since he is also traveling with his wife and 98 newsmen and staff writers. Mr. Nixon may be willing to take chances, but the election may not seem quite that important to some of those traveling with him. Certainly the Vice President's pictures look to me grim and determined. But, after all, election or defeat is not such a tragedy. Defeated, Mr. Nixon will still be able to pursue a career and make money. In the end that may be just as satisfactory to him as the power of the White House position, and it certainly carries less anxiety and public responsibility.
Mr. Kennedy is reported, on the other hand, to be fresh and untired. If so, it is because he has learned to draw strength from the crowds that greet him, an invaluable benefit to a man who is going to occupy the White House.
Saturday's five-borough tour in New York City sounded simply unbelievable. How any human being can go through with such a schedule seems inconceivable, particularly as the time allowed the Senator to eat and to speak the words that had to be said in each place where he stopped seemed completely inadequate. On top of that, there was a drive after the evening rally to La Guardia airport at 10:30 and an hour's flight to Boston.
One can only hope for all the candidates that the relief in having this marathon race over will be great enough to compensate for whatever the outcome may be.
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In Africa, the Congo picture becomes more and more confused, and our U.S. delegation to the U.N. does not seem satisfied with the report submitted by the U.N.'s special representative in the Congo, Mr. Dayal. Mr. Dayal does not seem happy over Belgians returning to the Congo, but he does point out that having certain economic enterprises carried on is of benefit to the people of the Congo as a whole. The U.S. seems to be putting her trust in the Belgians, but privately our influence may be used to urge them not to return until things become more quiet and settled. Anything which imperils the U.N. position in the Congo, it seems to me, should be avoided at the present time.
One other very explosive spot, of course, is Algeria. On this subject there is dissension in France as well as between France and the Algerians. To an outsider it would seem sensible to ask the U.N. to hold elections in Algeria; to tell the French citizens who have settled there that they must either manage to get on under Algerian authorities and live under Algerian rule or they must come home; and to come to some arrangement of the commonwealth type with this explosive North African area. It is costing France much more in men and money than she can afford, and when men have set their minds on freedom it is difficult to believe that they will change and adjust to any other arrangement.
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Friday afternoon several people told me with great excitement they had heard that Premier Khrushchev had been ousted and replaced by Mr. Malenkov, and to my surprise they all seemed rather saddened by the news! On the whole they prefer Mr. Khrushchev, whom they know, to Mr. Malenkov, whom they don't, as the power in the Soviet Union. Where news is censored, as it is in Russia, it is of course difficult to know the truth. But our embassy confirmed from the very beginning that these rumors were without basis and it hardly seems possible that a real upheaval such as the ousting of Mr. Khrushchev could be brought about without advance commotion, even in the Soviet Union.