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    Anecdotal Observations On History & Politics

    Entries in 1964 (6)


    Goldwater's Attempt at Damage Control

    In late September of 1964, Republican Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater attempted to confront the widespread impression that he was too dangerous to become president. Hoping to push back against the public impression created by Johnson's infamous "Daisy Ad", which aired earlier the same month, Goldwater joined Dwight D. Eisenhower at the former president's Gettysburg ranch. Here's how General Eisenhower vouched for the Republican nominee in a 30 second spot, which was excerpted for air from a longer version: 

    Operative word: "Tommyrot" (noun) - nonsense; utter foolishness.


    Sawing Off the East Coast, Barry Goldwater Style

    An addendum to my below blog post -- below is the end of a LBJ 1964 campaign ad that showcases Barry Goldwater's desire to "saw off" the east coast of America, complete with a striking visual representation. Brilliant fun: 



    Gingrich & Goldwater's Foot in Mouth Syndrome: To Backtrack or Not?

    Known for his fiery rhetoric, Newt Gingrich is often the strongest voice when it comes to criticizing Democrats. Whether it's his "Kenyan Anticolonial behavior" comment, or calling Sonya Sotomayor a racist, or comparing Ground Zero Mosque supporters to Nazis he's proven that he's unafraid of alienating the left. However he has recently bucked this trend and is now taking heat from the right for his Meet the Press comments last weekend for referring to the Ryan Plan as "radical right wing social engineering". Whether he's trying to moderate his positions or really believes his own statement, it seems counterintuitive to run to the middle in advance of the primary season. 
    Another former candidate who often put his foot in his mouth? Barry Goldwater. His famous 1964 "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" quote scared moderates and conservatives alike and his comment about sawing off the (liberal) east coast was clearly a campaign faux pas. However, he never backed down. He also took positions that were contrary to the Republican platform: he was pro-choice and he supported Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. 
    Gingrich is by no means similar to Goldwater on most policy issues, but his political approach is clearly different. Goldwater may have lost, but he never backtracked his statements.



    Winning New Hampshire, by Write-In Vote

    It's hard to imagine it happening now, but the winner of the the 1964 New Hampshire Republican Primary wasn't a declared candidate, nor was his name even on the ballot. Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., who was previously on the losing ticket as Nixon's Vice Presidential candidate in 1960, was the ambassador to Vietnam and had not set foot in the influential first primary state -- he wasn't even in the country at the time. Yet his popularity in the Granite State was undeniable, as he trounced declared candidates Goldwater and Rockefeller by double digits, at 35.5% to Barry M. Goldwater's 22.3% Nelson A. Rockefeller's 21.0%. See LIFE Magazine's original report here, on pages 32-38 and the newsreel report below: