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Ikes Asks Lodge to Make Himself Available for GOP Nomination

Dec. 7, 1963 - Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower (pictured in 1952) has asked Henry Cabot Lodge (right), U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam, to make himself available for the Republican Presidential nomination. Without going into such details as preferential primary elections or pre-convention campaign tactics, General Eisenhower urged Mr. Lodge to return to the U.S. soon from Saigon to take part actively in the Republican party effort to develop a consensus on a candidate before the national convention in July. Ambassador Lodge, for his part, told The Philadelphia Bulletin in a telephone interview from Saigon that he had “no intention” of running for the Republican Presidential nomination. The move was part of General Eisenhower’s personal reappraisal of Republican prospects in next year’s Presidential election. He has been telling friends that the political upheaval resulting from the assassination of President Kennedy and the emergence of President Johnson as the Democratic standard-bearer in 1964 calls for a reevaluation of the Republican position. As General Eisenhower sees that position, the Republicans’ best chance of winning the Presidential election in November is with a moderate, common-sense candidate with an impressive background in international affairs. He regards Mr. Lodge as one of the very few Republicans who could compete on equal terms with President Johnson on the paramount issue of war and peace. In late 1951, Mr. Lodge helped persuade General Eisenhower to run for the Republican Presidential nomination. When General Eisenhower finally consented, Mr. Lodge served as his campaign manager and played a key role in helping Eisenhower to win the nomination over Senator Robert Taft of Ohio, the candidate of the party’s conservative faction.


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