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Fight for the Right: The Quest for Republican Identity in the Postwar Period


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FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT: THE QUEST FOR REPUBLICAN IDENTITY IN THE POSTWAR PERIOD By MICHAEL D. BOWEN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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Copyright 2006 by Michael D. Bowen

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iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This project is the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication, but it would not have been possible without a ssistance and support from a number of individuals along the way. First and foremost, I have to thank God and my parents for all that they have done for me since before I arrived at the Univer sity of Florida. Dr. Brian Ward, whose admiration for West Ham Un ited is only surpassed by his love for the band Gov’t Mule, was everything I could ha ve asked for in an advisor. Dr. Charles Montgomery pushed and prodded me to turn this project from a narrow study of the GOP to a work that advances our unders tanding of postwar Am erica. Dr. Robert Zieger was a judicious editor whose sugges tions greatly improved my writing at every step of the way. Drs. George Esenwein and Daniel Smith gave very helpful criticism in the later stages of the project and helped make the dissertation more accessible. I would also like to thank my fellow graduate students in the Department of History, especially the rest of “Brian Ward’s Clar et and Blue Army,” for helping make the basement of Keene-Flint into a collegial place and improving my scholarship through debate and discussion. Finally, I must thank the UF library system for closing Library West in December 2003 and keeping it clos ed until August 2006. A dissertation is a challenging thing to begin with, but when sc holars do not have easy access to research materials, it becomes a more harro wing task that one can explain.

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iv TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iii ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... vi CHAPTERS 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 2 “THIRST FOR POWER AND SELF -PERPETUATION”: THE DIVISION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, 1944-1946...........................................................22 3 POWER WITHOUT CONTROL: C ONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS AND THE 80TH CONGRESS, 1946-1948...........................................................................65 4 OPPORTUNITY WASTED: THOMAS DEWEY AND THE REPUBLICAN FAILURE OF 1948..................................................................................................111 5 “A NATION OF MORONS:” THE AFTERMATH OF THE 1948 ELECTION, 1949-1950...........................................................................................153 6 PRAGMATIC CAMPAIGNS, IDEOLOGICAL VOTERS: THE ELECTIONS OF 1950....................................................................................................................200 7 “THE GREAT REPUBLICAN MYSTERY:” THE 1952 PRECONVENTION CAMPAIGN..................................................................................241 8 “IF WE SLEEP ON THIS, WE AR E REALLY SUCKERS:” JUNE – NOVEMBER 1952...................................................................................................282 9 PRELUDE TO A PURGE: EI SENHOWER’S ELECTION AND THE DEATH OF TAFT, NOVEMBER 1952 – 1953......................................................324 10 CONCLUSION.........................................................................................................372 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................378 Archival Sources.......................................................................................................378 Archives of Appalachia, East Tenne ssee State University, Johnson City Tennessee.......................................................................................................378 Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene Kansas.......................................378 Library of Congress, Washington DC...............................................................378 Ohio Historical Society, Columbus Ohio..........................................................378

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v Wright State University, Department of Special Collections, Dayton Ohio.....378 University of Rochester, Department of Special Collections, Rochester New York.......................................................................................................379 Government Publications..................................................................................379 Newspapers and Periodicals.....................................................................................379 Secondary Sources....................................................................................................379 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................387

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vi Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT: THE QUEST FOR REPUBLICAN IDENTITY IN THE POSTWAR PERIOD By Michael D. Bowen August 2006 Chair: Charles Montgomery Cochair: Brian Ward Major Department: History This dissertation explores the constructi on of partisan political identity after World War II. Long thought of as the party of rich white men, the Republican Party fractured over the proper method of achieving majority status in the aftermath of the New Deal. The party, once unified behind the banner of big busine ss and laissez-faire economics, divided into two groups with decidedly different worldviews on race and class. One faction, championed by New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, struggled to make the party an institution of divers ity and democracy and to include AfricanAmericans and labor unions in its organi zations. Dewey’s policy initiatives on civil rights and industrial relations were among th e most egalitarian and forward-thinking of his day, and included the first state Fa ir Employment Practices Commission in the nation. The second faction rallied behind Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft and catered to elite and middle class interests. The Taftite legislative program was extremely probusiness, both big and small, and resulted in the Taft-Hartley Act and the end of price control measures designed to help c onsumers cope with a wartime economy. The

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vii struggle for control of the GOP and its fundamental principles had far-reaching ramifications for American public policy. Dewey’s frustration of the right-wing element fueled resentment that helped shape the modern conservative movement. Although these factions were labeled “cons ervative” and “liber al” in the press and by their opponents, they had nearly iden tical styles of governing. They espoused similar policy initiatives in areas such as education and housing. The two factions differed over social legislation designed to help African-Americans and unionized workers. Dewey sought to expand the postwar Republican Party by appealing to these two Democratic voting groups. Under Dewey’ s leadership, the Empire State passed the first state provision barring employment discrimination based on race, religion, or national origin. His aggressive stance on la bor relations benefite d both employers and employees and New York largely escaped the post-World War II strike wave that swept the rest of the nation. Taft disagr eed with Dewey’s methods and moved to rebuild the GOP on its tradi tional base of big business and upper-class whites. He flatly rejected a national version of Ne w York’s anti-discrimination commission and authored the Taft-Hartley Act, a measure that erased many of the gains organized labor had made under the Roosevelt administration. The splintering of the GOP arose from two competing views of the American polity and the ramifications of the New Deal. Taft and Dewey hoped to take the Republican Party in opposite directions. The results of their struggle shaped the party for the next fifty years.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In April 1952, Robert Taft’s pre-conven tion campaign was in full swing as he addressed a group of Republicans in Pittsbu rgh. After briefly acknowledging the local and state politicians who made his trip possi ble, Taft emphasized the platform he had preached for the past five months. Known as “Mr. Republican,” the senior Senator from Ohio laid out his political philos ophy in clear terms, saying “We offer the American workman a return to honesty and integrity in Washington, a reduction in his tax burdens, a stimulation of the proce ss of improved production to increase his income and standard of living, a foreign polic y which will protect his security without drafting his boys for military se rvice and limit his opportunity.”1 Although he had announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination in November 1951, Taft and his closest advisors had been pl anning their campaign since 1948, when New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey lost the presidential election to Democratic incumbent Harry Truman.2 Often regarded as the most shocking upset in American political history, Dewey’s defeat galvanized Taft, his inner circle, and millions of his supporters across the nation. Their effort s to secure the GOP nomination in 1952 helped lay the groundwork for the modern conservative movement. 1 Speech of Robert A. Taft, delivered in Pittsburg h, Pennsylvania. 15 April 1952. Copy in Folder (Speeches and Notes – 1952), Box 33 1, Speech File, Robert A Taft Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress [Hereafter cited as Taft Papers]. 2 Zachary Karabell, The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election (New York: Vintage Books, 2000); Gary A. Donaldson, Truman Defeats Dewey (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1999); Sean J. Savage, Truman and the Democratic Party (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1997).

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2 Although Taft had the moniker of “Mr. Republican,” he was not the most dominant individual in the GOP. In term s of political success and popular following, Dewey easily overshadowed Taft. Rising to pow er first as New York City’s District Attorney and later as Governor of New York, Dewey had the most loyal following within the party. Using his pol itical connections in New York City, Dewey assembled a highly skilled team of political advisors who built a national organization for the Governor composed of state party leaders and potential national convention delegates. This, more than anything else, allowed hi m to maintain control of the GOP, but he and his advisors understood that, in the wake of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration, the Republican Party would have to attract voters from outside its traditional, pro-business base. Beginning with his 1944 presidential nomination, Dewey made a calculated effort to reshape the public identity of the Republican Party and sell the party as a progressive institu tion capable of rivaling the Democrats as a vehicle for change. While Taft campaigne d on issues similar to those in his 1952 speech in Pittsburgh, Dewey spoke in generalizations and only mentioned vague “forward-looking” principles. Although both individuals adhered to a similar set of core political beliefs that rejected most forms of statism and held the individual ultimately responsible for their own live lihood, the difference in their campaign and publicity programs fostered an open split in the Republican Party that characterized the GOP for over a decade. By their very nature, politi cal parties are rife with internal disagreements, but the feud in the postwar GOP stands out not only for its intensity, but because of what it says about American politics afte r 1944. From 1932 through 1952, the Republicans lost five straight presidential elections and held a majority in Congress for only two of those years and the Senate for only four. On the surface, the disagreement between the

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3 Republican titans arose specifically over th e most effective way to regain majority status in the short term, but the underlying cause of the factional tiff was something much deeper. Between 1932 and 1944, the political landscape of the nation was altered radically. The financial crisis of the Great Depression and the ensuing war necessitated innovative economic and social ch anges at the highest level of American government. With Roosevelt in the Oval O ffice, the New Deal reshaped the nation’s political institutions. The Democrats repl aced the program of the 1920s GOP, which included only limited regulations and kept industrialists as the most prominent constituency group in Washington, with a more inclusive system th at safeguarded the working class and minority groups. Organi zed labor, long the bane of Republican chieftains and the captains of industry, now found a permanent place at the bargaining table with the creation of the National Labor Relations Board. After 1936 AfricanAmericans, once a critical constituen cy group to the GOP, became the most consistently Democratic voting bloc in th e country. This, along with the Democratic Solid South, made Roosevelt’s grip on the White House virtually unbreakable and left the Republicans scrambling to remain a potent force in American politics. The anxiety of prolonged minority status led to a period of indecision. The purpose of any political party is to wi n elections. By 1944, the party elite were struggling to cope with reshaping the GOP, but disagreed on the proper method and direction to bring victory. Dewey, raised in the era of Republican progressivism, promoted the party as a moderate rival to New Deal Democracy that pledged support to union workers, African Americans, a nd the urban poor. Governing in New York, Dewey believed that he understood the impact of the electoral realignment and hoped to change the message of the party to fit with the times. Taft held a completely different view and portrayed the GOP as a counter to modern liberalism and a return

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4 to limited government based on individualism He believed that a pro-business system and a strict construction of the constitution were the normal and most logical ways to govern the nation, and sought to enhance Republican opposition to the Democratic administration. As a party long out of power Dewey and Taft crafted their platforms and programs based on their views of the American public, and divided the party through their rival candidacies and campaigns. In the process, each faction castigated its ri vals as traitors to party principles and as faux Republicans, making this divide into something much more permanent. Over the next four years, and even into the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the rival factions repeated their charges in order to gain an electoral advantage. These rhetorical flourishes took on a functiona l value among the party faithful and the average voter. In the public eye, Taft a nd Dewey went from political rivals who espoused a number of similar policies to bitter ideological enemies with two competing views of the American polity. Wh ile Taft and Dewey did have a personal animosity that colored their interaction negativel y, their fundamental political beliefs were never as divergent as people believed. The competition between the two wings, more than anything else, gave the GOP its ideological character and opened its political identity up for debate. With the sides divided into two camps, th e picture grew more complex. As Taft was building a reputation of opposing liberal ism, conservatism was emerging as an intellectual movement. Historian George Nash has argued that intellectual conservatism formed as a combination of three distinct schools of thought: traditionalism, libertarianism, and anticommunism. During the late 1940s and 1950s, journalists and scholars w ho subscribed to these perspectives debated among themselves, and an ever-growing popular au dience, as to which aspect was more

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5 important for the ideology of their m ovement. Anticommunism, which called for a strident defense against a potential Soviet subversion, galvanized the general public, both liberals and conservatives alike. By 1960, traditionalists and libertarians had allied with right-leaning anticommunists to support a cohesive conservative program that had such a popular following that liber als and moderates in both parties could no longer treat the movement as a wishful nostalg ia or a reactionary impulse, as they had for the past decade.3 Conservatism is, as most –isms seem to be, a catch-all term encompassing a number of distinct and often contradictor y principles and poli tical interpretations. Codifying conservatism for this project has been an exceptional challenge. Taft and Dewey existed in a time before the “cons ervative intellectual movement” that Nash has so eloquently and thoroughly described. When the GOP was beginning to split in the mid-1940s, William F. Buckley, now widely regarded the godfather of modern conservatism, had just recently graduate d from Yale. His first book would not be published until 1951 and the first issue of National Review did not arrive on newsstands until two years after Taft’s death. The nascent right-wing press was limited to the libertarian Human Events and the fledgling Commentary Writers such as John T. Flynn and Frederick Hayek appear ed in some mainstream publications like Reader’s Digest and completed their own monogr aphs, but these sold a limited number of copies. In the late 1940s, the c onservative movement, if it can be called a movement, lacked coherence. It did not ye t embody an accepted set of principles that could serve as a litmus test be tween conservatism and liberalism. 3 For an example of the “liberal” take on co nservatism in the early 1950s, see Daniel Bell, The New American Right (New York: Criterion Books, 1955); George Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945 (Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 1998)

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6 The set of principles that Robert Taft subscribed to, which, in this narrative, is referred to somewhat obliquely as “conserva tism,” was based on a strict interpretation of the constitution and a limited federal government. It was not centered on anticommunism, like the philosophy of so many conservative intellectuals.4 While Taft abhorred Soviet communism in specific and so cialism in general, his position derived from his upbringing, education, and worldview First and foremost, Taft believed in and strove for a small federal government. He despised bureaucracy and worked consistently to limit federal spending a nd trim agencies and workers from the government payrolls, but he was not completely rigid in his views. In most cases he saw more government as problematic, but in certain situations su ch as the postwar housing shortage, Taft concluded that the fe deral government was the only institution that could bring about an adequate soluti on to social problems. Second, Taft had a strong allegiance to federalism. He despis ed centralized planning and saw most New Deal programs as experiments in social engineering. But even when he proposed a national solution to what was ostensibly a series of interconnected local problems, such as his aid to education measures, Taft demanded that state and municipal governments maintain local autonomy. Third, Taft held supreme faith in the primacy of the individual and the right of free associ ation. Throughout his effo rt to restrict the power of labor unions, a quest that ultimatel y led to the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, the Ohio Senator never questioned the right of workers to organize and bargain with employers. What he disliked, rather, was the tendency for union leaders to speak politically for the rank and file withou t consulting them. He believed that union 4 Nash contends that anti-communism was broad enough to unite two distinct schools of conservative thought, traditionalism and liberalism, into a somewhat coherent intellectual movement. See George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America 118-140.

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7 efforts to speak for the working class were undemocratic and fost ered a class rivalry that, to Taft, represented po litics at its lowest form. Fourth, Taft was guided by a strict interpretation of the Constitution. For example, Taft failed to support a number of racial equality measures because, in his mind, the rights of the states to cont rol their own economy, their own voting procedures, and their own cr iminal justice systems were more important than affording special privileges to one group of people, especially as the Democratic Party was continually moving to expand the power of the federal government after World War II. Taft was by no means a racist and wo rked for civil rights measures, such as home rule for the District of Columbia a nd anti-poll tax measures, when he believed that is was a legitimate expulsion of fe deral power under the Constitution, but he remained rooted to his conservative views in most other cases. Fifth, Taft embraced a foreign policy view that placed the needs of the United States over any external commitments. Prior to World War II, this fundamental belief manifested itself as isolationism, but as the Cold War progre ssed it shifted into a grudging acceptance of American commitments abroad and a fear that increased defense spending could overburden the government and the American taxpayer. Finally, Taft was opposed to most of the social welfare programs of the New Deal. He understood the impetus for programs like Social Security during the Great Depression but believed that their usefulness had passed. Taft saw federal reli ef dollars as a drain on the productive capacity of the economy. Although he realized th e political reality that Social Security could never be repealed, he quietly re gretted its supposedly harmful effects on American enterprise. In the late 1940s, the “conservative” fac tion, labeled somewhat derisively as the Old Guard, adhered to most of Taft’s political principles This group of established

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8 politicians, many of whom had been aff iliated with the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover administrations, made up the bulk of Taft’s support. Most of their number hailed from the Midwest, but some Southe rn and Western Republicans allied with Taft as well. Their factional opponents came primarily from the Northeast, but had pockets of support from throughout the nati on. Dewey was the leader of these socalled “liberal Republicans.” His successful tenure in Albany led to the Republican Presidential nominati ons of 1944 and 1948 and effective control of the GOP platform in those crucial elections Although a number of Republicans competed for their party’s nomination in those years, only Taft and Dewey had the support to have a legitimate chance of heading the ticket. Labeling Dewey as a “liberal Republican” is somewhat misleading in that he did not hold a strict adherence to the tenants of modern li beralism as embodied by the New Deal. An overwhelming majority of th e New Yorker’s policy decisions reflected traditional Republican values. Dewey drastica lly reduced taxes in his first term and created a budget surp lus through a program of fis cal responsibility and county autonomy. In creating the State University of New York system, for example, Dewey placed the burden of funding on the local communities of the various campuses through local sales tax collecti on. Rather than overextending th e state treasury, he left higher education in the hands of the local l eaders, not a centralized authority, just as Taft did with his aid to education bills. In some cases, Dewey took a harsh view toward organized labor, going so far as making it a terminable offense for state employees to strike in the wake of a t eacher’s dispute early in his first term. Taft and Dewey did not agree on all polic ies, however, with foreign policy the most important difference. Dewey was an avowed internationalist who thought that America should strive to maintain peace a nd commerce abroad at virtually all costs.

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9 He and his supporters, including future Secret ary of State John Foster Dulles and a number of his financial backers on Wall Stre et, saw Taft’s “Ameri ca First” position as arcane and backwards. Most of the Dewey fac tion used this view as evidence that Taft was unfit to lead. On domestic matters, Ta ft and Dewey differed on social issues. They were equally tough on labor but di sagreed on methodology. Dewey was much more willing to negotiate with more moderate labor groups in the American Federation of Labor, and used his prestige to settle a number of st atewide strikes in the Empire State. Taft, on the other hand, sa w all unions as potential impediments to the free market and preferred to restrict their activity, rath er than bring them to the negotiating table. Dewey did prove to be slightly more willing to manage the economy and regulate businesses. Under his watch, New York passed the first statelevel Fair Employment Practices Commission in the nation, which barred most forms of discrimination in the hiring, firing, and promotion of workers. Taft never invalidated the right of employers to choose their own employees. From the brief survey of their policies, it becomes clear why it is problematic to refer to Taft and his followers as conser vative and Dewey and his associates as liberal. Although differences existed, ther e were no major divisions between the actual domestic policies of the two Republican titans. These ideological signifiers, however, have become affixed permanently in the historical narrative due to their conflicting worldviews. This pr oject asks why the postwar Republican Party split into two factions that, while similar in gove rning philosophies, came to be seen as complete opposites with little hope of reconciliation. The answer lies not in policy provisions or legislation, but rather in campaign styles and a competing view of the modern electorate. The desire to win the Republican nomination and the White

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10 House, masking a fundamental dispute over ideology, divided the GOP into two competing groups. Taft split with Dewey after the 1944 el ection, but the gap grew after the Republican loss in 1948. Taft and his followers believed that Dewey and the “liberal Republicans” had abandoned the party base through their campaign to build another New Deal coalition. This strategy, which the Old Guard called “me-too Republicanism,” was anathema to Taft. He believed that by failing to take a principled stand against the excesses of the New Deal, Dewey had surrendered the contest on day one and had not played up the party’s advantages: its firm commitment to limited government and its clear, leve l-headed plan to reduce taxes and price controls while keeping organized labor in check. These had been the guiding principles of the Republican-controlled 80th Congress. In Taft’s mind, when Dewey turned his back on the party’s legislative r ecord and ran a neutral, personality-driven campaign, the Governor had abdicated his resp onsibility as GOP standard-bearer. Taft thought the American people would choose to support the trad itional Republican program over a continuation of the New D eal, but Dewey did not give the public a chance to make that decision. Dewey, on the other hand, opposed Taft not because of an embrace of modern liberalism, but because Dewey held a vi ew that can best be labeled as “anticonservatism.” Other than isol ationism, Dewey agreed with most of Taft’s political philosophy, but he believed that limited gove rnment and fiscal responsibility would not attract voters. Coming from the heavily urban state of New York, Dewey was impressed by the charisma and charm of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and thought that a campaign designed to appeal to nomi nally Democratic groups like AfricanAmericans and organized labor could sw ing enough voters into the Republican

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11 column to capture the White House. De wey had consistently advocated a bland program of “forward-looking pr inciples” designed to offset the GOP’s reputation of curmudgeonly conservatism that came with Herbert Hoover’s administration and the Great Depression. He believed that the part y needed to shed its image as an Old Guard enclave and embrace some of the changes associated with the New Deal. While this did not mean an out and out abandonment of party principles, it did signify an end to outright opposition to the Democratic platform and a tacit acceptance of an expanded federal bureaucracy and the power of the federal government. If the party had been unified behind one of the two candidates or had only one clear leader, the internal disagreements could have been diffused through negotiation. In the atmosphere of electoral competi tion, however, the ambitions of politicians forced party officers and rank and file to choose sides. The closed-system of the Republican Party and the Republican Nati onal Committee made allies into rivals competing for patronage positions, titles, and prestigious government jobs. Supporting a presidential candidate and ushering him to victory could pay huge dividends on the state and local level, meaning that all Repub lican officials had a stake in the national leadership. With Taft and Dewey having the largest popular followings and most comprehensive national organizations, they were easily able to turn back lesser challengers like Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen a nd California Governor Earl Warren. The Republican Party effectively di vided into two camps based on personal allegiance to Taft and Dewey. Politicians, by the very nature of their profession, argue and debate constantly. This project, however, contends that this pa rticular factional split shaped the rise of what historians term as modern conser vatism. Taft represented what could be described as an early version of the “Sile nt Majority,” the gr oup of middle-class,

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12 suburban Americans that worked hard, paid their taxes, and preferred that the government leave them alone as much as possi ble. This project does not seek to move the start date of the Silent Majority to before the 1970s It does, however, note that Taft picked up on, and spoke to, a poor ly-formed, unorganized group of average Americans who resented and rejected parts of the Democratic program. In the late 1940s, before the Brown decision and during the early stages of the post-war housing boom, the sentiments that would become homeowner populism existed as a number of single issues, but did not have the saliency that they would have in the late 1960s, after the Civil Rights movement.5 Taft’s arguments for curtailing organized labor, ending price controls, and ma intaining local autonomy appealed to this growing segment of the public. Dewey, on the other hand, believed that the American people had embraced most of the Democratic progr am and the Republicans would have to also in order to become electorally viable again. As Dewey maintained his control of the GOP, and promoted a more modera te agenda, conservative Republicans increasingly believed that their party had b een hijacked and that the Dewey leadership failed to represent them adequately. From 1948 through the end of Eisenhower administration, this sentiment grew into ope n distaste for the “liberal Republicans” and the so-called “Eastern Establishment.” At the grassroots, this manifested into the conservative zeal behind Barry Goldwater’s 1964 candidacy. Ultimately, the seeds of the Reagan Revolution were sown in the Taft-Dewey split.6 5 For more on the politics of suburban populism, see Robert O. Self, American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univer sity Press, 2003), and Matthew Lassiter, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006). 6 See Jonathan M. Schoenwald, A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism (New York: Oxford University Pr ess, 2001); Neils Bjerre-Poulsen Right Face: Organizing the American Conservative Movement 1945-65 (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2002); and Matthew Dalleck, The Right Moment (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).

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13 In the last decade, historians have ta ken a thorough look at conservatives and their role in American politics and so ciety. Answering a challenge from Alan Brinkley issued as part of an American Historical Review roundtable, scholars have shaken their traditional distaste for figures such as Goldwater and Reagan and begun to assess their impact on public policy and political culture in the late twentieth century.7 The bulk of this work has focused on the period from 1960 through 1994 and has depicted the rise of Goldwater a nd Reagan as a response to the raceand class-based policies of Presidents Jo hn F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Thomas Sugrue has argued that tensions associated with white discontent in working class Detroit caused a mass exodus from the Democr atic Party that started after World War II and accelerated in the late 1960s.8 Dan T. Carter has illustrated how George Wallace, a former Democratic Governor from a Deep South state, seized on workingclass discontent to launch a surprisingly su ccessful third-party assa ult in the name of individualism and hard work that thrive d on racially-coded language, such as the equation of “law and order” w ith a reaction to the urban riots of the late 1960s, as well as an appeal to American tradition.9 Thomas Byrne Edsall and Mary Edsall have taken this a step further a nd traced the Reagan Revolution of 1980 to a fear of high taxes and a white reaction against policies that favor ed minorities and the poor.10 Earl 7 Alan Brinkley, “The Problem of American Conservatism,” American Historical Review 99, no. 2 (April 1994): 409-429. 8 Thomas Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996). Sugrue’s work is the vanguard of an emerging literature on race and local politics in postwar America. See also Self, American Babylon ; Kevin Kruse, White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Un iversity Press, 2005); Matthew Lassiter, The Silent Majority ; and Matthew Countryman, Up South: Civil Rights and Black Power in Philadelphia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005). 9 Dan T. Carter, Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995). For an alternative account with a West Coas t focus, see Dalleck, The Right Moment 10 Thomas Byrne and Mary Edsall, Chain Reaction: The Importance of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics (New York: Norton, 1991).

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14 and Merle Black have further codified the shift of the South from solidly Democratic to majority Republican and attributed th e change almost exclusively to a white backlash against the racia lly skewed policies of the national Democratic Party.11 While these writers have shown a welldocumented, plausible argument for a racially motivated political philosophy, few have turned th eir attention to the period before the 1960s and the rise of the mode rn Civil Rights Movement. Lisa McGirr has shown that conservatism grew in postwar Orange County, California from a grassroots movement focused on local issues into a politically potent force that captured the state GOP and grew into a stronghold of power for Reagan.12 Donald T. Chritchlow’s biography of Phyllis Schlafly similarly shows the establishment of a conservative network from the ground up and de lves into the motivations and fears of right-wing activists and voter s in the mid-to-late 1950s.13 The Critchlow and McGirr books are the firs t signs of an emer gent literature on grassroots conservatives.14 This dissertation provides a complimentary narrative to those studies. Rather than focusing on local conservatives and th eir organizational and electoral efforts, this proj ect explains why the Republi can Party was resistant to espousing conservative princi ples at a time when dissatisfaction some New Deal programs and the Democratic Party were on th e rise in segments of the press and in 11 Earl and Merle Black, The Rise of Southern Republicans (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 2002). 12 Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001). 13 Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Un iversity Press, 2005). 14 For more on conservative activists in the 1960s, see Gregory Schneider, Cadres for Conservatism: Young Americans for Freedom and the Rise of the Contemporary Right (New York: New York University Press, 1999); and John A. Andrew, The Other Side of the Sixties: Young Americans for Freedom and the Rise of Conservative Politics (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutger s University Press, 1997). See also Kruse, White Flight and Lassiter, The Silent Majority

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15 localized pockets throughout the nation. While it appear s implausible that this discontent could have led to a Republican victory in a presidential contest, conservatives did have success in the 1946 and 1950 congressional elections, suggesting a sizable following in key districts. This project argues that the efforts of Dewey and other “liberal Republicans” forced conservatives to deal with a hostile party and, in the process, ga in a populist, anti-authoritaria n zeal that bolstered the nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964. This project contends that the conser vative movement did not simply spring forth in reaction to the Great Society or th e Civil Rights Movement, or from the mind of William F. Buckley. While these aspects are obviously important, this dissertation argues that, after 1948, the fac tional dispute over campai gn tactics and rhetorical strategy in the postwar Republican Party took on an ideological dimension that motivated activists, intellectuals, and polit icians to espouse a fervent conservatism. Dewey and Taft each sought to mold the pa rty to fit their view of the American public. Dewey believed that a majority of Americans supported the New Deal and pledged to keep the core of the Democratic program intact Taft, thought that the bulk of the polity resented the activist state imposed from Washington and believed that an oppositional stance would be the most effectiv e way to win a national election. As the GOP split between these two points of view, people chose a political identity, either conservative or liberal, to support the candida te that most closely fit that position. The larger effect of the Taft a nd Dewey fight was to shape the political identity of the party. In 1952, when the conservatives lost the fight, right-leaning individuals grew frustrated with the GOP because they believed that it no longer represented their views. This sense of alienation motivated conservatives to redouble their efforts to control the Party and gave an electoral out let to the grassroots activism throughout the

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16 nation. While the internal mach inations of the GOP are one aspect in the larger story of the New Right, one cannot understand Barry Goldwater or Phyllis Schlafly without taking the Janus-faced nature of the postwar GOP into account. The project reaches its conclusions thr ough varied methods. First, it explores the differences between the campaign rh etoric and platforms of the top GOP candidates to demarcate the differences between conservative and liberal republicanism. Since the late 1960s, the terms “liberal” and “conservative” have popularly accepted meanings that signify a set of political principles. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, these terms were vaguer and less fixed. Anticipating a trend that was to become more common, Taft and Dewey incr easingly used these terms as pejorative labels and symbols of otherness to attack th eir opponents, rather than a fixed political identity. Republicans had a number of programmatic disagreements and, while scholars have explored this topic thoroughly in regards to forei gn policy, few scholars if any have explored the nua nces of the Dewey and Taft domestic agendas and spelled out the differences. Second, this project will explore the political maneuverings of both party factions prior to and during the nation al conventions of 1948 and 1952. Generally, studies of political history focus on either national issues or local contests. Assuming that Tip O’ Neill and Thomas Sugrue are co rrect in their contention that all politics are local, this project will show how strictly local issues ruined Taft’s convention plans and gave the incipient conservative move ment a setback just as it appeared to be ascending.15 This project is the first to a ssess the behind-the-scenes Republican politics and place them in the context of ideology. 15 Thomas Sugrue, “All Politics is Local: The Persiste nce of Localism in Twentieth-Century America,” in Meg Jacobs, et al., eds. The Democratic Experiment: New Direc tions in American Political History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 301-326.

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17 Third, the project looks at the relations hip between pragmatic politics and the conservative ideology. The Republican Part y that ultimately thwarted Taft’s presidential ambitions was motivated first by a desire to regain national power and second by ideology. The programmatic goals of the Dewey and Taft factions were very similar in the mid-1940s, but after the election of 1948 they gr ew further apart as repeated electoral failures caused each group to change its strategy. Dewey rejected calls for a conservative state and left ma ny on the Right looking for a rebirth of the Republican Party after 1952. Finally, this dissertation will examine the motivations behind the competing rhetorical strategies that Dewey and Ta ft adopted. The two leaders created very distinct rhetorical styles to reach different target audi ences. Dewey, aware that he would have won the 1944 election had he gained a small percentage of votes in urban areas, crafted a platform and political iden tity to appeal to the working class. He spoke in generalizations and campaigned as an upbeat reformer who wanted to keep some critical aspects of the New Deal in place but manage the program more effectively and with less government waste. Taft generally believed that Americans desired a return to the probusiness, pro-economy style of government reminiscent of the 1920s. He thought that the New Deal had temporarily upset American politics and that a majority of the population pref erred a limited government and individual freedom, rather than an increasing depende nce on Washington fo r economic stability. Both men held tightly to th eir characterizations of th e body politic and accused the other of espousing a losing philosophy. In the pre-convention periods of 1948 and 1952, Taft and Dewey attacked each other mo re than they did the Democrats simply because they thought their rival was destined to bring another defeat on the national stage.

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18 It is worth noting here on the tempor al constraints on the project. The period from 1944 to 1953 is admittedly brief, but it has been chosen for a specific purpose. The four election cycles in this period were the only ones in which conservative Republicans had a chance to control their pa rty and win a national election. The crisis period from 1929 through 1945 pr evented politics as usual in the United States and stifled the chances of the opposition party. Roosevelt’s overwhelming popularity early in his administration and his successful prosecution of World War II prevented any serious opposition from the Republicans until the war ended in 1945. The terminal date, 1953, is also critically important because the inauguration of Eisenhower secured Deweyite control of the party a pparatus for the next eight years. No conservative Republican would challenge the right of a sitting president to preside over a national committee and party leadersh ip of his choosing. The conservatives could either support the Eisenhow er initiatives, or perhap s quietly disagree, or be regarded as disloyal partisan s and therewith lose the be nefits of patronage while potentially damaging the party’s legisl ative agenda. Eisenho wer’s program was deemed by many to be too liberal. He angere d conservatives with his desire for bipartisanship in his cabinet and his unwilli ngness to dispense patronage to partisan operatives. Both extreme anti-communists, like John Birch Soci ety founder Robert Welch, and mainstream conservatives, incl uding National Review founder William F. Buckley, looked outside of the party and fo rmed their own organizations. They would return to the party in 1964 a nd espouse the candidacy of Goldwater. By that time, the liberal wing of the party had lo st control of the party in the aftermath Vice-President Nixon’s defeat at the hands of Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960. Finally, 1953 is an important year because it was the last time Taft figured in national

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19 events, as he died of cancer that year. His death led to a temporary loss of leadership for conservatives within the party and furthe r weakened their already inferior position. The dissertation draws from the papers and correspondence of Dewey, Taft, and their top lieutenants as they plotted and executed their strategies to secure the presidential nomination of the Republican Party in 1948 and 1952. It analyzes the public and private negotiations within these groups and their rela tionships with state and local party organizations around the na tion. Tracing the sentiments of the party leadership at both the national and grass-ro ots level highlights the disjuncture between the elites and the rank and file, and shows the efforts of Taftites to regain control of their party after World War II. Chapter 1 gi ves a brief overview of the party structure and details the aftermath of the presiden tial election of 1944. Dewey lost by a wide margin in the Electoral College but a tw o-percent shift in seven key traditionally Republican states would have given him a victory over Roosevelt. As a result, Dewey adopted a new program designed to appeal to wavering Democratic voters. Dewey’s campaign manager, Herbert Brownell, al so modernized and expanded the party machinery after the election and kept the pa rty viable after the war ended. Chapter 2 explores the conservative takeover of the RNC by Tennessee Representative B. Carroll Reece. An ardent Taft supporter, Reece used the publicity organs created by Brownell to mount a conservative program th at gave the GOP its first congressional majority since 1930. The remainder of the chap ter lays out the conservative positions in five key areas through legislat ive initiatives un dertaken by the 80th Congress. These programs, civil rights, federal aid to edu cation, public housing, la bor relations, and the Tidelands oil controversy, show the major points of contention between the Taft and Dewey factions and the efforts of conservati ve legislators to reaffirm the Republican Party as a conservative party. Chapter 3 goes through the 1948 el ection cycle. Here,

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20 the Dewey wing regained control of the pa rty apparatus and ran the 1948 election on a vague platform. This chapter will explore the nomination battle between Taft and Dewey and the role of the 80th Congress in the pr esidential election. 1948 was the turning point in the factional struggle. Chapter 4 deals with the period after 1948 and the conservative attempt to retake control of the national party. The ineffective Dewey campaign accented the ideological and strategic differences between the two factions and fueled Taft’s determination to aggressively attack the New Deal as a bureaucratic aberration in American political history. Chapter 5 focuses on the Ohio Senatorial election and the New York Gubernat orial elections of 1950. These local elections were essentially test runs for th e different campaign styles of the liberal and conservative factions. Ultimately, Taft scored the most compelling victory through a campaign that principall y attacked the CIO-PAC instead of his Democratic challenger. This contest also i llustrated the appeal of the conservative message and offered a sharp contrast to the so-called “me-too” style of Dewey. Chapter 6 brings out the local party conf licts that eventua lly decided the 1952 Republican nominee. The fight over the nati onal party chairmanship and local battles in Texas allowed Eisenhower to steal the nomination away from Taft at a time when the popularity of the latter’s message was p eaking. Chapter 7 brings the open conflict to a close as Eisenhower won the nominati on, the White House and forced Taft and his followers to get along or get out. Although Dewey and his associates managed Eisenhower’s campaign, he was by nature a conservative and many of his policies were in step with Taft’s political views. Af ter his first two years in office, Ike angered conservatives in a number of ways and fueled the fire that would eventually become the Goldwater candidacy. Chapter 8 carries the story through the death of Taft and shows that, even though Taft became a valued member of the Eisenhower

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21 administration as its leader in the Sena te, the two factions still had sizable disagreements that threatened the Republican program.

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22 CHAPTER 2 “THIRST FOR POWER AND SELF-PERPE TUATION”: THE DIVISION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, 1944-1946 Near the end of World War II, the na tional Republican Party suffered from a debilitating personality disorder. After 1929, the American public linked the Great Depression with President Herbert Hoover’s economic policies. This, coupled with the pervasive feeling of crisis that came w ith the war, had led to a burst of partisan loyalty for the Democrats and prevented th e Republicans from achieving any notable electoral success. The GOP had not held th e White House or a majority in either house of Congress since 1933 and functioned as a coalition partner with conservative Democrats to block New Deal legislation.1 By 1944, still stuck in a seemingly endless rut, party leaders set out to revitalize the Republican organization and mold the national apparatus into an effective pub licity, voter mobilization, and policy making body. In the process, RNC Chairman Herber t Brownell angered some members of the GOP and helped foster a split between follo wers of New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey and Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft. This chapter details the early divide between Taft and Dewey from 1944 through 1946. It al so shows the importance of the RNC in determining the political identity of the GOP and reveals the early campaign strategy of the liberal Republicans to promote a the pa rty as a moderate alternative to the New Deal.2 1 See James T. Patterson, Congressional Conservatism and the New Deal: The Growth of the Conservative Coalition in Congress, 1933-1939 (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1967). 2 As mentioned in the introduction, there were very few differences between “liberal” and “conservative” Republicans. However, for the sake of clarity in identifying the Dewey and Taft factions, those labels will be used throughout the project.

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23 The Republican Party has always been rife with factionalism. The GOP originated in 1854 out of the remnants of the Whig and Know-Nothing parties who united with disaffected northern Democrat s in their opposition to slavery. After Abraham Lincoln’s election and the successful prosecution of the Civil War, the party split between the Radical Republicans, a group of congressmen and senators who advocated punitive measures for the rebel lious states and the active promotion of freedman’s rights, and Presidential Repub licans who sought a quick and painless reunification of the nation and maintenance of the racial status quo. The dispute lasted well into the administration of Ulysses S. Grant. By 1877, the GOP remained divided over both the place of blacks in American society and the size of the federal government, as well as the tariff and th e banking system. The 1880s and 1890s saw conflicts between the Stalwarts, led by New York Senator Roscoe Conkling, and the Half-Breeds, championed by former Speaker of the House James G. Blaine, over patronage dispensation and civil servi ce reform. These Gilded Age Republican skirmishes were fought mostly over narrow differences in policy and personality and not radically different ideas a bout the essential nature or fu ture prospects of American society.3 The Stalwart/Half-Breed controversy kept the party from achieving a unity of purpose until William McKinley’s election in 1896. At the turn of the century the Republicans wholeheartedly embraced a vision of economic and territorial expansion that placed business interests over the need s of the common citizen. This stance gave 3 For a complete history of the Republican Party, see George H. Mayer, The Republican Party: 19541966 (New York: Oxford University Pr ess, 1967); and Lewis L. Gould, Grand Old Party (New York: Random House, 2003). For Republican activities during the Civil War and Reconstruction, see Heather Cox Richardson, The Greatest Nation of the Earth: Republican Economic Policies during the Civil War (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1997). The Blaine-Conkling controversy is thoroughly discussed in H. Wayne Morgan, From Hayes to McKinley: Na tional Party Politics, 18771896 (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1969); and Robert W. Cherny, American Politics in the Gilded Age, 1868-1900 (Wheeling, Ill: Harlan Davidson, 1997).

