"The President has shown in his first few weeks in office that he can and will give the country the leadership it needs during this critical period.".
The United States presidential election of 1952 took place in an era when Cold War tension between the United States and the Soviet Union was escalating rapidly. In the U.S. Senate, Republican Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin had become a national figure after chairing congressional investigations into the issue of Communist spies...
The United States presidential election of 1952 took place in an era when Cold War tension between the United States and the Soviet Union was escalating rapidly. In the U.S. Senate, Republican Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin had become a national figure after chairing congressional investigations into the issue of Communist spies within the U.S. government. Incumbent President Harry S. Truman decided not to run, so the Democratic Party instead nominated Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois; Stevenson had gained a reputation in Illinois as an intellectual and eloquent orator. The Republican Party countered with popular war hero General Dwight D. Eisenhower, a moderate Republican who could command bi-partisan support. To mollify the party’s right wing, Richard Nixon of California was named Ike’s running mate and their ticket won in a landslide. On January 20, 1953, Eisenhower, at 62, became the oldest man to become President since James Buchanan in 1856.
Aside from the usual form-letter thanks yous, Nixon took time to express his gratitute to personal friends in his home state of California who had helped the Republicans carry the state by 700,000 votes, a huge margin. Typed Letter Signed, on Office of the Vice President letterhead, Washington, April 9, 1953, to Mrs. Frank Thompson. The Thompsons were old friends of the Nixons, Mr. Thompson having debated against Nixon when the men were in college. “…This is the first opportunity I have had to express my personal appreciation for all that you did to make possible our overwhelming victory…I would not want to allow this opportunity to pass without emphasizing the necessity for all of us to continue our activities for the cause of good government…The President has shown in his first few weeks in office that he can and will give the country the leadership it needs during this critical period. But in order to put through his program he must have a majority in the House and Senate which will constantly support him. For that reason, I think that right now we should do everything we can toward planning for an effective campaign in the Congressional elections of 1954. If you by any chance should visit Washington, I hope you will find time to stop by my office…Both Pat and I want you to know that our friends in California will always be first in our thoughts.”
Nixon’s efforts to win the 1954 Congressional election came to nought, as the Democrats seized both house of Congress. He did, however, have time to see friends who would visit, as Eisenhower did not believe in activist vice presidents and gave him little to do, nor did the two men become personally close. Ironically, eventually, their families would be united by marriage.
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