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July 20, 1952 - Image 2

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Michigan Daily, 1952-07-20

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SUNDAY, JULY 20, 1954

Convention Rudderless
Without Truman at Helm

WASHINGTON-Uneasy lies the head that
wears the crown of that strange and
wonderful collection of voting blocs which
five times has'won the presidency under the
banner of the Democratic party.
President Truman has retreated to the
sanctuary of Walter Reed #lospital, im-
mured from the candidates and their
friends. Not all the marvels of modern
medicine, however, can soften for him
the hard outlines of the facts he faces as
the national convention draws inexorably
The convention is rudderless. Unless he
puts a sure hand on it, no one can say what
might happen. He cannot depend upon the
big city bosses; the craftiest of them, as is
Ed Flynn of New York, are ill or retired.
The advantage now lies with the slick op-
erators who so often have macerated his
Fair Deal in the Senate.
The appearance of many candidates
among the Democrats is pure illusion. From
any national standpoint, what the Demo-
crats have is a collection of political thin
men. In their various ways they are able.
Most of them have unusual sincerity in a
business where that quality is hard to main-
tain. Not one is cheap.
Still, none of the avowed aspirants has,
that combination of assets, plus recog-
nized stature and campaigning ability,
needed to fight the Eisenhower-Nixon
ticket effectively. The demand of people
for a change just defeated Mr. Republi-
can in a convention run by his friends.
That they will be any more charitable to-

ward Democrats dear to Washington, as
the remorseless TV portrays them this
week, is highly dubious.
The whole fabric of democratic policy for
the last 20 years is under unusual attack
precisely because the candidates are so vul-
nerable. They are trying to tailor the plat-
form to fit their individual needs and cover
their weaknesses from the view of the dele-
gates, rather than leading from historic
There, at least, the President has moved
quickly. He has sharply informed the draft-
er what he wants in a platform; he has
privately spoken strongly to key people on
the subject.
Mr. Truman conceivably will let the del-
egates give him guidance on their favorite
candidate. He will do battle for a Fair Deal
Mrs. Truman's arrival here has been
duly noted by political observers who know
the White House well. Men are notorious
babies when they are ill at all; the Tru-
man fanily is unusually close and respon-
sive to each other's needs. It is still a fair
guess that Mrs. Truman has been reading
about the rudderless aspect of Chicago,
the prospect that a draft-Truman move-
ment will develop and is taking steps to
avert it. She is determined to enjoy the
late afternoon of life with her husband.
Until Mr. Truman gets his homework done
on the foregoing, Chicago will remain the
Windy City in more ways than one, but, one
day next week, that fateful presidential Roll
Call must and will begin.
(Copyright, 1952, by the Bell Syndicate)


CHICAGO-If you had told Estes Kefauv-
er's colleagues in the Senate one year
ago that he would emerge with the top num-
ber of delegates at the next Democratic con-
vention, they would have snorted with dis-
belief. Some of them are still snorting.
This attitude, however, is solely con-
fined to Washington and a few big cities
where the political bosses had their ma-
chines bounced off the track by Kefauv-
er's crime expose. In Washington, the at-
titude is based on something which is
all-important in the nation's capital but
not readily understood elsewhere-senior-
ity. Young Estes Kefauver has been in
Congress only 12 years. On the other hana,
his colleague, McKellar of Tennessee, is
85 years old and has been in Congress for
35 years. And every time McKellar
passes young Kefauver in a Senate corri-
dor, he curses.
Other Senators do not curse. But some
of them are jealous. They do not realize
that these are fast-moving days when the
American people are fed up with the old,
as witnessed by Eisenhower's nomination
and by the sudden elevation of a political
unknown, Nixon of California, to the No. 2
spot on the Republican ticke.
PERHAPS also they don't entirely appre-
ciate the fact that Kefauver has a
magnificent voting record, has shown more
courage in facing racial problems than any
other Southern senator, and had the vision
to realize the danger of permitting an un-
derworld to gnaw at the foundation of
On top of this, he has gone through an
intense political campaign, during which
he hasn't made a single mistake. Eisen-
hower, on the other hand, has made sev-
Kefauver, meanwhile, did Eisenhower the
biggest political favor of his life. He is the
chief reason Eisenhower was nominated.
For the main factor motivating Republican
delegates at their recent convention was
that they badly needed a winner. And they
knew, first from the Gallup poll, second
from their own political observations, that
Kefauver could outpoll Taft in most of the
nation. To beat him they had to nominate
For they had seen Kefauver defeat Pres-
ident Truman himself, plus an old and
established Democratic machine in New
Hampshire. They also saw him swamp the
Democratic organization in Ohio, even with
a bunch of unknown delegates; while in
California they saw him roll up a vote big-
ger than Governor Earl Warren. Again he
did it by bucking the old-line leaders of
the Democratic party using a bobtail as-
sortment of young and enthusiastic ama-
teurs that nobody had ever heard of.
After Estes Kefauver first started his New
Hampshire campaign, he remarked to one
of his advisers:
"I'm tired of talking about crime. I
think I should make some speeches on
foreign policy."
Stick to crime, Estes, stick to crime," re-
plied the adviser, "that's what the people
However, Estes has not stuck to crime,
either in his subsequent speeches or in his
earlier record in Congress. That record is
on which shows up well under the most
critical microscope. Though a Southerner,
Kefauver voted for the controversial anti-
lynching bill. He also voted to abolish the
poll tax, though he did not vote for cloture
or a compulsory FEPC. He.voted against the
Taft-Hartley act, at a time when it took
courage to do so-unlike Sen. Russell who
voted to override the Presidential veto but
now says Taft-Hartley should be abolished.
He has also campaigned against the
monopoly of war contracts to a few big