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24 the GOP a firm grip on the reigns of na tional power. A few years later, however, progressive tendencies and calls for an activis t government to improve the lives of the working class and immigrants threatened this seemingly domi nant ideology. In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt, selected as Vice-Presi dential nominee largely in order to remove him from the New York GOP, where he ha d grown unpopular in party circles, took office after McKinley’s assassinatio n and became a leading advocate for progressivism. Roosevelt increased busine ss regulation and his Justice Department filed some forty-three anti-trust cases. R oosevelt’s dissatisfaction with his own handpicked successor, William Howard Taft, led to open partisan warfare and a three-way Presidential race in 1912, with Taft and R oosevelt splitting the Republican Party. The eventual Democratic victor, Woodrow Wils on, co-opted a large part of Roosevelt’s platform and Republicans scrambled to refocu s themselves once again as the party of industrialism, big business, and free-market economics.4 While progressives such as Robert La Follette and George Norris remained in the party during the Wilson Administration, they had little national influence. Probusiness leaders such as Warren G. Hard ing and Calvin Coolidge trumpeted a platform that propelled the Republicans to th ree successive presidential victories in the Roaring Twenties. Herbert Hoover, the champion of corporatis m and self-reliance, presided over the United States when the bubble of prosperity burst in 1929 and threw the nation, and the world, into severe ec onomic collapse. Hoover proposed increased government intervention to regulate the economy, but soon came under fire from business leaders who believed the depressi on simply was a temporary corrective in 4 Gould, Grand Old Party ; Mayer, The Republican Party The most recent work on the 1912 election is James Chace, 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft and Debs – The Election that Changed the Country (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004). Others include Francis L. Broderick, Progressivism at Risk: Electing a President in 1912 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1989); and Lewis L. Gould, Reform and Regulation: American Politics from Roosevelt to Wilson (Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press, 1996).

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25 the economic cycle. Hoover’s solutions al so failed to ease the suffering of the working class and halt the surging unem ployment. By 1932, the Republican Party was hopelessly linked with the Great Depressi on, allowing New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt to defeat th e incumbent Hoover handily. 5 Roosevelt’s political savvy and his w illingness to experiment with economic and social policies further diminished the hopes of the Republicans. FDR forever changed the rules of politics in the United States. His New Deal greatly expanded the role of the federal government and increas ed its importance in the lives of every American. Programs such as the Work s Progress Administration (WPA), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and the Na tional Industrial Rec overy Act (NIRA) moved Washington into areas of direct assistance to the poo r and the jobless, gave the federal government supervision of a small number of state-owned utilities, and took on the daunting task of managing the ec onomy. The government became the nation’s largest employer as the WPA and the Civili an Conservation Corps hired thousands of individuals to complete public works proj ects ranging from roads and stadiums to murals and oral histories. The TVA c onstructed a system of dams and power transmission lines that competed against es tablished utility companies and sold cheap electricity to thousands of rural southe rners. Until 1935, the NRA, greatly expanded governmental regulation of the private sect or and increased economic planning in the name of national recovery. While the S upreme Court eventually ruled the NRA unconstitutional, some opponents of the New Deal believed that the Democratic 5 For the 1920s GOP, see John Earl Haynes, ed., Calvin Coolidge and the Coolidge Era (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1998), and Martin L. Fausold, The Presidency of Herbert C. Hoover (Lawrence, Kan.: University of Kansas Press, 1985).

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26 program jeopardized traditional American values. With a large number of Americans benefiting from the Democratic Administra tion, these critics we re in the minority.6 The early success of the administration restored American confidence in the government and the economy. Roosevelt cap tivated the nation a nd led the Democrats to even larger electoral gains in the 1934 Congressional elections. In the process, he launched a new era of interest group polit ics. The business community, which had never had difficulty in gaining an audience with politicians, becam e just one of many constituent groups in an array that now included labor unions and minority groups. African-Americans who had previously voted for the Republicans as the “Party of Lincoln” switched their allegiance en ma sse. Organized labor, outcasts during the decades of Republican dominance, found th e national administration sympathetic to its cause and threw its weight behind the New Deal. Conservative Southern Democrats, generally friends to neither la bor nor blacks, tolera ted the presence of these liberal groups and supported Roosevelt’ s ideas in the hopes of fostering an economic recovery in their region. Roosevel t and the national Democratic Party made direct appeals to these groups for support a nd included them in critical decisions in order to make government more responsive, but also to gain their votes. Roosevelt shifted the focus of the Federal government ex clusively from large capital interests to include the working class and minority groups.7 The election of 1936 solidified this New D eal Coalition as an electoral force when FDR defeated Kansas Governor Alfred Landon by 515 electoral votes. Roosevelt believed that he had an in disputable mandate, but soon championed 6 Alan Brinkley, Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Fath er Coughlin and the Great Depression (New York: Vintage Books, 1983); Wayne S. Cole, Roosevelt and the Isolationists: 1932-45 (Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 1983). 7 Cole, Roosevelt and the Isolationists ; Robert S. McElvaine, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2002).

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27 programs that Republicans saw as outrig ht rejections of the constitution. The President’s plan to expand the size of the Supreme Court and fill it with sympathetic justices met fierce opposition from conserva tive Republicans and Southern Democrats alike. These legislators saw the Supreme C ourt scheme as a dictatorial move that threatened the constitutional separation of powers. They resisted further efforts to expand the bureaucracy and shift federal power in the executive branch, and their obstinacy helped solidify a bi-partisan cons ervative coalition that would block further New Deal legislation and prevent fu rther Democratic experimentation.8 Capitalizing on this anti-FDR sentimen t, the GOP made gains in the 1938 off year elections. But the party was thwarted in the Presidentia l election of 1940 by a split over the proper course of American foreign policy. That year, a relatively unknown utility executive and former Democrat, Wendell Willkie, won the nomination over more prominent, and regul ar, Republicans such as Taft and Dewey. Party delegates selected Willkie because he eloquently spoke for free enterprise and argued against the New Deal. Since 1938 he had made numerous appearances on radio programs and the banquet circuit espousing the benefits of unrestricted capitalism and had parlayed his oratory in to a nationwide following. With Republican leadership proving ineffective for the last decade, the party faithful sought a new standard-bearer and embraced Willkie as a viable alternative to both the Democrats and the Old Guard Republicans.9 At that time, the European war loom ed. Many Republicans, including Taft and North Dakota Senator Gerald Nye, strongly opposed involvement in the conflict. This sentiment was shared by a number outside of the party, and Taft was a key behind8 See Patterson, Congressional Conservatism in the New Deal 77-127. 9 Donald Bruce Johnson, The Republican Party and Wendell Willkie (Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1960).

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28 the-scenes supporter of the prominen t isolationist group America First.10 This isolationist sentiment dominated party th inking. Willkie, who had joined the GOP in 1936, disagreed and argued even more str ongly than FDR for involvement in the European war. A small but influential group of businessmen with Republican ties supported his candidacy and had interests in continued trade with European markets. They also rejected the notion that Ge rman aggression had no impact on the United States. These industrialists began organi zing local “Willkie for President” clubs throughout the country in order to cultiv ate grass-roots support for Willkie’s nomination. This managed mobilization pa id off at the 1940 Republican National Convention where Willkie emerged victorious after a near-deadlocked convention. As the proceedings began, throngs of supporters filled the galleries and chanted Willkie’s name. The Republicans, not used to such an energetic display from their supporters, took this highly-orchestrated event as a sign of strength and selected Willkie to head their ticket. Although Willkie did have a de gree of popularity, he did not have an established political base and had to re ly on his financial backers to establish relationships with local GOP organizations quickly. While the party faithful supported him loyally, he did not have the familiar rela tionship with his supporters that a Taft or Dewey would have had and could not mobilize voters as effectively.11 Had the major campaign issue been the New Deal or Roosevelt’s unprecedented third-term candidacy, the Republicans mi ght have won the election. When Axis aggression dominated the discussion, however, Willkie found himself tied to the Republican position of non-intervention. By Se ptember, he had embaced isolationism 10 Patterson, Mr. Republican 242. 11 Herbert S. Parmet and Marie B. Hecht, Never Again: A President Runs for a Third Term (New York: MacMillian Company, 1 968); Warren Moscow, Roosevelt and Willkie (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1968); Johnson, The Republican Party and Wendell Willkie

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29 to secure the party base. Although he had re pudiated the legislativ e, isolationist wing of his party initially, he now used the specter of war to gain significantly in the polls since a majority of Americans feared dire ct involvement in the European war. The campaign shifted completely to foreign policy and Roosevelt, ever the adroit politician, defended his preparedness policie s and promised that he would not lead America into war unless the enemy attacked first. On election day, the American public returned Roosevelt to the White Hous e. Willkie won ten of forty-eight states, making a better showing than either Hoove r or Landon, but his campaign style and his outsider status had sharply divided the party.12 The wounds had not completely healed four years later when Dewey won the nomination. His choice of Ohio Governor J ohn Bricker as his running mate helped to bridge the emerging gap between the eastern and Midwestern wings of the party, but this geographical balance still could not unseat a popular presiden t in wartime. After 1940, however, the GOP was in disarray. Since tr adition dictated that the presidential nominee remained the figurehead, or titula r leader, of the party through the next convention, Willkie still stood as a deferent ial figure. Even though he had no office, or any real power, the titular leader did ex ert some influence over the direction of the party and held some sway over grassroots public opinion, especially since his choice for Chairman of the RNC remained in plac e. For a former nominee to maintain his importance in party circles between election cy cles required an active effort to retain favor among the membership and prevent any challengers from gaining control of the 12 George McJimsey, The Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Lawrence, Kan., University Press of Kansas, 2000), 198-199; Parmet and Hecht, Never Again ; Moscow, Roosevelt and Willkie ; Johnson, The Republican Party and Wendell Willkie. For more on the New Deal and its effects on American politics, see Alan Dawley, Struggles for Justice: Social Responsibilities and the Liberal State (Cambridge, Mass: The Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 1991); Alan Brinkley, Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Charles Coughlin and The Great Depression (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982); William Leuchtenberg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal (New York: Harper and Row, 1963); and Lizabeth Cohen, The Consumer’s Republic (New York: Vintage Books, 2003).

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30 party machinery. In these periods, rival par tisans generally worked behind the scenes to minimize the influence of the titular leader and advance their own political fortunes, making regular party m eetings hotbeds of infighting. In 1944, Willkie contemplated another nomination but still differed with congressional Republicans such as Taft and House Minority Leader Joseph Martin of Massachusetts on foreign policy. In 1942, Willkie had taken an unabashed internationalist outlook, going so far as to accept several wartime missions from Roosevelt instead of campaigning for his part y in the congressional elections. He also published a book, One World that espoused an increase d American presence in the postwar order and participation in an in ternational organizat ion. While Republicans did their patriotic duty to support the wa r, the formation of a international peacekeeping organization that could threaten the sovereignty of the United States was farther than they were willing to go. Many top Republicans moved to ostracize Willkie and free the party of his influence. Party leaders, eager both to conti nue the momentum of 1942 and dethrone Willkie, understood that a new campaign appr oach was necessary to challenge the Democrats. In September 1943, RNC Chairm an Harrison Spangler, an Iowan, Taft supporter, and strident opponent of th e New Deal, called together a special Republican committee to craft a GOP progr am for the postwar period. He purposely failed to invite Willkie. The group, known officially as the Republican Postwar Advisory Council, met at Mackinac Is land, Michigan. Here Dewey seized the initiative. Not willing to support Willkie, w hom he personally despised, or those who would curtail American involvement in worl d affairs after the war, such as Taft, Hoover, and Nye; Dewey worked with Mi chigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg to establish a middle ground. During the confer ence, Dewey spoke to reporters and

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31 advocated a postwar alliance with Great Britain and possibly Russia and China. The publicity surrounding Dewey’s proposal eclipsed the form al report of the group, which also called for both worldwide disarmament and an international organization.13 Some partisans saw Dewey’s co mments as a compromise of principles. The Chicago Tribune the major organ of the Old Guard, Taft Republicans, went so far as to call Dewey’s proposa l “Anti-American.” But for Republican internationalists, Dewey provided a plausible alternative to Willkie.14 Dewey’s statement and its reception in the press made him the frontrunner for the 1944 Presidential nomination. Born and raised in Owosso, Michigan, Dewey was forty years old when he was elected Gover nor of New York in 1942. He had relocated from Michigan after his law school graduation. Raised by his father in the tradition of progressive Republicanism, Dewey bega n his affiliation with Empire State Republicans as part of a group of reformer s working to remove the older, more entrenched leaders and replace them with en ergetic individuals who would revitalize the party and have more appeal to the common voter. By 1935 he had established himself as an able partisan and was appoint ed assistant United States attorney. He parlayed his successful prosecution of gove rnment corruption into election as the county District Attorney. Dewey’s time in the public spotlight gave him a reputation for thoroughness and integrity. With a zealous desire for good government, Dewey wasted little time in opening investigations into the corruption in Tammany Hall. He eventually brought down some of the city’s racketeering and organized crime rings and his youthful exuberance and his spotless public image won him the adoration of 13 Although the GOP came out in favor of an inte rnational group, they did not elaborate on what structure or membership would be acceptable. 14 Gould, Grand Old Party, 2935 ; Richard Norton Smith, Thomas Dewey and His Times (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), 384-7; Mayer, The Republican Party 461-2.

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32 thousands of New Yorkers and millions of attentive Republicans around the country. His crime fighting record elevated his name to the top of the list of possible GOP Presidential nominees for 1940, even befo re he had held a state office. In 1938, Dewey won the New York gubernatorial nomination. He campaigned on his outsider status, his activ ism and vigor, and his ideas for a new direction for the Republican Party. His acceptance address, br oadcast across the state, made his views crystal clear. There, he declared that “It is the job of a majority party to build, not to tear down; to go forward, not to obstruct. In a generation torn by strife between extremists and fanatics, let us have the balance.”15 This call for moderation remained a constant theme throughout his politi cal career. The New York Republican organization was in poor shape and Dewey and his associates had to scramble to find strong candidates just to complete the state ticket. Going so far as calling himself a “New Deal Republican,” Dewey promised to rid New York of corrupt city machines and to return government, and the services it provided, to the people. Democratic incumbent Herbert Lehman, however, had a reputation of personal integrity, a popular following, and the support of his close frie nd President Roosevelt. On November 8, Dewey lost by roughly 64,000 vot es out of 4.5 million cast. This small margin, coupled with Dewey’s success in winning ev ery county outside of New York City, gave the District Attorney a solid following and impetus to build his political base for the future. Four years later, the New York gubernat orial campaign took quite a different direction. Dewey won nomination at a ba dly divided state convention after the organization he and State Chairman Edwin Jaeckle had built since 1938 held firm. Lehman refused to run again and the De mocrats split between the regular Tammany 15 Thomas E. Dewey, Quoted in Richard Norton Smith, Thomas E. Dewey and his Times 263-4.

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33 candidates and a reform movement that embraced New Deal programs. Dewey ran a good government campaign similar to the one he had waged in 1938, but also expanded his focus to include other social issues. While speaking in Harlem, for example, he made civil rights a prominent part of his talk. When the ballots were cast, Dewey piled up an overwhelming majority of over 647,000 and carried the entire GOP ticket on his coat tails, cementing Dewey’s position in state and national politics.16 In the governor’s office, the meticulous at tention to detail a nd inquisitive nature Dewey had displayed as a prosecutor mesh ed well with the progressive Republican principles of his youth. Dewey relied heav ily on research and investigation and appointed numerous fact-fi nding commissions to find solutions to the problems of the state. These groups allowed Dewey a degree of political cover when he tackled tough issues. They also revealed a genuine concer n at finding at the best way to benefit the state’s interests. He moved to decrea se the state budget by 20 million dollars, reapportioned the state legisl ature, even though it would place upstate Republicans at a disadvantage, and cleaned up corruption in the state Department of Labor. His first two years in office gave him the reputat ion as a modernizer and a progressivethinking governor, willing to discard traditional Republican orthodoxy when it benefited the people and his political fortune s. Halfway through his first term he had his sights set on the White House.17 The 1944 Republican Convention took place under a faade of party unity. In 1940 the GOP had split between internationalist s and isolationists. Four years later, party leaders were determined to accommoda te all points of view. Dewey, writing to 16 Smith, Thomas. E. Dewey and His Times 345-51. 17 Smith, Thomas E. Dewey and his Times 352-392.

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34 an Oregon supporter in April 1944 said, “The Republican Party now has vitality and unity. It must now become united. It must ca rry on in its great responsibility to lead the nation.” Dewey even went so far as to call the New Deal “an exhausted and ineffective instrument of government;” a st ark contrast with th e candidate who had referred to himself as a “New Deal Republican” in 1938.18 While ideological and programmatic divisions remained under th e surface, party leaders agreed on statements of policy general enough to please all sides. The Taft-chaired platform committee tried to draw a middle ground betw een the Old Guard and the progressives. The group openly supported a postwar organi zation of nations and agreed to help rebuild Allied countries, provided that Am erican interests remained paramount. The platform pledged to end the trend of centr alizing power in Wash ington and to return the states to their traditiona l role of welfare provider, albeit with some measure of increased federal aid. Finally, the docu ment called for an end to government competition with private industry, price c ontrols and rationing upon termination of hostilities, and a return to a balanced budget.19 While the document did not completely reject the increased statism of the New Deal, it did call for an overhaul of the Federal Government. Dewey and his New York organization arri ved at the national convention as the clear front-runners. They had executed a superb pre-convention campaign and had commitments from delegates from every state of the union, making the convention results a mere formality. A group of three influential New York Republicans, whose interests in state po litics coalesced behind Dewey’s s econd gubernatorial run, led this 18 Thomas E Dewey, Letter to Maj. Luther Felker, 1 April 1944. Copy in Folder 2 (1944 Presidential Campaign – Delegates), Box 15, Series II, Thomas E. Dewey Papers, University of Rochester Library Department of Rare Books and Special Collections [Hereafter cited as Dewey Papers]. 19 1944 Republican Platform, Quot ed in George Thomas Kurian, The Encyclopedia of the Republican Party (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe Reference, 1997).

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35 national campaign. Edwin Jaeckle of Buffalo had backed Dewey in 1938 and used the election results to win the State Chairmansh ip later that year. Jaeckle had become disgusted with the stagnant leadership of the New York GOP and used his position to recruit young, progressive candi dates to rebuild the part y from the ground up. Nassau County boss J. Russell Sprague had served as New York’s member of the Republican National Committee since 1940 and supported Dewey partially for party unity, and partially to maintain his own power w ithin his Long Island fiefdom. The third member of this triumvirate, attorney and former state legislator Herbert Brownell, was the chief tactician of the group.20 Like Dewey, Brownell had joined the Ne w York Young Republican Club in the late 1920s just as it was challenging Ta mmany Hall. A transplant from Nebraska, Brownell graduated from Yale Law School in 1927 and began a promising legal career in Manhattan. He had a talent for political organization and quickly became one of the top precinct men for the Young Republicans. In 1930, he had run for the New York State Assembly on an anti-Ta mmany, pro-good government platform, but came up short despite his efforts to revive the local Republican organization. Dewey managed Brownell’s campaign in that abortiv e effort. Two years later, Brownell won his seat by a 307 vote majority amidst th e national Democratic landslide. His penchant for compromise made him a successf ul legislator in Al bany and his ability for grass-roots organization and campaign management allowed him to defend his seat easily in 1934 and 1936.21 20 Dewey and his organization kept tabs on the delegations in every state and worked to gain the support of Bricker supporters and fence sitters. See Paul Lockwood, Memo to Edwin Jaeckle, 21 January 1944. Copy in Folder 2 (1944 Presidential Campaign – Delegates), Box 15, Series II, Dewey Papers. 21 Smith, Thomas E. Dewey and his Times 121-2.

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36 Brownell’s skill for partisan politics and his reformist credentials gave him entry into Dewey’s inner circle. In 1940, he had worked to gather delegate support for Dewey in his native Nebraska; two years later he managed the Republican state campaign in New York. In 1944, with Willkie ’s Republican stock falling fast, the field of possible candidates was open to a fe w recognized party leaders, such as John Bricker, Arthur Vandenberg, and Dewey, as well as a host of “favorite son” candidates like California Governor Earl Warren and former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen. The latter two hoped to em erge as compromise candidates should the convention become deadlocked. With no clear frontrunner emerging, Brownell, Jaeckle, and Sprague worked at RNC meeti ngs and on trips throughout the country to build a majority bloc of delegates for th e national convention. After Willkie made a terrible showing in the Wisconsin primary, the Gallup polls showed Dewey to be the favorite for the nomination, making Brownell’ s work much easier. While a majority of the party agreed with the more conser vative principles of Ohio Governor John Bricker, including reduction of non-war govern ment spending and diminished federal control of the economy, most interested par tisans believed that he was not electable.22 Even Taft, who had stepped aside to allow another Ohioan to run for the nomination, conceded that Dewey was proba bly more able than Bricker.23 Well before the convention got underwa y, the New York team had made a concerted effort to minimize any political conflicts. The resulti ng lack of partisan infighting allowed Dewey to take the nomi nation on the first ballot. The Dewey camp 22 A Gallup Poll released in June 1944 asked Republican voters what they would like to see on their party’s platform for November. The top two answers were “Eliminate wasteful non-war spending” and “stricter control of labor unions.” “Cut down on federal control wherever possible” came in fourth. Bricker made these issues central to his nomination bid, but in a poll taken in May 1944, Dewey was the favored candidate of the GOP by a margin of 65% to 9% for Bricker. George H. Gallup. The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion 1935-1971. Vol. I. (New York: Random House, 1972), 449-50. 23 Gould, Grand Old Party ; Mayer, The Republican Party

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37 had outmaneuvered Bricker, who saw his s upport diminish rapidly as the convention began. Ultimately, Bricker agreed to ta ke the vice-presidential nomination and provide ideological and geographic balance to the ticket. Dewey selected Brownell to be Chairman of the Republican National Committee and to oversee the general campaign from the newly-established GOP headquarters in Manha ttan. His selection reflected the concerns of many partisans su ch as Jouett Todd, an RNC member from Kentucky, who thought that a young chairman was critical to re-energizing the party.24 Despite the remarkable pre-convention drive and public unity, the Republican campaign appeared to have little chance fo r success. Exactly as some people had feared, Roosevelt controlled al l of the issues and left lit tle ground for criticism. The economic hard times of the 1930s were gone and booming wartime industries had ended high unemployment. The military effo rt was successful and criticism of the President’s ability to lead would be met w ith hearty guffaws. In short, Dewey could not attack the President on any ground except for his susp ected frail health and the conspiratorial charge that FDR knew about Pearl Harbor beforehand. Dewey believed that such accusations were out of bounds and wisely did not make them. Ultimately, Dewey went down to defeat by a 3.6 million vote margin. He lost 432 to 99 in the Electoral College but still scored the hi ghest vote precentage of any Republican candidate since Hoover’s victory in 1928.25 The results of 1944 were critical b ecause they shaped Dewey’s campaign strategy for the next two Presidential elec tions. A report from the Research Division 24 Jouett Todd, Letter to J. Russell Sprague, 24 May 19 44. Copy in Folder 1 (Brownell, Herbert – Feb. 1943-May1944), Box 6, Series X, Dewey Papers. 25 Herbert Brownell, interviewed by Harlan Phillips. Transcript in Folder 5 (Harlan Phillips Interview), Box 6, Series XII, Dewey Papers.

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38 of the RNC in early 1945 calcu lated that a 1.6 per cent shif t from Roosevelt to Dewey in 12 states with high urban populations, or a 1.8 per cent change in seven other states, would have given the Republicans e nough votes to carry th e electoral college. States such as Pennsylvani a and New York, which had high Republican registration, had polled well for Dewey, but Roosevelt had squeezed out victories in major cities. The Dewey camp took these results to mean th at a campaign formulated to appeal to erstwhile Democratic voters, especially manual laborers and African Americans, could tip the balance to the Republican’s favor. Dewey also believed that a slight rhetorical shift away from messages designe d to woo the traditional business base of the GOP, including calls for the aggressive repeal of the New Deal, could make the party more inviting to independent voters. The Old Guard would not agree with this assessment, but Dewey believed that a softer more inclusive strategy would win more votes than the harsh anti-New Deal rhetor ic that the Old Guard preferred. Dewey saw 1944 as a repudiation of conservatism and be lieved moderation the key to regaining the White House.26 For Dewey to test this theory in 1948, he had to maintain control of the GOP. In 1944, the Republican Party was a diffu se multi-layered and multi-faceted organization. Positions of influence were scattered among a number of committees, offices, and directorships which all had le gitimate standing within the party. The RNC was the most important and most visible of the levers of power Established at the party’s founding in 1856, the RN C was initially created with the expressed purpose of overseeing the quadrennial national conve ntion. In 1944 this remained its most important role, but over time it had also moved into such areas as fund raising, publicity, and policy making. 26 Memo, Republican National Committee Research Di vision, undated. Copy in Folder 4, Box 41, Series XIII, Dewey Papers.

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39 The RNC originally consisted of one ma n per state and terr itory but, after the passage of the 19th amendment was expanded to include one woman per state.27 Delegates served four year terms, elected at one na tional convention and serving through the next, and represented their state parties at RNC meetings. These gatherings were usually held once or twi ce per year to ratify decisions of the Chairman and the more exclusive Executiv e Committee, which served as a sounding board for the Chairman and gave speciali zed or sensitive advice on strategy and policy decisions. Such an amalgamation of pe rsonalities and self in terests, both on the RNC and the Executive Committee, led to regul ar factional disputes that reflected existing differences in agenda and perspe ctive, or even petty personal conflicts, between members. Meetings and workshops c ould often turn into heated discussions between individuals, states, and even regi ons. Setting a clear di rection in such a politically tense environment challenged even the most skilled legislators and politicians.28 The individual charged with creating orde r out of this seemingly chaotic system was the party Chairman. Technically, the RN C membership elected the Chairman, but was selected for a number of reasons. Prior to World War II, the Chairman was chosen by the presidential candidate, and du tifully elected by the RNC, to oversee the campaign.29 If the party won the White House, the Chairman remained on to manage patronage distribution to the faithful. If the party lost, the defeated candidate was 27 Catherine Rymph, Republican Women: Feminism and Conservatism From Suffrage through the Rise of the New Right (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2006). 28 Two good, general works on the National Committees are Paul T. David, et. al ., The Politics of National Party Conventions (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1960); and Ralph M. Goldman, The National Party Chairman and Committees: Factionalism at the Top (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1990). 29 During and after World War II and the advent of the direct primary, candidates began to use their own campaign staffs to run the national contest, diminishing the importance of both national committees during election season. See chapter 2 below.

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40 typically regarded as the titular leader of the party and often his choice for Chairman remained in position. On occasion, a facti onal split could occur and the RNC might vote to oust a sitting Chairman and replace him with someone more sympathetic to a rival interest. Although the chairmanship necessitate d a good bit of neutrality, one group could gain an advantage ove r another since the Chairman made appointments to the Executive Committee, the Convention Committee, and any number of other minor positions. These small groups had a great deal of power within the larger organization and could tilt the political playing field for or against a candidate or group. The executive also had a free hand at staffing the headquarters’ bureaucracy and allocating funds for various programs. The Chairman, ther efore, played a critic al role in steering the party in a particular di rection and keeping the RNC a nd their supporters energized and committed to their cause. The RNC and its Chairman had a great deal of leeway in their roles and duties. In the early post-war period there were few Federal regulations governing the operation of a political party. The most important, the Hatch Act, limited campaign contributions to and spending by the national committees.30 The RNC had no written internal bylaws and operated mainly thr ough precedent and tradition. The Chairman could expand or contract the scope of committee activities, appoint special committees to study a given issue, or hire and fire paid staff members at will. Prior to 1936, most of the bureaucratic staff positions were temporary. Publicity directors, for example, came in to produce campaign liter ature and manage press relations during the summer and fall leading up to the election and were unemployed by December. In the 1930s, as mass media grew and the political system became geared toward narrow 30 See Alexander Heard, The Costs of Democracy (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1960) 347-8.

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41 issue-based groups, the RNC enlarged its functions from convention oversight to become more of a “sales” organization de signed to promote the Republican cause to both internal and external audiences. Holdi ng the chairmanship meant that a faction could tailor the party to suit its needs. Although the Chairman had nearly unrestricted bureaucratic freedom over the committee staff, the RNC had several impor tant limitations that prevented it from operating smoothly. The first was the federal nature of the party. The RNC existed as a national organization but each state also had its own individual party that dealt with local politics. In many instan ces the state representatives to the RNC were not highranking members of the state parties but rath er successful fund-raisers or elder state leaders who were given the position as a retirement incentive or a political plum. Since they were elected every four years, it was easy to maintain their positions with little input from the state gr oups. RNC personnel represente d their states nationally, but were rarely involved in high-level decision making locally.31 The makeup of the RNC had two major c onsequences. First, it encouraged a gaping chasm between the state and national pa rties. Instead of functioning as a direct link to the state organizati ons, the national structure cr eated an extra layer of bureaucracy that had to be overcome. If th e RNC Chairman wanted to send a worker to assist with fundraising in a state, fo r example, the process would need approval from the National Committeeman and Comm itteewoman as well as the State Party Chairman. Second, the multi-faceted leader ship made conditions ripe for both interstate and intrastate rivalries. A faction within a state could lose control of the party to a rival group but sti ll maintain its place on the RNC and finish its four-year term. In extreme cases, this led to contes ted delegations at the national conventions, 31 Cornelius P. Cotter and Bernard C. Hennessy, Politics Without Power: The National Party Committees (New York: Atherton Press, 1964), 55-60.

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42 but more often it put state pa rties out of touch with thei r constituents and the state leadership. The RNC provided a crucial bri dge between national and local politics when the leaders had good relations. When they did not, the party structure provided added stress to the National Chairman and his efforts to promote unity. The federal nature of the GOP was also critically important for the presidential nominating procedure. Delegates from each st ate were sent to the quadrennial national convention to nominate the president and vi ce-president. In the decades before the establishment of binding preferential prim aries, which required delegates elected by the people to vote for a specific candidate, the selection process for delegates varied from state to state. A handful, most notab ly those from Orego n, Wisconsin, and Ohio, were elected via popular refe rendum, but not all primary states bound delegates to a particular candidate. More commonly in th is period, the state committees appointed the convention delegates, mean ing that state leaders coul d stack their slates with individuals who favored a certain candidate. For an individual to win the party’s e ndorsement, they needed to control a majority of these delegates and maintain their loyalty throughout the convention. To achieve a victory, then, a candi date and his organization had to seek out and establish close ties with potential delegates and state leaders from around the nation who were favorable to them. Because the president a ppointed people to local patronage jobs, the state leaders traded delegate support for fu ture considerations and, if one local group aligned with one potential nominee, another would back their competition in hopes of gaining favor and bargaining chips to e xpand their local prestige. These local divisions meant that a potential candidate ha d to step into a proverbial minefield and risk inciting factional conflict in every state in order to have a chance at the nomination. Although the Chairman usually c hose to remain publicly neutral in the

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43 name of party unity, National Committeemen and Committeewomen were free to support the prospective nomin ee of their choice and could withhold clearance for a personal appearance or visit from a field work er in their state to stifle their opponents. Ultimately, the decentralized structure of th e RNC created numerous pitfalls for an aspiring national candidate. The RNC occupied the most public positi on in the Republican hierarchy, but contemporary observers and sc holars regarded it as the weakest organization in the party structure. The major sources of polic y-making and party direction were publicly elected officials, whether the President, th e members of the Congressional and Senate Policy Committees, or the state parties. Power either flowed downward from the White House, or upward from the several states, into the national committees, which were generally prevented from taking a clea r stand on an issue or moving in a certain direction due to their diverse and self-interested memberships. The lack of a clear authority, the need to keep the party broad and inclusiv e, and the competition among potential presidential candidates routinely prevented RNC chairmen from emerging as the most prominent voice of the party.32 When the Republicans were out of pow er, as was the case from 1932 through 1952, the RNC took on more institutional importance. As the formal head of the party’s most public governing body, the chairm an had regular access to the national press. Since he did not hold elective offi ce, his relationship with the opposition party did not impact his political future. Because the position was nati onal in scope, large interest groups that generally support ed the party worked through the national committees to advance their own agendas. An out-party chairman who utilized these advantages and took an active role in mold ing the party to fit the programmatic goals 32 Cotter and Hennessy, Politics without Power 94-103.

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44 of his faction could build the party apparatus and craft its political identity within the limits set by the larger national committee. If these changes were in-step with public opinion and the electoral base, the chairman could enhance the image of the party and make adjustments in order to wi n during the next election cycle.33 Brownell understood his s ituation and, in the afte rmath of the 1944 election, Dewey and his supporters moved to maintain control of the GOP. By virtue of his presidential nomination, the Governor was the titular leader of the party, but his distance from Washington and le gislative politics hampered his efforts to remain in the forefront of the national organization. Dewey, as governor of the nation’s most populous state, had a better opportunity to re tain party leadership than Willkie had four years earlier, but the Republican Pa rty had never re-nominated a defeated candidate. Privately, Dewey hoped to privat ely draft a new charter designed as a constructive alternative to the New Deal a nd to align the party’s agenda with his political vision and philosophy. He wanted th e GOP to advocate progressive measures to appeal to African-America ns and organized workers, including a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC), ex tension of Social Security to cover 20 million more workers, state-controlled unemployment insurance, and a two-term limit for the Presidency. In late 1944, Dewey asked Taft, the lead er of the Congressional Republicans to coordinate a meeting between the Governor and the Congressional leadership in order to gain cooperation for this agenda and secu re his position as head of the party. Taft, while agreeable to a programmatic discussi on with Dewey, stated that he was “not certain whether the publication of a form al legislative program is possible or desirable.” The Ohioan had sent Dewey a fourteen point counter-proposal that 33 Ibid.

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45 included plans for substitute measures that significantly weakened the Works Progress Administration, housing legislat ion, and Federal aid for medical care. While both men agreed on several key issues, Taft believed that limiting the growth of the Federal bureaucracy and implementing tax reductions should be the party’s top priorities, whereas Dewey viewed the FEPC and a more accommodating labor program as the central issues. To some degree, this refl ected different politic al philosophies, but mostly it centered on comp eting campaign strategies. Dewey thought these programs would attract more voters than the tradit ional Republican program, whereas Taft believed the Party needed to reaffirm its principles to win the next election.34 On 21 December, Taft, Vandenberg, Martin, Maine Senator Wallace White, and Nebraska Senator Kenneth Wherry, met with Dewey at the Governor’s suite in the Roosevelt Hotel. Initially, both sides were fairly close on policy goals, but the discussion soon turned to control of the RNC and the party or ganization. Dewey had not maintained strong relations with Cap itol Hill Republicans during the election, and Taft was not willing to defer to Dewey on policy or publicity matters. Dewey contended that he would not seek the nomination in 1948. His only purpose for the conference, he claimed, was to unite the party behind a plausible, positive program that would attract voters. Taft, Wherry, a nd Vandenberg balked at his assertions and asked for Brownell’s resignation so that th ey could appoint a chairman who shared their policy aims. Both sides refused to budge so the meeting ended in failure. While they reached accords on a number of point s, the stubbornness of both groups marked the opening round in the latest GOP factiona l controversy. Both party leaders wanted to call the shots to enhance thei r chances for the 1948 nomination.35 34 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey, 13 December 1944. Copy in Box 34, Taft Papers. 35 Smith, Thomas E. Dewey and His Times 438-441.

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46 Taft and Dewey remained in contact for the next few months and continued to discuss the Republican program. In Februa ry 1945, Dewey privately came out in favor of the proposal Taft had made befo re their December meeting, saying to Taft that “It seems to me that w ith the twelve points you men tion, a real party program is being developed which ought to be pretty sa tisfactory to the public generally, subject to argument about details and also depe nding largely upon the manner in which it is presented.” Dewey showed a willingness to wo rk with Taft, but was reluctant to let the Congressional wing set the policy agenda without his in put. He also wanted to GOP to avoid any abrasive campaign program s and present a moderate platform to attract voters.36 Old Guard Republicans, however, did not see the merits in such an arrangement and moved to challenge Dewey’s leadersh ip. On 22 January 1945, the RNC met at Indianapolis. Brownell opened the proceedi ngs with a report outlining an eight point plan to modernize the party machinery. Ta ft partisans, led by Clarence Kelland of Arizona and Guy Gabrielson of New Jersey, openly challenged Brow nell’s leadership and moved to include the RNC Executiv e Committee in the planning of the new organizational structure. These men wanted to have more input in the process and not allow Brownell to dictate party directi on freely. Their motions were withdrawn, however, after it became apparent that Brow nell had the support of a majority or the RNC. Before the meeting, Brownell had turned his attention to strengthening the national party as a campaign and policy-ma king entity to prepare the party for a second Dewey campaign in 1948. With the Congressional GOP firmly in control of the legislative program and unwilling to work with Dewey, Brownell announced his 36 Thomas E. Dewey, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 26 February 1945. Copy in Box 34, Taft Papers.

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47 plans to modernize the RNC headquarters and redefine its mission in the hopes of making it the arbiter of pa rtisan identity. Prior to 1944, the RNC did not employ a full-time staff and only hi red professional publicity and field workers for the presidential election period. Organizing hastily every f our years on the national level and relying on local organi zations to do most of th e work reduced operational efficiency and left the party essentially without a public face in the period between campaigns. Brownell conducted efficiency surveys during the early part of his chairmanship and the results showed that a more reliable, fixed organization would help the GOP to promote its message and attract voters. His continued leadership meant the Albany group could dictate that message on their own terms without any interference from Capitol Hill.37 At Indianapolis, Brownell called for the establishment of a full-time professional staff to operate RNC headqua rters, including an expanded publicity and campaign departments, as well as a permanen t research division to give the party a unified and constant voice in the national me dia. Brownell assured the Old Guard that the new staff would cooperate closely with Republican senators, congressmen, governors, and state party chairs, and speci fically called for the RNC to be more involved in creating the na tional platform. He also pledged an active and comprehensive two-year campaign leading to the Congressional elections of 1946. The RNC endorsed Brownell’s plan unanimous ly and, aside from the rumblings of Kelland and Gabrielson, gave him free rei gn to implement his changes. Dewey, no doubt advised of Brownell’s plans, sent a telegram of congratulations to the 37 Hugh A Bone, Party Committees and National Politics (Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1958), 39.

