Turning Right in the Sixties: The Conservative Capture of the GOP

By Mary C. Brennan | Go to book overview

6
BIDING THEIR TIME

In November 1964, the future viability of the Republican Party seemed in doubt. Even before the final tallying of votes in the election, Republicans contemplated the future of their party. In fact, many moderates had been planning postelection rehabilitation since August and September. By late October, even Eisenhower was mulling over possibilities for the party after November. He eventually championed the idea of establishing an advisory council that would not be tied to the national committee or to any special-interest group. Both Michigan governor George Romney and House minority leader Charles Halleck agreed with Eisenhower that party members needed to examine what they stood for and where they were going.1

One of the main purposes of Eisenhower's proposed advisory council would be to redefine Republicanism in terms acceptable to most party members and understandable to the voting public. After the disastrous defeat, Eisenhower insisted, Republicans needed to correct "the false 'image' of Republicanism" created during the campaign. Goldwater, too, wanted the party to make its priorities clear, especially since he felt that

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Turning Right in the Sixties: The Conservative Capture of the GOP
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - An Uneasy Alliance 6
  • 2 - Challenging the Politics of Consensus Conservative Republicans and the Election of 1960 19
  • 3 - Problems and Solutions 39
  • 4 - Seizing the Moment 60
  • 5 - Baptism by Fire 82
  • 6 - Biding Their Time 104
  • 7 - Victory? 120
  • Conclusion 138
  • Notes 143
  • Bibliography 195
  • Index 205
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