companies and led an investigation to aid
small business. He had the courage to
circulate a petition in the House to get
the Taft-Wagner Housing bill out of the
Rules Committee, and finally helped to
get it passed.
He has been a leader in backing the
President on foreign affairs and defense.
And while a member of the House of Rep-
resentatives, he wrote a book "The 20th
Century Congress," carefully diagnosing our
current legislative system.
(Copyright, 1952, by the Bell Syndicate)

. , they're either too young

... they're either too grey

POLITICAL OBSERVERS were theorizing several weeks ago that
Adlai Stevenson of Illinois would be the Democratic candidate if
Senator Taft were nominated by the GOP, but he would definitely not
run if General Eisenhower became the Republican standard bearer.
At that time it was suggested that Democrats might choose Estes Ke-
fauver as their candidate.
The Kefauver selection would be ideal from several angles,
politicians figure. Admirers of the crime crusader believe he should
get the party nod because he has a real chance to beat Ike. Ene-
mies of the Tennessee senator, specifically Harry Truman and
the big city bosses, were said to be thinking that Kefauver would
be a convenient candidate because the party was in for a defeat
in November. They supposedly felt that Estes could be used as a
front man to take the defeat. Then he would return to the Senate
for the rest of his political life or retire altogether. Believing that
Eisenhower's four years would not be particularly successful and
that a depression might be inevitable during this period, they fig-
ured on holding Stevenson until 1956 when he could make a
Rooseveltian campaign and enthrone the party in power for sev-
eral decades as Roosevelt did.
In part these forecasts have come out correctly. Eisenhower has
been nominated and Stevenson, who was reluctant to enter the race
beforeo the GOP convention, has made his position quite clear: he will
not run unless he is drafted against his will. A forced draft appears
unlikely, especially since the President is reputed to be annoyed with
Stevenson because the Illinois governor was not interested in his
Despite President Truman's assertion that he will not name his
preference for the nomination, it is quite clear that he holds all the
cards and will influence the decision either openly or behind the
scenes. Truman has been looking over the field of Democratic aspir-
ants for many months. He would obviously like to make a selection,
but is frustrated by four major considerations:
1) Truman is out of sorts with many of the best Democratic
leaders. As was mentioned, he had a mild rift with Stevenson. ie
also dislikes Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois for several of his at-
tacks on the Administration. Both of these men are top-flight
Democrats. In addition, he has never cared much for Kefauver
since Estes beat him in the New Hampshire presidential primary.
2) The President is disconcerted over the lukewarm acceptance of
his Fair Deal program by several of the candidates. Though many
embrace the majority of its tenets, several will not go along with the
civil rights plank. Thus far the civil rights proposals have been un-
successful in Congress, for the Southern block and some Republicans
have stymied them. Feeling that the GOP took a lukewarm civil rights
stand, Truman wants his platform to contain a statement of action
as well as principle. Russell's vacillation on labor, and to a certain
extent on FEPC shows the President's power in influencing the candi-
dates, but no one except Harriman is really an ardent Fair Dealer.
3) HST would have liked to have seen Senator Taft nominated by
the Republicans, because he regarded Taft as an extremely vulnerable
candidate. Selection of Eisenhower has posed a difficult problem for
Truman and the Democrats. Although the President and others have
supposedly toyed with the idea of letting Kefauver take a defeat, no
one likes to let the party loose, especially since it would be a repudia-
tion of principles for which they have worked many years. Thus he
is faced with finding someone who can beat Eisenhower.
4) Contingent with this observation is the bare fact that there
is really no one outstanding left for the party. Kerr, Russell and
all the other Southerners fail to qualify because of their civil
rights position. Stevenson is supposedly out for now. Douglas is
unacceptable to Truman, Kefauver is disliked and Harriman has
no large following and little political experience. Barkley and
Rayburn are too old. Where then, is Truman to turn?
0BVIOUSLY HE MUST compromise somewhat as to ability, experi-
ence or principles. In this respect, Averell Harriman would prob-
ably be most acceptable. Harriman is biding for labor's support and
appeas to be gaining favor in that quarter. He was entered in New
York as a "trial balloon" as well as to hold that large delegation at the
convention either for himself or some other Truman-favored candidate.
The strategy is likely to be angled toward getting the nomina-
tion for Harriman, if this is at all possible. Labor leaders Murray
and Reuther are going to be at the convention, and if assured
that Honest Ave is their best man, can be expected to exert a
powerful influence on delegates. The unseen hand of Harry Tru-
ma nwill have a like effect. Thus Harriman may be advanced,
while Kefauver, Kerr and Russell are blocked out.
Shoudl the Harriman boom fail to develop as hoped, final efforts
will quietly be made to convince Stevenson that he should run. If these
also fail, Harry S. Truman will either let his name be offered as a
nominee or else party leaders will do it without his permission. Prob-
ably the chief thing that prevents him from running again, outside of
his own desire to retire, is Bess Truman. Mrs. Truman is worried that
she and her husband will not be able to go intoretirement.
However, Bess did not particularly want him to run in 1948,
and is dead against it now. Even so, Truman may feel that he is
the only person who could lead the party to victory in November.
He may think that not running would be a disservice both to the
party and the country. He would certainly have no trouble being.
nominated. If the President will not run, it is quite likely that Ke-
fauver will be the nominee, if for no other reason than that the
others have left the field. A Kefauver nomination would probably
not be as bad as some Democrats think, although he would have a
battle on his hands to get the election in November.
Vice-presidential candidates are a dime a dozen this week in Chi-
cago. Russell is talked of frequently. So is keynoter Paul Dever. Mi-
chigan's abandonment of the unit rule, under which Governor Wil-
liams could have controlled the delegation and laid the way to his
own acceptance as Vice-Presidential candidate by shrewd vote trading,
has hindered his chances for the second spot.

-Harry Lunn


Pre-Convention Roundup

.. . or too grassy green

... or too old

CHICAGO-If you want a sample of the
peculiar atmosphere of the Democratic
rally in Chicago, the following story is a bet-
ter than average sample of high-level talk
In brief, Gov. Adlai Stevenson of Illinois -
wrote a letter, a couple of months ago, de-
scribing his attitude toward the Demo-
cratic nomination which has been so often
pressed upon him. This letter was either
addressed to, or somehow got into the
hands of Stevenson's friend, Supreme
Court Justice William O. Douglas.
Justice Douglas, for reasons best known
to himself, proceeded to show the Stevenson
letter to Harry S. Truman's great and good
friend, Chief Justice Fred Vinson. Chief
Justice Vinson in turn either showed the let-j
ter, or related its contents, to the President.
Stevenson had written that he did not
want the Democratic nomination, and
particularly did not want to be nominat-
ed as President Truman's personal can-
didate, because of the obligations that
this would involve. He had also written
that he was not sure he was a Fair Deal-
er, because he was anything but clear
in his own mind about what a Fair Dealer
really was. These remarks, inevitably,
were taken by the President as signs and
symptoms of the darkest disloyalty.
The moment when the Stevenson letter
reached the ears or eyes of Truman is per-
suasively said to have marked the turning
point in the President's attitude toward the
Illinois Governor.
*s* *
well substantiated. There is very little
doubt indeed that Gov. Stevenson did in fact
write such a letter, the summary of which
represents his known views. There is very lit-
tle doubt, either, that the Douglas-to-Vin-
son-to-Truman triple play really occurred.
The really interesting thing about this
story, however, is the way it symbolizes
the quality of the oncoming Democratic
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily
are written by members of The Daily staff
and represent the views of the writer only.
This must be noted in all reprints.