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48 Committee thanking it for taking “the most vital step possi ble for maintaining national unity.”38 Mississippi National Committeeman Pe rry Howard, one of two AfricanAmericans on the RNC, made the other impor tant motion at the Indianapolis meeting. He asked the committee to appropriate 100,000 dollars for publicity to target the African-American press, th e hiring of African-American field men as part of Brownell’s headquarters staff, and the form ation of a committee of prominent black leaders to craft a strategy to bring Afri can-American voters back to the Republican Party. He asked the RNC to advocate a reduc tion in the legislative representation of the South in response to black voting rights restrictions and called for all Republican governors to create state Fair Employmen t Practice Commissions. Howard, an RNC member since the 1920s, was not usually this fo rthright in his advocacy of civil rights. He had, however, brought up an issue that the RNC was unprepared to discuss. Howard represented a small segment of the Ta ft faction that saw merit of working for the African-American vote. The Dewey fac tion, which had planned to make civil rights one of the cornerstones of its new campaign strategy for the GOP to break up the New Deal Coalition and grow their urban vote, was unwilling to let a Taft partisan take the lead on this issue. They moved that the Howard motion be referred to the Executive Committee. The motion carried by a unanimous vote and Howard’s proposal never returned to the floor. The Dewey faction supported civil rights only when it was politically beneficial to do so.39 38 Herbert Brownell, Telegram to Thomas E. Dewey, 22 January 1945. Folder 2, Box 6, Series X, Dewey Papers. 39 Minutes of the Meeting of the Republican National Committee, 22 January 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC Meeting, Indianapolis, Ind., Jan. 22 1945), Box 122, Herbert Brownell Papers, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas [Hereafter cited as Brownell Papers].

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49 With carte blanche to reshape the RNC headquarters as he saw fit, Brownell wasted little time in creating posts and filling them with Dewey supporters. Brownell appointed Edward Bacher as Executive Dire ctor and charged him with overseeing the day to day operations of headquarters. Th omas Pheiffer, a former Congressman from New York’s 16th district and Dewey associate became Executive Assistant to the Chairman and worked closely with Browne ll on publicity and po licy matters. Another Dewey partisan, New York City attorney Thomas Stephens, headed the Campaign division. Former Connecticut Senator J ohn Danaher came on board as legislative liaison and oversaw relations between the RNC and Capitol Hill. Brownell also set up special divisions to wo rk with various interest groups in an effort to tailor the GOP program to them. Joseph Baker, a Philadelphia newspaperman and Pennsylvania GOP official took charge of the “Negro Activ ities” group. While not as extensive as the position Howard had proposed, Baker’s post allowed the Republicans to try to return African-Americans back to the party on a consistent basis. Don Louden, a former labor journalist a nd publicity man for the National War Labor Board, headed the Labor Division. He pl anned to work with sympathetic union leaders in order to draw organized labor aw ay from the Democratic Party and counter the propaganda of the Political Action Committee of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO-PAC). Organizations were also established for Foreign Affairs, Women, and Young Republicans. Floyd McCaf free, a political scientist who had handled research duties for the GOP duri ng each election since 1938, was appointed Research Director on a full-time basis.40 40 Pamphlet, “Your Staff at Headquarters,” Repub lican National Committee. Copy in Folder 13, Box 47, Series II, Dewey Papers. Hamilton’s efforts at boosting the party were short lived. Brownell’s were much more successful, although some political scientists see the changes made to the party in the 1960s by Chairman Ray Bliss as the true creation of the modern party apparatus. See John C. Green, ed., Politics, Professionalism, and Power: Modern Pa rty Organization and the Legacy of Ray C. Bliss (Lanham, MD., University Press of American, 1994), 21.

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50 The increased activity moved the RNC one step closer to becoming the architecht of Republican policy. Moreover, the appointment of pro-Dewey staffers meant that, despite all claims of neutral ity, the RNC would follo w the tone and tenor set in Albany. In March 1945 Brownell a nnounced two new endeavors. First, he reported that two new publications, The Republican News and The Chairman’s Letter would start up in the coming months. Brow nell hoped that regular and steady print material would allow him to define a s eemingly official position for the party on critical issues. The GOP ha d an official organ, the Republican magazine, but it was contracted out to a professional publicity firm in Chicago. Controlling the message directly from headquarters allowed the Re publicans to respond to sudden changes in the political climate and ensure d that the statements would be consistent with other rhetoric coming from headquarters. It also allowed the RNC to issue official policy declarations on a national basis and compete with C ongressional Republicans for media attention. Second, the Chairman laid out a plan fo r the creation of six regional advisory groups of RNC members and state chairmen to report on specifically local concerns and the political situa tion in their areas. The formation of the regional groups made the RNC much more responsive to state a nd local issues. In theory, the National Committeeman and Committeewoman from each state had the responsibility to bring these issues to the RNC, but inclusion of the state chairmen added the traditionally more active party leaders to the group and reduced the risk that an issue would be overlooked of downplayed for political reas ons. Brownell’s maneuvers were designed to sidestep the policy-making role of th e Congress and introduce a two-way method of communication that allowed regional issues to be brought to the attention of the party. It also gave state chai rs a reliable way to get the at tention of the chairman. The

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51 additional links to the state parties put Brownell and the Dewey faction in a much stronger position to set policy and ma intain their control of the GOP.41 The new publicity programs were critical to increasing the visibility and policymaking role of the RNC. The tabloid-style Republican News was targeted to the general public, had an initial monthly circulation of 200,000 and was distributed to all registered party workers down to the precinct level. The bi-weekly Chairman’s Letter however, was more important for dictati ng the positions and po licies of the party. First published on June 1 1945, the Chairman’s Letter had a limited press run of 1,500 copies and was distributed to RNC members, Republican Senators, Congressmen, and Governors, state party o fficials, and large contributors. Although its operation subsequently expanded, the publication began as a small, exclusive newsletter designed to comm unicate the thinking of the RNC head to party opinion leaders, who were then asked to use the material in speeches and in state party publications.42 Written ostensibly by the Chairman, the four-page Chairman’s Letter ran every two weeks and its bland, text-onl y appearance reinforced the seriousness of the material. Its publication gave Brownell a re liable instrument to instruct the party leaders on current topics and allowed him to control the debate and the presentation of viewpoints.43 41 Regina Hay, Letter to Membership of the RNC. Copy in Folder (RNC Meeting Executive Committee – March 26-27, 1945), Box 122, Brownell Papers. 42 Regina Hay, Letter to Membership of the RNC. Copy in Folder (RNC Meeting Executive Committee – March 26-27, 1945, Box 122, Brownell Papers. 43 The postscript to the 15 November 1945 Chairman ’s Letter Brownell specifically stated that use of the paper at speaking engagements would allow leaders to “provide a fresh viewpoint upon timely items at repeated and frequent intervals. A common ef fort along this line, systematically pursued, will assuredly build a solid backlog of Republican thinking and, we hope, will prove of material assistance to our speaking leadership.” Republican National Co mmittee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 1, no. 12, 15 November 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1945 (2)), Box 122, Brownell Papers.

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52 Over the first twelve issues of the Chairman’s Letter Brownell echoed several themes that had colored Republican thinki ng since the 1930s and laid out the Dewey interpretation on these matters. The first ed ition cast the upcoming 1946 elections as a clash of political theories Brownell claimed that the Democrats were a “curious conglomeration of economic and social reacti onaries” held together only by benefits they received from the Federal government. He contended that a Republican victory in 1946 was the only way to “end the control exercised for the past twelve years and more by the combination of pressure gr oups heretofore mentioned,” even though Dewey hoped to bring back part of thes e groups to the GOP. The Chairman cited examples of Federal money being used to publicize Democratic programs, in order to rally public support and pressure Congress in to approving these measures. This tactic was “the same as trying to br ibe a man with his own money.”44 Federal propaganda that fa vored New Deal programs remained a constant theme in Brownell’s writing. On 15 June, he quot ed House member Charles Halleck of Indiana as saying “The Trum an administration seems to be adhering closely to the standard New Deal policy of trying to infl uence elections with the expenditure of public money, or promising to spend public money.” The 15 August edition claimed that Democratic Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley used WP A funds to “buy the Kentucky primary in 1938.” It also contende d that New Deal supporters spent money on federal relief programs more frequently in an election year and more readily in close districts. The theme of the “bought vote” was a staple of Republican rhetoric under Brownell.45 Fiscal responsibility a nd balanced budgets played a critical role in 44 This idea of the “bought vote” was prevalent in Republican thought after the New Deal. Robert Mason, “Republican Responses to the New Deal realignment, 1929-1940,” A paper given at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Social Science Historical Association, Portland, OR, 5 November 2005. 45 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 1, no. 2, 15 June 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers; Republican

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53 Dewey’s agenda as governor of New Yor k, and Brownell cast the Democrats as irresponsible spenders obsessed with federa l control of the economy. The President’s effort to set the tariff rates struck Brownell as another attempt by the executive branch to reduce revenue and make the nation more dependent on deficit spending. This line of attack rallied Republicans, rega rdless of their factional allegiance.46 On foreign policy, Brownell complained mostly of secret diplomatic agreements while pledging Republican support for a reasoned and cons tructive foreign policy designed to facilitate world peace.47 Brownell’s writing echoed the Dewey fac tion’s tacit acceptance of New Deal objectives but did attack the Democratic ad ministration as ineffi cient and corrupt. The rejection of the planned economy concept was the most prominent criticism and appeared in a majority of the issues. In the 1 July edition, Br ownell contended that extension of the Office of Price Administra tion and its price cont rol measures equated to bureaucratic control of the production process.48 Initially, he argued that the “New Deal plan is to keep the producer operat ing at a loss and then (not always but frequently) make up that loss through federal subsidies.”49 Ultimately, in what can National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 1, no. 6, 15 August 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers. 46 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 1, no. 1, 1 June 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers. 47 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 1, no. 10, 15 October 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1945 (2)), Box 122, Brownell Papers; Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 1, no. 5, 1 August 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers. 48 The Office of Price Administratio n was the wartime agency that ov ersaw rationing and regulated the markets in order to meet wartime demands for criti cal goods like meat, rubber, and silk. For more on the OPA and its role in American politics, see Lizabeth Cohen, The Consumer’s Republic For a different, but equally well-argued view, see Meg Jacobs, “‘How About Some Meat?’: The Office of Price Administration, Consumption Politics, and State Building from the Bottom Up, 1941-1946,” Journal of American History 84, no. 3 (Dec, 1997), 910-941. 49 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 1, no. 3, 1 July 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers.

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54 best be described as a stretch of the imag ination, he contended that the OPA and the Federal government could potentially extend it s power to cover the entire aspect of production and decide what type of goods a company produced. He claimed that, if OPA is extended, “Not you – not your employ ees – not both of you together will run your business. That will be attended to by some starry-eyed cosmic planner in Washington. And if you don’t a ppreciate the ineffable a dvantages… you are just one of those people who are ‘too damn dumb’ to understand.”50 The importance of centralized planning stressed by some Ne w Deal supporters was anathema to Brownell and most Republicans. The controversy over the OPA grew la rger as the economy shifted from wartime to peacetime, and Brownell made the Truman demobilization program a frequent target of criticism. Brownell criti cized the pace of the demobilization effort and the looming possibility of inflation. The problem, as the Chairman saw it, came when consumers had plenty of liquid capital but an inadequate supply of domestic goods. “The nation now has huge surplus supplie s of bombers, of guns, of shells, of fighter planes, of tanks, of bombs and of warships,” Brownell wrote in completely logical fashion. “But few American consum ers want to buy tanks or warships.” He asserted that increased federal spending to create public works jobs, under the WPA formula, led to an increased circulati on of capital and made inflation a painful certainty. Price controls, he reasoned, worsened the situation, as they stifled production and profits, both of which were n ecessary to reconvert successfully to a peacetime footing. After a strong rebuke of Democratic deficit spending and Truman’s proposed sixty-six billion do llar budget for fiscal year 1946, Brownell 50 Ibid.

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55 proclaimed that these could lead to a deva luation of the dollar and could potentially wreck the economy. Brownell used the control issue to tie the Democratic Party to Communist infiltration. Brownell claimed that “Republi cans, as a minority party… have a public duty to do everything within their power to prevent the subversive left-wing element in the New Deal from dominating the rec onversion program.” Rather than adopt a steady right-wing position, however, Brownell also called for “a positive, constructive blue-print of party policy for the guida nce of Party members in the national legislature.” This rhetorical line reflec ted Dewey’s vision for a more progressive Republican Party and Brownell hoped to establ ish himself as its most prominent and effective spokesperson. His combination of anti-communism and progressivism reflected his desire to campaign towards the center and craft a platform that attracted moderate voters. Although Brownell con ceded that House Republicans had taken a part in designing the postwar Republican pr ogram, his central focus remained on the RNC and the Chairman’s office. On 1 Se ptember, Brownell had pledged that a “constructive, affirmative program” would win the 1946 election, but only if it was supported by Capitol Hill Republicans. Here, the Chairman attempted to place the RNC, not Congressional l eaders, as the voice of po licy for the national party. 51 Occasionally, Brownell cri ticized the Southern De mocratic stance on civil rights. Although this was not as prominent a concern as halting the expansive federal bureaucracy or diplomatic secrecy, it was i ndicative of the favor able outlook on civil rights legislation of the Dewe y wing of the party. Thus, in the 1 July edition, Brownell devoted two small paragraphs to the anti-poll tax bill and its likely defeat at the hands 51 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 1, no.. 9, 1 October 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1945 (2)), Box 122, Brownell Papers; Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 1, no. 7, 1 September 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers.

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56 of a Southern filibuster in the Senate. He noted that 131 Republicans had voted for the measure in the House, as opposed to 19 who voted against it, and pointed out that the 1944 GOP platform had called for an antipoll tax amendment to the Constitution. General remarks about the role of Southe rn Democrats in the New Deal coalition were actually very rare and suggest that, in 1945, Republican support for civil rights legislation was not a priority. With issues such as reconversi on, the postwar strike wave, and American diplomacy so prominen t, the RNC did not move decisively to appeal to black voters through advocacy of racial justice.52 Brownell successfully used the The Chairman’s Letter and the expanded RNC publicity department as tools to set the t one for the national GOP. His treatment of issues was consistent with Dewey’s call fo r a constructive, forward-looking program that relied on methodology that differed fr om the New Deal, but embraced its overall objectives. The Chairman’s Letter also moved to bridge the gap between the Albanycontrolled RNC headquarters and the Congressi onal Republicans, as more often than not Taft, Halleck, and other Hi ll Republicans were cited as authorities or praised for their suggestions or remarks in their re spective chambers. The direct communication with the party faithful allowed Brownell and the headquarters staff to take leadership positions on critical issues and publicize their views just as fast, if not faster, than congressmen or senators. The enhanced RN C now gave the Chairman a more stable, nationally recognized position and enabled him to craft policy for the Republican Party as the Dewey wing saw fit. Unwilling to allow Albany any more power, Taft and the Congressional Republicans hastily issued a statement of policy to counter Brownell’s attempts to make the RNC a major campaign force. Re leased on December 5 as a supplement to 52 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 1, no. 3, 1 July 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers.

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57 the 1944 Republican Platform, the brief doc ument took a very c onservative position. The preamble cast the differences between th e two parties in much starker contrast than Brownell had and claimed that the De mocrats espoused a policy of “radicalism, regimentation, all-powerful bureaucracy, cl ass exploitation, deficit spending and machine politics.” The GOP program, on the other hand, was one that promoted individualism, a balanced budget, “preserv ation of local home rule,” and a strong defense against totalitarianism. Casting off their isolationist past, the authors advocated support for the United Nations and humanitarian relief, but only if the programs “were consistent with intelligent American self-interest.”53 On the domestic front, the statement demanded a reduction of the size and scale of the Federal government, saying “Governme nt alone cannot feed the people, nor employ them, nor make the profits from which new enterprises and new jobs are born.” The proposed Republican alternativ e was immediate debt and tax reduction, an end to price controls, a guarantee of equa lity for all, and a more equal level of cooperation between labor and manageme nt in collective bargaining. Most importantly, the statement asked for a new sy stem of Federal aid to states based on need but managed at the local and state level. Medical care, unemployment, and subsistence aid could come from Washi ngton, but centralized control should be removed. The call for a needs-based system sought to provide a balance between addressing the plight of the poor and downt rodden and protecting the tax-base of the middle and upper classes. The federal bureaucracy had already a ssumed the role of economic boogeyman for the Republicans, but the 1945 Statement of Policy took this rhetoric to a new level. The authors derided the government for its “thirst for power and self53 Republican National Committee, Pamphlet, “Aims and Purposes.” Copy in Folder (RNC Publications), Box 122, Brownell Papers.

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58 perpetuation,” and argued that the government payroll should be cut to the minimum necessary for efficient operation. The docum ent also lambasted organized labor and its unwillingness to respect contracts nego tiated in good faith with their employers. While stressing the need for fair and e quitable collective barg aining, it called for stronger regulation of unions and an end to the supposed pro-labor bias of the Wagner Act. 54 The policy statement of the congres sional Republicans challenged both the Democratic Party and the Dewey faction of the GOP. In the opening paragraphs, the authors stated that they “believe that genuine social and economic progress can be achieved only on these American constitutional principles and it is our purpose to give our citizens this clean-cu t choice.” Stressing small de grees of difference, as had the Albany group, struck most Hill Republi cans as an ineffective campaign method and a betrayal of Republican principles. Th is disagreement over rhetoric and election strategy was more divisive than policy goals, as the Republican anxi ety with their lack of power grew with every election cycle. Th e statement of policy, then, was an effort to reassert the primacy of Hill Republicans a nd to create a political identity more in line with the views of Taft and the Old Guard Republicans. The statement was a direct challenge to Dewey’s leadership and si gnaled the intentions of Midwestern Republicans to retake the party from the Albany group. In the minds of the Taftites, the GOP was a conservative party and s hould oppose the New Deal boldly, rather than working to maintain is overall goals and instruments with slight modifications. On 6 December, the RNC met in Chica go. Taft supporters, generally the more conservative members of the RNC, applaude d the congressional Statement of Policy. Kelland, speaking for a number of RNC member s, claimed that “If that doesn’t state 54 Ibid.

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59 that we are the conservative party of Amer ica in opposition to the radical, then I can’t understand the meaning of it.”55 Such praise carried we ight, and a number of RNC moderates supported the aggressive and forthrightness of the congressional declaration. Brownell and Dewey clearly ha d been outflanked by the legislative wing which had refused to allow Albany to contro l partisan identity and make policy. The congressional statement presented an alternative to the proposals endorsed by Brownell, and this found favor with the RNC. The Dewey faction had little choice but to support the Congressional position or further intensify the split in the nationa l organization and je opardize their own position. In a speech following the RNC meeting, Brownell endorsed the document but toned down the rhetoric when he summa rized it to the press. Instead of making direct attacks on the New Deal and the De mocratic administration, he restated the document in generalizations of a contest between individual lib erty and a planned economic state, condensing the statemen t into a ten point platform. Brownell highlighted cooperation with the United Na tions and stopped short of decrying FDR’s actions at Yalta. The organized labor secti on was transformed from an attack on labor leaders to an affirmative that “We believe in the right of labor to organize and bargain collectively.” Brownell’s speech also made no mention of a pro-union bias under the Wagner Act, a very important distinction. Brownell changed the call for a system of state-controlled federal aid to “We favor neces sary Federal aid to enable the States to make provision for those of their citizens who are unable to care for themselves.” Brownell and the Dewey gave tacit approva l to the congression al declaration, but modified it to make it less confrontational and to continue thei r efforts to control 55 Minutes of the Meeting, of the Republican Nati onal Committee (6-7 December, 1945), 60. Copy in Paul L. Kesaris, ed., Papers of the Republican Party (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1987) [Hereafter cited as Republican Party Papers] Reel 6.

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60 Republican policy from RNC headquarters a nd promote an inoffensive platform that attracted centrist voters.56 In the 1 January 1946 Chairman’s Letter Brownell spent roughly a paragraph and a half discussing the congressional st atement of policy, and the remaining three pages to promoting a new Republican Na tional Policy Committee, which Brownell had recently created, as an alternative. He noted that the Chicago meeting had unanimously endorsed the congressional statement, but he wanted a more flexible policy-making apparatus, since “Party policy must be a continuously growing thing to meet new issues and changed situations.” Finally, he pledged the full support of the headquarters staff in implementing Repub lican policy after their forecasted 1946 Congressional victory. Browne ll’s rhetoric was meant to squelch the Congressional statement of principles and rea ssert the authority of the RNC.57 After Chicago, the differences between th e strident anti-New Deal position of the Taftite congressional Republicans and the tacit ac ceptance of Democratic objectives by the Dewey-controlled RNC conti nued to be reflected in the pages of the Party’s major publications Brownell utilized the Chairman’s Letter to coach the GOP leadership in moderation and made onl y very general attacks on the Truman Administration. Here, as in the 1945 editions, the Chairman consistently portrayed the Republican program as a “positive, forward-lo oking set of basic principles.” His most driving criticism of the De mocrats focused not on policy, but on Truman’s perceived inability to lead. 56 “The People Must Choose, Speech of Herbert Brownell, Jr.,” Pamphlet, Copy in Folder (RNC Meeting, December 7-8, 1945), Box 122, Brownell Papers. 57 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 2, no. 1, 1 January 1946. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1946 (1)), Box 123, Brownell Papers.

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61 The Chairman’s Letter was ahead of the curve in criticizing the 1946 postwar strike wave. The January 15 edition blam ed the Democrats for the labor unrest. According to Brownell, the opposition was “reaping the harvest of its long-standing practice of putting politics ah ead of justice in the handli ng of industrial problems,” and linked the Democrats with the leftist CIO-PAC. Brownell criticized Truman’s price and wage control policy, attacking the role of appointed bureaucrats, rather then elected legislators, in deciding the levels of wage and price hikes. Brownell noted rather fearfully that the New Deal bureaucr acy held the nation’s economic recovery in its hands and would continue to do so unl ess a Republican Congress was elected in 1946.58 When Brownell discussed Republican alternatives, he mostly spoke in broad sweeping generalizations. This was consistent with his desire to cast a wide net and attract centrist voters. The one exception, the March 15 issue, was the only time he revisited the Statement of Pr inciples of the Congressional Republicans. He listed the legislators’ specific proposal s and highlighted the efforts of the Republican caucus to implement them. These included unsuccessful attempts by Representative John Taber of New York to reduce the government payro ll by ten percent, as well as Republican support for the United Nations and the part y’s calls for a “common-sense” approach to foreign aid. Brownell’s final Chairman’s Letter of his tenure, published on 1 April 1946, described the Truman administration as one of corruption and incompetence, and argued that the only hope for the retu rn of the “American way of life” was the election of a Republican Congress in 1946. Although Brownell did no t agree with the 58 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 2, no. 5, 1 March 1946. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1946 (1)), Box 123, Brownell Papers.

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62 conservative principles of a number of the congressional leaders, Dewey’s 1948 presidential prospects would look br ighter with a Republican Congress.59 Brownell’s campaign stance for the mid-te rm elections was in line with the 1944 presidential campaign and the correspond ing Republican platform. In the labor section of the platform, the GOP pledged to support Social Secu rity, the Wagner Act, and other laws designed to help working cla ss Americans. At no point in his rhetoric did Brownell ever argue against these meas ures. Instead, he echoed the language that called for a fair administration of the Wagner Act, rather than the harsher rhetoric of the Congressional Republicans who argued for stronger regulation of union activities. The 1944 plank calling for tax reductions and an end to deficit spending was agreeable to both Congressional and Presid ential Republicans, but Brownell chose not to emphasize the demands for state-funde d welfare and infrastructure building programs that were in the platform a nd in the Congression al Declaration of Principles.60 The Congressional and Presidential wings of the party entered 1946 separated only by a few degrees in methodology, but more so in campaign goals. The congressional statement of policy laid out absolute guidelines for a legislative program that the RNC approved with only slight rhetorical modification. Although Dewey had tried to work closely with Hill Republicans and have a voice in the programmatic goals of the party, the sena tors and congressmen jealously guarded their role as policymakers in a party out of power and resisted any encroachment from 59 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 2, no. 6, 15 March 1946. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1946 (1)), Box 123, Brownell Papers; Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 2, no. 7, 1 April 1946. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications – The Chairman’s Letter – 1946 (1)). Box 123, Brownell Papers. 60 1944 Republican Platform, Quoted in Kurian, The Encyclopedia of the Republican Party

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63 Albany. Dewey, unwilling to run on a legislativ e program he viewed as too harsh and divisive, used Brownell and the RNC to form ulate an alternative proposal in the hopes of supplanting the congressiona l Republicans as arbiters of party policy and making the national organization reflective of hi s campaign goals. Fundamentally, the Dewey and Taft factions agreed on a number of issu es. They both regarded the growth of the Federal bureaucracy under Roosevelt and Tr uman as a legitimate threat to the American way of life. They thought that in terest-group politics had created a divisive atmosphere and that key decisions, such as the administration of the labor policy, were calculated for political expediency rather than for the nation’s best interests. The Dewey group, more so than the Taftites, was willing to adopt an all-inclusive, accomodationist style of politics. On matters of policy, the gulf separa ting the two factions was minor. The congressional Republicans emphasized reduc ing taxation and federal spending, and called for the burden of social services to be placed on the states rather than a centralized bureaucracy. The Dewey group highlighted economy in spending, but minimized the calls for a system of welfar e and worker’s benef its controlled by the states. On civil rights and la bor policy, the two factions claimed different aims, but most of their proposed programs were very si milar. Brownell’s calls for a “positive, forward-looking set of basic principles” c onstituted an attempt to move past the party’s 1920s conservative stance and mi nimize the strident opposition to the New Deal. The Old Guard preferred to run on a more-traditional GOP platform. Dewey’s moderate approach to politics caused many Republicans to scoff at the rhetoric coming out of headquarters. Brow nell’s control of the party structure, especially the new publicity apparatus, enab led the Dewey faction to dictate political positions and allowed it to work to squelch the voices of Old Guard Republicans and

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64 others in Congress who disagreed with its moderate approach. Senators and Congressmen fought with the Deweyites over the proper partisan identity, dividing the Republicans into two strategic camp s. The Congressional Declaration and Brownell’s formation of a po licy committee, designed to be more important than the legislators themselves, were the opening m oves in a political chess match that would ultimately shape the Republican Party for a generation.

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65 CHAPTER 3 POWER WITHOUT CONTRO L: CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS AND THE 80TH CONGRESS, 1946-1948 The Congressional statement of policy mark ed the start of a concerted effort from the Old Guard wing of the Republican Pa rty to regain the Chairmanship of the RNC and construct the party’s political identity. Although Dewey and Taft had reached an understanding in private corre spondence, their followers continued to differ publicly on a number of policy meas ures and the overall agenda of the Republican Party. Party control was pivotal because, with the Congressional elections of 1946 looming, a successful campaign coul d solidify a faction’s dominance heading into 1948. In the pages of the Chairman’s Letter, RNC Chairman Herbert Brownell argued for a progressive, forw ard-looking platform just as Capitol Hill Republicans sought a tougher line opposing Democratic legislation. In Ap ril 1946, the Taft group capitalized on a bit of good fortune and Republican discontent with both the New Deal and the Dewey faction to seize the leadership of the RNC. In the months that followed, the national organization oversaw an aggressive campaign strategy that led to the first Republican congressional majo rity since the Great Depression. The Old Guard Republicans had succeeded in keeping the policy making functions of the party away from the RNC, and oversaw a legisl ative session that contested many of the staples of the New Deal. This chapter will detail the Taftite takeover of the GOP and outline their campaign strategy and oppositiona l rhetoric. It will also show how the Old Guard governed as the majority in Congress. Their legislative program underscored the fact that the two factions ha d visions for their party and their country that were moving ever wider apart.

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66 Through December 1945 and January 1946, th e open split over the tone and content of the Statement of Policy settled in to a stalemate. Then, in late February, Republican headquarters reported that Brownell would step down by April. Ostensibly, Brownell needed to return to his full-time law practice for financial reasons, as his Chairmanship was a non-salari ed position. The New York Times also reported that, with Dewey up for re-electi on in 1946, the Albany group needed him to manage the GOP’s New York campaign. Dewey issued a statement thanking Brownell for his service and noted that the RNC had grown in stature since his appointment in 1944.1 The press hailed Brownell as a competent Chairman, and papers sympathetic to the Republican cause lamented his rumored departure.2 Taft supporters disagreed. They believ ed that the 1944 campaign and platform had not presented a stark enough contrast between the two parties and, since the election, had called for increased attacks on their Democratic oppone nts. Taft and his followers believed that Brownell’s ineffec tive rhetoric had caused Dewey’s defeat. The Ohioan believed that “our weak point is publicity. We ought to have a continuous conservative propaganda going on, but although there are many plans for it, none has really been successfully worked out.”3 In Taft’s view, the Republicans had failed to position themselves as an alternative to the New Deal and their campaign lacked vigor. Brownell’s pending resignation ener gized right-leaning Republicans and gave them ample time to agree on a successor and convince moderates to support Taft and his bid for the nomination in 1948. 1 New York Times 26 February 1946. This is likely the reason Brownell resigned, as he did serve as Dewey’s campaign manager duri ng the fall election cycle. 2 Newspaper Clipping, undated, Copy in Folder (RNC Miscellaneous 1945-1946 (2)), Box 122, Brownell Papers. 3 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Kellogg Patterson, 21 Febr uary 1946. Copy in Folder (Political – Republican – 1946), Box 878, Taft Papers.

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67 On April 1 1946, the RNC met in Chicago. Brownell opened the proceedings with a farewell address that trumpeted his own accomplishments. Despite the 1944 Republican defeat, Brownell had built a fairly sophisticated campaign organization to raise funds and promote the party year round. The RNC now had eleven permanent departments overseeing critical aspects of electioneering. So me, such as the radio and the research departments, coordinated the message of the GOP and broadcast it through national and local media outlets. Ot hers, such as the Young Republicans and the Women’s Division, targeted special in terest groups and tailored the Republican message to appeal to specific blocs of voter s. Efforts to attract African-American and organized labor voters were combined in the Special Activities Department, now headed by Val Washington, a Dewey supporter and former state official from Illinois.4 Brownell’s efforts at revitalizing the na tional apparatus had paid dividends in fund-raising and public presence, just not in electoral votes. Although Brownell had had a successful tenur e as an organizer, the 1944 results and the Congressional Statement of Policy had shifted momentum to the Taft supporters. The National Policy Subcommitt ee, the group Brownell had created to rival congressional Republican s for policy formation, had authored a statement of principles that advocated a number of moderate positions, but argued for more dramatic opposition to the New Deal. The pr ogram, drawn from a survey of local and state party leaders, charged that “the contro lling leadership in the Democratic Party by word and act has espoused a cause and a c ourse, radical and un-American, and we say the American people are entitled to a clea r choice between political philosophy of this Administration and our tried and true Ameri canism. Let the line of battle be clearly 4 Proceedings of Meeting of the Republican Nati onal Committee, Washington D.C. 1 April 1946, Republican Party Papers, Roll 7

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68 drawn thus."5 The Dewey faction’s efforts to choose non-controversial issues and espouse a number of New Deal ideas clearly did not excite a majority of the party elites. Rather than allow the Taft supporters to assume the chairmanship, the Dewey group hoped to replace Brownell with one of their own and continue to implement their vision for the party. As Brownell submitted his resignation, the business on the meeting shifted immediately to the el ection of a successor. Alabama National Committeeman Lonnie Noojin, a real-estate br oker and ardent Taft supporter, had first voice by virtue of alphabetical orde r and yielded to Ohio. On cue, Ohio Congressman and RNC Executive Committeeman Clarence Brown submitted the name of Tennessee Representative and RN C member B. Carroll Reece. Thirteen others rose in support of the nomination a nd praised Reece for his record in congress and his party leadership in the Volunteer State. Each speaker regarded Reece as a strong organizer and claimed th at he would be another forward-thinking chairman in the mold of Brownell. Mississippi Committ eeman Perry Howard, one of two AfricanAmerican members of the committee, argued that Reece’s voting record on civil rights measures was spotless. He claimed that “if the word goes out that the honorable, fair-minded Carroll Reece, who lives up to all the traditions of the better and the significant race but who is broad enough to sympathize with mine -if the word goes out that he is elected, there w ill be a general homecoming of that black Republican in the fall of this year."6 Howard, who had previously called for the RNC 5 Proceedings of Meeting of the Republican National Committee, Washington, D.C. 1 April 1946, RNC Papers, Roll 7 6 Proceedings of Meeting of the Republican National Committee, 1 April 1946, RNC Papers, Roll 7. The other African-American member of the committee, Mary Boone, also from Mississippi, either voted with Howard 100% of the time, or gave her proxy to Howard and did not attend the meetings.

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69 to allocate 100,000 dollars fo r a special campaign division to target African Americans, hid any feelings of racial pride in order to help elect Reece. Reece’s vocal support came mo stly from the South and the Midwest, the areas of Taft’s support. Reece had a political phi losophy acceptable to Taft, but was not his first choice. In the month before the meeti ng, Taft and his supporters carefully vetted a list of possible chairmen. In March, Reece and Clarence Brown had emerged as their top choices. Taft obviously concerned, to ld an associate that “both of them seem to want it very badly. We feel that they ought to work it out between themselves and then perhaps we could get unanimous Washington support for the one chosen.”7 Two weeks later, on March 18, the dispute appeared resolved, as Taft wrote letters to his friends on the RNC on behalf of Reece. Falsely claiming that Reece was not his candidate, Taft urged Illinois National Committeeman Kellogg Patterson to support the Tennessean in order to prevent the Albany group from retaining control of the party.8 After Reece’s nomination had been s econded, the Dewey faction nominated former Connecticut Senator and current RN C staffer John Danaher. A third faction, mostly made up of old Wendell Willkie supporters now allied with ex-Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, nominated John Ha nes, a relative newcomer to the GOP. This third group hoped Hanes would emerge as a compromise candidate between the Taft and Dewey groups, but their nominee’s recent switch from the Democratic Party alienated many on the committee. On the first ballot, Reece received 47 votes to 7 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Henry Fletcher, 7 Marc h 1946. Copy in Taft Papers, Folder (Political – Republican – 1946), Box 878, Taft Papers. 8 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Kellogg Patterson, 18 March 1946. Copy in Taft Papers, Folder (Political – Republican – 1946), Box 878, Taft Papers. Throughout his career, Taft remained careful of appearing too power-hungry or too concerned with seeking the Presidency or control of the GOP. He tried to keep a healthy distance between himself and his supporters. Here, he wanted to av oid claims that he was installing Reece in preparation of his own presidential run in 1948.

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70 Danaher’s 31. Hanes received 21 and Nebr aska Senator Kenneth Wherry, nominated as a favorite son by his home state de legation, received two. The second ballot produced similar results and no candidate r eceived a majority. After a fifteen minute recess and tense negotiations between the Taft and Dewey groups, a third roll-call was conducted. Several leading members of the Dewey faction, including Missouri Committeeman Barak Mattingly, New York Committeeman J. Russell Sprague, and Vermont Committeewoman Consuelo Northrop Bailey switched their votes to Reece. Although the negotiations were off the recor d, it appears that the Dewey group traded their votes for a continued voice in RNC affairs.9 Reece’s appointment gave the Taft wing control of the RNC and later, through astute appointments, command of the policy and campaign committees. Human Events a conservative journal of opinion, saw the election of Reece as a sign that the party’s Midwestern base “believe[d] that th e Party does not need to make concessions to New Dealish sentiment and that Truman will prove so weak a candidate and the Democratic Party will be so divided that the Republicans will be carried in on the tide.”10 The Nation writing from the opposite end of the political spectrum, claimed that the GOP was now “essentially primitiv e despite the prodding of its Western liberals.”11 The Old Guard had regained contro l of the party machinery and the 1946 elections were theirs to lose. The Dewey faction, although still a prominent voice in Republican affairs, now occupied a minority position. 9 Proceedings of the Meeting of the Republican National Committee, Washington D.C. RNC Papers, Roll 7. Illinois National Committeewoman Bertha Baur quipped just before the first ballot that everyone “knows how everyone else is going to vote, so let us proceed.” The Taft group had clearly been politicking on behalf of R eece leading up to the meeting. 10 Human Events 3, no. 15, 10 April 1946. 11 The Nation 162, no. 15, 13 April 1946, 13.

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71 Reece was a curious choice for RNC Chairman simply because he hailed from the South. Although each state had two seats on the committee, most of the Southern delegates presided over very small organiza tions that were used more for dispensing patronage than for winning elections.12 In 1920, Reece was elected to Congress from Tennessee’s staunchly Republican First Dist rict, located in the upper eastern portion of the state, and was re-elect ed for 24 of the next 26 years.13 Reece’s voting record stayed consistently conserva tive throughout his career. He voted against many pieces of New Deal legislation and espoused isolationism prior to World War II. Reece had been a member of the RNC since 1940 and ha d always voted with the Taft supporters at party meetings, but actively supported th e candidacy of Willkie and Dewey in the name of party unity. This partisan loyalty made him an acceptable choice for RNC members outside the Taft camp. Although Reece had benefited from the acq uiescence of the Dewey wing, he did not have the same freedom to reshape the committee that Brownell had enjoyed. A chairman appointed by a presidential nomi nee, such as Brownell, had a unique opportunity to remake the party into the ca ndidate’s image with a mandate from the national convention. In 1944, Brownell dict ated party publicity from headquarters and, while the congressional Republicans reje cted his activities, he caused little controversy within the RNC itself. Reece did not have such clearly defined authority. He had been elected as a result of a facti onal dispute that had ta ken three ballots to resolve. While he had garnered the eventu al acceptance of Dewey’s closest allies, a number of RNC members had consistently vo ted against him. Reece, therefore, had to 12 V.O. Key, Southern Politics in State and Nation (New York: Vintage Books, 1962). 13 For more on Reece’s military and early politi cal career, see Michael Bowen, “A Politician of Principle: Three Events in the Congressional Car eer of B. Carroll Reece,” (Master’s Thesis: East Tennessee State University, 1999).

