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Lodge Leaves Himself Available as Contender for GOP Nomination

Dec. 8, 1963 - Henry Cabot Lodge, U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam, left himself available today as a potential contender for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1964. Mr. Lodge, the party’s Vice-Presidential candidate in 1960, said he had no present plans to run, but he promised to give serious consideration to a proposal from former Dwight D. Eisenhower that he seek the nomination. General Eisenhower has urged Mr. Lodge to return to the U.S. immediately to campaign for the nomination. The General regards Ambassador Lodge as one of the few Republicans with sufficient stature to challenge President Johnson on equal footing on major cold war issues. “I would consider seriously anything the General asked of me,” Mr. Lodge said today. “He’s an old friend, and I have the highest regard for him. I have served under him in both war and peace.” There were strong indications, however, that the 61-year-old Ambassador believed, because of his personal commitment to the critical war against Communism in South Vietnam and to the establishment of a new South Vietnamese government, that he could not leave South Vietnam before next spring or summer. The military junta that took power after the coup in South Vietnam Nov. 1 is expected to complete the major portion of its reorganization of the Government by January, and American officials are hopeful the war situation will show marked improvement within six months. During such a critical transition, diplomatic circles believe that a change of ambassadors would be a hard blow to the junta, especially following closely President Kennedy’s death.


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