Ike's Health, Nixon:
TIMES-UNION - August 17, 1956
Adlai Lays It on Line
By PAUL MILLER
Editor and Publisher, The Times-Union
CHICAGO-Adlai E. Stevenson has laid it on the line.
Vice President Richard Nixon will be a focal point
of violent attack in the coming campaign.
Linked will be the health of President Eisenhower.
The man from Illinois boldly
disclosed this campaign concept
last night within an hour after
the Democratic National Convention nominated him.
He did it in a procedure without precedence in the memory
of press box veterans. Here's how it was:
The convention had just nominated Adlai overwhelmingly. Nobody else, as the world knows
now, was even close despite
earlier threats by the time they
got down to balloting.
Former President and would-
be kingmaker Barry S. Truman
had been licked and even he
knew It So had all the others
who had opposed Stevenson.
Adlai thus was not only the
nominee. He was now the un-
chllenged boss when he strode
confidently into the glitter, glare
and bedlam of this convention.
They expected him to express
his thanks and perhaps take a
warmup swing or two (he speaks
formally tonight) at the Eisenhower administration.
That's when he dropped his
shocker. This no no acceptance
speech. He had an announcement.
He would not handpick the
vice presidential candidate-he
gave the convention an unbossed
"The American people have
the solemn obligation to consider with the utmost care who
will be their president if the
elected president is prevented
by a Higher Will from serving
his full term.
"It is a sober reminder that
seven out of 34 presidents have
served as the result of such an
There was more from the
mild-mannered new master of
the Democratic party, but the
convention-and the galleries-
got the point, the tipoff as to
the coming campaign, before
Stevenson had much more than plunged in.
If there had been any doubt
whether the President's health
would be made an issue, linked
with certain attacks on Nixon's
campaign fund, his youth and
his manners, Stevenson's statement removed it all.
Of course, it has been recognized by most observers and
conceded by many Democrats
here in the convention that Ike
will win again no matter who
the Democratic standard-bearers
might be-barring another Eisenhower illness.
Still, few if any were prepared for last night's Stevenson
salvo. Is this the new Stevenson?
Adlai Stevenson, 1956 model,
is a long, long way from the
reluctant dragon of 1952. He
stormed the country in the primaries Here he triumphed
also in the smoke-filled rooms.
He's as polished, as gentlemanly,
as ingratiating as ever. But
there's a toughness and a drive
and a determination there today
that was absent, or less apparent in 1952.
This is going to be a campaign
with a capital "C."
Dick Nixon will be under constant attack. President Eisenhower will be handled differently, but aggressively as well.
Both, further health setbacks or
no, will have their hands full this time.
Adlai Stevenson is moving out fast.
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