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72 maintain a moderate position, as a series of unpopular decisions or publicity programs could result in another split and a new electi on for the chairmanship. He also had to keep the party actively working for victory in the off-year elections. Reece, therefore, could not undo Brownell’s recent changes to RNC Headquarters without raising the ire of the eastern wing of the GOP. He c ould make some limited modifications, but could not accomplish wholesale transfor mations without causi ng another fight. Shortly after his election, Reece reshuffled the RNC Executive Committee, but was unable to completely purge the Dewey influence at headquarters. At the April meeting, Reece appointed Hallanan, a sta unch Taft supporter and longtime RNC member, to take his old seat on the Execu tive Committee. Four months later, Reece had completely reshuffled the group. Dewe y supporters Mattingly, Todd, and Sprague remained, but the Executive Committee wa s now dominated by Taftites such as Clarence Brown, Ohio Committeewoman Katherine Kennedy Brown, Texas Committeeman R.B. Creager, Spangler, and Hallanan. Reece, however, retained most of the staff at headquarters. Bacher, Wash ington, and Louden all remained in place despite their allegiance to Governor Dewey. The lone exception was Campaign Director Tom Stephens, who returned to New York with Brownell and was replaced by Clarence Brown. Reece’s early staffing moves indicate that the Taftite dissatisfaction with the GOP was the direction from the top, not the publicity apparatus or Brownell’s organizational work. Reece and his fellow Congressional Republicans believed that the party needed to attack the Democratic Party on a number of issues and policies. They contended that Brownell had limited the discourse to a small list of topics that all GOP members agreed on. It was fine to be “forward-looking,” but Reece and the Old Guard believed that the New Deal had angered a number of Americans and

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73 jeopardized the future of the nation. While electoral results di sproved this in 1944, Reece, Taft, and their allies held this notion as a non-de batable truth. This partially reflects a disjuncture between Republican el ites and the grassroot s immediately after World War II and also affirms their belie f in the Republican policies of the 1920s. Rather than clear out all of Brownell’s staff and reshape the party completely, Reece moved to change the message from headqua rters using the same organization that Brownell had built. Dewey remained the titular party leader but conservatives gained a louder voice in the party organization and hoped to reconstruct th e political identity as oppositional and conservative.14 With Taft influencing the policy d ecisions of the RNC, Reece became the public face of the national party apparatus a nd the most vocal proponent of its agenda during the 1946 election cycle. The Republi cans had not controlled Congress since 1932 and now faced the daunting opposition of a majority party that had kept public support for over a decade and had prosecute d a successful war effort. Reece’s first duty as chairman was the creation and prom otion of a nationwide platform. Calling upon his conservative beliefs and the rhet oric of anti-Communism, Reece crafted a strategy based primarily on fear of communi sm, but one that also included a viable and consistent legislative ag enda. In his first nationwide speech as Chairman, Reece invoked the red specter by saying, “It seems to me that the pink puppets in control of the federal bureaucracy have determined to prevent American productive capacity from supplying the needs of the people.” So me members of the pr ess expressed alarm while others, includi ng the editors of the Miami Daily News saw this as more of the same poorly designed propaganda that brough t Republican defeats in the previous 14 Minutes of Meeting of the Republican National Executive Committee, 12 June 1946, Republican Party Papers, Roll 8.

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74 three elections.15 In the process, Reece effectiv ely recast the domestic and foreign agenda of the GOP into the phras e “Communism vs. Republicanism.” Fortunately for Reece, several recent events had made Communism a more prominent topic than in 1944. On February 28 1945, the Office of Strategic Services stumbled upon a classified document printed in Amerasia magazine, a publication linked to several Communist front gr oups. In February 1946, J. Edgar Hoover informed Truman of a group of Communist subversives operating inside the federal government, including Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Harry Dexter White. In June 1946 a report indicated the presen ce of a well-organized espionage ring operating in both the United States and Cana da. These circumstances created an antiCommunist tension that gripped the na tion shortly after Reece took over as chairman.16 These first moments of the Second Red Scare gave Reece and the Republican Party a favorable issue to e xploit, but they had other advantages as well. In 1946, the GOP was blessed with a healthy, vibrant organization. Reece took advantage of the recently-expanded publicity department a nd used RNC publications to communicate his vision of the party to the voters. Reece boosted the ci rculation of the Republican News to two hundred thousand and wrote an editorial for each issue.17 For example, his June 1946 column, entitled “Bear in D onkey’s Clothing,” divided the Democratic Party into three groups: “the racist Southern delegates”, the urban machine politicians, and the socialist-controlled Democrats. Although Brownell had used very similar 15 Miami Daily News 21 April 1946. 16 Francis H. Thompson, The Frustration of Politics : Truman, Congress, and the Loyalty Issue, 19451953 (Rutherford, New Jersey: Farleigh-Dickinson Press, 1979), 18-19. 17 B. Carroll Reece, Letter to Charles Heitman, 13 December 1947. B. Carroll Reece Papers, Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee [Hereafter cited as Reece Papers].

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75 rhetoric, Reece accented the supposed Comm unist influence while downplaying the role of the other groups. The editorial cartoon echoed this sentiment, showing Democratic National Chairman John Hannega n presenting a Russian bear complete with hammer-and-sickle armband and donkey ears to John Q. Voter.18 This issue of the News encapsulated Reece’s entire program, but his most important and detailed messages came in the biweekly Chairman’s Letter Under Brownell, the Letter had been sent to Republican senators, congressmen, and large party contributors, but Reece expanded its circulation from twenty-five hundred in 1945 to twenty thousand in 1947. The new recipi ents included all district and county party chairmen and a number of other concerned citizens. The Chairman’s Letter continued as a source to inform local organi zations and was extremely well received. Several district offices and party organizati ons used the letter to recruit new members and provide campaign information, and innum erable officials drew speech material from the pieces.19 A survey of the Chairman’s Letter from April to November 1946 provides an in-depth analysis of Reece’s campaign agains t the Democratic Party. It also shows the core philosophies and programs of the Taft wing of the party immediately after World War II. When contrasted with Brownell’s rhetoric, the strategic difference between the two factions becomes apparent. Reece’s first Letter published on April 15 1946, laid out the RNC’s role in the upcoming campaign. He hoped the committee would be more unified than in the pa st and tried to downplay the factionalism prevalent since 18 Republican News May 1946. Copy in Reece Papers; Republican News June 1946. Copy in Reece Papers. 19 B. Carroll Reece, Letter to Robert Bricham, 21 November 1947. Reece Papers; T.E. Coleman, Letter to B. Carroll Reece, 4 February 1947. Reece Papers; Charles C. Brown, Letter to B. Carroll Reece, 11 August 1947. Reece Papers; B. Carr oll Reece, Letter to Charles C. Brown, 16 A ugust 1947. Reece Papers.

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76 1944. This was wishful thinking on the Ch airman’s part, but Reece did pledge neutrality in state and local contests as a show of good faith. He contended that the RNC would not to select the individual can didates but would back individuals that state and local organizations ha d chosen. This edition of the Letter reaffirmed the RNC’s role as the “sales and service organi zation” of the party and introduced Reece to the party faithful. It was one of only two Letters during the campaign that did not mention communism, totalitarianism, or ra dicalism. The other, published in midAugust, dealt with the hist ory of the Republican Party and predicted a sweeping victory without mentioning any campaign issues.20 Reece’s second Letter issued on 1 May, set the tone for the rest of the year. Somewhat ironically, Reece predicted that the Democrats would run a “campaign of fear – [with] attempts to terrorize the Ameri can people with dire predictions of what will happen if the present impotent Democra tic majorities in House and Senate are wiped out.” He presented the liberalism of Henry Wallace (“the whirling dervish of totalitarianism”) and the CIO-PAC as proof that communist subversives had infiltrated the Democratic administration. Labor unions, along with the big city machines, supposedly set the policy for the Democratic Party and bore the responsibility for rising inflation and th e housing shortage. Continuing Brownell’s metaphor of the “bought vote,” Reece’s appeal for support ended with the declaration that “the American electorate is not for sale.”21 Reece consistently attacked organized and rhetorically moved beyond anything Brownell wrote during his tenure. Reece claime d that the current coal strike, unlike 20 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 2, no. 22, 15 April 1946. Copy in Reece Papers; Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 2, no. 6, 15 August 1946. Copy in Reece Papers. 21 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter,” 1, no. 23, 1 May 1946. Copy in Reece Papers.

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77 labor problems of the previous years, st emmed from foreign subversives not in the union itself, but within the Truman admini stration. He claimed that the economic policies of the New Deal had weakened the economy and forced workers to strike. Reece wrote, “If lack of effective legislation is the cause of the disastrous condition in which the nation finds itself today, the res ponsibility for such lack is that of the Democrat party [sic]… Such has been the pol icy pursued so consistently that it could not have been other than desi gned.” He also claimed that the administration’s policies caused a loss of industrial profits, work er’s wages, and had adverse effects on consumers.22 Reece and many of his RNC colleagues believed that workers had a fundamental right to organize, but thought that union leaders were exploiting the demands of the worker in order to disrupt the economic system. In the 15 June issue of the Chairman’s Letter Reece went further and equated labor unions with “Nazism, Fascism, and Communism.”23 This logic facilitated the Republican attack on the CIOPAC. In 1946, the political wing of the CIO boasted a six million-dollar campaign fund. Reece charged that Socialists domi nated the organization and used their resources to elect sympathetic candidates. Tr uman had interfered in the selection of several local candidates in favor of CIO-PA C supported ones, and Reece saw this as a sure sign that the CIO-PAC had a strong f oothold in the Democratic Party. “Every Democrat candidate,” he claime d, “is a potential, if not an act ual, ally of this radical group which has conducted an open alliance with the official leader of the Democrat 22 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 1, no. 24, 15 May 1946. Copy in Reece Papers; 23 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 2, no. 2, 15 June 1946. Copy in Reece Papers.

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78 Party, namely Mr. Truman.” In Reece’s ey es, only a Republican Congress could keep the unions from taking over the country. To Reece, the unions were but one vehicle of subversion. While he used a number of specific examples in his writi ng, Reece also promoted Communism as a general threat to American society. The Co mmunist issue occupied the entire 1 June issue, by far the most venomous of the f ourteen pieces written before the November elections. “Today’s major domestic issue,” Reece wrote, “is between Radicalism, regimentation, all-powerful bureaucracy, cl ass-exploitation, deficit spending and machine politics, as against our belief in American freedom.” He claimed that Communist infiltrators had destroyed any semblance of the Democratic Party that existed before Roosevelt took office in 1933. The idea of the evil triumvirate composed of racist Southerners, machin e politicians, and communists arose again. Reece argued that the subversive elemen t had duped many Democrats, who he regarded as good and loyal Americans. He claimed, however, that the party leaders had become “saboteurs of the American system of government,” and were so entrenched in Washington that only a Republican victory could ensure American freedom.24 Reece believed that the housing cris is, which affected many returning veterans, was therefore the result of a Co mmunist “divide and conquer tactic,” that prevented the government from adequately addressing the situation. Reece concluded that “at least some of the confusion now pr evailing in Washington may not be entirely accidental.” To Reece, the postwar crisis could not have happened without planning from communists and a complicit Democratic Party.25 24 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 2, no. 1, 1 June 1946. Copy in Reece Papers; Republican National Committee, “The Chairman ’s Letter”2 no. 3, 1 July 1946. Copy in Reece Papers. 25 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 2, no. 8, 15 September 1946. Copy in Reece Papers; Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 2, no. 9, 1 October 1946.

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79 In previous election cycles, the words of the party chairman would have only moderate impact. In 1946, however, Reece took advantage of the expanded campaign organization that Brownell created, and there is evidence to indicate that his message affected public opinion. With a heavily funded campaign apparatus, multiple publications, and his position as chairman of an out-of-power political party, Reece’s message was transmitted authoritatively a nd effectively. He made numerous public addresses to Republican groups and two na tional radio addresses over the National and Columbia Broadcasting Systems. These speeches echoed the Chairman’s Letter and often used similar rhetoric.26 His national audience re sponded with letters, comments, and editorials, mostly in favor of the Republican stand against communism. A Midwestern GOP official told journalist Eric Sevareid that “Two years ago the National Committee used to se nd us speeches and platters about the Red menace; but there wasn’t much interest; we had to throw them away. This year we used them and we think they are having an effect.”27 Democratic Representative Adolph Sabath of Illinois referred to th e Communist-in-government issue as the “gospel of B. Carroll Reece.” He emphasi zed that any opponent of conservative Republicans bore the label of Bolshevism a nd jokingly claimed th at “a Communist is a man who does not regard Herbert Hoove r as the greatest living American.”28 Numerous Republican candidates, includi ng Wisconsin’s Joseph McCarthy, adopted Reece’s anticommunist rhetoric in thei r campaigns. Concerned citizens also Copy in Reece Papers; Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 2, no. 10, 15 October 1946. Copy in Reece Papers. 26 For example, the “evil triumvirate” idea of racist Southern delegates, machine politicians and Communist sympathizers was used in a speech be fore the National Press Club. B. Carroll Reece, Address to the National Press Club, 17 April 1946. Reece papers. 27 Unknown, Quoted in James R. Boylan, The New Deal Coalition and the Election of 1946 (New York: Garland Publishing, 1981), 135. 28 Congress, House, 80th Cong., 2nd sess., Congressional Record (Add Specific Date 1947): 8943.

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80 responded with letters of encouragemen t, with one supporte r calling Reece the greatest political lead er of the day. The strong rhetor ic of Reece’s campaign, and the more general slogan “Had Enough?” resona ted with the American voting public.29 The RNC also augmented Reece’s efforts with an effective voter mobilization campaign to bring the conservative, anticom munist message directly to the people. Clarence Brown expanded the campaign divisi on of the RNC and allocated resources and manpower to organize marginally Re publican districts th roughout the country, rather than focusing on Democratic urban areas. Brown directed twelve field men who toured the nation, acted as troubleshoot ers in local campaigns, and had strict instructions to coordinate with the various departments at headquarters to take full advantage of the RNC’s resources. Brown en couraged his staff to launch voter drives only in heavily Republican precincts, and to form as many special interest committees as possible. Brown sought to bring in De mocrats and independents that would not normally support a Republican th rough their occupational network.30 Between Brown’s organizing and Reece’s publicity, the Republicans executed an effective national campaign. Where Brow nell had called for Republican program that limited the excesses of the New Deal but still retained a numb er of its programs, Reece and Brown cast the Democratic philo sophy as oppositional to the Republican principle of limited government. Brownell routinely criticized the sprawling bureaucracy and government deficits that th e New Deal created, but aside from a few invectives against the Office of Price Ad ministration and econo mic planning, he did not question the interventionist nature of the New Deal. Reece argued that the 29 Robert Griffith, The Politics of Fear (Amherst: University of Ma ssachusetts Press, 1987), 11; William J. Goodwin, Letter to B. Carroll Ree ce, 18 December 1947, Reece papers; E. Wallace Chadwick, Letter to B. Carroll R eece, 24 April 1947, Reece Papers. 30 Memo, undated, Copy in Folder (HB National Chairman), Box 38, Series II, Dewey Papers.

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81 increased reliance on the federal governme nt had made the nation dependent on Washington. This had led to incompetent ma nagement of the labor situation and the housing shortage and could lead to future disaster for the United States. Reece’s campaign rhetoric was essentially a call to arms against the New Deal system, whereas Brownell had simply questioned some of the more glaring weaknesses in the Democratic administration. Above all, Br ownell called for a “forward-looking” program to modernize the party while Reece believed that the pre-New Deal system of government should be resurrected. Before the election, numerous media outle ts predicated a Republican victory. The October 28 issue of Time magazine, for example, re ported that “Republicanism was insurgent all across the United States.” On November 5, the Republicans won a majority in both the House and the Senate for the first time since 1932, winning a sixseat majority in the Senate and a 55-seat majority in the House. The press attributed the Democratic defeat to Republican efforts to break the urban machines of the northeast. Newsweek magazine also reported that 42 of the 78 incumbent Congressmen given the highest endorsemen t by the CIO-PAC were defeated and 108 of 132 rejected by the labor federation were returned. Anti-union sentiment certainly seemed to be a factor in the Republican victory. One analysis revealed that areas with the sharpest turn from Democrat to Republican were suburban areas of the Northeast and Midwest. The districts surrounding Philadelphia had the largest swing to the GOP, with Chicago, Detroit and New York City showing similar trends. These areas had less union membership than the urban cores, which had remained Democratic. Rural areas with la rge union populations, such as coal-mining areas in West Virginia and Kentucky, remained strongly Democratic. Another traditionally Democratic constituency, African Americans

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82 wavered somewhat as areas such as Harlem and majority African-American wards in St. Louis and Detroit posted gains fo r the Republicans but maintained their Democratic majorities.31 Conservative Republicans a ppealed to suburban voters twenty-five years before historia ns had previously thought. Communist subversion made an effec tive campaign issue for the GOP and served as the launching point for a number of attacks on Democratic policies. This rhetorical device, however, would not remain the theme of the Republican Party for long. After the election, Reece touted the vict ory as a mandate against a centralized government and the Democratic Party, but downplayed communism. After November 1 1946, a majority of the Chairman’s Letters publicized the Republican legislative program and administration shortcomings in areas such as economics and labor but did not mention subversion. The August 1 1947 Chairman’s Letter for example, listed the communism issue as the fourth most important concern for the Republican Congress behind the budget, ta x reduction and labor policy.32 Reece’s comments on the Communist-in-government i ssue were included as part of a broader legislative platform, but did not dominate the 80th C ongress. The Communist issue gave the Old Guard a political weapon and indicate d their calls for an oppositional campaign program, but did not serve as their guiding philosophy. Reece was not completely obsessed with red-baiting, as McCarthy and others would become a few years later, but had si mply exploited American fears to win an electoral victory.33 With the election of a Republic an Congress and Senate, the onus 31 See Boylan, The New Deal Coalition and the Election of 1946 32 Republican National Committee, “The Chairman’s Letter” 2, no. 5, 1 August 1947. Copy in Reece Papers. 33 Historians have studied the McCarthy period intensely since the 1960s. For more, see Earl Latham, The Communist Conspiracy in Washington: From the New Deal to McCarthy (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1 966); Michael Paul Rogin, The Intellectuals and McCarthy: The Radical

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83 of making the GOP a viable opposition to th e Truman administration moved from the RNC to the Republicans on Capitol Hill. R eece maintained his position of authority and routinely attacked the Tr uman White House in the pres s, but majority status in both houses allowed Hill Republicans to se t the party’s agenda. Taft chaired a Republican transitional steering committee, which allowed him to set the party’s legislative program.34 The steering committee was important to conservative Republicans because their caucus on Capito l Hill, like the RNC, was divided. In Washington the split was over specific politic initiatives and not simply rhetoric and political identity. Senate Republicans incl uded legislators wh o could easily be classified as conservative or liberal, but th e leadership was firmly on the right. In the Senate, Nebraska Senator Kenneth Wherry became Majority Leader, and Taft took over the newly formed Republican Senate Policy Committee, a group designed to guide the party on major issues and promote a unified front on the Senate floor. In the House, Massachusetts Representative Jose ph Martin assumed the Speaker’s position and Indiana’s Charles Halleck took over as Majority Leader. More ideologically liberal Republicans such as Senate Majority Whip Leveret Saltonstall of Massachusetts held minor leadership positions but the conservative faction clearly dictated the legislativ e mission of the party. The congressional Republicans opened the 80th Congress with a good deal of political capital and a tenpoint legislative program authored by the steering Specter (Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1967); Robert Griffith, The Politics of Fear (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Pr ess, 1970); Athan Theoharris, Seeds of Repression: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of McCarthyism (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1971); Richard Freeland, The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1972); Ellen Schrecker, Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ ersity Press, 1998); Richard Gid Powers, Not Without Honor: the History of American Anticommunism (New York: Free Press, 1995). 34 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Wallace White, 22 Octo ber 1946. Copy in Folder (Steering Committee – 1946), Box 881, Taft Papers.

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84 committee to oppose the New Deal and what it termed a bureau cratic style of government. One point called for “Economy and Fiscal Stability instead of extravagance and high taxes,” while anothe r demanded an end to deficit spending and a return to integrity in government. During the 80th Congress, this platform governed most Republican legislative proposals. The first bill introduced in the House, for example, substantially decreased in the i ndividual income tax level. Republicans had agreed on the measure in order to stimulate initiative and spurn economic growth, the tax bill was a symbolic first step in ending Democratic dominance, limiting the federal government, and reducing the tax bur den of the American public. In June 1947 both Houses passed the measure and over Truman’s veto.35 Although the Republicans had a broad legisl ative agenda, five specific topics are critical to understand both their oppos ition to the Democratic Party and the factional disputes that plagued the GOP. These areas -labor, housing, civil rights, federal aid to education, and the tidelands oil controversy -were central to the conservative program and are important for a number of reasons. First, they show clear opposition between th e conservative idea of limited government and statecontrolled social aid, and the New Deal st yle of centralized ad ministration of many aspects of public life. While a number De mocratic initiatives were administered through local or state groups, the Republicans continually feared that dependence on a central funding source would lead to standa rd regulations that would quash local autonomy. Second, these areas were also poi nts of contention within the Republican Party. The Taft and Dewey factions, for exampl e, could not have been further apart on the proper method of dealing with postwa r strikes and mainta ining the collective bargaining system. These differences became fundamental points of conflict in the 35 Congress, House, House Report 180, 80th Cong., 1st Sess. 24 March 1947.

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85 next four election cycles a nd drove a wedge further betw een the competing factions. Finally, these areas illustrate the tensions between political rhetoric and the demands of governance, as well as the differen ces between policy and ideology, that a successful party must negotiate in order to maintain power. The 80th Congress opened with a dramatic civil rights cont roversy and gave Republican observers false hope that their pa rty would work in unison on Capitol Hill. Mississippi Senator Theodore B ilbo, a political demagogue of the first caliber, had won re-election amidst charges of voter fraud and political corruption. With compelling evidence in the record, the Se nate Republicans prev ented Bilbo from being sworn in and, in the pro cess, strike a blow to politic s-as-usual in the South and in Congress. Their tactics marked a depart ure from the previous decade in which Republicans were forced to work with southern Democrats to block New Deal legislation. Under the leadersh ip of Taft, who had been an active particip ant in this coalition, the GOP put the Democrats on noti ce that they now led the conservative forces in the Senate.36 The fight over Bilbo’s credentials was extremely important for a number of reasons. First, it showed limits to the alliance between northern Republicans and Southern Democrats. Although the conser vative Republicans viewed the overall situation as a local matter and were unwilling to intervene in the segregated system of the South, they were also unpr epared to allow open disenfra nchisement of any citizen regardless of the implications. In th e 1930s, the Republicans and the southern Democrats had worked together regularly to defeat New Deal le gislation, and Bilbo would have been a likely ally in the upcoming session. Taft and the GOP, took steps to punish the Mississippian’s gross misconduct, but did not jeopardize the 36 Congress, House, 80th Cong. 1st Sess. Congressional Record (3 January 1947), 7-22. For more on the conservative coalition, see James T. Patterson, Congressional Conservatism and the New Deal

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86 conservative coalition. For the Republicans to work with the Southern Democrats in the 80th Congress, the GOP would have to compro mise their standing as the “party of Lincoln” in order to prevent the passag e of administration m easures and override Truman’s veto on a number of occasions. The Bilbo matter, though, was a case where principles outweighed pragmatic politics. Second, Taft, as head of the Republican steering committee, played a key role in blocking Bilbo and had laid out the proce dural strategy followed on the floor. This was a sign of things to come in the 80th Congress, as Taft used the steering committee and its newly-created successor, the Republi can Senate Policy Committee (RSPC), to create party strategy and reach consensus on controversial bills before they reached the Senate floor. Taft hoped to use the new R SPC to formulate new bills on education, health and social welfare, and to create unified support for a tax reduction. While Republican Senators often disagreed on ke y measures, Taft hoped that and his colleagues would hash out their disagreem ents behind closed doors and speak as a unified party on most critical legislation. In many cases, they did. But in the five critical policy areas liste d above, the RSPC could not overcome the ideological division among Republican Senators and betw een Republicans in the Senate and the House.37 The Bilbo incident was the first of se veral decisions the Taft-led Republicans made on civil rights. In the 80th Congress there were three major categories of civil rights legislation: anti-poll tax, anti-lync hing, and the Fair Employment Practices Committee. For a number of years, the Senate had considered these measures but the conservative coalition had prevented thei r passage. While not as strong as some 37 For more on the creation of the RSPC and Taft’s leadership, see Donald A. Ritchie, A History of the United States Senate Republican Policy Committee 1947-1997 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997).

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87 preferred, these three proposals formed a fa irly comprehensive program to protect the political, civil, and econom ic rights of African Ameri cans. For southerners, the maintenance of the segregationist system was of paramount importance. Republicans did not have the personal st ake in the civil rights pr ograms that their southern counterparts did and their individual support of the ci vil rights program depended largely on their idea of states ’ rights and federalism. Most agreed that anti-lynching was an area of legislative concern. During the first session of the 80th Congress, Democrats and Re publicans introduced eleven separate anti-lynching bills in the House. Each bill went to the judiciary committee and remained there through the end of the session. Judiciary Chairman Earl Michener, believed that law enforcement and jury selection were local matters and refused to report bills that he believed expanded the fe deral bureaucracy further. In the Senate, Republicans Albert Hawkes of New Je rsey, Wayne Morse of Oregon, William Knowland of California, and Democrat Robe rt Wagner of New York introduced three anti-lynching measures.38 Publicly, Taft favored antilynching legislation and in earlier sessions of Congress had cast votes in favor of similar bills. In 1947, he did not exercise the leadership necessary to bring the legislation to the floor. In fact, during the first session very few Republican Congr essmen or Senators advocated an active stance on anti-lynching. In the House, onl y liberal Republicans Clifford Case, Kenneth Keating, and Robert Twyman lobbied for anti-lynching legislation, but the Judiciary Committee quashed their efforts.39 38 For Taft’s action on the Knowla nd Bill, see Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record (30 June 1947), 7880; For the other bills that were buried in committee, see Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record (Multiple Dates), 42, 43, 46, 125, 263, 817, 5397, 5815, 5818, 7116, 7186, 8758, 10882. 39 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record (20 November 1947), A4264-5.

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88 In the second session, the political situation change d. President Truman made civil rights a primary part of his agenda with the release of the Report of the President’s Commission on Civil Rights, “To Secure These Rights.” The report listed several laws as necessary to promote equali ty of the races, including an anti-lynching law.40 On February 2, the President transmitted a report to Capitol Hill calling for Congress to quickly implement the findings of “To Secure These Rights.” Truman specifically called for the anti-lynching law, saying “So long as one person walks in fear of lynching, we shall not have achieved equal justice under the law.”41 On March 2 1948, Judiciary favorably reported a new anti-lynching bill that included strict punishment for offenders. The Case bill was reported out of committee with a favorable vote of 18 to 8, with sout hern Democrats and some conservative Republicans voting against it, ostensibly because it provided federal interference in matters of local law enforcement.42 On March 2, the Washington Post editorialized against the bill, claiming that the problem of lynching had already been solved. The Post specifically argued that the punitive measures for law enforcement officials was a “resort to the despicable doctrine of mass guilt” and “so repugnant to the democratic principles as to make the bill unpalatable to thousands who are devoted to civil rights in the North as well as the South.”43 The GOP obviously agreed, but Martin and Halleck did not make it a top priority.44 40 Berman, Politics of Civil Rights in the Truman Administration, 67-75. A recent interpretation overromanticizes Truman’s role and motives in creating the committee, but still delivers a solid analysis of its proposals. Michael R. Gardner, Harry Truman and Civil Rights: Moral Courage and Political Risks (Carbondale, Ill: Southern Illinois University Press, 2002), 14-27. 41 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Pt 1, Congressional Record (2 February 1947), 928. 42 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Pt.1, Congressional Record (12 February 1948), 1294-97. 43 Washington Post 2 March 1948. 44 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Pt. 1 Judiciary Committee Report, p. 9-20.

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89 In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee resumed discussion of the Hawkes antilynching bill. After conducting six days of hearings in January and February 1948 and four months of internal debate, the Ju diciary Committee voted 10-3 to report the Hawkes bill favorably to the floor. Although the committee report was not as strident in its support of the bill as its House count erpart, it affirmed the need for protective legislation and encouraged its passage. Here as in the House, the measure was not pushed to the top of the agenda. In a last ditch effort to get the bill heard, North Dakota Senator William Langer attached the bill to a measure calling for the repeal of a tax on oleomargarine. Attach ing the anti-lynching to such an obviously vital issue of national importance was still not enough to save it, as neith er topic was taken up again by the Senate before the session expired. The controversy over lynching was sect ional in nature and the Republican leadership performed weakly. With the ex ception of Hawkes, Illinois Republican Everett Dirksen, who authored a bill in the House, and the last ditch efforts of the occasionally conservative Langer, liberal Republicans such as Case, Lodge, and Saltonstall took the lead on anti-lynching. While the Judiciary Committees of both Houses reported their respective bills favorab ly by wide margins, the majority leaders failed to make the issue a priority. Wh ile the conservative Republicans did not actively oppose the bill like their Southern Democratic counterparts, they did not aggressively drive the legislation as thei r liberal colleagues did, viewing the subject mostly as a local matter outside the jurisdic tion of the federal government. Their strict interpretation of the constitution and belief in federalism prevented decisive action on anti-lynching. Some Senators and Representatives also opposed the poll taxes that Southern states imposed on African American voter s. Here, the conservatives took a more

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90 forthright stand. The leadership came primar ily from George Bender, a Taft ally who served Ohio as Representative-At-Large. At the start of the first session, Bender submitted a bill prohibiting poll taxes as a requirement for voting. The proposed legislation was one of five bills on the subject, with others coming from such luminaries as New York Representative V ito Marcantonio, a member of the American Labor Party, and California De mocrat Helen Gaghan Douglas.45 While the bill remained buried in committee, sympatheti c Representatives sought to suspend the rules of the House and bring the bill to the floor, sidest epping Judiciary. Rumors of such a tactic prompted Southern Democrats to claim that such a move “is nothing in the world but an attempt to harass a few of the Southern States,” and was “inspired by crackpots who are trying to stir up race trouble all over the country.”46 On July 21, the House voted 204 to 47 to suspend the ru les and consider the Bender bill. The Republicans used their numerical advantage to the fullest. A number of Southerners made motions to adjourn, but Speaker of th e House Martin refused to hear them. After debate had ended, the measure passed 290 to 112, with 28 not voting. A mere twelve Republicans, most notably archconservatives Daniel Reed and John Taber, both of New York, crossed part y lines and voted w ith the Southern Democrats.47 John Byrnes, a Wisconsin Republica n, cast his ballot against the bill on the grounds that it encroached on the Constitu tional powers granted to the States to conduct elections. While Byrnes was opposed to the poll tax in principle, he contended that only the States, not Congress, could address the issue 45 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Pt 1, Congressional Record (3 Jan 1947), 42. 46 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record (18 July 1947), 9293-4. 47 The others were John Byrnes (WI), Frank Fellows (ME, Robert Hale (ME), Edward Jensen (IL), Clarence Kelham (NY), Robert Ri ch (PA), Ross Rizley (OK), George Schube (OK), Dewey Short (MO), and James Wadsworth (NY). Congress, House, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record (21 July 1947), 9522-52.

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91 constitutionally.48 The New York Herald opined that the anti -poll tax measure had passed thanks to the leadership of Ma rtin, Bender and other Republicans whose “determined steering…has been real.”49 This determination had been absent during proceedings on the anti-lynching bill and il lustrated that the Republicans had the power to prevent southern obstruction and pass civil rights legislation if they deemed it necessary, but matters of racial equality still carried little weight in Republican circles. Things did not go as well in the Sena te. On January 8, Florida Democratic Senator Claude Pepper introduced an anti-po ll tax measure, which was referred to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and remained there for the duration of the first session.50 After the House passed the Bender bill, the Senate had no choice but to address anti-poll ta x legislation. At the end of April, the Rules Committee favorably reported the bill to the Senate fl oor. The Republicans, faced with warnings of a Southern filibuster, placed the issue at the bottom of the calendar in order to accomplish more of their legislative program Finally, on July 29, the Senate took up the anti-poll tax legislation after Majority Leader Wherry determined it was the only major issue remaining on the legislative cale ndar. Over the next five days, until the Senate adjourned, the Democrats filibustered the bill despite the efforts of Wherry and Taft to bring cloture. In th is case, unlike the anti-lynchi ng situation, the conservatives made a concerted effort to help Africa n-Americans in the South, but racially48 Congress, House, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record (22 July 1947) A3706. 49 New York Herald and Tribune 22 July 1947. 50 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Pt 1. Congressional Record (8 January 1947), 166.

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92 motivated Democrats stood in the way. The conservative coalition divided over the poll-tax, despite the best efforts of the GOP.51 The Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) was the final civil rights measure before the 80th Congress. During World War II, the Roosevelt administration, under pressure from black activists a nd A. Philip Randolph’s March on Washington Movement, established the FEPC to prevent discrimination in employment at wartime industries. This made it illegal to discrimi nate in all phases of employment based on race, religion, or national origin and es tablished an investigating commission to enforce the law and punish violators. As the war drew to a close, several states, most notably New York, adopted permanent FEPC s and civil rights groups such as the NAACP called for the Federal government to make the emergency commission permanent. Since 1945, though, the federal FEPC had b een in jeopardy. That year, members of the House Appropriations Committee suc cessfully removed all funding for the body in the Wartime Agencies Appropriations bill, and a series of compromises between the House and Senate resulted in a small allocation of 250,000 dollars, half the amount given during the previous year. Ne vertheless, as the war was drawing to a close, Truman continued to push for crea tion of a new, permanent FEPC. Opponents of the measure believed that any legisl ation that interfered with the employeremployee relationship and forced businesses to hire certain workers violated the spirit 51 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Daily Digest Pp. 121, 158 192, 197, 201, 204, 296, 303, 521526; Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Congressional Record 9480-9738.

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93 of the free enterprise system.52 During the second session of the 79th Congress, Southern Democrats filibustered and pr evented passage of another FEPC bill.53 In the 80th Congress New York Republican Irvi ng Ives emerged as the Senate’s most vocal proponent of the FEPC. A banke r and insurance man by trade, Ives had first gained election to the New York St ate Assembly in 1930 and had served as Speaker in 1936 and Majority leader fr om 1937 through his election to the United States Senate in 1946. During his time in the Assembly, Ives took a special interest in, and chaired a special inves tigation committee on, labor re lations. Most importantly, he served in the Dewey Administration as the Chairman of the New York State Temporary Commission against Discrimi nation in 1944 and 1945 and, as a result, authored the Ives-Quinn Bill. Ives-Quinn esta blished the first state FEPC law in the nation, barring discrimination according to r ace, religion, age, or national ancestry in all aspects of employment, including hi ring, promotion, and termination. It also established an enforcement and fact-findi ng commission to ensure compliance. In 1946, Ives was elected as part of the na tional Republican landslide and became an important member of the liberal caucus form ing on the right side of the aisle. Rightly or wrongly, he was regarded as Thomas Dewey’s man in the Senate. On March 27, Ives submitted a bill ca lling for a national FEPC based on the New York law. The measure had seven co-sponsors: three Republicans: Leveret Saltonstall of Massachusetts, Alexander Smith of New Jersey, Wayne Morse of Oregon; and four Democrats: Dennis Chavez of New Mexico, Sheridan Downey of California, James Murray of Montana, and Francis Myers of Pennsylvania. The 52 House Report 187, 79th Cong., 2nd Sess. 20 February 1945. See Minority Report issued by Clare Hoffman, R-MI, p. 10. 53 William C. Berman, The Politics of Civil Rights in the Truman Administration (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1970). For a brief summary of the early FEPC, see 24-35.

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94 proposed legislation made it unlawful for an employer with more than fifty employees or a labor union with more than fifty me mbers to discriminate. The Ives bill also called for a National Commission against Discrimination in Employment to investigate and settle discri mination claims with the pow er to petition the Federal Court system to enforce the commission’s ruling. The Ives bill was referred to the Comm ittee on Labor and Public Welfare. Taft, as committee chairman, had gone on record ag ainst a compulsory FEPC and preferred a program that educated employers on anti-d iscriminatory measures but did not force compliance. Taft, however, believed that a ll legislation deserved a fair hearing and created a subcommittee to study the bill. Republican Forrest Donnell of Missouri chaired the group, which included Ives, Smith, Murray, and Louisiana Democrat Allen Ellender. In June and July, the subc ommittee held nine days of hearings and heard testimony from 49 witnesses. On February 5, the Committee voted 7 to 5 to report the bill to the Senate favorably. Ta ft and fellow conservative Joseph Ball of Minnesota aligned themselves with the se gregationists and voted against the bill, along with Ellender and Alabama Senator List er Hill. Florida’s Claude Pepper, an initial supporter of the meas ure, voted against it because it was limited to matters of employment only. Pepper wanted an FEPC th at addressed social concerns as well.54 Conservative Republicans in the House agreed with their ideological counterparts in the Senate and failed to s ee the need for a new FEPC. Although nearly twenty FEPC bills were introduced in th e House, none made if through the House Labor Committee. The opposition of conservative Republicans was rooted in both federalism and a genuine lack of concern. House Speaker Joseph Martin, in a moment of political honesty, told a group of African-American Republican leaders that “The 54 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Senate Report 951. Pt. 2, 1-16.

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95 FEPC plank in the 1944 Republican platform was a bid for the Negro vote, and they did not accept the bid. They went out and voted for Roosevelt. I’ll be frank with you. We are not going to pass an FEPC bill.” He went on to say that industrialists from the North and Midwest would term inate their party contributions if the GOP created a new FEPC. The party also could not afford to alienate Southern Democrats, whose votes were necessary to pass the ambitious labor legislation propos ed by conservative Republicans.55 Therefore, the FEPC remained a d ead issue for the remainder of the 80th Congress. The Republican response to the civil rights initiatives proposed in the 80th Congress highlighted the priorities and wo rldview of the party leadership. Taft, Wherry, and other conservati ves in the Senate supported two of the four measures proposed: the blocking of Senator Bilbo and th e anti-poll tax law. Some of their more strident colleagues in the House, such as Da niel Reed, rejected the anti-poll tax bill on the grounds that it interfered with the right for a state to hold its own elections. For Taft specifically, the line was drawn thr ough his interpretation of the Constitution. On the Bilbo matter, Taft believed that the Senate clearly had the right to exclude the Mississippian because of Congress’s power to determine the qualifications of its members. The anti-poll tax measure, according to Taft, fell under the Congressional duty to uphold the 15th Amendment. Taft did not feel compelled to aggressi vely push the anti-lynching law to the top of the Senate calendar because of the questi ons regarding the right of states to conduct trials with local juries, although he had s upported anti-lynching legi slation in previous sessions. The FEPC bill challenged what wa s, to Taft, a fundamental right of employers: the ability to recruit and select the workforce of their choice. In the 55 Pittsburgh Courier, 4 January 1947, quoted in Berman, Politics of Civil Rights in the Truman Administration 59.

