Eisenhower and the American Crusades

By Herbert S. Parmet | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 14
Chicago, July 1952

SPURRED BY THE GOVERNORS' manifesto, the Eisenhower camp moved to bring the issue to the convention floor and before the public. Unlike any previous political gathering in history, the Republican party's twenty-fifth Presidential nominating convention was geared to complete coverage by television cameras. Even the site, the International Amphitheater rather than the more accessible Chicago Stadium, was chosen because it was more suitable for TV. To the leading Eisenhower strategists, Cabot Lodge, New York attorney Herbert Brownell, Jr., and Governor Dewey, shouting "foul" in plain view of the national audience would be a lot more effective than complaining before a closed and stacked meeting of the party's national committee.

For the first time since his return to the country, Eisenhower, too, seemed infected with the spirit of a crusade. At the Coliseum in Denver, speaking on what had been proclaimed as "Eisenhower Day" by the Ike clubs throughout the country, he said, "You young people both in and out of these Eisenhower clubs are helping to get that train ready and on the right track. It is a Republican train on a Republican track." Then, ostensibly directing his attack upon Truman and the Democrats but actually keeping the delegate issue in the forefront, he acknowledged that while we have had corruption in the past, "never before has it reached such epidemic proportions.... In little more than twelve months of this year and last, 177 persons in the Bureau of Internal Revenue were fired for dishonesty or other improper activities."1 Later, while traveling toward Chicago on his special train, he castigated the "chicanery" and "crookedness" used to deny the claimed seats. Passing through the Midwest on July 4, he chose the holiday theme to complain

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