convention. The Republicans had big is-
sues at stake, and big, easily discernible
forces were engaged against each other.
In the case of the Democrats, no candi-
date benefits from the kind of factional
fanaticism that sustained Sen. Robert
A. Taft. No candidate is supported by the
kind of popular surge that carried Gen.
Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Instead of popular surges and passionate
advocacy, stories like that printed aboveare
the warp and woof of this session in Chicago.
A few of these stories are true, like this one.
Many more are false, or partly false. Their
prevalence, which is the significant thing,
means that the decisive factors at this stage
are the relationships between group and
group and between individual and individ-
ual. Particularly, of course, the President's
relationships and attitudes are vital. Arid
in this sense the Stevenson letter is regard-
ed as significant, as inclining Truman to
block the draft-Stevenson movement that
Truman himself originated.
S C s
IT IS THIS EMPHASIS on the essentially
personal and trivial-on the deals, ne-
gotiations, private attitudes and hints let
drop-that makes the Democratic gather-
ing appear, for the time being, like a large,
jolly amiable loony bin. How else can it be,
since at least five major groupings in the
party, and at least two score leading per-
sonalities, all enter into the picture? Even
the President himself has multiplied his
agents, secret and overt, until no one knows
exactly who is speaking for him.
Beneath the surface nerve warfare and
maneuvering, however, two significant
facts very plainly appear. The Democrats
have two possible strategies. They can
nominate a candidate who is thought to
enjoy strong sectiona4 support, as Aver-
ell Harriman does in the North and Sen.
Russell does in the South. .But in that
case, they must accept a more or less
open and violent party split. Or they
can seek a candidate who will unite the
party. But in that case, they must choose
between Sen. Kefauver, whom so many
leaders detest; or Vice-President Barkley,
whose age puts the "caretaker" label on
him; or Gov. Stevenson, who has now
annoyed Truman and does not want to
run anyway.
Copyright, 1952, New York Herald Tribune Inc.)

. . . the pickings are poor

... and the crop is lean

-r I

,.. I've looked the field over

. te?IIPJ to (tle 611wo..

.. .and lo and behold!


"How Aiont Ramih P. Pretwhittle ?"
F y4
r.RSFI~ x

"Nw Tlae~weA 0"1 igis Piak-

Protest Meeting ...
To the Editor:
A WAKE of results followed the
appearance of the un-Ameri-
can Activities Committee in De-
troit in March. On this campus,
more speakers were banned--Ab-
ner Green, Arthur McPhaul, Anne
Shore-and an intense inquisition
with attendant prosecutions for
participation in a certain dinner
took place. In Ford Local 600, lea-
dership was displaced, a n d
changes in policy were effected.
All over the state, people whom
Mrs. Baldwin casually mentioned,.
people who were not even called to
testify, were fired, intimidated by
groups, attacked in =local papers,
and in some instances forced to
leave their homes. The un-Ameri-
cans had chosen, among others, a
musician, a teacher, a minister, a
lawyer, and several labor leaders.
They had concentrated their selec-

Some people might feel that
these men must be hiding some-
thing, for if everything were above
board, they should have no ob-
jection to producing the records.
But they should consider the pro-
cedure and set-up of these hear-
ings. Witnesses are interrogated in
public; they are denied basic legal
safeguards. They are not informed
in advance of the nature of the
charges against them, and are not
confronted with witnesses who tes-
tified against them (accusers are,
of course, granted complete im-
munity), or allowed to cros-exam-
ine them. They are not allowed to
obtain witnesses in their favor, to
be represented by counsel, and to
testify in their own defenses. The
un-Americans make up the rules
as they go along. To be cited is to
be considered guilty.
There are further ramifications
to this case. People who are inter-
ested might want to attend the

The Pot...0
To the Editors
THE EDITORS of any respon-
sible newspapers display three
qualities; literacy, lack of bias and
accuracy. A short while ago we
sent a letter to you which was re-
printed in The Daily. With his
shears the editor turned a pole-
mic against Eisenhower into more
or less incomprehensible series of
We assume that the reason for
cutting the letter was that it was
too long. We have noticed, how-
ever, that the limt on length is
not always applied. Assuming,
nevertheless, that the reason was
valid, the method was certainly
We submit that the editors of
the Daily lack one of the above
qualities, or perhaps more than
one of them. The letter, as we


Sxty-Second Year
Edited and managed by students of
the University of Michigan under the
authority of the Board in Control of
Student Publications.
Leonard Greenbaum Managing Editor
Ivan Kaye and Bob Margolin
....Co-Sports Editors
Nan Reganall...........Women's Editor
Joyce Fickies.............Night Editor
Harry Lunn........,... .Night Editor
Marge Shepherd. .......Night Editor
Virginia Voss...........Night Editor
Mike Wolff...............Night Editor
Tom Treeger........Business Manager
C. A. Mitts........Advertising Manager
Jim Miller..........Finance Manager



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