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96 Senator’s mind, the need to limit and restri ct the federal government’s place in the free market economy superseded the need to protect employees from discrimination, especially after the increased production a nd market regulation that had occurred under the New Deal and the Office of Price Administration. This notion of “economic States’ rights” also had the practical advantage of allowing Taft to maintain the working relationship between conservative Republicans and segregationists in the Senate. Regardless of their reasoning, the fa ilure of the Republican majority to adopt any of these bills stood as one of the greatest failures of the 80th Congress The debates and voting records of Repub licans on civil righ ts issues also highlighted the division between the GOP f actions. While Taft and his cohort were willing to support certain civil rights bills, a number of Republican Senators, including Ives, Aiken, Morse, Lodge, Sa ltonstall, Langer, Charles Tobey of New Hampshire and Alexander Smith of New Je rsey, endorsed them all. They actively worked with western and Midwestern De mocrats to sponsor a number of these measures and voted for their passage. At firs t glance, this appears to be a fairly solid ideological and geographical split, with northeastern and some Western senators backing civil rights and Midw esterners rejecting it. When other bills and policy issues are taken into consideration, however, the gulf between the Re publicans was not as rigid. More often than not, the Republican s lined up solidly behind Taft on critical votes. Taft was the most visible Old Guard Republican on Capitol Hill and, through his positions as head of the RSPC and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, played a key role in advancing the Republican agenda. Taft had taken these posts so that he coul d directly oversee what he believed were the most pressing concerns facing the nation. This committee assignment in particular gave him a critical role in not only th e FEPC but also in housing, education, and

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97 labor. Taft’s leadership decisions reveal the gradations of difference between the Republican factions, and the re alities of practical politics.56 The conservative response to the pos twar strike wave was the most controversial subject of the 80th Congress. Since the passage of the Wagner Act in 1935, Republicans had called for tougher labor legislation to curtail the power of unions, but wartime emergencies and their own minority status had prevented action. During the transition period between the 79th and 80th Congresses, Taft chaired the Republican Steering Committee Subcommitt ee on Labor Legislation. The four man panel, made up of Taft, Minnesotan Joseph Ball, Morse, and Smith of New Jersey, rejected any calls for an open and far-reachi ng investigation of th e labor situation and voted to draft specific legislation. The la bor group believed that the Republicans had two specific duties in the upcoming Congress: to provide what it saw as a better balance between management and employees in labor relations, and to end the postwar wave of industrial strikes. These issues were critical to their industrial constituents and party donors. Possible solutions included creating a new Federal mediation board, scrapping and overhauli ng the Wagner Act, outlawing the closed shop, establishing the compulso ry adjudication of labor disputes, and passing a new anti-monopoly statute to apply exclusively to labor unions.57 As a result, the 80th Congress opened with a wave of labor legislation. Out of these bills, H.R. 3020 and S. 1126 emerge d as the favorites in their respective chambers. The Chairmen of the Labor Committees, Taft and New Jersey Representative Fred Hartley, both favore d strong labor legislation. The House took the lead on the labor issue, reportedly because Taft could not “control his committee” 56 Ritchie, A History of the United States Senate Republican Policy Committee 1-30. 57 “Report of Republican Steering Committee Subcommittee on Labor Legislation,” Undated, Copy in Box 672, Taft Papers.

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98 due to the presence of liberal Republican s Morse, Smith, and Tobey. Taft asked Majority Leader Charles Halleck for “tradi ng stock” and wanted the House to pass a bill that was stronger than n ecessary so that it could be weakened in the name of compromise and still be sa tisfactory in Taft’s mind.58 The House passed the Hartley Act after six hours of debate by a vote of 308 to 107. The Senate Labor Committee narrowly approved the Taft bill after Ives and Morse submitted a number of amendments to weaken or split the bill, re flecting the moderately pro-labor stance of the liberal Republicans. The full Senate pass ed the measure after ten days of debate by an overwhelming 68-24 majority. The language in the House and Senate bi lls differed widely. After a conference committee agreed on provisions, the resulti ng Taft-Hartley Act emerged weaker than the initial House bill but still modified th e current Federal system of labor mediation drastically. The bill reversed several key pr inciples of the Wagner Act. It permitted the states to outlaw all forms of union s ecurity, prohibited secondary boycotts, and by allowed states to create “right to work” laws. The law also required selected union officials to sign an affidavit confirming that they were not memb ers of the Communist Party or else lose access to the servic es of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). This would make their organizations vulnerable to raids from rival unions. These measures reinforced government re gulation of labor unions and arguably placed organized labor on an equal footing with management in dealings with the NLRB.59 Both chambers passed the new legisla tion by similar margins in late June 58 Charles Halleck, Interview by Thom as Soapes, 26 April 1977. Transcript in Dwight D. Eisnehower Library, Abilene, KS. 59 R. Alton Lee, Truman and Taft-Hartley: A Question of Mandate (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1966).

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99 1947.60 Truman, who had campaigned on a continuation of the Wagner Act, vetoed Taft-Hartley, but two-thir ds of both Houses voted to override the veto.61 In contrast to the divisions that mark ed their response to many other measures, the Republicans showed excellent party cohe siveness on Taft-Hartl ey after it reached the floor. Taft had used the RSPC to hamme r out a compromise outside of the Labor Committee in order to garner the support of the pro-labor Republicans. As a result, Saltonstall, Lodge, Aiken, Smith, and Ives s upported the measure. Ives, who had been Dean of Cornell’s School of Industrial Rela tions before his election in 1946, worked in committee to make the Taft bill more palatable to labor and eventually supported it with some reservations. Iv es had publicly voiced his opi nion against the labor bill early on, prompting some GOP supporters to lambaste the New Yorker and the prolabor stance of Governor De wey. Close Dewey supporters were well aware of this and saw Ives’ initial opposition to Taft-Hartley as a liability for th emselves. On April 15, Brownell wrote to Dewey saying “it is very important for Ives, having made his fight in the Labor Committee, to be governed on the floor by the action of the Republican conference. I also think it is important enough for you to call Ives before the Bill is debated on the Senate floor.”62 Dewey was aware that a majority of Americans supported the Taft-Hartley Act and Brownell wanted the governor to reign in his associate, lest the poli tical blowback affect their chances in 1948. The voters also questioned Ives’s actions One Dewey contributor believed that Ives was acting counter to the Republican electoral mandate, saying “Any individual of forty years or more who fails to rec ognize the meaning of the 1946 election results 60 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record (3 June 1947), 6361-6393. 61 Congress, Senate. 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record (20-23 June 1947), 7538-9, 7485-9. 62 Herbert Brownell, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey, 15 April 1947. Copy in Folder 8 (Dewey Correspondence), Box 40, Series II, Dewey Papers.

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100 seems to me to be entitled to sympathetic consideration,” a polit e way of saying that Ives needed psychiatri c attention for ignoring the conservative mandate.63 A Taft supporter had also written to the Ohioan expressing displeasure on Ives’ early stance on Taft-Hartley, prompting Taft to respond “I don’t think Tom Dewey is responsible for Ives’ labor philosophy, but I feel quite certain that he has not done anything to assist in getting the labor bill through which will meet general Republican approval.64 Langer, Morse, and Nevada’s George Ma lone were the only Republicans to vote against the bill. The overall vote reflects both the public apprehension with postwar labor relations and Taft’s intense desire to take a stand against the New Deal and its pro-union stance.65 The Taft-Hartley Act also divided th e Congressional Republicans further from the staff at RNC Headquarters, despite the f act that a conservative and former member of the House was RNC Chairman. Since 1946, Donald Louden, head of the RNC’s Labor Division and a Brownell appointee, had been secretly negotiating with officials of the American Federation of Labor to secure their support of a moderate labor program that strengthened the Wagner Ac t. In February 1947, Louden wrote to Brownell lamenting the fact that neither the House nor Senate Labor Committee staff had contacted Republican headquarters for advice. Reece had tried to secure a position on one of the labor committees for Louden, but Taft and Ha rtley refused even to interview him. 63 Daniel Farnsworth, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey, 24 April 1947. Copy in Folder 12 (Irving Ives, April 1947), Box 94, Series II, Dewey Papers. This file is filled with letters expressing similar sentiments. 64 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Burrell Wright, 26 Apr il 1947 Copy in Folder (Political – 1947), Box 890, Taft Papers. 65 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record (13 May 1947), 5117.

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101 One month later, Louden had worked out a deal where George Meany and other AFL executives would sit down with the GOP leadership and work out an amicable solution, but Taft and Hartley refused to meet with any union leaders. Meany, according to Louden, regarded the House Labor Committee as “disgusting and vicious,” but hoped that the Senate would listen to his case. Meany confided in Louden that any strict labor legislation passed by the Republicans would elicit a Truman veto, making the President a martyr on behalf of organized labor and prevent the unions and the Republican s from ever working together again. Louden noted that Meany was partial to Dewey over Taft due to New York’s positive record of labor relations, but would be forced to support the Democrats if the laws passed were as tough as the rhetoric coming from Capitol Hill.66 By September, Louden was toeing the party line and producing literature that defended the Taft-Hartley Act, but noted that such policy had been “handed to us from the Hill.”67 The factional split divided Republicans on the labor issue and Dewey’s ma n in the RNC had been frozen out of affecting policy change by th e congressional Republicans. The strike wave was one major issue the GOP faced in the 80th Congress. Another was the severe collapse in the nation’s housing markets. The sudden relocation of thousands of workers from ru ral districts to wartime industrial centers, coupled with a crush of returning veterans strained American housing capacity. The need for raw materials to prosecute th e war had prevented home builders from constructing an adequate supply of home s and the economic rebuilding of Europe further diminished available building s upplies. The government had funded public 66 Donald Louden, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 7 February 1947. Copy in Dewey Papers, Folder 16 (Labor), Box 42, Series II, Dewey Papers; Donald Louden, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 6 March 1947. Copy in Folder 16 (Labor), Box 42, Series II, Dewey Papers. 67 Donald Louden, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 5 September 1947. Copy in Folder 7 (Taft-Hartley Act), Box 49, Series II, Dewey Papers.

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102 housing developments as part of the Ne w Deal program and Republicans had made efforts since 1937 to limit the total dollar am ount devoted to housing as part of their quest for a balanced budget and a fisca lly responsible government, but now the demand for new units far surpassed the nation’s ability to create them.68 In 1936, Taft entered the Senate as an opponent of public housing but, as the war progressed and he studied the housi ng situation, he soon advocated increased subsidies to alleviate the crisis-level shorta ge. He preferred government loans to direct allocations and, in a speech before the Na tional Association of Housing Officials on February 24 1943, Taft argued that “it is obvi ous that any plan should provide that housing be supplied as far as possible by private industry, and government action authorized only in fields where successful results from private industry can no longer be expected.”69 During the 79th and 80th Congress, Taft worked with Ellender and New York Senator Robert Wagner to author a bill that consolidated existing housing organizations into a new National Housing Authority, expanded the lending powers of Federal home loan banks, strengthened the cu rrent system of mortgage insurance, and authorized loans and allocations of over 570 million dollars to go to municipalities to boost private and public development. The bill also authorized the sale of temporary wartime housing to municipalities to be converted into low-income housing.70 In the 79th Congress, the Senate passe d the legislation without a vote, but the House buried the bill in the Committee on Banking and Currency.71 68 Robert A. Taft, Statement, undated. Copy in Folder (Housing 1937-1940), Box 637, Taft Papers. 69 Robert A. Taft, Speech to the National Associa tion of Housing Officials, Richmond, VA., 24 February 1943. Copy in Folder (Housing 1944), Box 637, Taft Papers. 70 Congress, Senate, 79th Cong., 1st Sess., Digest of General Public Bills (1947), 76-8 71 Congress, Senate, 79th Cong., 2nd Sess., (15-16 April 1946), 3701, 3827.

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103 At the start of the 80th Congress, the proponents of public housing reintroduced their bill to the Senate Banking and Cu rrency Committee, now chaired by Charles Tobey of New Hampshire. After several se ssions of hearings, the bill was reported favorably to the Senate. Tobey contended in the report accompanying the bill that “There is no legislation before the Congre ss or seriously proposed which will enable us to meet the housing situation more qui ckly or more effectively than [WagnerEllender-Taft].”72 Wagner-Ellender-Taft passed by voice vote and went to the House, where it met its demise. A similar version had been submitted by New York Representative and Dewey associate J acob Javits, but Banking and Currency Committee Chairman Daniel Reed had kept the bill in committee as a testimony to his absolute devotion to free enterp rise. The second session of the 80th Congress ended just as the previous one had: with no action taken on public housing. The archconservatives in the House had, once again, rejected any expansion of the Federal bureaucracy and refused to author ize additional federal spending. Taft showed a degree of independence fr om his Old Guard colleagues with his advocacy of federal subsidies for housing de velopment. His support for federal aid to education also went against the strict conservative line of thought. Funding for education had been inadequate in a number of states and Congress had made small efforts to improve the situation with a progr am of direct financial support to augment state public school funding. In the 79th Congress, a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare hear d testimony on a series of aid measures and, as a result, modified an existing bill in to the Thomas-Hill-Taf t Bill. Sponsored by Taft and Democrats Lister Hill of Alabama and Elbert Thomas of Utah, the legislation was drafted with the assistance of the National Education Association and liberal 72 Congress, House, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., House Report 1564, 15 March 1948.

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104 Republicans Wayne Morse and George Aiken.73 Known as the Educational Finance Act of 1945, it called for an initial allocation of 150 million for 1947, ramping up to 250 million for each of the next twenty-four years. States that could not meet a minimum spending threshold were eligible for a portion of the funds. Thomas-HillTaft, reflecting the influence of Hill and Taft who believed that schools should be administered through local autonomy, made no effort to desegregate the public schools of the South.74 The Senate did not consider th e bill before the session expired, and similar measures in the House failed to come out of committee. Taft took up the public education fight in the 80th Congress. As Chairman of the Labor and Public Welfare Committee, he ove rsaw hearings on a number of proposed measures and on April 21, 1947 favorably reported an educational finance measure to the Senate. The House Subcommittee on Educ ation and Labor also held hearings on several proposed education bills, most notably H.R. 2953, a companion bill to Thomas-Hill-Taft, but pigeonholed all fede ral aid to education measures. Taft, however, shepherded his legislation thr ough the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee. The version of the federal aid pa ckage that Taft reported to the Senate was similar to that of the 79th Congress but included many me asures to guarantee that states would maintain control of their e ducational systems. A specific title mandated that “No Federal agency or officer shall ex ercise any control over any school or any State educational institution or agency with respect to which funds are made available under this act.”75 Taft, who abhorred bureaucratic expansion, included this provision 73 Marjorie Shearon, Memo to “Senators Aiken, Morse, and Ball,” 28 April 1945. Copy in Folder (Education, Federal Aid to – 1945), Box 537, Taft Papers. 74 For text of bill, see Congress, Senate, 79th Cong., 1st Sess., Digest of General Public Bills (1945); Senate Report 1497, 79th Cong. 2nd Sess. 5 March 1946. Quotation on page 21. 75 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Digest of General Public Bills (1947), xv.

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105 to make the bill more palatable to his cons ervative colleagues and also to ease his own conscience. In late March, the Senate took up the committee bill and Taft led the debate. After five days of intense discourse, the bill passed on 1 April by a vote of 58 to 22. The vote did not reflect a clear cut ideo logical divide. Libe ral Republican Henry Cabot Lodge, for example, opposed the bill. Some of the most conservative senators such as Homer Capeheart of Indiana and K nowland, also came out in favor of the bill, as did Southern Democrats from poorer states such as James O. Eastland of Mississippi. After a short-lived victory celebration, the bill went to the House, where it was promptly tabled by the House Education and Labor Committee.76 Taft’s support for federal aid to educa tion was not a total surrender of his idea of the traditional separation of powers. He reasoned that, since the federal government had supported education through land grants, loans, and specialized funding to certain types of educational facilities, such as technical schools, ad ditional support was appropriate and did not violate the Cons titution. Taft’s bill did not create any additional bureaucracy and left enforcemen t of the mandates to the federal court system. The acts also provided a minimum floor for education spending that meant states would have to contribute and w ould not receive federal funds unless they contributed a prescribed amount States that failed to do so were not eligible for funding. During the floor debate on the bill, Ta ft argued that a larg e number of federal programs had been abused simply because the lax wording of the enabling legislation. This bill, he contended, ha d been written to prevent such misinterpretation. Taft also believed that Congress had a ri ght to assist in local matters when the states could not adequately meet the need s of the people. Conservative Republicans 76 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Congressional Record (24 March – 1April 1946), 33463958.

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106 disagreed with Taft’s stance on federal education spending and publicly harangued the Ohioan in the press. Taft, however, had written the bill with his fundamental belief in States’ rights and limited government in mind. He refused to turn a blind eye to social problems in the nation and work ed for a proposal that would benefit the states without making the nation further dependent on Washington. Taft refused to take up any of the desegregation proposals vetted during the hearings process as he viewed the establishment and management of public schools a lo cal matter. Spending safeguards in Thomas-Hill-Taft were designe d to prevent racially-biased spending in the South, but Taft would not advocate a ny provision that went beyond the Supreme Court’s “Separate but Equal” doctrine.77 Taft’s support of the measure did earn him the backing of the educa tion lobby, and the NEA openly endorsed Taft in the 1948 Presidential primaries.78 The failure to adopt public housing and fe deral education legislation highlights the complexity of the ideological di vide among Republicans on Capitol Hill. Republicans who supported these measures fell on both sides of the conservative liberal split. Taft, the most visible me mber of the Old Guard wing, aggressively pushed Wagner-Ellender-Taft through the Senate, overcoming objections from those who favored a system that promoted private solutions.79 Liberal Republicans like Henry Cabot Lodge supported public housi ng but voted against Hill-Thomas-Taft. 77 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Congressional Record, 3349. When Senator Forrest Donnell questioned Taft’s interpretation of the general welfare clause and his belief that the clause gave Congress the right to spend for education, Taft asked him if the general welfare clause gave Congress the right to give foreign aid to Italy and Germany. Donnell could not give him a satisfactory answer. See p. 3350. 78 Willard Givens, Letter to Walton Bliss, 2 November 1947. Copy in Folder (Education, Federal Aid to – 1947), Box 537, Taft Papers. Givens was the Executive Secretary of the NEA. He urged Bliss, the Ohio Secretary of the NEA, to support Taft becau se his record on educa tion was stronger than Dewey’s. 79 See, for example, Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Congressional Record, 4411-4425, for the exchange between Taft and McCarthy over amendments to the proposed bill.

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107 More often than not, Lodge and Taft vot ed together on measures despite their supposed ideological differences. Lodge a nd his Massachusetts colleague Leverett Saltonstall regarded Taft as the proponent of an outdated and backwards-looking wing of the Republican Party, but still fou nd common ground on most of the important measures before the Senate. Taft, while not a racist by any means, viewed any violation of the separation of powers clause as a more serious national threat than racism in the South. Lodge and his libera l colleagues disagreed and supported civil rights measures more frequently than th eir conservative counterparts. Aside from disagreements on racial and labor matters, the conservative and liberal Republicans worked together more often than not and only voted counter on issues relating to federalism and the role of the state. The controversy over federal control of Tidelands oil provides yet another example of Taft’s adherence to federalism In 1937, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, under pressure from companies seeki ng to drill off the coast of California, determined that the offshore oil deposits fe ll under federal jurisdiction, not that of the states, and sued to void all state-sponso red leases. The demand for raw materials during World War II temporarily halted Ickes’ efforts, but shortly after V-J Day, the Department of Justice filed suit against P acific Western Oil for drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara. Shortly thereafter, th e suit was dropped and litigation was brought against the State of California to dete rmine proper ownership of the submerged lands.80 The 80th Congress opened with the Tidelands issue still on the table. The first session saw only a handful of proposed quitcla im resolutions, measures that abdicated 80 Betty Jane Murdock, “The Speaking of Senator Wayne Morse on ‘Tidelands Oil,’” (Ph.D. Diss: University of Missouri-Columbia, 1969); Robert Engler, The Politics of Oil: A Study of Private Power and Democratic Directions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961).

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108 the claims of the Federal government on the land, with most coming from the California delegation. On June 23 1947 the politics of the situ ation changed. The Supreme Court decided eight to nil in favor of the Federal government and decreed that the management and administration of offshore oil deposits fell within the legal jurisdiction of the Depart ment of the Interior.81 Thus, the second session began with twenty-eight quitclaim bills and two joint reso lutions in the House, and one bill in the Senate. Members from coastal states and inland conservatives both contributed the bulk of these, with such figures as Rich ard Nixon sponsoring the measures in the House. Twenty senators from both sides of the aisle co-sponsored the Senate bill. This bipartisan group included some of the mo st conservative members of the upper chamber, including Republicans John Bric ker of Ohio and Knowland, and Democrats Spessard Holland of Florida and Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia. On March 29 1948, the House Judiciar y Committee favorably reported a quitclaim measure. The comm ittee report noted that few groups opposed the bill, with the most notable being the members of the Departments of Justice and the Interior, and the membership of the National Grange Proponents of the legislation included the American Bar Association, the Independe nt Petroleum Association of America, the National Association of Attorneys Genera l, and the Conference of Governors. The legislation essentially renounced the nation’ s claims to the areas affected by the Supreme Court decision and returned, as th e Judiciary Committee saw it, the legal and moral right for the states to govern th eir territories wit hout interference from Washington.82 On April 30, after brief debate in which the leadership of both parties supported the measure, the quitclaim b ill passed the House 257 to 29, with 141 not 81 Unites States vs. California 67 S. Ct. 1658, 23 June 1947. 82 Congress, House, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., House Report 1778, 21 April 1948.

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109 voting. Only six Republicans cast their ballots against the measur e, including Jacob Javits and Kenneth Keating, both of New York and associates of Dewey. Virtually all of the nays came from non-oil states such as Minnesota, Kentucky, and Missouri, with only a few anti-oil Pennsylvania Democrats breaking that trend. The Senate, a more liberal body, refused to take up the bill.83 Here again, the conservatives in the House had differed from the more diverse Sena te membership, leaving another issue unresolved as the Congress drew to a close. The Republican National Committee had won the elections of 1946 using a conservative, anti-communist agenda, but pa rty legislators failed to show unity of purpose on Capitol Hill. The party was obvious ly divided, but the ideological labels of liberal and conservative did not fit a ny group. Senators sympathetic to the Dewey wing of the party submitted numerous civil rights bills, but Taft and his Old Guard colleagues would only support one, the anti-p oll tax. Some liberals such as Wayne Morse refused to support the Tidelands Oil bi lls, forcing a number of Republicans to ally with Southern Democrats to find the votes necessary to enact their program. The sole occasion of a cohesive party was the Taft-Hartley Act, and this occurred only because Taft made it the cen terpiece of the Republican program and negotiated with dissident northeasterners who initially reje cted a strong anti-la bor bill. Although both groups self-identified as “liberals” or “c onservatives,” their voting records show a lack of ideological pu rity on either side. Of course, the definitions of a liberal a nd a conservative were not clear. Taft, one of the most principled defenders of economic states’ rights, flatly refused to support a compulsory FEPC but authored federal housing and education legislation. 83 Congress Senate, 80th Cong. 2nd Sess. Congressional Record (30 April 1948), 5118-5156; Congress, Senate, Hearings before a Subcommittee on the Committee on the Judiciary, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess. 4-5 May 1948; Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess. Daily Digest (10 June 1948), 459.

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110 Senators Capeheart and Knowland voted iden tical to Taft. This trend was echoed by many of the more conservative Republican s, while their liberal colleagues voted closer to their ideology on the measures surveyed above. The 80th Congress ultimately failed to rollback many aspects of th e New Deal as Reece had pledged. While conservative Republicans in the House stif led the FEPC, public housing, and aid to education, their colleagues in the Senate failed to stop a filibuster on anti-poll tax legislation, the only civil rights measure th ey strongly supported. The divisions that had began after the 1944 Presid ential election con tinued to grow larger, making the party fairly ineffective after it had wo n such a promising and thorough electoral victory.

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111 CHAPTER 4 OPPORTUNITY WASTED: THOMAS DEWEY AND THE REPUBLICAN FAILURE OF 1948 In the 80th Congress, Republicans accomplishe d some of their economic goals but failed to pass any substantive social le gislation. While the ideological division of the party was loose and imprecise, the fric tion between the Republican factions had created a mixed record with no clear dire ction for the party. The dispute over the nature of the American polity, whether they supported or reject ed the philosophy of the New Deal, remained the central dividi ng point between the party elites. As 1947 eased into 1948, the spotlight focused on the upcoming presidential election. In 1947, Truman’s popularity had reached an al l-time low and many believed that the Republicans were certain to win the White House and expand their majority in Congress. Once again, however, intra-party disputes proved fatal and the Republicans spent nearly as much time attacking each other as they did the Democrats. Ultimately, the weak campaign of the Dewey organiza tion robbed the Republi cans of their best presidential opportunity since the Great Depression. This chapter looks at the 1948 election in the context of party factionalism and argues that Dewey purposely avoided any links to conservatism in order to wi n the votes of members of the New Deal coalition. In the process, it asks why the Albany group jeopardized their position at the top of the GOP by purposely alienating the Taftites. While Taft and his colleagues fought to define the Republican program on Capitol Hill, Dewey implemented most of his legislative goals in New York and staked his claim as the 1948 Republican standard-bearer. Dewey found a middle ground in the state legislature betwee n a group of powerful and vocal arch-

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112 conservative Republicans and their liberal Democratic opponents. Financially, the governor advocated limited government and fiscal responsibility. During his first term, Dewey called for widespread spe nding reductions and created a 500 million dollar budget surplus. In 1946, as he was campaigning for re-election, Dewey asked the legislature to cut taxes by fifty per cent and further streamline the budget. After Dewey won his second term with nearly a fi fty-nine percent majority, several crises associated with postwar demobilization thre atened the state. Dewey used the surplus funds to avert nearly every one of the poten tial pitfalls. New York established its own Veteran’s Affairs bureau to assist returni ng service personnel in employment matters, as well as a Reconversion Service Agency to promote small business development and industrial conversion to the peacetim e economy. Programs such as these helped the Empire State reduce unemployment and avert labor strikes. This favorable outcome positioned New York to capita lize on the postwar economic boom and boosted Dewey’s popularity. Although Taft and Dewey had a personal dislike for each other stemming from the 1944 policy meeting, close analysis reve als that they had similar policy goals. Dewey worked with the state legislators to pass a number of programs and initiatives similar to those espoused by c onservative Republicans in the 80th Congress. During his first term, Dewey asked lawmakers to im plement a state rent control system to replace the lapsing Federal pr ogram, showing that he, like Taft, was flexible enough to abandon traditional Republican ideas if n ecessary. His education initiatives focused on achieving the most impact with the leas t financial cost and bureaucratic control, just as the Thomas-Hart-Taft bill had. Dewey worked with public and private institutions to develop a centralized st ate university system that depended on municipalities to fund and oversee the coll eges in their jurisdiction. This plan

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113 maintained a degree of local autonomy, re duced the need for new bureaucracies in Albany, and paralleled Taft’s plan for aid to public education. Dewey’s teacher pay raise package also depended on local communities and local sales taxes to cover the additional cost. Self-identified conservati ve Republicans, both in the New York Legislature and in Congress, believed that this type of program went too far in expanding the role of government and prefe rred measures that would interfere even less in the free market or the autonomy of the locality, but Dewey brushed these criticisms aside. Dewey and Taft both detested bureaucr acy, but the key differences between them came in the area of social programs. Legislation promoting labor-management relations and racial equalit y, especially the FEPC, were Dewey’s most notable contribution during his tenure. Indeed, the gove rnor made the FEPC the centerpiece of his civil rights program in New York. On labor issues, Taft and Dewey agreed on basic principles, but differed on met hods. Throughout his tenure, Dewey took a proactive stance toward labor mediation and often used his personal influence to bring about compromises. He also refused to chal lenge the right of co llective bargaining in private enterprise. In his first term, Dewey refused to sign a bill outlawing the closed shop, one of the most notable provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act. When strikes affected the public sector, however, Dewey t ook a more hard-line approach than Taft. After Buffalo teachers struck in Februa ry 1947, the Governor advocated a proposal that made striking a terminable offense fo r all public employees. Taft, who rejected similar proposals in Washington, continually affirmed the right to strike and made no distinction between publ ic and private labor.1 While Taft-Hartley was a much harsher 1 Smith, Thomas E. Dewey and his Times 438-475.

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114 provision for industrial laborers, Dewey’s did little to win the support of public sector unionists. Aside from the passage of the New York FEPC law and his more general prolabor stance, Dewey’s agenda closely parall eled Taft’s legislative program in the Senate. In 1948, the programmatic differen ces between the Taft and Dewey factions, aside from labor and civil rights, were s light. Dewey believed that the country was tilting to the right and gove rned accordingly. Although he had campaigned in 1938 as a “New Deal Republican,” in his second term Dewey adopted a distinctly more conservative style to align himself with the rightward drift of public opinion.2 His Democratic opponents, both in the state le gislature and on the campaign trail, called for an expansion of social programs that would have eradicated the budget surplus. The Democratic proposal for a state university system, for example, came in at just under a half a billion dollars. Dewey’s public -private endeavor reduced this amount significantly. Democrats also urged passage of a state health insurance program to supplant private insurers at a cost of 400 million dollars per annu m. Dewey rejected this and substituted a plan for a fourteen million dollar health education and prevention campaign to target specific illne sses, which ostensibly provided maximum effect at minimum expense.3 As Dewey governed New York, his politic al operatives and supporters laid the foundation for a second presidential run. By January 1947, most of the Dewey high command from 1944 had established a new working organization. The Dewey leadership, most notably Brownell and Spra gue, brought a number of advantages over their rivals from the Taft group. First, the Dewey team remained virtually intact from 2 Smith, Thomas E. Dewey and his Times 472. 3 Ibid.,, 453-4.

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115 1944. Although Brownell had retired from pub lic life in 1946, he remained one of Dewey’s closest advisors and stayed active in Republican politics. After the Governor’s re-election in 1946, Brownell, Ja eckle, and Sprague met with Dewey and his office staff on a regular basis to disc uss the political implications of the Governor’s state policies. In early 1947, the Dewey group began lining up delegates for the national convention. Thanks to his RNC Chairmanshi p, Brownell had contacts in every state and relied on this network to form the bul wark of Dewey support. In the Northeast, Brownell’s allies were generally high-ra nking Republican officials who had tight control of their delegatio ns. New Jersey and Pennsylvania experienced heated delegate contests, but New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine lined up solidly for Dewey early on. In more contested areas, especially the South and the Midwest, the Dewey partisan s occupied the second-tier of Republican leadership. Generally, these men and women controlled several key counties and had good standing on their state executive committ ee or in their state general party, but did not control their delegations. Here, Brow nell worked at the state and local levels to expand the personal political standing of his allies and prepare them to take over the state parties if Dewey won the nomination. Brownell also had differing strategies de pending on local situations. In states that had a population more likely to support a liberal progr am, Dewey boosters attached themselves to Dewey the candidate and stressed his reputation as a strong vote getter and his accomplishments in New Yo rk. In conservative areas, where Taft support was likely the highest, Brownell enc ouraged the Deweyites to attack the current party leadership on local gr ounds without openly endorsing Dewey. Brownell’s strategy was to split or cause contested delegations in a number of states

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116 in order to create a convention majority, rath er than to build a solid bloc of regional support in one or two areas. This divide and conquer strategy worked to expand Dewey’s support outside of hi s geographic base by replacin g existing leadership and building grass-roots support for Dewey th e candidate, not nece ssarily the Dewey brand of Republicanism. This strategy placed the burden of the nomination on ambitious state Republicans who hoped to enha nce their prestige and gain patronage duties in a new Dewey administration. Brownell’s clear vision for the pre-c onvention campaign ranked as Dewey’s most important asset. The lack of openly partisan leadership from RNC Chairman, B. Carroll Reece, also contributed to Dewe y’s early successes. Reece, elected in 1946 with the open support of Taft and his followe rs, surprisingly did not work to advance the Ohioan’s candidacy outside of his ow n home state of Tennessee. Although Reece had supervised the 1946 election campaign a nd created its conservative and antiCommunist tone, in 1947 and 1948 he operate d as a neutral chairman. Several Dewey partisans remained on the RNC staff and ke pt tabs on the Chairman’s activities for Albany. In November 1947, Alton Anderson, the RNC Director of Organization, reported that Reece was actively seeking th e Republican nomination for Senate in Tennessee and advised the Dewey camp to s upport Reece and create a vacancy in the chairmanship without causing a factional spl it. Brownell instructed his lieutenants in Tennessee to cease their political attacks on Reece and allow him the nomination with the hopes that a pro-Dewey chairm an would then be appointed.4 Reece clearly had his sights set on fulfilling his own personal ambitions and spent little time strengthening the anti-Dewe y position within the RNC. The Chairman gave the Dewey faction unrestricted acce ss to the RNC mailing lists, encouraged 4 Alton Anderson, Letter to Thomas Pheiffer, 13 November 1947. Copy Folder 15 HB Memo To, Box 38, Series II, Dewey Papers.

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117 Brownell and his cohort to contact RNC headquarters for more support during the pre-convention period, and asked Dewey conf idant Thomas Stephens to head the Campaign division for 1948. Reece’s actions were curious. Traditionally, the Chairman of an out-of-power party worked be tween election cycles to strengthen both his own position and that of hi s favored presidential nominee.5 Reece either sought to remain totally neutral in order to curry favor with Dewey in the hopes of remaining chairman should the New Yorker garner the nomination, or believed that he needed to work with Dewey and his allies in Tenness ee in order to make his proposed Senate run less controversial. Regardless of hi s reasoning, Reece failed to take any active steps to slant the RNC in favor of Sena tor Taft or his colleagues. This made Brownell’s task of securing a Dewey nomination all the easier.6 Finally, Dewey had the advantage of a so lid financial base. Connections in the economic capital of the free world greatly benefited the Governor’s political ambitions. Both Brownell and Dewey circul ated in New York high society and used their memberships in organizations like the Recess Club, the Tavern Club, and the Downtown Club to cultivate large donors and assess elite opinions on the political situation. Dewey also used the allure of th e Big Apple to his advantage. As Governor, he used state dollars to fund a limousine service, chauffeured by members of the New York State Police, for the entert ainment of visiting delegates.7 Dewey provided the 5 Cotter and Hennessey, Politics Without Power 102-3. 6 Thomas Pheiffer, Letter to William C. Murphy, 6 March 1968, Copy in Folder 12 (Republican National Committee) Box 47, Series II, Dewey Papers ; B. Carroll Reece, Letter to Thomas Stephens, 6 July 1947. Copy in Folder 9 (B. Carroll Reece), Box 47, Series II, Dewey Papers. 7 Paul Lockwood, Letter to Herbert Brownell, J. Russell Sprague, and Edward Jaeckle, 4 July 1947. Copy in Folder 1 (Paul Lockwood), Box 44, Series II, Dewey Papers. The three addressees were the only individuals authorized to use the service. The Dewey organization also had an “entertainment committee” who had volunteered to visit with poten tial delegates when they came to NYC. This committee included Harold Talbott, Allen Dulles, Winthrop Aldrich, Brownell, Sprague, and their wives. Paul Lockwood, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey, 14 January 1947. Copy in Folder 7 (Entertainment), Box 41, Series II, Dewey Papers.

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118 best in entertainment, often giving potent ial supporters baseball, boxing, and theater tickets.8 While the tangible effect of these tact ics is impossible to quantify, the Albany group had the financial resources and the geographic base to provide the finest hospitality, making a meeting with Dewey more attractive for potential delegates. Aviation magnate Harold Talbott superv ised Dewey’s fund-raising effort but limited most of his activities to corporate ex ecutives and scions of the wealthy rather than smaller, grass-roots contributions Active in Republican politics since 1940, Talbott had solicited donations for the GOP in the 1944 campaign and had remained an ardent Dewey backer. In 1947 and 1948, Ta lbott went outside of the party fundraising apparatus and contacted former donors directly. He also organized dinners for small groups of industrialists to meet with Dewey and discuss his programs and their impact on the business community. These mee tings often led to sizable contributions and kept the coffers filled.9 Talbott’s operation raked in thousands of dollars for the Dewey campaign and gave the Governor a firm foothold on the climb to the 1948 Republican National Convention, making him the darling of the business community. The Dewey camp ran a tightly-constructe d, well-oiled pre-convention machine. Brownell, Russell, and Sprague each mana ged a number of states and cultivated support for a Dewey nomination through correspondence, telephone calls, and face to face meetings. Taft, however, entered the 1948 election cycle grossly underestimating Dewey’s efforts. In March 1946, Taft admitte d that Dewey showed signs of being an active candidate, but by December those thoughts had all but disappeared.10 The Taft 8 Thomas Stephens, Letter to William Pheiffer, 15 June 1948. Copy in Folder 2 (Delegate File), Box 40, Series II, Dewey Papers. 9 Harold E. Talbott, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey, 31 January 1948. Copy in Folder 12 (1948 – Dewey – Memorandum To), Box 40, Series II, Dewey Papers. 10 Letter, Robert A. Taft to R.A. Forster, 21 Ma rch 1946. Copy in Folder (Politics – 1946 (1)), Box 878, Taft Papers.

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119 camp held a misguided notion that the Reece chairmanship, the record of the 80th Congress, and the legacy of Dewey’s 1944 de feat made Taft the front-runner for the nomination.11 The Taft leaders thought that fo rmer Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen was the only possible opposition, a nd they devised their election strategy accordingly. Stassen had a popular reput ation as a liberal on both domestic and foreign matters and provided a starker contra st to Taft’s policies than Dewey did. Taft wrote that “What annoys me about Stassen is that he doesn’t know what he is talking about. He wraps himself in the mantle of liberalism, but to the extent that his principles differ with those he attributes to the old guard, they are merely those of the Political Action Committee.”12 Taft also believed that Stassen would make the Republican Party a “pale imitation of the New Deal.”13 In mid-1947, the Taft organization began its pre-convention efforts, focusing more on Minneapolis than Albany. In April, Thomas Bowers, Taft’s brother-in-law, noted that industrialists had expressed disp leasure at the slow pace of action during the opening months of the 80th Congress and urged Taft to adopt a very conservative stance in order to keep business interests w ithin the Republican orbit. He believed that “There is no chance of the Republican Part y as now constituted becoming a relatively radical party and winning favor with Leftis ts and it must retain the support of the Conservative elements. I believe that even the bulk of labor is disposed to be conservative and in its heart wa nts conservative legislation.”14 Working 11 Letter, James Selvage to B. Carroll Reece, 9 Decem ber 1946. Copy in Folder (1946 – Political (1)), Box 879, Taft Papers. 12 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Rentfr o B. Creager. 15 April 1946. Copy in Folder (1946 – Political – Republicans (1)), Box 879, Taft Papers. 13 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Kellogg Patterson, 21 Fe bruary 1946. Copy in Folder (1946 – Politics), Box 878, Taft Papers. 14 Thomas Bowers, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 4 April 1947. Copy in Folder (1947 – Politics, Republican), Box 890, Taft Papers.

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120 predominantly with older Republicans, Taft called a meeting for 31 July that included a number of Old Guardsmen from the RN C. The group appointed Clarence Brown campaign manager, and hired po litical pollster Paul Walter to gathered survey data nationwide. David Ingalls, Taft’s cousin and a former undersecretary of the Navy, and Cincinnati attorney Benjamin Ta te handled fund-raising duties. Brown hoped to recreate the success of 1946. He assigned a group of field men to work on a regional basis as liaisons to local Republican organi zations and form the backbone of the Taft campaign. Most of thes e operatives had close affiliations with Taft and included his law partner John Hollister as well as Ingalls. Others hailed from the states or regions they covered and admired Taft and his political philosophy.15 All of these individuals had worked for Taft or Ohio Senator John Bricker in the past and all stood squarely on the anti-New Deal side of the political spectrum. The choice of individuals to act as field men gives insight into Ta ft’s political strategy. The Taft camp overwhelming worked within the dominant state factions and depended on established organizations to secure a major ity of delegates. Taft believed this his legislative record had captured the heart of the party faithful and that shoring up support in already friendly states would gi ve him the nomination. He also refused to campaign in areas that had historically been friendly to Dewey or a rival candidate, such as California governor Earl Warren. Taft and Brown worked directly with Republican leaders in the South and no outsi de field men were a ssigned to Dixie in the later months of the pre-convention cam paign, showing the reliance on the existing state party machines. Taft’s strategy, then, was to build upon his conservative 15 Memo, undated. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign Miscellany – Correspondence – T-W), Box 230, Taft Papers.

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121 following in the South and Midwest to score a delegate majority with the help of entrenched party leaders.16 The Taft organization made modest e fforts at fund-raising among corporate executives, but their operation paled in co mparison to Talbott’s work for Dewey. The Taft financial quota was rumored to be set at around 400,000 dollars.17 Although no financial data was reported for either campai gn, it appears that the Taft drive came off rather poorly. A letter from Ben Tate to a pot ential donor fell into the hands of Dewey and became a source of great amusement fo r the Governor and his entourage. The document claimed that Taft had been the na tion’s most zealous critic of the New Deal and that “Business men can now show thei r gratitude by financial support and this financial support is all that we need to nom inate and elect Bob Taft President of the United States.”18 Dewey sent the letter to Talbot t with a memo saying “[The Tate letter] is the perfect illust ration of how not to handle political matters in my opinion… After you have had your amusement out of it, will you see that it gets into Herb’s hands with a suggestion that he might fi nd appropriate means of capitalizing on it?”19 Taft’s overall campaign strategy reflected a lack of funds and an over-reliance on existing institutions, neither of which were conducive to building a majority of delegates in a divided part y and allowed Dewey to eas ily win the support of Wall 16 Frank Doherty, Letter to Clarence Brown, 28 May 1948. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign Miscellany – Delegates – 1947-8), Box 230, Taft Papers. 17 Hill Blackett, Letter to Harold E. Talbott, 4 Februa ry 1948. Folder 8 (Robert Taft), Box 49, Series II, Dewey Papers. 18 Ben Tate, Letter to Unknown. Copy in Dewey Pape rs, Folder 8 (Robert Taft), Box 40, Series II, Dewey Papers. 19 Thomas E. Dewey, Memo to Harold E. Talbott, 20 January 1948. Copy in Folder 8 (Robert Taft), Box 40, Series II, Dewey Papers.

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122 Street. 20 Taft did recruit a few minor officials in places such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania to convert Dewey supporters, but these efforts were very limited and mark the exception, rather than the rule for the Taft pre-convention strategy.21 In 1948, Taft, and Dewey vied for the votes of delegates or whole state delegations and used all res ources at their disposal in the hopes of becoming party standard-bearer. Taft hoped to avoid as much controversy as possible and focused on augmenting support in what he considered “safe” states. Dewey’s broader strategy of building counter-organizations did not al low Taft such a luxury. Dewey forces worked feverishly in several critical states that Taft fi rmly believed he controlled. These deserve close examination due to their importance either as sources of delegate strength or areas that provided tactical and financial opportunities. This localized infighting underscored the differences between the resources of th e candidates and the rhetorical strategy of their managers. De wey won the nomination because of superior organization and resources rather than as a consequence of any sort of ideological or programmatic position. To party insiders, th ese traits made a Dewey victory seem more plausible in the national election b ecause he had the tools and experience to mount a successful campaign, not because th ey shared his view of the electorate. Over one thousand individuals were slated to cast their ballot at the Republican National Convention and each man and woma n faced entreaties from all of the potential nominees. Delegates had to balance local concerns with national interests. Intense negotiations went on for well ove r a year before the convention between candidate managers and state and local le aders. These often included promises of 20 Robert A Taft, Letter to Lonnie Noojin, 15 July 1947. Copy in Folder (Political – 1947), Box 890, Taft Papers. 21 See, for example, Ben Tate, Letter to Guy Ga brielson, 1 June 1948. Copy in Folder (1948 – Campaign Miscellany – Delegates – 1947-8), Box 230, Taft Papers.

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123 patronage and other perks, and required an inestimable measure of planning and coordination. Ideological agreement, while important in a few cases, paled in comparison to the tangible benefits associat ed with backing a winning nominee. In the days immediately before the convention, candi dates and their organizations tested the waters and asked for private, and sometimes, public commitments. The weeks before the meeting date arrived with a flurry of press releases from the contenders, each claiming a first ballot victory. Taft and Dewey had to negotiate this potentially hostile climate in order to build support for 1948. Alabama had strategic importance becau se it had the first voice in the nomination process. The head of the delega tion could either nominate an individual, or, as often was the case, yield to the ho me state of their favored choice. Placing a candidate’s name before the convention wa s usually accompanied by a good deal of political theater. Supporters cheered from the galleries. Committed delegates marched around the convention hall waving placards and posters. Bands played the candidate’s theme songs. To an uncommitted delegate, especially a first-timer, the spectacle made it seem as if the candidate was unstoppabl e and often led to a bandwagon effect. The person that controlled Alabama, therefore, would have his name entered first and greatly enhanced his chances of an early ballot nomination This reality made Alabama much more important for securing the nomination than for winning the general election, as th e state remained heavily under Democratic control and the local Republican organizati on lacked political clout in Montgomery. The state’s National Committeeman, Lonnie N oojin, was a real-estate developer and banker with statewide connections. The stat e party chairman, Claude Vardaman, was an executive with Alabama Power, one of th e largest economic interests in the state. In early 1947, the Alabama party seemed uni fied, but Noojin and Vardaman remained

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124 noncommittal on their choice for nominee. A Dewey supporter reported that Noojin expressed support for Dewey, but “had very de finite views and was inclined to agree with Mr. Taft’s views regarding na tional affairs and national defense.”22 Brownell and other Dewey partisans took this information into account and began working exclusively for Vardaman’s support. By Septembe r, it was clear that the utility official supported Dewey, as Brownell arranged to fl y him to New York to take part in a national strategy session on behalf of the Dewey campaign. Noojin remained in Birmingham.23 Vardaman and Dewey clearly had the upper hand in the factional dispute. A straw poll taken by the Alabama Republican Executive Committee ran 40 for Dewey, 12 for Taft, 2 for Stassen, and 8 for others.24 A number of Alabama voters, however, seemed to favor Taft over either Dewey or Truman. The Senator’s legislative record in Congress appealed to a portion of Al abama’s upper and middle classes, and many wrote to express their support. J.R. Castre ll of Decatur, Alabama claimed that “there are so many [b]ureaus now that one does not envy you or anyone else the task of ‘cleaning out the Aegean st ables’ that house so many feeders at the [g]overnment [t]rough.”25 Another believed that Taft and his ideological cohort were the only people who could save the nation from the “evil forces” and “New Deal foul ideas.”26 22 Paul Lockwood, Memo to Thomas E. Dewey, 19 February 1947. Copy in Folder 2 (Alabama), Box 21, Series II, Dewey Papers. 23 Herbert Brownell, Letter to Claude Vardaman, 13 September 1947. Copy in Folder 2 (Alabama), Box 21, Series II, Dewey Papers. 24 Claude Vardaman, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey, 8 February 1948. Copy in Folder 2 (Alabama), Box 21, Series II, Dewey Papers. 25 J.B. Castrell, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 21 November 1947. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign – Alabama – A-H), Box 164, Taft Papers. 26 John Hill, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 30 Decemb er 1947. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign – Alabama – A-H), Box 164, Taft Papers.

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125 Others approved of specific proposals and programs, including the Taft-Hartley Act and Wagner-Ellender-Taft Education Bill. Truman’s civil rights program was a nother hot-button issue, and numerous voters thought a Taft presiden cy would reduce the threat to the segregation. A dentist from Evergreen, Alabama, lamented the “per nicious Anti-States’ Ri ghts Legislation,” and pledged to work for Taft’s election.27 In cases like this, Taft responded with support of federalism, but greatly dimini shed the racial overtones. When an overzealous supporter from Birmingham subscr ibed the Senator to a “States’ Righter” newspaper published in Jackson, Mississi ppi, Taft responded with a noncommittal defense of his education bill, saying “It is not only important that the States have independence, but it is th eir independence which protec ts every city county and school district from be ing run by federal law."28 At no time in the 1948 campaign did Taft ta ke a stance on civil rights or States’ Rights that differed from his legislative record in the 80th Congress. He argued for a principled defense of separation of powers between the state and federal governments, and made no efforts to appeal for the suppor t of racist Southerners beyond this general line. He was clearly cognizant of the role of race in Southern politics, confiding in Noojin that “I shouldn’t think Mr. Dewe y’s stand on the FEPC would do him any good in Alabama.”29 Taft, therefore, campaigned fo r delegates and popular support in the South by casting issues like the FEPC as race-blind extensions of the federal bureaucracy. He did not take any sort of racist line or cast the FEPC as an institution 27 H.C. Fountain, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 8 March 1948. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign – Alabama – A-H), Box 164, Taft Papers. 28 Robert A. Taft, Letter to William Logan Martin. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign – Alabama – J-M), Box 164, Taft Papers. 29 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Loonie Noojin, 20 February 1948. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign – Alabama – N-W), Box 164, Taft Papers.

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126 to destroy the Southern way of life. Human Events noted that Taft’s preference for a voluntary, educational FEPC would curry fa vor with Dixie vote rs, who would likely vote for Truman rather than elect a pro-Ci vil Rights Republican. Taft, to his credit, did not play up the FEPC in his rhetoric a nd his managers did not make race a factor in wooing Southern delegates.30 Early reports from Taft operatives seem ed to indicate that this federalist approach was a safe political strategy and that the Sena tor had an above-average chance of picking up the votes of disaff ected Democrats by the thousands. A report from John Gordon Bennett, a public relations man from western New York who was Taft’s key field man in the South, indicated that the citizens of Dixie overwhelmingly and openly favored Taft, but that more pol itical organization was required to mobilize the vote. In October, he wrote, “the accepta nce of this supposition [Taft’s lead in the South] be fostered and encour ages is definitely to Taft ’s advantage. However, the plain truth of the matter is that to actually realize the conclusive ma terialization of this premise at the nominating convention, Taft must put forth considerable time and effort.”31 Obviously Bennett was aware that Br ownell had made inroads into Taft’s southern support. Clarence Brown, in res ponse to Bennett’s verbos e advice, allocated more resources to the campaign in Alabam a and other southern states, and worked harder to keep the support of committed delegates.32 Bennett reported political gossip from across the nation, and in many cases he provided valuable information that guided th e Taft camp in delegate contests that 30 Human Events 5, no. 14, 7 April 1948. 31 John Gordon Bennett, Memo, 25 October 1947. Copy in Folder 31 (Alabama), Box 16, Clarence Brown Papers. 32 Mildred Reeves, Letter to B. L. Noojin, 23 December 1947. Copy in Fo lder (1948 Campaign – Alabama – N-W), Box 164, Taft Papers.

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127 hinged on purely local concerns. Bennett ’s methods, however, often bordered on unethical and at times angered Taft, who pr ided himself on intellectual and rhetorical honesty. When Bennett contacted those regard ed as Dewey supporters, he identified himself as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and declared that Dewey had either withdrawn as a candidate or had lost si zable support in the Northeast. While disinformation had its place in American politics, Bennett was extremely blatant about his political stance a nd roused the suspicion of hi s contacts. Colley Briggs, a Texas Republican and Dewey leader, advised Brownell that Bennett had called a number of Deweyites and that one “old man told him to go to hell.”33 Bennett’s failed campaign of deception gave the Dewey camp a club with which to attack Taft throughout the South.34 Taft had made a number of personal app earances in Alabama, had been a guest at the homes of both Noojin and Vardama n, and advocated a policy agenda agreeable to a sizable segment of the voters, but Br ownell and Vardaman had worked together to recruit a popular and electable slate of Dewey delegates. At the 1948 Alabama state convention, the GOP selected a delegation of mostly Dewey delegates, but tapped Noojin to the head the delegation.35 Alabama placed a committed Dewey delegate on the credentials committee and, during the nom ination process, yielded to New York, placing the Governor’s na me in nomination first.36 33 Colley Briggs, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 30 October 1947. Copy in Folder 4 (Texas), Box 30, Series II, Dewey Papers. 34 Herbert Brownell, Letter to Claude Vardaman, 13 November 1947. Copy in Folder 2 (Alabama), Box 21, Series II, Dewey Papers. 35 The results were eight for Dewey, six for Taft, and one for Stassen. 36 Thomas E. Stephens, Memo to Herbert Brownell, 13 May 1947. Copy in Folder 2 (Alabama), Box 21, Series II, Dewey Papers; Herbert Brownell, Letter to Claude Vardaman, 13 September 1947. Copy in Folder 2 (Alabama), Box 21, Series II, Dewe y Papers; Claude Vardaman, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey 8 February 1948. Copy in Folder 2 (Alabama ), Box 21, Series II, Dewey Papers; Memo “Result of Investigation – Alabama” unsigned, 18 December 1947. Copy in Folder 2 (Alabama), Box 21, Series

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128 The Dewey pre-convention campaign operate d very well in a number of other Southern states, most notably Texas. Th e Lone Star State had gone Republican in 1928, largely due to the Catholicism of De mocratic candidate Al Smith, but was important more for its financial resources th an its potential electoral votes. The cattle and oil industries were the most import ant sectors of the state economy and, while these interests overwhelmingly supported the Democratic Party, some of their more successful members were major players in the Texas and national Republican Parties. Oilman Marrs McLean had bankrolled the state party for some time and was both state Republican Finance Chairman and a member of the National Republican Finance Committee. McLean was the most reliable and active Republican member of the oil industry, and other ty coons like H. Roy Cullen and H. L. Hunt played minor roles in both the Texas organization and on the national scene during the 1948 campaign. Texans voted Democratic along with the rest of the solid South, but the Lone Star state and the emerging pe troleum industry was fertile ground for Republican fund-raisers.37 McLean had an official standing with th e Texas GOP, but he did not control the party structure. That job fell to Colonel Rentfro B. Creager, the Texas National Committeeman. In 1923, Creager was appointed to the RNC and had led the state party ever since. Creager was the archetype of a Southern Republican boss. He had maintained his grip on power through nati onal contacts in Wash ington and faithfully II, Dewey Papers; Herbert Brownell, Letter to Claude Vardaman, 1 June 1948. Copy in Folder 2 (Alabama), Box 21, Series II, Dewey Papers; C. D. Moore, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 13 June 1948. Copy in Folder 2 (Alabama), Box 21, Series II, Dewey Papers; Claude Vardaman, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 15 June 1948. Copy in Folder 2 (Alabama), Box 21, Series II, Dewey Papers. 37 James Anthony Clark, Marrs McLean: A Biography (Houston, TX.: Clark Publishing, 1969).

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129 rewarded party workers who did not challenge his leadership.38 When factional disputes arose, the state party had so few members that Creager could line up a majority to squash the rebellion with the promise of a few appointments.39 One Texas newspaper man referred to him as “the Ja panese Gardner,” and equated the Texas GOP to a bonsai tree because it was cu ltivated to be small and controllable.40 This management style, rather than widespread support from the grass-roots of the party, allowed Creager to remain at the top of the Texas GOP.41 Creager’s working relationship with the Old Guard Republicans and his personal worldview, made him a close ally with the Taft faction. By 1948, however, his stagnant leadership had angered ma ny Texas Republicans and caused open revolt. Some of the dissenters favored party expans ion in order to buil d a viable two-party system. Others, like Houston oil tycoon H. Jack Porter, reacted to the Democratic position of federal ownership of the tideland s and hoped to enlarge the state party in order to gain more influence for the pe troleum industry in Washington. Another group of Republicans saw wisdom in Dewey’s pr ogram and had supported the New Yorker since 1944. This combustible atmosphere led to a scramble for the Texas delegation that forced both Taft and Dewey to become embroiled in local matters that were well beyond their control. During the 1944 Presidential election, Brow nell had built a close alliance with Hobart McDowell and W. C. “Colley” Br iggs, two leaders in the anti-Creager 38 Roger M. Olien, From Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans since 1920 (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1982). 39 Interview, Joe Ingraham and H. Jack Porter, conducted 9 November 1972. Copy in Eisenhower Library Oral History Collection, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas. 40 Ibid. 41 Colley Briggs, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 2 June 19 48. Copy in Folder 4 (Texas), Box 30, Series II, Dewey Papers.

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130 movement. McDowell, a lawyer and former judge from San Angelo, and Briggs, a lawyer from Paducah, favored moderately liberal policies and were in sync with Dewey and his programmatic goals. Briggs, in a letter to Brownell, castigated the Creager faction as “reactionary and isolationist.” He clai med that the conservative group “has never allowed a labor leader in our organization, and the whole of his crowd think a union member should be shot at sun rise. They are against the FEPC and the Civil Rights program.”42 Although their position would have attracted many voters to the GOP in postwar Texas, Bri ggs was committed to overthrowing the Old Guard and Dewey was the best option. Briggs and McDowell hailed from the panha ndle of Texas, one of two areas of Republican strength in the stat e. The other, the southeaste rn portion of the state, was allied closely to the oil industry and te nded to support conserva tive causes. McLean and Creager operated in this area, but in 1948 H. Jack Porter challenged their leadership. Closely allied with longtim e oil pioneer Hugh Roy Cullen, Porter had formed the Texas Independent Oil Produ cers and Royalty Owners Association, a lobby group for Texas interests, and hoped to assume control of the state GOP in order to further the ambitions of the pe troleum industry. As the 1946 election cycle ended, Texas Republicans began working to lin e up a slate of delegates on behalf of their favored candidates. In late 1947, Porter made an aggressive move for control and approached McDowell and Briggs with an offer to finance the 1948 Republican campaign in exchange for leadership of the organization. McDowell and Briggs refused Porter’s bid to essentially buyout the panhandle Republicans and continued building support for Dewey within the state organization.43 42 Colley Briggs, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 16 Ju ly 1948. Copy in Folder (Br-Bz (1)), Box 134, Brownell Papers. 43 Ibid.

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131 Brownell recognized the importance of Texas and made it one of his top priorities. The largest state in the South, Texas had a sizable block of votes with a relatively limited organization. Recognizing th at Creager’s position was unstable at best, Brownell, Edwin Jaeckel, and John Da naher each visited the in January and February of 1948 in order to sway potent ial delegates away from Creager and Taft.44 The trio visited virtually every county pa rty chairman, many of whom pledged their support against the Old Guard faction. So me, however, could not support the New Yorker because of his advocacy of FEPC le gislation and other civil rights measures. Philip Eubank, a San Antonio Republican w ho published an anti-Creager newsletter, flatly told Brownell that, while he despis ed the regular Republican organization, he could not support any politician who advo cated a program of racial equality.45 Eubank was clearly in the minority, howev er, as many county leaders signed on with McDowell and Briggs simply to over power Creager at the state convention in Corpus Christi. The Old Guard leadership realized that it faced formidable opposition and took pro-active, and in many cases ille gal, measures to squelch the opposition. Because of Democratic dominance in th e state, Republican precinct and county conventions had always been ra ther limited affairs. Jack Po rter recalled that his first precinct convention had an attendance of three.46 The party leadership often co-opted these meetings and used questionable tactics to maintain control and appoint delegates to the state convention th at served their purposes. In 1948, the most prominent example of this tactic occurred in Bexa r County, the area encompassing San Antonio. 44 Herbert Brownell, Letter to Colley Briggs, 26 February 1948. Copy in Folder 4 (Texas), Box 30, Series II, Dewey Papers; Herbert Brownell, Letter to Hobart McDowell, 26 February 1948. Copy in Folder 4 (Texas), Box 30, Series II, Dewey Papers. 45 Philip Eubank, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 8 March 1948. Copy in Folder 4 (Texas), Box 30, Series II, Dewey Papers. 46 Interview, Joe Ingraham and H. Jack Porter, conducted 9 November 1972, Copy in Eisenhower Library Oral History Collection, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas.

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132 The member of the state executive co mmittee from the area was Mike Nolte, 1946 gubernatorial candidate and the owner of Gr and Prize Distribution Company, the local supplier of fine ales and lagers. Nolte re presented a county with a high potential of Republican support and had factored promin ently in Brownell’s plans for controlling the state. Nolte, a Creager supporter, was unwilling to fairly face a challenge that he knew he would lose, resorted to undemoc ratic methods. In April 1948, at a Bexar County Republican meeting, Nolte approved the holding of 39 precinct conventions, thirty less than in 1946. Rather than publicizing th e list of meeting s ites and precinct captains, Nolte dictated them to a subordi nate and promptly adjourned the meeting. The events happened so fast that the Dewey backers were unable to record the information. Since they could not attend m eetings if they did not know the time and place, Nolte could therefore handpick the c ounty delegation. Most of the Bexar party officials were Nolte’s “beer truck drivers, employees, beer customers, relatives, and friends of like mind,” and Dewey supporters argued that the Nolte’s actions were illegal. The Dewey supporters filed a lawsuit in district court to force Bexar party officials to publici ze the list in writing. On April 29, a judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and Nolte was given twenty-four hours to produce the materials at a party meeting. That night, Nolte arri ved at the gathering with a handwritten list on the back of a beer advertisement. He laid the note on the table, thus meeting the requirements of the court, and less than two minutes la ter removed the flyer and left the meeting. Dewey supporters sued again the next day a nd this time the judge ruled that the list must be posted publicly on the courthous e door. Nolte evaded deputy sheriffs dispatched to enforce the court order for tw o days until May 1, the day of the precinct

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133 meetings. Despite the short notice for many Republicans, the meetings were wellattended and a majority of the Nolte forces were defeated. This mattered little though. At the county meetings a few weeks later, the results were contested by the Nolte faction, and the Nolte-appointed County Chai rman ruled in favor of the Nolte-backed Taft delegates.47 Similar events took place at the state convention, where the Creagercontrolled committee slated thirty Taft delegates and three Dewey delegates. To die-hard Dewey partisans, these re sults were unacceptable. A supporter from Grand Saline, Texas, wrote to Creager a nd lamented the fact that Taft had an estimated 10 percent of the popular support but 90 percent of the delegates. Creager responded with a terse letter, saying “You speak of an unfort unate political system in Texas so that 10% of the Republican vot ers can control Conventions. Did you ever know of a State anywhere, where at anytime a very small percentage of the leaders do not control the large majority? If you have lo cated such a State, I would be glad to have you let me know about it.”48 After the dust had settled at Corpus Christi, things took a more dramatic turn. Realizing the political realit y of the situation, Brownell me t with Creager to lay the groundwork for future relations. This sent the Dewey proponents in Texas into shock. Brownell negotiated a settlemen t that kept the Creager group in charge and appeased the panhandle Republicans until the state party could meet to settle the issue internally, but relations were anything but cordial.49 In July, the State Executive Committee appointed Henry Zweifel as stat e chairman, and named Jack Porter as 47 The Texas Republican Mar-June 1948. 48 Rentfo B. Creager, Letter to Enoch Fletcher, 3 June 1948. Copy in Folder 4 (Texas), Box 30, Series II, Dewey Papers. 49 Colley Briggs, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 2 June 1948. Copy in Dewey Papers, Folder 4 (Texas), Box 30, Series II, Dewey Papers.

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134 state campaign manager. Creager also atte mpted to purge the Dewey supporters from the state organization. One Deweyite complained that “The Taft people want the Dewey people in Texas to guarantee harm ony by giving the Taft people control of everything. A lot of people think harm ony means having everything their way.”50 The Dewey efforts in Texas were part of a broader pre-conven tion plan to move the GOP beyond its established base. Should these efforts fail, Brownell and company remained willing to work with the Old Gu ard. This strategy was the norm in states controlled by Taft supporters. In West Virg inia, for example, a group of disgruntled partisans launched a fierce challenge to Walter Hallanan’s leadership. All of these men held minor positions in the state part y but, with assistance from Brownell and Pheiffer, mounted a determined effort to control the West Virginia delegation. Hallanan knew of the plot against him as early as February 1948, when he wrote the Albany group to expr ess his displeasure.51 Hallanan outmaneuvered the Dewey supporters by forming an alliance with a thir d faction and was re-elected to the RNC. West Virginia, in turn, went for Taft on the first ballot at the national convention.52 The quest for a convention majority repres ented politics at their most pragmatic. Republicans contests were purely local in na ture but had national implications. In a few cases, ideology and policy factored in to the decision, such as the refusal of some Southerners to support Dewey in light of the New York FEPC and Lonnie Noojin’s affinity for Taft’s conservatism. In most situations, though, the questions were about an individual’s style of leadership, pr evious patronage decisions, or personal 50 Enoch Fletcher, Letter to Rentfro B. Creager, 15 July 1948. Copy in Folder (Fi-Fn), Box 137, Brownell Papers. 51 Walter Hallanan, Letter to Herbert Brownell. 3 March 1948. Copy in Folder 17 (HB Personal), Box 38, Series II, Dewey Papers. 52 Memo, “In re: West Virginia,” 10 June 1948. Copy in Dewey Papers, Folder 6 (West Virginia), Box 32, Series II, Dewey Papers.

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135 ambitions. Taft’s alliance with establishe d Republican organizations in states like Texas and West Virginia tied him to the mo re staunchly conserva tive leaders who had been active in party affairs since the days of Coolidge and Harding. Their ideology did not arise as a response to the New Deal, but originated in the 1920s and had changed very little since. Taft was one of their own and his congressional leadership had proven him more of a conservative th an Dewey. However, Taft retained Old Guard support primarily because he chose not to challenge their place in the party hierarchy. The alliance of reformers and upsta rts with Dewey, likewise, was not necessarily based on an embr ace of New Deal liberalism. Most party officials sided with Dewey to bring about a change in local leadership, although some like McDowell and Briggs did think the Dewey pr ogram superior to Taft’s platform. An agreement with a successful national candi date could change the state and local dynamics considerably. Patronage duties were generally handled by the RNC staff in conjunction with the White House, but required local input. The leaders of the regular organizations built their power on patronage appointments and, if that responsibility was suddenly taken away, the foundation of thei r leadership departed as well. A split from the regular organization could perman ently destroy an individual’s political career, so politicians only br oke if a national candidate ha d a legitimate chance at the nomination. Dewey, blessed with a number of advantages, appealed to disgruntled partisans nationwide and fostered local di visions as a critical part of his preconvention strategy. Breaks with local or ganizations over a national candidate’s policy or ideology in this self-intereste d environment were extremely rare, but partisans tripped all over themselves to support the individual most likely to win.

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136 As the quest for delegates took place in the states, the RNC planned the 1948 Republican National Convention. Under Reece, the RNC selected a Dewey partisan, Governor William Green of Illinois, to give the keynote address and held the convention in Philadelphia, very near to Dewey’s home base.53 The Taftites had lobbied for Reece as RNC Chairman, but he did them few favors. The Taft and Dewey pre-convention maneuvers generally di d not attract much press coverage. In most states, a small group of people select ed the national conven tion delegates, and negotiations between the stat e and national leaders took pl ace via correspondence and private meetings. The only notable exception to this trend, primary elections, occurred in a handful of states. Although Taft def eated Stassen in the Ohio primary, Dewey won the Oregon primary and established hims elf as the popular favorite going into the convention. Stassen arrived in Philadelphi a as a dark horse candidate at best.54 Public opinion indicated Dewey was the ma n to beat as well. Since February 1948, the Gallup organization had tracked candidate preference among Republican voters. The first poll, released February 1, showed Dewey the clear favorite with thirty-three percent, followed by Genera l Dwight D. Eisenhower with nineteen percent, Taft with thirteen percent, and Stassen with twel ve percent. With Eisenhower’s name removed, Dewey leaped to thirty-eight percent, and Taft and Stassen tied for second with fifteen per cent apiece. On March 15, with Eisenhower officially not a candidate, Dewey received thirty-seven percent, Stassen fifteen, and 53 J. Russell Sprague, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 4 April 1947. Copy in Dewey Papers, Folder 13 (J. Russell Sprague), Box 48, Series II, Dewey Papers. In a letter from Reece to Sprague written two days prior, Reece apologizes to the New Yorker for a heated telephone conversation in which Sprague accused Reece of working on behalf of Taft. Reece ap parently had one of his famous east Tennessee blow-ups and argued with Sprague over the matter. Reece then pledged to work with th e Albany group in the site selection process. B. Carroll Reece, Le tter to J. Russell Sprague, 2 April 1947. Copy in Folder 13 (J. Russell Sprague), Box 48, Series II, Dewey Papers. 54 Zachary Karabell, The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election (New York: Random House, 2000), 99-105; Gary A. Donaldson, Truman Defeats Dewey (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1999), 134-5.

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137 Taft fourteen. Through the spring, Taft a nd Dewey both trended downward, but, in a poll released after the Oregon primary, De wey regained the top spot by a seven percent margin ahead of Stassen and Taft re mained fifth. In a presidential trial heat poll released April 11, Taft was the only Republican candidate who failed to defeat Truman in a head to head contest. Dewe y led forty-seven to thirty-nine over the incumbent, Vandenberg and Stassen each led forty-four to thirty-nine, and MacArthur forty-one to thirty-nine. Taft lost by a wi de margin, thirty-six to Truman’s fortyfour.55 Analysis of other pre-convention polls reve als Taft’s electability, rather than his ideological stance or policy goals remained his major weaknesses. On the issue he most closely identified with, the Taft-Har tley Act, a majority of respondents agreed with the Senator’s position. A poll released on February 18 showed that thirty-six percent of those familiar with the law be lieved it should remain unchanged, twentyfive percent favored revision, and thirteen percent advocated its repeal. Of the quarter that wanted modification, thirty-four pe rcent believed that the act should be strengthened versus twenty-seven pe rcent who thought it should be relaxed.56 Taft’s fiscal policies also resonated with the survey respondents when it came to tax reductions and budget deficits, as fifty-seven percent belie ved that their taxes were too high versus thirty-eight percent w ho thought their rates were just right.57 Taft supported the right issues, but did not have popular appeal. Despite his poor showing in the polls, Taft made preparations for a full-scale presidential run. His public re lations team, led by Lou Guylay and James P. Selvage, 55 “Presidential Trial Heat,” 11 Ap ril 1948. See George H. Gallup, The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion 1935-1971, Vol II (New York: Random House, 1972), 724-5. 56 “Taft-Hartley Act,” 18 February 1948. Ibid, 711. 57 “Income Taxes,” 27 March 1948. Ibid., 721.

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138 devised an aggressive strategy. A memo, ci rculated to the Taft managers by staff member Blair Taylor argued that “The gene ral strategy should be attack, rather than defense -challenge, rather than answer. Senator Taft's only purpose is to show up Truman publicly, not to correct the Presid ent's own misconceptions Americans like a fight and the Senator has been so attack ed that people hope he will hit out on his own.”58 Taylor urged Taft to defend the record of the 80th Congress and to blame the Democrats for inflation and the troubled economy. Taft’s campaign advertisements reflected this plan. A radio script for us e during the Ohio primary claimed that “A vote for Bob Taft is a vote for a real Re publican. He was a Republican when the New Deal was at its height. He is a Republican now. He stands for a program of action, not another Five-Year Plan.”59 Taft propaganda spoke directly to the issues. In a pamphlet designed for African-American voters, he st rongly advocated an anti-lynching bill while defending his preference for a voluntar y FEPC, rather than the compulsory one proposed by Senator Irving Ives.60 Taft, planned to attack the Democratic Party and the New Deal vigorously and comple tely, should he wi n the nomination. As the good and faithful Republicans swarme d into the City of Brotherly Love for their quadrennial gathering, Dewey seem ed like the clear winner. The Taft camp still held out hope. On 2 June, Taft called a meeting of his top supporters to discuss last minute plans for floor activities and delegate relations. Those invited included Noojin, McLean, and Florida’s Wesley Garrison, but also California Senator William 58 Blair Taylor, Memo to Robert A. Taft, 3 June 1948. Copy in Folder (1949 Campaign Miscellany – Publicity – General (1)), Box 238, Taft Papers. 59 Radio Script, Undated. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign Miscellany – Publicity and Speech Material – Radio Material), Box 239, Taft Papers. 60 Pamphlet, Undated. Copy in Folder (1948 Camp aign Miscellany – Publicity and Speech Material – Democratic Speeches), Box 238, Taft Papers.

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139 Knowland, Sinclair Weeks, John Danaher, and Connecticut banker Prescott Bush.61 The latter three were all members of the eastern establishment who had heretofore supported Dewey, but now believed that Ta ft had most sound outlook on domestic policy.62 While the Taft leaders met to craft a last minute game plan, the nomination was already out of reach. On the second day, th e bandwagon seemed to be rolling before the nominations reached the floor. Taft and Stassen briefly aligned their forces in a “stop Dewey” movement, but it was too la te. The New Yorker was nominated on the third ballot. After a few hours of delibera tion, the Albany group selected California Governor Earl Warren as Dewey’s runningmate, meaning the ticket was anti-Old Guard and would have a bi-coastal app eal. With Dewey’s nomination secure, the candidate appointed Pennsylvania Congressman Hugh Scott. A faithful Dewey partisan for a number of year s, Scott hailed from Philadelphia and had served nearly three full terms in Congress. He had done little within the cham bers to distinguish himself as a legislator and took a middle-of -the-road approach on most issues. Scott took control of a party that wa s awash in cash and appeared to be in full control of the upcoming election. Notably, he did not a ppoint an Executive Committee and made most decisions with little consultation. Scott often deferred to the Dewey i nner circle, but the Albany group now deemed the party apparatus, which Brow nell had essentially built, as woefully inadequate and unprepared to mount a form idable national campaign. In a move both to purge the Old Guard influence from th e daily operations and maintain a strict 61 DeWitt Sage, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 2 June 1948. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign Miscellany – Correspondence – T-W), Box 230, Taft Papers. 62 John Gordon Bennett had indicated that Bush was Taft’s strongest supporter in Connecticut and favored him due to his stand on economic issues. See John Gordon Bennett, Memo, undated. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign Miscellany – Delegates – 1947-8), Box 230, Taft Papers.

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140 control over the election dr ive, Dewey named Brownell as his campaign manager. Brownell in turn established a parallel organization to the RNC that relied completely on Albany for its direction and mobilization e fforts. On the state level Brownell relied on the regular Republican organizations, ev en those who had supported Taft. At the national level, the Albany group took over th e functions of the RNC staff with only limited assistance from Warren’s backers but none from Taft’s. Dewey emerged from Philadelphia with an air of confidence and seemed poised to capture the White House from an unpopular incumbent in a time of economic turmoil.63 Dewey’s supporters on the RNC authored a platform that coincided with the Governor’s more egalitarian program. Ch aired by Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, the Resolutions Committee crafted a document that closely resembled the 1944 platform and made relatively few att acks on their Democratic opponents. It opened with the line “We shall waste few wo rds on the tragic lack of foresight and general inadequacy of those now in charge of the Executive Branch of the National Government; they have lost the confidence of citizens of all parties.” The platform also refused to overly praise the party’s own record. S ection II of the platform detailed the accomplishments of the 80th Congress, but with few substantive statements or examples of specific legisla tion. The document noted that the legislature had ended “the long-trend of extravagant and ill-advised Executive action,” had cut taxes and balanced the budget, and had passe d “a sensible reform of the labor law.” Aside from this statement, the 80th Congress went unmentioned. The liberal Republicans did not see its record as anything to broadly promote. From there, the Republicans on the platform committee focused on the future and composed a statement of principles in line with Dewey’s repeated insistence on a 63 Ralph M. Goldman, The National Party Chairman and Committees: Factionalism at the Top (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1990), 492-4.

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141 “forward-looking” program. The platform noted that the right to strike was paramount and pledged a further study of labor-manag ement relations in the hopes of finding a solution more equitable to both parties th an Taft-Hartley. Public housing was also called for, but only as a supplement to privat e enterprise and only in areas where state and local governments were unable to ade quately assist the process. The document expressly called for the end to lynching, th e poll tax, and desegregation in the armed forces, but did not go as far as the Demo cratic platform in making Civil Rights a paramount issue. The Republicans also ca lled for passage of the equal rights amendment for women, equal pay scales fo r male and female workers, and state ownership of tidelands oil deposits.64 Coming off of the landslide majorities of 1946, most Republicans assumed that victory was theirs for the taking. The De mocratic Party spent most of 1948 in disarray, making Dewey’s task appear al l the more simple. Since 1944, Brownell and Reece had both castigated the Democrats as an unholy conglomeration of the South, the socialists, and the urban machines. A thin veneer of idealism and allegiance to the New Deal held this triad together, and the RNC chairs routinely pointed out that these bonds could not hold. In 1948, Democratic unity turned to dust. Those who held the most extreme liberal views broke off and formed the Progressive Party. Former VicePresident Henry Wallace, referred to in 1946 by Reece as “the Whirling Dervish of Totalitarianism,” headed the ticket with Id aho Senator Glenn Taylor running as VicePresident.65 Hoping to rally his followers with a re ligious-like zeal, Wallace pledged to end the Cold War and revitalize the social meas ures of the New Deal. The White House, 64 “The 1948 Platform of the Repub lican Party,” Copy in Folder (Sp eech Material 1952 (1)), Box 1329, Taft Papers. 65 Karabell, The Last Campaign, 30-2.

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142 concerned with Wallace’s appeal to the liberal wing of the party, moved left to offset the Progressive Party and keep the New D eal Coalition intact. Beginning in early 1947, a group of Truman’s closest aides, le d by White House counsel Clark Clifford, held weekly strategy sessions to plan th e upcoming campaign. These individuals were determined to steer the president away fr om the conservative southerners who had played a critical role in Congress and toward what one historian has labeled “pragmatic liberalism.”66 Clifford advised Truman to make bold appeals to farmers, trade unionists, African-Americans, and mode rate liberals. Democrats were urged to attack the Progressive Party as a disloy al, Communist-inspired group in order to diminish its appeal and keep left-leaning, anti-communist’s in the Democratic fold.67 The Clifford approach necessitated the implementation of concrete policies to solidify the backing of tr aditionally Democratic in terest groups. Throughout 1947, Truman governed with these concerns in mind. He directly appealed to organized labor with his veto of Taft-Hartley, and hi s message for civil rights legislation on the heels of “To Secure these Rights” targeted African-Americans. The southern wing of the party rejected these endeavors outright. Steeped in the tradition of a racial caste system as outdated as the seersucker suit, southern Democrats fier cely objected to any and all civil rights legislation proposed on Capitol Hill. State and local leaders had opposed racial legislation si nce the Roosevelt administra tion, but Truman’s insistence on promoting items like the FEPC and anti-l ynching legislation heated Southerners to the boiling point. For most of 1948, rumors of a Dixie bolt rumbled through Washington. After a half-hearted attempt to draft Eisenhower for the top slot on the ticket failed, 66 Donaldson, Truman Defeats Dewey, 23. 67 Ibid., 22-8.

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143 southerners at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia protested the adoption of a strong civil rights plank. Once the Democrats accepted it, delegates from South Carolina and Alabama rose in pr otest, threw their credentials and name badges in a pile, and bolted from the pr oceedings. Two weeks later, on July 17, the disaffected Democrats met in Birmingham a nd formed the States’ Rights Democratic Party. The Dixiecrats, as they came to be known, ran South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond for President and Mi ssissippi Governor Fielding Right for Vice-President. As a single-issue party, the Dixiecrats were crippled with a la ck of cohesion and a support base with questionable loyalty at best. Many Southerners were reluctant to cast off the Democratic Party of their upbr inging and felt torn when both parties appeared on the ballot. Although Thurmond prominently attacked Truman throughout the campaign from the Right, the Dixiecrats ra n in only a handful of states and made little difference in the final outcome.68 Both Wallace and the Dixiecrats played key roles in Republican strategy. Each minor party threatened to take a sizable chunk of voters away from the Democrats and enhance GOP chances. Dewey, already im bibed with an air of overconfidence stemming from the Republican landslide of 1946, with which he had nothing to do, orchestrated a very hands-off, non-controve rsial campaign that di d not excite voters. Believing that the record of the 80th Congress, which the press and a majority of the American public seemingly disapproved of, had injure d the party, Dewey and his organization tried to distance the candida te from the Congressional wing. In many respects, they ran an issueless campaign. Dewey’s advisors believed that staying positive and upbeat, speaking in broad generaliz ations, and refusing to attack Truman would insulate the candidate from any negative press. 68 Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revol ; See also Donaldson, Truman Defeats Dewey 184-7; and Karabell, The Last Campaign 50-59.

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144 Dewey purposely avoided many of the ke y issues that confronted the 80th Congress. He refused to take any stand on the Tidelands Oil cont roversy, deeming it a political liability. In December 1947, W illiam Pheiffer had advised Dewey to avoid taking a stance on the quitclaim controversy, lest the Demo crats charge that Dewey had been “smeared with oil.” The rhetoric coming out of Texas seemed “radical” to Pheiffer, and he believed the political li abilities outweighed any possible benefits.69 Although the GOP platform endorsed state cont rol, the Governor refused to confirm or deny his position and treated the issue with silence. Dewey’s failure to make the Tidelands controversy even a minor aspect of the campaign was one of many refusals to publicly align himself with Congressiona l Republicans. As early as February 1947, the Albany group had been planning a campa ign that organized labor could endorse.70 In 1948, he distanced himself from the Taft -Hartley act and focused instead on his successful track record of labor mediati on. The Labor Affairs division of the RNC, working closely with Brownell and the Al bany campaign staff, produced a number of press releases titled “Labor News for Your Reader.” The two most-widely circulated of these publications, distribu ted to labor presses for their Labor Day editions, barely mentioned Taft-Hartley. The second listed of the labor accomplishments of Dewey and Warren. On the New York question, th e release claimed that “Consequently, many of the evils which the Taft-Hartley Act seeks to correct do not exist in New York.”71 Dewey’s 1948 pronouncements barely to uched on Taft-Hartley and instead 69 Thomas Pheiffer, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey, 9 December 1947. Copy in Fo lder 18 (Tidelands Oil Case), Box 49, Series II, Dewey Papers. 70 Herbert Brownell, Memo to Thomas E. Dewey, 17 February 1947. Copy in Folder 12 (Memo – Dewey To), Box 40, Series II, Dewey Papers. 71 Labor News “The Labor Records of Governors Dewey and Warren,” undated. Copy in Folder (Labor News), Box 138, Brownell Papers.

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145 established the candidate as a firm, but frie ndly ally to the work ing man and the labor unions. When Dewey spoke on civil rights, hous ing, and education, he did so only in the most unspecific of terms. As the Gove rnor who oversaw the passage for the first state FEPC law, Dewey had a strong civil ri ghts record. However, he rarely chose to address the subject and instead called fo r equality for all without listing specific proposals. According to one historian, Dewey’s silence al lowed Truman to avoid the issue and win the African-American vote ba sed on the record of the President’s Commission on Civil Rights and his messa ges to Congress in favor of antidiscrimination legislation, rather than by making calls for stronger civil rights programs. Dewey’s fared no better with his pronouncements on government spending. At one point, he called for federally funded construction of a Tennessee Valley Authority steam plant and government cons truction of high-power transmission lines to spread electricity to additional rura l areas. Congressman George Dondero, a conservative Republican from Michigan, pointed out that 187 Republicans voted against the same measure in Congress and now found themselves running contrary to their party’s nominee. Dondero asked Dewey for the proper public stance to take in order to help the GOP. A handwritten note on the letter from Brownell simply read “HB agrees that non-committal response should be made.”72 Dewey’s hands-off approach and reluctance to address many i ssues left him in a position between the Democrats and the Congressional de legation of his own party. Dewey’s moderate and non-confrontati onal stance left him susceptible to challenges from all sides. Truman, unwilling to let Dewey escape without a fight, went on the offensive early and often. Alt hough his most forceful attacks came in the 72 George Dondero, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey, 1 October 1948. Copy in Folder 1 (Michigan), Box 25, Series II, Dewey Papers.

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146 waning days of the campaign, early on Truman exploited the split between the liberal and conservative Republicans and forced Dewey to either embrace or reject the accomplishments of the 80th Congress. In what became the most brilliant maneuver of the campaign, Truman called the 80th Congress back for a sp ecial session. The chief executive proclaimed that the American people demanded immediate relief from the high cost of living and the acute postwar housing shortage. Therefore, he claimed, Congress should not adjourn again until it had passed legislation to solve these problems. He further argued that “The communists, both here and abroad, are counting on our present prosper ity turning into a depressi on. They do not believe that we can -or will -put the brake on high prices. They are counting on economic collapse in this country."73 Truman placed the onus of America’s problems on the Congressional Republicans. Hill Republicans did not buy into Truman’s political theatrics. House Majority Leader Charles Halleck, on a national radio address, defiantly refused to go along with Truman’s recommendations, saying “In sp ite of the attitude of a hostile President bent on bolstering his crumbling political fo rtunes the Republican Congress will, in this special session, as always in the past do whatever may be found necessary in this emergency matter.74 Taft scribbled “No Evidence” in the margins of Truman’s address calling for the special session ne xt to the passage on communist subversion. He resented the political theater and did not feel obligated to take direction from the president. 75 Taft believed the root cause of disagreement between Truman and 73 Speech, Harry S. Truman, 27 July 1948. Copy in Folder (Harry S. Truman – Messages), Box 1290, Taft Papers. 74 Charles Halleck, Speech, 28 July 1948. Copy in Folder (Thomas E. Dewey – Speeches – Republican National Committee – 1948), Box 1285, Taft Papers. 75 Ibid.

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147 Congress was having incompatible worldview s and not any lack of initiative on the part of the legislature. No ting that the Democratic Admi nistration had been in power for roughly sixteen years, Taft argued that the high inflation resulted from the New Deal system of planned economy and not the fiscal policies of the 80th Congress. Taft was unwilling to accept any blame for the nation’s economic woes and placed the responsibility at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.76 On July 27, the Senate and House met in joint session to receive Truman’s legislative recommendations.77 Although some congressmen pledged to stay true to their ideological principles, Republicans re fused to adopt any of Truman’s proposals primarily out of stubbornness. Less than five minutes after Truman had left the House chamber and Congress had ended its joint session, Representative Daniel Reed of New York arose to criticize the President and his programs. He claimed that the New Deal style of economic planning and Keyne sian economics had directly caused the nation’s inflation problem, and that passage of the excise tax and new price control measures would exacerbate the situation even further.78 In the Senate, Majority Leader Wherry noted that the Senate had already passed housing and aid to education bills, and that any anti-inflation measures must go through the committee system. It was up to the House to meet Truman’s demands, but Martin, Halleck, Reed, and Taber rejected the housing and education bills outright. Desp ite the fact that many of these issues, such as moderate civil rights legislation, and improvements in education, housing, and labor relations were in the Republican platform, the 80th Congress refused to take affirmative action on a ny of them. Congress adjourned on August 7 76 Robert A. Taft, Speech, 28 July 1948. Copy in Folder (Thomas E. Dewey – Speeches – Republican National Committee – 1948), Box 1285, Taft Papers. 77 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd. Sess., Congressional Record, 9440-9443. 78 Ibid ., 9443-4.

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148 after failing to pass decisive bills to address a single one of Truman’s legislative recommendations.79 As the special session ended, Trum an once again moved to capitalize politically. In a statement released on A ugust 5, the President declared that “It now appears that so far the Congress has failed to discharge the tasks for which I called it into special session… There is still time for the Congress to fulfill its responsibilities to the American people. Our people will not be satisfied with the feeble compromises that apparently are being concocted.”80 Truman had placed the Congressional Republicans in a lose-lose situation and the en tire party was weakened in the process. Had Taft and his cohort fulfilled Truman’s ag enda, the President could claim that he forced Republican compliance and prove hims elf as an effective leader. If the GOP did nothing, it would appear w eak and reluctant to support some of the very programs that its 1948 platform endorsed. Dewey pl eaded with Taft and others to pass Truman’s program but Hill Republicans, sticking to their political principles, did nothing. The RNC issued pamphlets portraying the 80th Congress as a dynamic legislative body and took credit for reduc ing taxes and price controls and passing Taft-Hartley.81 If Dewey had agreed with this position, he likely could have outflanked Truman and claimed that the Republ icans were the true party of principle and were protecting the nation from furthe r Democratic malfeasance. However, since he saw conservatism as a losing platform, he did not defend his legislative wing and the Republicans went into November badly divided. 79 Ibid, D518-D584. 80 Harry. S. Truman, Speech, 5 August 1948. Copy in Folder (Harry S. Truman – Messages), Box 1290, Taft Papers. 81 Pamphlet, “The 80th Congress has a Fine Record,” Undated. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign Miscellany – Convention Arrangements – Miscellaneous 1948), Box 228, Taft Papers.

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149 The special session, the lackluster Dewe y campaign, and Truman’s fiery oratory revitalized the incumbent’s chances. When the votes were cast, Truman shocked the nation and emerged as the winner, ed ging Dewey out by a total of 24,179,259 to 21,991,291. Wallace and Thurmond received roughly 1 million votes each. In the Electoral College, Truman captured 303 to Dewey’s 189 and Thurmond’s 39. As in 1944, small margins in key states prevented Dewey from entering the White House. He lost California and its twenty-five el ectoral votes by less th an twenty thousand votes and Illinois’ twenty-eight by just over thirty thousand. The Wallace candidacy played to the Republican’s favor in New York, where Dewey squeaked out a sixtythousand vote victory. The Progressives tallied over 500,000 there, meaning that Dewey likely would have lost his home stat e, and its forty-seven electoral votes, had Wallace not ran. The Progressives also siphoned votes from the Democrats in Michigan and Maryland, givi ng the Republicans twenty-seven more electoral votes than the likely would have gotten in a two-man race. Dewey’s campaign strategy was flawed from the start. His positive and confident approach showed a lack of re spect for Harry Truman the candidate. His refusal to coordinate policy positions with congressional leadership also put him in an indefensible position. As early as 1945, the Albany group had adopted the view that any conservative program would drive away voters. In July 1945, political pollster Claude Robinson advised Dewey that the GOP did not appeal to common voters. Specifically, Robinson pointed out that the Democrats had cornered the market on labor and African American votes. The Repub licans had to find a way to appeal to a large mass of voters and shed its perceived iden tity as the party of the rich. To do this, Robinson proposed that the Republicans appe al to the emerging managerial class through calls for increased union accountability and more fiscal responsibility in

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150 Washington. In 1948, Dewey incorporated th ese suggestions into his platform, but took a more moderate stand than his conser vative colleagues would have liked. This reflected Dewey’s desire to bring unions and African Americans back into the GOP, but without alienating the mi ddle class whites that Robinson deemed so important.82 It is important to note that Dewey’ s public faade of moderate liberalism obscured a more conservative agenda for hi s expected presiden tial term. In early 1948, for example, Dewey assembled a team of reporters and public relations officials to examine the potential dangers and met hods of fighting communism. The Governor hoped to find the best method for expl oiting the communist-in-government issue while in the White House and seemingly hoped to build his presidential legacy as a defender of American freedoms against foreign subversion. Dubbed “Operation: Polecat,” because Dewey desired to “make communism as popular as a polecat,” the seven member committee included Newsw eek political correspondent and editor Robert Humphreys, Manchester Herald-Leader publisher William Loeb, China expert and Plain Talk founder Isaac Don Levine, and Pittsburgh Courier columnist George Schuyler. Their findings, transmitted to Dewey through an undated memo, called for the formation of a presidential commission to i nvestigate all potential areas of communist infiltration and work towards “the educa tion of the American public as to how communism directly and indirectly has aff ected [sic] their lives.” The Operation: Polecat committee called for a probe into co mmunistic influence in such areas as education, labor relations, religion, and gove rnment. The authors noted that “the complete lack of preparation, the desire fo r flash probes, scareheadlines and one-day blazes of publicity from witnesses pulled out of the hat, have diminished public 82 Claude Robinson, “Truman, the Republicans, and 1948.” July 1945. Copy in Folder 9 (Opposition), Box 46, Series II, Dewey Papers.

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151 confidence in any inquiry into communism.” They called for the Operation: Polecat committee to conduct hearings in a professi onal, constitutional manner and to take great strides to protect civil liberties. The report conclude d with the apt phrase, “much as thinking people began an enlightened campaign against syphilis, thinking Americans must now begin an enli ghtened campaign against communism.”83 While liberals and conservatives alik e would have likely agreed w ith this assessment, Dewey chose not to campaign on it, lest he invoke the conserva tive 1946 campaign and drive away the urban, liberal voters who he coveted so much. Operation: Polecat highlights the di fferences between Dewey’s campaign rhetoric and his potential governing style. Dewey had made communism an issue in the closing days of the 1944 Presidential elec tion, but he did not factor it into his political agenda as governor of New York or in his 1948 campaign. The 1948 Republican Platform barely mentioned comm unism. In 1945, the political rhetoric of Herbert Brownell, Dewey’s hand-picked RNC Chairman, made relatively few references to Communism and instead fo cused on New Deal bureaucracy as public enemy number one. Dewey’s behind-the-scen es work on Operation: Polecat and his virtual disregard of the topic on the campai gn trail show the differences between his public appeal and his programmatic goals. An investigating committee in place to turn the country upside down hunting for Reds a nd fellow-travelers aligned more closely with the conservative political rhetoric than Dewey’s “forward-looking” platform. Anti-communism was ostensibly a winning issu e for both parties, but Dewey’s silence indicates that he was unwilling to adopt a pos ition that could be deemed conservative. Dewey’s refusal to stump on the record of the 80th Congress indicated his inherent 83 Memo, “Operation: Polecat,” u ndated. Copy in Folder (1948 – Campaign and Election), Box 9, Robert Humphreys Papers, Dwight D. Eisenhower Li brary, Abilene, KS [Herea fter cited as Humphreys Papers].

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152 belief that a majority of voters were either centrist or liberal and would not vote for Old Guard policies. The major differences, then, between th e Taft and Dewey factions rested on their campaign styles and thei r opinions of the American electorate. Dewey, reluctant to continue the public image of the GOP as the party of the rich, campaigned for working class and African-American votes wh ile he solicited donations from some of Wall Street’s most powerful individuals. Taft believing that a majority of Americans wanted to end the New Deal, whether ri ghtly or wrongly, thought the Republican campaign should be aggressive and crafted to show the stark contrast between the two parties. Rhetoric on minority groups and wo rking class voters remained the major difference between the competing factions. Taft, never claiming to be against the individual laborers, castigated union officials as tools of Soviet Russia. Taft-Hartley, after all, created a loyalty oath for union ex ecutives, not the rank a nd file worker. Taft also took a more limited stand on Civil Righ ts than Dewey and flatly rejected a compulsory FEPC at the national level. De wey’s record in New York seemed more amenable to the working class and African-Americans and his campaign strategy sought to move them away from the Ne w Deal Coalition. His moderate, upbeat strategy, however, failed to excite a majority.

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153 CHAPTER 5 “A NATION OF MORONS:” THE AFTERMATH OF THE 1948 ELECTION, 19491950 The election of 1948 deflated the hopes of the Republican Party and fostered another intense period of factional stri fe. While Dewey’s campaign strategy proved unsuccessful, Truman’s attack on the 80th Congress and the failure of the special session to enact any social or economic legislation meant that Capitol Hill Republicans shared part of the blame. Dewe y rejected the contention that a majority of Americans actually supported Truma n. He believed that the Congressional leadership had made the Republicans seem divided through their failure to enact any of the progressive planks of the GOP pl atform. The Taft f action, however, thought that Dewey’s defeat stemme d from an ineffectual campaign and a refusal to embrace the cornerstones of the Republican legislativ e program such as the Taft-Hartley Act or the discontinuation of price c ontrols and wartime tax rate s. In 1949, the two factions once again sought control of the party machinery and attempted to create a set of policy goals that reflected their interpreta tion of the polity in preparation for the 1950 elections. Their renewed controversy threw an already bifurcated GOP into further disarray, and the disharmony over campaign t actics and policy goals nearly splintered the party in two. As a result, most partisans pledged their allegiance to either Taft or Dewey and increasingly began to identify them selves as “conservative” or “liberal.” This chapter will explore the enlarging divide in the Republican Party during 1948 and early 1950 and the emerging political identities that the factions ultimately adopted.

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154 At the national level, Dewey’s stagge ring loss reopened the wounds left from the pre-convention campaign. Local issues exacerbated by Brownell’s tendency to stoke minor factional fires and his cons truction of parallel campaign machinery outside of the regular party in a number of states also came back with a vengeance. Although these problems stemmed primarily from rhetorical and st rategic differences, after 1948 they took on a functional value and became serious points of contention in Republican circles. During the fall of 1948, Republicans had buried these issues for the sake of party unity, but Dewey’s loss unearthed them quickly and forcefully. As 1948 slipped into the cold harsh wi nter of 1949, the Republicans played the blame game amongst themselves. Initially, af ter several days of reflection, Dewey, now a two-time presidential loser, refused to make excuses. He told Time publisher Henry Luce that “You can analyze figures from now to kingdom come, and all they will show is that we lost the farm vot e which we had in 1944 and that lost the election.”1 Others believed that African-Amer icans and trade unionists had rebuffed Dewey’s advanced and stayed solidly De mocratic. Leonard Repogle, a Republican insider with ties to Florida, lamented to Dewey that “Most of th e negroes and a large percentage of the Jews voted for Truman, despite your efforts of many years to give them a fair break. Union labor went to to wn in a big way and got out every vote... I am beginning to think we are a nation of mo rons, incapable of intelligent thinking.”2 Such an arrogant view did little to address th e fundamental causes of the Republican defeat, whatever they were, but highli ghted the tendency for the Albany group to blame others for their inadequacies and failures. 1 Thomas E. Dewey, Quoted in Smith, Thomas E. Dewey and his Times 544. 2 J. Leonard Repogle, Letter to Thomas E. Dewe y, 8 November 1948. Copy in Folder 1 (Leonard Repogle), Box 38, Series X, Dewey Papers.

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155 Most of the Dewey group agreed with Re pogle in principle but chose a different scapegoat. In their opinion, Hill Repub licans had stood by their conservatism and refused to adopt key aspects of the Repub lican platform during the special session. This, in turn, allowed Truman to explo it the dysfunctional nature of the GOP and portray the Republicans as the opponent of the common man. Dewey and his colleagues believed that this kept African -Americans and trade unionists from voting Republican. Missouri National Committeeman Barak Mattingly believed that the legislators held Dewey hostage through thei r refusal to adopt the Republican platform in toto. He told Dewey that, in his opini on, “With the divergent views of Taft, Ball, Revercomb, Stassen and all the others, th ere was nothing else you could do, unless you wanted to irrevocably split the Republic an Party, which would have only meant a worse defeat.”3 The Dewey camp saw no fault in its own campaign strategy and believed that the continued embrace of conservatism and the record of the 80th Congress had been their downfall. Mattingly and others speculated that pub lic displeasure with the Taft-Hartley Act was the crucial factor in the 1948 def eat. After the election, the research division of the RNC reported that the segment of the urban industrial vote captured in 1946 returned to the Democratic camp in 1948, resulting in the GOP defeat.4 Oregon Senator Wayne Morse, easily the most liberal Republican elected official in the nation, wrote in The Progressive that “No extended comment needs to be made about the loss of the labor vote. Everyone knows th at the Taft-Hartley Act was a terrific 3 Barak Mattingly, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey, 20 November 1948. Copy in Folder (Barak Mattingly 1944-1957), Box 28, Series X, Dewey Papers. 4 Republican National Committee Res earch Division, “The 1948 Elec tion: A Statistical Analysis,” May 1949. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign Miscellany -Convention Arrangements -Election Results -1949 (2)), Box 227, Taft Papers.

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156 liability to the Republican Party.”5 Dewey agreed with this assessment wholeheartedly. Even after th e 1948 election returns, the Go vernor still had faith in his strategy and believed that Hill Repub licans had refused to endorse his position through legislative action and, therefore, made his appeals seem hollow. Taft supporters had a completely differe nt take and thought Dewey’s refusal to take forthright stands on c ontroversial issues such as tax reductions, price controls, and the housing crisis, as well as his st rategy to conduct the campaign as if the election had already been won, had led to defeat. The Taftites believed that Dewey’s silence on these issues signified that Dewey held liberal political views, and that his 1948 campaign had been an abandonment of conservatism. Taft wrote that he was “tremendously disappointed at the result of the election,” and said that “it can be laid directly at Mr. Dewey's door. If he had gone out and made a fight and argued each of the issues before the people, I am confident he would have won.”6 Taft explicitly rejected the contention that the Taft-Hartle y Act had driven organized labor back to the Democrats. He noted that Dewey had improved from his 1944 totals in many of Ohio’s industrial counties and lost Cl eveland, a Democratic and union stronghold, by only thirty-five thousand votes, a much sm aller total than in recent elections.7 Taft firmly believed that the working class woul d back the GOP, despite their instruction from the CIO-PAC, because Taft-Hartley protected the working man from what the Senator saw as self-inter ested union officials. In February 1948, opinion research conduc ted by a third-party polling firm for the Taft campaign showed that the public had accepted Taft-Hartley and that labor 5 The Progressive December 1948. Clipping in Folder (1948 Campaign Miscellany -Convention Arrangements -Election Results 1947-1948), Box 227, Taft Papers. 6 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Bas il Brewer, 23 December 1948. Copy in Folder (1 948 Campaign Miscellany -Convention Arrangements -Election Results -1949 (1)), Box 227, Taft Papers. 7 Ibid.

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157 organizations and the Democrats had wrongl y portrayed both it and the Republican Party as enemies of the working class. Th e poll indicated that the American people realized the need for Taft-Hartley and the disapproval of the law stemmed from partisanship, not from any advers e effect on unions or employers.8 Taft believed that the poll results were accurate and doubted that the labor law had defeated Dewey. J. Mack Swigert, a partner in Taft’s law fi rm in Cincinnati, concluded that “It is doubtless true that some Congressmen were beaten by the Taft-Hartley issue. From the point of view of the country at larg e, however, it seems cl ear that the election returns contained no mandate whatsoever agai nst this law. The Union propaganda that labor won the electi on is a great hoax.”9 Taft refused to be the scapegoat for the Republican defeat and stood on the record of the Taft-Hartl ey Act and the 80th Congress. The varied election analyses fueled fac tional tensions and th e resulting charges and counter-charges had uninte nded side effects. Because the defeat was attributed more to policy positions than campaign st rategy, the Taft and Dewey groups attacked each other for their supposed political philosophies and affixed ideological labels, although imprecise and never truly consistent to each other. Granted, some members of the party openly embraced th e title of “conservative” or “liberal,” but the intensity of the partisan infighting generated a number of ad hom inem attacks between the Republican groups that gained traction in the heated post-election atmosphere. While the factions shared a fundamental set of political principles, these debates amplified relatively minor policy and rhetorical diffe rences a hundred-fold in the press and in private correspondence. The Taft camp, al most to a person, claimed that Dewey 8 Opinion Poll. Ross Federal Research Company, February 1948. Copy in Folder (Campaign Miscellany -Printed Matter -Background Material -1948 (1)), Box 234, Taft Papers. 9 J. Mack Swigert, Letter to William McGrath, 31 January 1949. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign Miscellany -Convention Arrangements -Election Results -1949 (1)), Box 227, Taft Papers.

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158 supporters were liberals, in the hated Ne w Deal sense of the word, and had done nothing but parrot the Democratic platfo rm during the campaign. The Albany group, for its part, accused Taft supporters of an obstinate conservatism and a refusal to move beyond the traditional pro-business age nda of the GOP. The factional squabbles in the run up to the 1950 elec tion were partly out of frus tration with the 1948 defeat and partly out of a strategic desire to gain control of th e party organization. They did, however, generate a by-product that permanen tly and intentionally aligned Taft and Dewey with conservatism and liberalism resp ectively and, in the process, divided the party into two ideological camps. The intra-party attacks and ideological signifiers did not reflect the policies of Dewey or Taft. Dewey governed New York as a fiscal conservative and refused to support programs that jeopardized a balan ced budget. He was not a liberal, even though he campaigned as one. Taft, while the darling of the anti-union crowd, supported expanding federal aid to e ducation and public housing. He was no conservative ideologue. While some indi viduals in the RNC and Congress could easily identify as conservatives and libera ls, both Taft and Dewey occupied moderate positions closer to the center of the Republican political spectrum. Following 1948, however, the level and frequenc y of partisan discord led to a perception of ideological distance that neither factional lead er could overcome. The editors of Human Events lamented this fact, claiming “The explanati on seems to be that people have been so bemused with words as to be no longer able to discern when a fundamental principle of this Republic is jeopardized… Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. Certainly the confused jargon which today passes for political thinking represents a collective departure from sanity.”10 Rather than espousing reasoned arguments and 10 Human Events 6, no. 1, 5 January 1949.

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159 disagreements over programmatic goals, the factional discourse now evolved into name-calling and imprecise labels that characterized the GOP. Taft and Dewey partisans hoped these charges would give them a short-term electoral advantage, but their frequency and intensity lasted well beyond the next election cycle. The battle between the newly-christened liberal and conserva tive factions took place on two fronts: the halls of Congress and the meeting rooms of the RNC. On Capitol Hill, the liberal Republicans, known mostly for their prolabor and pro-civil rights votes, coalesced into a viable coali tion opposed to Taft’s continued leadership and legislative aims. As the 81st Congress began its first session, a group of selfdescribed liberal Republican Senators chal lenged Taft for control of the Republican Senate Policy Committee. Under the existing rules, the chairmanship of the committee was limited to a four-year term and, since Taft had led the RSPC’s predecessor, the Republican Stra tegy Committee, since the 79th Congress, he could not run again. In December 1950, his closest allies made it known that they would present a rule change to allow the Ohioan to continue in his position and maintain his critical role in the legislative process. Taft had guided Republican policy and the Old Guard deemed his leadership critical to opposing the new Democratic majority. Cognizant that Taft had successfully used the policy committee to shape the Republican agenda during the 80th Congress, the so-called “Young Turks” promised a showdown with the Old Guard and nominate d Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts to take over the RSPC.11 On January 3, the Republican Senators approved the rule change twenty-nine to thirteen, and re-e lected Taft twenty-eight to fourteen. Nebraskan Kenneth Wherry remained floor lead er and, in an effort to rebuild unity in the Republican caucus, Taft and the conser vative majority re-elected Young Turk 11 Los Angeles Times 1 January 1949; Patterson, Mr. Republican 427.

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160 Leveret Saltonstall of Massachusetts whip, and seated two more upstarts, Irving Ives of New York and Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, on the RSPC.12 The liberal Republican senators had hope d to achieve a symbolic victory over the Old Guard leadership through Taft’s de motion. While the liberals disagreed with Taft on some issues, they had hoped that a ch ange of leadership would show that the party was not dominated by pro-business fo rces and that it was open to change, making it more attractive to centrist Democr ats and independents. Columnist Stewart Alsop noted that Taft had a voting record in line with most of the rebellious legislators and championed non-conservative causes like federal ai d to education and public housing. He highlighted the fact that Lodge and Taft voted together on key civil rights measures, and noted that the House leadershi p, a group much more conservative than its Senate counterpar ts, had experienced no challenge. Alsop speculated that the revolt was due to forei gn policy, rather than domestic issues, but also claimed that, regardless of the reas oning, “Taft has become the symbol of the kind of right-wing Republicanism which the vote rs have rejected in five presidential elections… For the return of the… leadership in the Senate… will seem proof that the Republican Party is incapable of change.”13 The Young Turks believed that Taft’s continued role in the party would sour moderate voters and prevent the GOP from moving beyond its past. They did not, however, have the votes to br ing about change. Alsop’s analysis was only partially correct There was little doubt that Taft had indeed become the leader of the conserva tive Republicans. Hi s early support from disaffected southerners in the 1948 preconvention campaign, his anti-union, antiprice control, anti-taxation stands, and hi s general, but not absolute, embrace of the 12 Los Angeles Times, 6 January 1949; Patterson, Mr. Republican, 429. 13 Stewart Alsop “Sen. Taft is as ‘Liberal’ as the Liberal Rebels,” in Los Angeles Times 5 January 1949.

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161 principle of limited government made hi m the most prominent conservative Republican politician. His leadership in th e RSPC had created a Republican program that rejected perceived New Deal excesses like the Wagner Act and sought to return the nation to the governing style of the 1920s. Alsop failed to acknowledge, however, that only two years previously a conserva tive program had given the Republicans a majority in Congress. The 1946 platform created by B. Carroll Reece and Clarence Brown had won over a sizable percentage of the voters and showed that opposition to the New Deal did have appeal. In 1948, Dewey had repudiated the 1946 position and ran a campaign that rejected outright, am ong other things, Taft-Hartley, the most conservative law passed by the most c onservative Congress since the Great Depression. Dewey’s defeat could be interpreted as a rejection of rightwing Republicanism, but also as a referendum against the moderate, “forward-looking” Republicanism that Dewey most famously es poused. Alsop failed to consider that the 1948 results might have been a vote agains t a weakly constructed, poorly promoted alternative to the New Deal designed to be less abrasive to traditionally Democratic minority and working class voters. Taft and his associates believed this to be the case. During the Young Turk controversy, conser vative journalists pi cked up on this fact and made it a central part of their pro-Taft arguments. Felix Morely, writing in Human Events thought the Young Turks had planned “to secure for the GOP the support of voters who have no intention of following any type of Republican leadership.”14 Morely saw the presence of liberal Republicans as an anathema to the party and believed this group would weaken the party’s ability to oppose the Truman Fair Deal. The perceived ideological di vide between liberal and conservative Republicans was still more or less rhetorical and existed in public discourse and, to a 14 Human Events 6, no. 1, 5 January 1949.

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162 degree, on the RNC. Congr essional Republicans, despite their opening day controversy, seemed rather unified and the split between Taft and the Young Turks was nearly undetectable on key issues and votes.15 The Taft faction held a dominant position in the Senate but operated in the RNC from a position of weakness. In late 1948, Arizona national committeeman Clarence “Bud” Kelland emerged as the most publicly critical of Dewey’s electoral failure. A writer and publisher by trade, Kelland had supported Dewey in 1944 but had opposed him thereafter. He was the leading figure in the state party and had total control of the Arizona organization. He was also well-liked and his constituents believed that he had represented them admirably in national circ les. His media connections also made him a very influential public figure both regionally and nationally.16 After Dewey’s 1948 defeat, Kelland became a vocal member of the growing anti-Dewey segment of the RNC. On policy matters, Kelland was an unr epentant conservative. In 1945, he had authored a declaration of pr inciples on behalf of the Arizona Central Republican Committee, titled the “Arizona Declaration,” that identified the state party as the conservative party of the state. Explicitly rej ecting what he saw as a collectivist streak in the New Deal, Kelland declared that the Arizona Republican Party “devoted to saving the right of every indivi dual to make the most of hi s abilities in any business or calling he chooses.” Kelland expressed disd ain for political appeals designed to benefit interest groups, adopting the position that the New Deal coalition existed to 15 For example, five of the Young Turks co-sponsor ed Taft’s new federal aid to education bill. Once again, the liberal Republicans were in favor of new labor and civil rights legislation, but party unity held for other major policy issues. 16 Ned Creighton, Letter to Clarence Brown, 3 May 1948. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign – Arizona – C-W), Box 165, Taft Papers; Wallie Warren, Letter to E.C. Converse, 2 December 1947. Copy in Folder 9 (Arizona), Box 21, Series II, Dewey Papers.

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163 buy the votes of disaffected groups. He clai med that “[The Arizona Republican Party] does not believe in government by minorities, ” and also attacked organized labor and what he thought were its dictatorial tendencies.17 The “Arizona Declaration” was a clea r articulation of Kelland’s political philosophy, which he imposed on the Arizona party by virtue of his leadership position. After Dewey’s nomination, Kelland ha d worked on behalf of the Republican ticket, but was not impressed with the campaign strategy Albany had adopted. He was especially concerned with Dewey’s effo rts to woo organized labor and African Americans, as this went c ontra to his statement agains t “government by minorities.” In early 1949, he confided to Taft that he had written a speech for Dewey that railed against Democratic encroachments on indivi dual liberty under R oosevelt and Truman. Dewey, according to Kelland, did not see the positive benefits of such an address and returned it with the phrase “What’s the payoff” scribbled in the margin.18 Dewey’s willingness to sacrifice Republic an traditions for interest group votes angered Kelland greatly. Three days after the 1948 election, Ke lland wrote a letter seeping with frustration to B. Carroll Reece. “This was th e same little group that organized defeat in 1944,” Kelland claimed. “They had so im proved their methods by 1948 that they were able to organize di saster.” The Arizonian cont ended that the Dewey group wasted the Republican gains from 1946 th rough the prosecution of a campaign that failed to excite the nation and allowed Truman, “a little man whose only equipment was courage and an indomitable fighting spir it to give us a sound drubbing. And this 17 Clarence “Bud” Kelland, “The Arizona Declaration,” 7 November 1945. Copy in Folder 9 (Arizona), Box 21, Series II, Dewey Papers. 18 Clarence “Bud” Kelland, Letter to Robert A. Taft 11 February 1949. Copy in Folder (Political, Republican, 1949), Box 911, Taft Papers.

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164 single-handed and deserted by his party.” Kelland intended to rally Republicans against Dewey’s leadership, saying “At this moment, the Republican Party is the private property of the Albany group. The Pa rty must be returned to the Party. The Albany group has twice proven its genius for organizing de feat, and twice must be enough.”19 Kelland stopped just short of advoca ting Dewey’s removal from the GOP. Kelland soon made his displeasure pub lic. On November 16, the New York Herald reported that Kelland had forwar ded his comments asked the national committee for a complete house-cleaning of the leadership and staff positions at headquarters. He demanded the election of a new chairman through an open vote, not factional wheeling-and-dealing. With his usua l literary flair, Kelland claimed that the time had come that “the national committee assert its position as the duly elected governing body of the Republican Party and th at it cease to be nothing but a chowder and marching club whose only function is to jump through the hoops.”20 Kelland’s criticisms had a degree of saliency. Brownell, after all, had used a separate campaign structure in 1948 and had diminished the importance of the RNC. Kelland’s statements served as a rallying cry for c onservative Republicans to challenge Dewey’s dominance in party affairs.. Numerous other Republicans reached th e same conclusion as Kelland, but did so in a less vigorous manner. The research de partment of the RSPC issued an analysis of the 1948 results that placed responsibil ity for the defeat at Brownell’s doorstep. The economic improvement from 1946 to 1948, coupled with a decline in labor disputes, reduced the voter discontent with the Democrats that had bolstered the GOP 19 Clarence “Bud” Kelland, Letter to B. Carroll R eece, 5 November 1948. C opy in Folder (1948 Campaign Miscellany – Convention Arrangements – Election Results – 1947-48), Box 277, Taft Papers. 20 New York Herald Clipping in Folder 7 (Arizona), Box 21, Series II, Dewey Papers.

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165 landslide two years earlier. The aloofness of the Dewey campaign made the Republicans, not the Democrats, appear as the party in power and enabled Truman to attack with the vehemence of a caged anim al. Dewey’s refusal to attack Truman on concrete issues led to a boring and unev entful campaign that made the Republicans seem oblivious or indifferent to the economic and social problems of the nation. Such a strategy, the report claimed, led to frustrati on in an American public that” love[s] to engage in the healthy American practice to ruffle a stuffed shirt, throw a snowball at a top hat, or boo a champion stalling a fight.”21 The distance of the candidate from Congress and the Washington political e nvironment had left him unprepared to defend the 80th Congress and made the party appear hopelessly divided on important policy areas like labor rela tions and civil rights. The RSPC report saw some positive signs in the 1948 results, however, and called for a bold new strategy for the GOP that combined publicity and organization with a hefty dose of political theory. It called for the Re publicans to define the term “liberalism” and to stake their claim as the party most beholden to the classical liberal tradition of limited government and free-ente rprise, rather than let the Democrats control the discourse and con tinue to equate liberalism with support for the working class and minorities. The RSPC urged the Re publicans to re-evaluat e their system of political campaigning and move beyond the standard interpreta tion of politics. “Republicans need to make a fresh study of their position,” the report stated. “In doing this job it is important to bear in mind that the major political controversies today do not center about objectives (such as gold vs. silver or high vs. low tariff) but mainly about methods of attaining objectives Failure to observe this fact in the past 21 “1948 Election Result,” Report of the Senate Majo rity Policy Committee, undated. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign Miscellany – Convention Arrangements – Election Results – 1947-48), Box 277, Taft Papers.

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166 several years has entrapped the party into a 'Me, too' position and otherwise confused the distinctions between Republicans and Democrats.”22 The report argued that the creation a viable alternative program that starkly contrast ed the Democrats and their reliance on the federal state was the key to defeating the New Deal coalition. This plan, of course, ran against Dewey’s agenda for the party based on “forward-looking” principles and centrist appeals. The report de manded that the GOP declare itself to be the conservative alternative to the New Deal. Kelland’s comments and the RSPC repor t were public examples of the frustration of many Republicans, includi ng a number of Dewey supporters. A selfidentified Dewey supporter claimed that th e 1948 results were partially due to “Gov. Dewey's failure to expound in detail the Repub lican platform in contradistinction to the Democratic platform… The people were entitled to a frank a nd full debate on the grave issues of the day. Gov. Dewe y failed them in this respect.”23 Human Events prophesied that the 1948 defeat had perman ently ruined Dewey’s status as titular leader of the party and expected a cons ervative resurgence in the coming year.24 In early 1949, Dewey’s popularity among Repu blicans appeared to be at an alltime low, but it is important to understand th e motivations and per ceptions of the antiDewey forces. Although Dewey governed New York with a strict sense of fiscal responsibility, his ineffective campaign ope ned him up for attack as a New Deal proponent. At the very least, his failure to indict Truman for what many saw as irresponsible spending, poor leadership dur ing the postwar demobilization, and his veto of the Taft-Hartley Act made Dewe y seem sympathetic to the Democratic 22 Ibid. 23 J.Y.C. Kellogg, Letter to “Meet the Press,” 25 Ja nuary 1949. Copy in Folder (Political – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers. 24 Human Events 5, no. 47, 24 November 1948.

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167 position and gave the American people no in dication that he would act differently than the incumbent. Dewey’s favorable treatment of labor unions and AfricanAmericans and his unwillingness to make the record of the 80th Congress an integral part of his campaign also made him appear closer to the De mocratic position than that of the Old Guard Republicans. Those who held, anti-New Deal views charged Dewey with betraying the GOP and labeled him a “Me, too” Republican. Conservatives believed that Dewey had promised the Ameri can people that he, t oo, would affirm the New Deal and abandon the Republican base in the hopes of building his own coalition of interest groups. Even though Dewey did not publicly endorse much of the Truman program and would have likely stepped up the anti-communist program and worked for a balanced budget and tax reduction, his 1948 campaign could not convince many in his own party, or the elect orate at large, that he wa s more than a “New Deal Republican.” Whether fairly or unfairly, a number of Republican voters now viewed Dewey as a traitor to his party and rejected his moderate views as a weak compromise or, at worst, a calculated, di singenuous power grab, rather than a valid representation of traditional Republican policies and philosophies. With pressure coming from both the Congressional Republicans and conservative members of the RNC, the ne xt meeting of the national organization began with a great deal of tension. Old Guar d criticism had led to a drive to oust Hugh Scott from the RNC chairmanship. Although Scott played only a minor role in the 1948 campaign, he was Dewey’s choice for Ch airman and was the chief target of Kelland’s scorn. Kyle Palmer of the Los Angeles Times believed that “If this meeting does no more than demonstrate a desire and determination to up with something better than ‘me-too’ or ‘you’re anot her,’ progress will be made.”25 To the Taft camp, only 25 Los Angeles Times, 9 January 1949.

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168 Scott’s removal and a minimizing of Dewe y’s influence could be considered a success. As the two factions began to prepare fo r battle, former presidential candidate Alf Landon urged Taft to not become persona lly involved in the ch airman controversy and to instruct his supporter s not to become embroiled in what loomed as a bitter debate. In Landon’s opinion, th e liabilities of involvement outweighed the benefits and he implored Taft to “stay away from the National Chairman ruckus as you would a case of the smallpox.”26 Taft could not comply, however, as his detractors publicly expressed their intentions to attack the Ohioan and the 80th Congress at the upcoming meeting. In early January 1949, the California state GOP announced their intention to introduce a resolution repudiating the Republic an congressional leadership for its inability to pass key aspect s of the Republican platform during the special session. Taft attributed this maneuver to California Governor Earl Warren rather than Dewey, but had to take aggressive action in order to retain influence within the national committee and oppose continued Dewey lead ership, regardless of the potential pitfalls.27 Dewey’s defeat had ruined his chance at another presidential nomination, but his organization remained strong and ready to attack Taft over the failure of the special session. The public criticism of Scott had made the Chairman’s position tenuous, though Taft believed that his own supporters should offer to support Scott in exchange for his cooperation in the 1952 pre-convention campaign.28 After all, Scott 26 Alfred Landon, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 29 Decem ber 1948. Copy in Folder (Political – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers. 27 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Frank Kent, 14 January 1949. Copy in Folder (Political – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers. 28 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Rentfro B. Creager, 5 Ja nuary 1949. Copy in Folder (Political – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers.

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169 was the devil Taft knew. Two weeks later, the Senator held a decidedly different opinion. Taft had doubtless received word from sources close to the Dewey camp that Scott would be uncooperative and that Dewe y was unwilling to relinquish control of the RNC. In late 1948, Dewey approached Sco tt and assured the Chairman that he still had the support of the Albany group.29 A week before the meeting, Scott appointed an executive committee that was composed mos tly of Dewey supporters. Taft advised Minnesota national committeeman Roy Dunn that “I have tried to keep out of the fight in Omaha, but it looks as if Scot t was determined to take over the whole Committee in behalf of Governor Dewe y. I don't quite see how he can justify appointing an Executive Committee just before the meeting of the large Committee. I know that Clarence Brown and Spa ngler are in touch with you.”30 Despite Landon’s plea for Taft to stay on the sidelines, th e Senator had no choice but to counter Dewey’s aggressive maneuvers. On January 26, the RNC gathered at the Fontenelle Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. Scott, well aware of his unpopularity, conced ed a number of the Taftites’ key points in his opening address. After protesting th at he played only a minor role in the Brownell-led presidential cam paign, Scott agreed that pa rty divisions had weakened the GOP and that ultimately Dewey’s strategy had failed to mobilize the nation.31 Scott hoped to create a false sense of neutra lity and masked an agreement between the Chairman and Dewey for continued Albany control of the RNC. Scott’s recent 29 Thomas E. Dewey, Letter to Barak Mattingly, 4 Ja nuary 1949. Copy in Folder 3 (Barak Mattingly, 1944-1957), Box 28, Series II, Dewey Papers. 30 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Roy Dunn, 22 January 1949. Copy in Folder (Political – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers. 31 Hugh D. Scott. Speech before the Republican National Committee, Omaha, Neb., 26 January 1949. Republican Party Papers, Reel 8.

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170 appointment of a Deweyite executive co mmittee and Dewey’s pledge of continued support indicated Scott’s true intentions. The Old Guard, cognizant of this political reality, attacked the Dewey faction frequently at the meetings. Majority Lead er Kenneth Wherry gave the opening day luncheon address and said that “There ar e those who say we should revitalize the party by turning to the radical left and by out-promising the New De alers. A 'me-too' policy is the road to ruin for our party and for our nation.”32 Indiana Senator Homer Capeheart and Nebraska Governor Val Peterson echoed these themes. The antiDewey groups controlled the rhetoric at Omaha.33 Over the next two days, the factionalism became more heated. Scott continually called for party unity and castigated the Taft backers as power hungry at the same time. Lacking a sense of irony, Scott accused the Taft faction of trying to capture the 1952 nomination and subverting the democratic process through its efforts to oust him. Scott was the lone voice of dissent in a room filled with vocal conservatives and Taft supporters.34 Aware that the party was fr acturing before his eyes, Scott argued that “The Republican Party, in my view, is the indi spensable catalytic agent to bring this conservatism and this liberalism togeth er for the common good and in national attainment of both objectives which, I in sist, can be put in gear together.”35 With most of the RNC privy to Dewey’s support for Scott, his words of unification rang hollow and did little to assuag e those in attendance. 32 Kenneth Wherry, Speech to the Republican Nati onal Committee, Omaha, Neb., 26 January 1949. Republican Party Papers, Reel 8. 33 Minutes of Meeting of the Republican National Committee, 26 January 1949. Republican Party Papers, Reel 8. 34 Ibid. 35 Hugh D. Scott, Speech to Re publican National Committee, Om aha, Neb., 27 January 1949. Republican Party Papers, Reel 8.

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171 After Scott’s last address, Jacob Fr ance, a former Dewey supporter and RNC member from Maryland, introduced a motion to call for Scott’s resignation.36 Taft supporters quickly rose to second the motion. Harrison Spangler of Iowa claimed that “We have lost the confidence of the people. We are the s ubject of ridicule on every street corner. We are the laughing stock ever ywhere. They have lost confidence in us, lost confidence in us because we did not pi ck up the fight for this great American system of ours and instead followed off into the by-ways which led to the socialized state with Mr. Truman.”37 Dewey partisans defended their embattled Chairman. After over twenty people spoke on the matter, a s econd motion which effectively kept Scott in power, passed with the narrow margi n, 54-50. The vote indicated the level of division within the RNC. In January, Dewe y had predicted that Scott would win by a two to one margin, but the Taft faction ha d converted growing discontent with Dewey and the 1948 results into a referend um on the direction of the party.38 The narrow margin of victory illustrated the shar p division among the RNC and showed a growing disdain for Dewey and his amb itious hold on the national organization. Scott’s first action after the vote was to expand the party bureaucracy and strengthen Deweyite contro l through the creat ion of the Republican Organization Policy Committee (ROPC). Arthur Summerfi eld, RNC member from Michigan and Vandenberg supporter, introdu ced a resolution to create a broadly based group to coordinate all standing Re publican committees, including representatives from the RNC, the RCCC, the RSCC, and the RSFC. The RNC approved the resolution, and 36 Minutes of the Meeting of the Republican Nati onal Committee, Omaha, Neb., 27 January 1949. Republican Party Papers, Reel 8. 37 Ibid. 38 Thomas E. Dewey, Letter to Barak Mattingly, 4 Ja nuary 1949. Copy in Folder 3 (Barak Mattingly, 1944-1957), Box 28, Series II, Dewey Papers

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172 Scott appointed six members, five of whom had just voted to retain the Pennsylvanian as chairman. Rewarding loyal supporters was politics as usual, a nd the creation of the ROPC added an additional layer of control. In theory, should Scott lose a future vote for the chairmanship, the ROPC membership would still be under Dewey’s influence and ensure that GOP policy continued its direction. The Dewey group knew its hold was slipping away, and expa nding the operations appeared as a desperate effort to retrench their position.39 Omaha marked a significant turning point for the Taft faction as well. Aside from the narrow defeat in their drive to re move Scott from power, divisions began to emerge between Taft and more zealous conservatives in and around the RNC. The most notable break came between Taft a nd John Gordon Bennett, the public relations man whose illicit tactics had weakened Taft’s pre-convention campaign in the South. Bennett arrived in Omaha looking for work a nd verbally attacked Scott on a number of occasions in-between meeting sessions. In an undated letter, Bennett advised Taft that his personal politicking against Scott in the months before the meeting had probably “been the most wide-spread, and w ith the most drive and effective selling.”40 While Brown and Reece worked quietly for an anti-Scott vote, Bennett boisterously claimed that Taft wanted a new chairman and verbally antagonized Scott.41 After this unrestrained outcry, Taft had had enough of Bennett. Martin called Bennett and severed all ties between hi m and the Taft organization.42 39 Ibid. 40 John Gordon Bennett, Letter to Robert A. Taft, Un dated. Copy in Folder (Political – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers. 41 John Gordon Bennett, Letter to Robert A. Taft, Dated “Wednesday in Rochester.” Copy in Folder (Political – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers. 42 Conversation between John Gordon Bennett and I. Jack Martin, Audio Recording in Folder (Political – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers; John Gordon Bennett, Letter to Robert A. Taft, Dated

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173 Bennett’s final communication with the Senator revealed the depths of his attachment to the conservative ideology a nd shows the slow transformation of the factional divide from strategic and rhetor ical to philosophical and principled. He claimed that, in Taft, he had “seen [his] great God and idol turn to common clay.” He contended that Taft had grow n detached from the political pulse of the nation and complacent in his leadership role in the Sena te. He believed that “Our party is today in the throes of a great struggle, and the basic issue is whether or not the GOP will go to the left, or remain center or slightly right of center… It is a fight of principle versus opportunism.” Bennett seemed sincere in his criticisms and castigated Taft for not fighting hard enough against the suppos ed liberal tendencies of the Dewey organization at Omaha. Bennett portrayed hi mself as a martyr willing to sacrifice himself for good government, balanced budge ts, and the free market economy. To Bennett, his firing was due to Taft’s abandonm ent of principles, ra ther than his own actions at Omaha. Bennett’s commentary reveals that his disdain for modern liberalism guided his action, not an allegi ance to one individual or one political organization.43 Bennett represented an emerging strain of postwar American political thought. The 1948 defeat, coming on the heels of th e impressive 1946 results, galvanized ideologically conservative members of the Republican Party. These individuals moved to revitalize their party and return it to its traditional base, preventing what they saw as a widening gap between party leaders and the rank and file voters. Bennett had the opportunity and personal connections to pl ead his case to Taft, but “Wednesday in Rochester.” Copy in Folder (Politi cal – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers. In the text of this letter, Bennett alludes to the letter cited in n. 32 as the letter he wrote last week. 43 John Gordon Bennett, Letter to Robert A. Taft, Dated “Thursday in Rochester.” Copy in Folder (Political – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers.

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174 other concerned citizens on the Right ha d also grown disgruntled with bland campaign statements and the interest-gr oup politics of Dewey. Larry Davidow, a correspondent from Detroit, wrote to Taft saying rather urgently that “Conservative forces are disunited and di sorganized. Those in our country who ought to be making constructive contributions in establishi ng a fighting organization are panicky and dismayed. The American ideal is being lost because of lack of cohesion and determination by those who should be its intelligent protagonist.”44 Taft, in complete agreement, responded with a note saying “You make a very forcible presentation of a point of view with is pract ically the same as my own… I have some ideas myself about what I may be able to do.”45 James Selvage, Taft’s 1948 publicity manager, actively sought financial backing for a cons ervative “propaganda” agency to combat supposedly biased media organizations like the New York Times Since the Deweycontrolled RNC handled the national public ity program, Selvage’s proposal would provide an alternative organi zation to promote the goals and aims of conservativeleaning Republicans.46 Although Taft advocated some very un-conservative programs, he was the politician that most closely represented the conservative position and, therefore, became the representative of choi ce for most subscribers to this fledgling movement. Bennett, Davidof, and Selvage were three ex amples of a much larger call for the Republican Party to adopt a more conservati ve identity. This refrain came from a 44 Larry Davidof, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 3 January 1949. Copy in Folder (Political – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers. 45 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Larry Davidof, 6 January 1949. Copy in Folder (Political – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers. 46 Robert A. Taft, Letter to James Selvage, 5 April 1949. Copy in Folder (Political – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers.

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175 number of grassroots groups and had tr action in communities throughout the nation.47 One of the most prominent groups was the National Republican Roundup Committee (NRRC). The NRRC organized in Chicago a nd had no affiliation with the RNC or any other official Republican Party organi zation, but attracted financial and moral support from conservatives from throughout the nation. H. Barry McCormick of Chicago, no relation to Chicago Tribune publisher Colonel Robert McCormick, served as chairman of the group but NRRC secretary and executive committee chairman Fred Virkus of Chicago was the group’s driving force. Virkus had represented Illinois at the 1948 Republi can National Convention and ardently supported Taft. He founded the NRRC as an a uxiliary of the party to promote a set of hard-line conservative principles and encour age the GOP to tack further to the right. On November 11, the NRRC released a ni neteen point program to guide the Republican Party in the forthcoming electi on cycle. Sounding remarkably similar to the Republicans’ 1946 campaign rhetoric, the NRRC believed that “freedom or socialism is the paramount issue facing our people today… If the Republican Party is to survive… the issue squarely presented to the people of whether they shall have SOCIALISM or FREEDOM.” The program reject ed virtually every aspect of the New Deal and called for a complete return to the Republican system of Harding and Coolidge. It included langua ge affirming states’ rights and, although racial questions or civil rights were not mentioned, the impli cation of the term, so close after the 1948 election, was unmistakable. Another plank of the platform condemned “the injection into American life of appeals to racial, religious, or other prejudices, such, for example, as are embodied in so-called Fair Employment Practices legislation.” This aspect of the NRRC program resemble d Kelland’s 1945 Arizona Declaration and 47 Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005).

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176 rejected civil rights measures out of ha nd, believing them to be nothing more than political opportunism designed to buy votes from numerically unimportant interest groups. The NRRC program also revealed the strange relationship between Taft and ideologically driven conservatives. On th e one hand, the NRRC affirmed the right to collective bargaining and praised Taft-Hartley as a step toward curbing the dictatorial power of labor unions and their executives. On the other, the NRRC called for a sharp decrease in government spending and a retu rn to pre-New Deal limited government, saying “The Federal Government’s powers a nd duties must be reduced, not extended, if individual liberty is to be preserved. Aid in such matters as housing and education is not the function of the Federal Government.”48 Taft, as the most prominent Republican proponent of these issues, ran counter to the conservative position. The NRRC did not endorse a partic ular politician or faction, bu t based on Virkus’ previous leanings, would have likely favored Taft despite his liber al stands on public welfare issues. The NRRC and other cons ervative-leaning Republic ans found validation from an emerging group of intellectuals who resist ed the excesses of modern liberalism and its impact on Western society. A healt hy opposition to the New Deal order and America’s perceived drift away from trad itional moral, social and political values motivated this group of economists, hist orians, journalists, philosophers, and publishers. Their resulting body of writing formed the foundation for the modern conservative movement.49 The conservative literary a ttack began as World War II 48 Report of the Committee on Republican Fundamental Principles of the National Republican Roundup Committee, Chicago, Ill., 10-11 November 1949. Copy in Folder (Republican Strategy Committee (2)), Box 7, Arthur Summerfield Papers, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas [Hereafter cited as Summerfield Papers]. 49 Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement xv.

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177 ended, and by 1949 was underway in earnest Although these intelle ctuals generally fell into one of three school s of thought and often disagr eed on the roots of and the solutions to the problems of liberalism, th e rising threat of communism provided an overarching theme and rallied libertarians and traditionalists to put aside their differences and form a reasonably unified front against the libe ral hegemony of the day.50 The postwar conservative intellectual move ment grew from the discontents of liberalism both at home and abroad. One of the foundational te xts of the early movement, F. A. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom declared that “planning leads to dictatorship.”51 Hayek, an Austrian exile li ving in London when his book was published in 1944, saw Britain’s drift to Fa bian Socialism as an abandonment of individual liberty. Simultaneously, in the Un ited States, a number of journalists and authors reached similar conclusions. J ohn T. Flynn drew parallels between the American welfare state and the fascist German and Italian governments in 1945’s As We Go Marching .52 Garet Garrett’s The Revolution Was criticized the New Deal as an outright rejection of Amer ica’s founding principles and the capitalist orthodoxy.53 Richard Weaver’s Ideas Have Consequences argued that the turn towards progressive education had hastened the decline of civ ilization and its values. The resulting mass culture and weakened the concept of absolute truth and injured the idea traits of humility and self-discipline.54 Some of these works spoke in broad generalizations and touted a good deal of theory, but those th at dealt directly with political realities 50 Ibid. 51 Frederick Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1944), 40. 52 John T. Flynn, As We Go Marching (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1944). 53 Garet Garrett, The People’s Pottage (Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers, 1953). 54 Richard Weaver, Ideas have Consequences (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948).

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178 criticized the Democratic Part y and the expansion of the righ ts and responsibilities of the Federal Government since the Progressive era and the New Deal. The principles of the conservative thinkers meshed well with the tenets of Taft’s political philosophy. The Senator subscrib ed to the anti-communist journal Human Events and was familiar with a number of the movement’s leading thinkers and authors.55 With the Democratic Party expanding th e size of the state, taking a more managerial role in the economy, and incr easing the tax burden, the GOP seemed the natural ally for these intellectuals, but the party’s recent electoral campaigns had made some of the most influential and prolific writers sk eptical. In 1946, Edna Lonigan, a former New Deal bureaucrat turned journalist penned a lengthy article in Human Events asking “Where is the Opposition Party?” Lonigan castigated the Republican leadership for parroting the New Deal and not mounting a dedicated offensive against the Democratic domestic and foreign policies. She contended that “even if the Republican Party were elected today, it would not be an opposition party. The Republicans do not know where they are going. Stassen has already begun to spread the New Deal propaganda for 'one world'. Other Republicans are trying to outdo the Democrats by promising bigger and be tter benefits without mention of fiat money. This is no beachhead for an oppositio n party seeking to reconquer [sic] a continent.”56 Reece’s fiery rhetoric had came closer to mimicking the conservative philosophy, but Frank C. Hanighen, one of the founders of Human Events believed that the GOP simply hoped to capitalize on Truman’s unpopularity and did not strive for an ideological transforma tion within their own ranks.57 55 Ronald Lora and William Henry Longton, eds. The Conservative Press in Twentieth-Century America (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999), 452. 56 Edna Lonigan, “Where is the Opposition Party?” Human Events Pamphlets No. 10 (Washington: Human Events Inc, 1946). 57 Human Events 3, no. 17, 24 April 1946.

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179 Initially, these authors and journalists had a limited reach. Human Events, the most prominent anticommunist publicati on, had a circulation of an estimated 10,000.58 Another liberta rian publication, analysis had only 4,000 subscribers.59 Before 1950, most conservatives comm unicated with their audience through individual monographs, such as Morley’s The Power in the People and Flynn’s The Road Ahead both published in 1949.60 A number of these books were excerpted in Reader’s Digest A few of their articles appear ed in popular newsmagazines like Collier’s and Barron’s but the quest to provide analys is and argument from the right had not reached critical mass and only impacted a few people. Because Taft and other prominent Republicans such as Richard Nixon and Arthur Summerfield read this body of literature, the philosophical and progr ammatic tenants of the conservative intelligentsia reached opinion leaders in the GOP. Their work added an underpinning and a sense of affirmation to the personal pol itics of these stalwarts as they pushed for the Republican Party to adopt a conser vative position and forcefully oppose the Democrats.61 Over the next few months, while Republican supporters splintered into smaller, ideologically focused groups, the RNC be gan preparations for the 1950 off-year elections. In early August 1949, the RNC asse mbled in Washington, D.C. The Taftites 58 Lora and Longton, The Conservative Press in Twentieth Century America 452. 59 Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement 14. 60 Felix Morley, The Power in the People (New York: D. Van Nostard and Co., 1949); John T. Flynn, The Road Ahead, America’s Creeping Revolution (New York: Devin Adair, 1949). 61 Lora and Longton, The Conservative Press in Twentieth Century America 452. After 1950, the conservative intellectual movement gained momentum and a wider audience to ok notice. Books such as William F. Buckley’s God and Man at Yale and Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind along with new publications like The Freeman won new converts to the movement and helped revitalize the right wing in the United States. William F. Buckley, God and Man at Yale: the Superstitions of Academic Freedom (Chicago: Regenry, 1951); Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind, fr om Burke to Santayana (Chicago: Regenry, 1953).

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180 who had called for Scott’s resignation in Ja nuary had continued their attacks and the Chairman, aware that he did not have the s upport to remain in power, had declared his intention to resign before the meeting began. After Scott formally placed his resignation before the RNC, Harry Sommers of Georgia, one of a handful of Dewey supporters from the South, made a motion to decline the resignation. He then withdrew it at Scott’s reque st and, with no debate, he re linquished the chairmanship. As the committee moved to elect a new chairman, the Dewey faction once again tried to retain control. Just as in 1946, it nominated a candidate positioned to appeal to a broad segment of the party but pledged to the Governor and his programs. They chose Axel Beck of South Dakota, a recen t addition to the RNC who came from a state with a large ag ricultural population a nd originated from the Midwest. Beck’s nomination was symbolic in that a chairman from outside Dewey’s geographical base could indicate the Governor’s contin ued nationwide support. Adopting similar strategy, the Taft faction no minated Guy Gabrielson of New Jersey. A loyal Taft supporter since his election to the committee in 1944, Gabrielson was an oil executive and former state legislator with ties to former Senator Albe rt Hawkes. A Taft supporter from the Northeast showed that th e Ohioan could appeal to those outside the Midwest and South and ostensibly br oadened the Old Guard faction beyond these two areas of support. Members of the committee divided along facti onal lines as rigidly as they had in Omaha seven months earlier. Perry Howard of Mississippi, ever the ardent Taft partisan, believed that Gabrielson woul d be more qualified to bring AfricanAmericans back to the GOP. The ever-quot able Howard proclaimed that “[Beck] comes from the state of South Dakota, where they don’t have enough colored people to hold a funeral.” Taking a page from the Dewey campaign manual, Howard credited

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181 Gabrielson with New Jersey’s anti-dis crimination law and argued that, since prominent African-American entertainer and communist Paul Robeson supported Gabrielson, he would have cross-class and cross-racial appeal. No one was exactly sure why endorsement from a known communi st was germane to the discussion, but this line of reasoning did not detract from Gabrielson’s support. Howard’s statements were the most remarkable of the debate, which was not as heated as the Omaha proceedings. Gabrielson won on the first ballot 52-471. His margin of victory, a scant five votes, again reveals the polarization of the RNC between the Taft and Dewey factions. Only a few members changed their votes from the January tally, showing the factional split had become so mething close to permanent. Gabrielson owed his victory to the Taft and Stassen factions. The former Minnesota Governor worked on Gabrielson’s behalf before the meeting in order to prevent an other Dewey victory. Clarence Brown and Carroll Reece also tw isted the arms of several undecided members in the name of Senator Taft.62 With the RNC still heavily divided, Gabrielson pledged to govern as a neutral chairman, just as Reece had two years earlier, while working to strengthen the part y and establishing a spirit of unity that was sorely lacking.63 The editors of Human Events believed that Gabrielson’s election marked an end to the liberal program of Governor Dewey. They reported that an overwhelming majority of RNC members ha d supported Gabrielson to foster party harmony. Dewey backers, representing what the editors termed a Republican “fifth 62 Thomas Coleman, Letter to David Ingalls, 25 September 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign Miscellany – Tom Coleman), Box 435, Taft Papers. Coleman recounted this st ory as Gabrielson was resigning his position in fall 1951. 63 Transcript, Meeting of the Republican National Committee, Washington, DC., 4 August 1949. Republican Party Papers, Reel 8.

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182 column,” had mounted a campaign for Beck at the last minute and engaged in a smear campaign against the Taftites.64 Gabrielson’s chairmanship had an inau spicious beginning. Michigan’s Arthur Summerfield expressed his disp leasure with Gabrielson from the start, refused to vote for him as chairman, and later launched a crusade to remove him from his position. The particular issue at hand was the role of the Republican Strategy Committee, the group Scott had created before his resigna tion. Originally named the Republican Policy Committee, Summerfield chaired th e group and envisioned it as the policymaking apparatus of the party. After seve ral heated meetings between Scott and Summerfield, Scott had severely curtailed the activities of the RSC and utilized it as a campaign committee. Gabrielson, like his predec essor, believed that he, as party chair, should control all policy statements from h eadquarters and made this known before the Washington meeting. Summerfield had a commanding presence on the RNC. As one of the highestvolume Chevrolet dealers in the United St ates, he had close connections to the automobile industry and corresponded regular ly with executives from Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. His role as state finan ce chairman for Michigan further enhanced his personal reputation, and his successful record as a fund-raiser gave him an immense amount of political capital in na tional circles. Summerfield acted as a gobetween for RNC members and the automob ile trade. For example, in 1951 both House Majority Leader Charles Halleck and RNCC Chairman Len Hall contacted Summerfield and asked for assistance in procuring their own Buick dealerships.65 He 64 Human Events 6, no. 35, 31 August 1949. 65 Charles Halleck, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 11 June 1951. Copy in Folder (H (1)), Box 3, Summerfield Papers; Leonard Hall, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 11 June 1951. Copy in Folder (H (1)), Box 3, Summerfield Papers.

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183 had been approached by the Taft faction and offered the RNC chairmanship before Gabrielson, but had refused. Ostensibly, he be lieved that he could benefit the party more as chairman of the strategy committ ee and produce a policy declaration without having to work to appease the various factions of the RNC.66 Summerfield, however, was more in tune with the burgeoning conservative intellectual movement than was Gabrielson. Hi s familiarity with the works of authors such as Henry Hazlitt, John T. Flynn, and Frank Chodorov provided a foundation for his partisan activity and his commitment to right-wing causes. Hazlitt and others presented a well-argued response to the Democr atic style of government and attracted readers though their monographs and articl es in popular periodicals. Summerfield made sure that RNC members and large part y contributors were acutely aware of the ideals and values these individuals espous ed. Summerfield distributed Hazlitt’s The Great Idea to friends and associates in indus try and on the RNC and supported a nonprofit organization to distribute and publicize conservative works.67 Although Taft had some close ties with cons ervative intellectuals in the press, their influence was not as evident on the Senator as it was on Summerfield. In the 1948 campaign, right-leaning authors such as Felix Morley, John Dos Passos, and Freda Utley joined the Authors and Actors for Taft.68 While this group was politically unimportant to Taft’s pre-convention campai gn, it showed that there was a degree of support for the Ohioan from conservative thi nkers in the press. Taft’s policy stands and political viewpoints often paralleled the goals and aims of the writers of Human 66 Hugh Butler, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 15 July 1950. Copy in Folder (B (3)), Box 1, Summerfield Papers. 67 John Blodgett, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 11 July 1951, Copy in Folder (B (2)), Box 1, Summerfield Papers. 68 Taft for President Committee, Press Release, Un dated. Copy in Folder (1948 Campaign Miscellany – Correspondence – C-F), Box 229, Taft Papers.

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184 Events but Taft was not as i nvolved in proselytizing a dogmatic conservatism like Summerfield. He focused most of his time on codifying these principles into law in the pragmatic world of American politics, rather than campaigning for a philosophical doctrine. Summerfield took a different appr oach and used conservative ideas to influence political officials. Summerfield had a number of political a llies, but worked closest with Thomas Coleman, a prominent manufacturer and chair of the Wisconsin state finance committee. Coleman and Summerfield operated as a team in fund-ra ising and political strategy, advising each other on their move ments regularly and sharing political gossip from around the nation. Summerfield and Coleman were also ideological compatriots. Both men held conservativ e, pro-business viewpoints, opposed union activity, and believed that the federal bureau cracy threatened to encroach on popular democracy. Coleman actually held views even further to the right than Summerfield. Coleman sat on the RSC, and he joined Summerfield in his drive to craft a conservative policy statement and sidestep Gabrielson’s leader ship of the RNC. In August 1949, Summerfield demanded th at the strategy committee be allowed to issue a declaration of policy, but Gabrielson and memb ers of the Congressional leadership denied his request.69 They were willing for the RSC to coordinate the national campaigns, but once again refuse d to hand over the duty of crafting a national platform to Summerfield and his group.70 Despite Gabrielson’s appeals to redraw the RSC as a campai gn organization, Summerfield we nt ahead with plans to hold a policy summit. On December 13, the RSC met in Chicago. The reality, 69 Arthur Sumerfield, Letter to Owen Brewster, 27 August 1949. Copy in Folder (B (3)), Box 1, Summerfield Papers. 70 Arthur Summerfield, Letter to Mrs. Howard Coffin, 27 August 1949. Copy in Folder (C (1)), Box 1, Summerfield Papers.

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185 according to Summerfield, was that th e Democrats had brought the nation dangerously close to socialism through its competition with private enterprise, its expansion of the bureaucracy, and its conf iscatory tax and regulatory policies. He believed fervently that a majority of the American people did not support the Democratic program and thought that the vot ers had been swindled by the propaganda of groups such as the CIO-PAC. Summerfie ld concluded that the RSC could produce a viable program to combat left-wing and labor influence, but only if it left the meeting “unanimously joined in a recommenda tion that from this moment forward the Republican Party… divest itself of ‘me-t ooism’ and go to the people with a program clearly and unmistakably in opposition to that now offered by our opponents.”71 In his opinion, only a clear statement of policy that opposed the New Deal in an intelligent and forthright manner, rather than a Dewey-esque document that mimicked the Democratic program, could rally the nati on behind the Republicans in the next election. Summerfield hoped to use the strategy comm ittee to steer the GOP firmly to the Right and remove any liberal influence from the party’s national platform. Summerfield arranged a mee ting agenda that underscor ed his conservative position. James Ellis of the Alfred Kudner Advert ising Company addressed the meeting and proposed a campaign program for 1950 that pl ayed off of the economic anxieties of the middle-class and highlighted the taxpayer cost of the social programs of the Fair Deal. He contended that the majority of the American pe ople favored programs like Social Security, which the Republicans c ould not repeal, but would not support the increased demand of socialized medicine or any number of new welfare plans. Advocating the rollback of the New Deal w ould not be politically viable, but limiting 71 Arthur Summerfield, Speech, Chic ago, Ill, 13 December 1939. Copy in Folder (Republican National Committee (1)), Box 7, Summerfield Papers.

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186 the extension of the bureaucracy and rest oring a semblance of federalism would attract more voters. Fred Virkus, Execu tive Chairman of the NRRC, argued that a strong conservative position would boost fund -raising efforts and bring the party in line with the will of the majority of Re publican voters. Although he had no evidence to prove that Republicans were by natu re conservative, his NRRC was a very prominent group in party circles and his lead ership of the group allowed him to speak with a degree of authority. As the mee ting neared a close, Coleman offered a resolution authorizing the strategy committee to craft a new statement of policy for the GOP. Gabrielson objected violently, cl aiming that the strategy committee did not have jurisdiction in policy matters and the measure was defeated.72 The Dewey and Taft factions, workin g together for once, had thwarted Summerfield’s effort to issue a strong, for ceful declaration of c onservative principles. This reflected the growing disconnect betw een the Taft factions and others on the Right who wanted an unabated conservative program regardless of political realities. Prominent members of the Taft camp a nd committeemen and women from around the nation, many of whom believed the RSC to be a wasted effort, praised Gabrielson’s actions. Rentfro Creager said that “To d eclare against ‘me-tooism’ means anything or nothing. Unquestionably some of the legisl ation, was needed, and we Republicans do not dare advocate its repeal.”73 Taft and his closest allies, while having a legitimate dislike for a number of Democratic progr ams, understood that it was impossible to legislate programs such as Social Security out of existence. They preferred to mount a holding action to stop what they perceive d as the advance towards socialism by preventing any more sweeping federal progr ams and upholding a strict interpretation 72 Ibid. 73 Rentfro B. Creager, Letter to Marrs McLean, 3 January 1950. Copy in Folder (Republican Mc), Box 9, Summerfield Papers.

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187 of the constitution. They believed that Dewey’s 1948 campaign and its lack of opposition represented an ineffective strategy and a betrayal of Republican principles, but the Taft camp did not thi nk that they could return to the 1920s Harding/Coolidge Republican model no matter how much they wanted to. The Summerfield-Gabrielson disagreem ent showed that the conservative members of the RNC lacked coherence. Taft and his RNC supporters hoped to use their control of the RNC to shape the 1950 party platform in order to foster their vision of a Republican opposition. Gabrielson ha d already indicated his willingness to draft a new RNC declaration of principles and went forward with plans to have a statement prepared by early 1950. Gabrie lson’s mission was to increase the importance and standing of the RNC while cr eating a platform representative of Taft’s viewpoints. Summerfield cared less a bout who received the 1952 presidential nomination and more about build ing the party as a clear, recognizable alternative to the Democrats, and protecting the free enterp rise system. While these goals were not mutually exclusive, Taft’s plan required a more soothing, less hostile declaration than the one Summerfield had in mind. The Taft faction generally supported Gabrielson and submitted a number of proposals for the RNC statement of principl es. A number of its points, when taken collectively, illustrated the differences betw een the Taft and Dewey groups, as well as the Taft group and the more ideologically-motivated conservatives. Walter Hallanan hoped that the GOP would make a defense agai nst “socialism” the cr itical issue in the 1950 and 1952 election campaigns and depict its elf as the alternative to the Soviet way of life.74 Marrs McLean, another powerful Ta ft backer, thought the Republicans should highlight their disdain for union lead ership and drive a wedge between labor 74 Walter Hallanan, Letter to Guy Gabrielson, 13 D ecember 1949. Copy in Fold er (H Republicans (2)), Box 8, Summerfield Papers.

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188 bosses and white collar workers, the middl e class, and even rank and file trade unionists. “As to our strategy,” McLean wrot e, “I believe every effort should be to arouse the public and worker against th e Labor Bosses. They have coerced and clubbed millions into union membership… We are on the best side of the fence in this.”75 McLean and Hallanan represented the growing trend among Taft backers to repudiate the extreme conservative position of Summerfield and the NRRC. They believed that the GOP should cast itself as mo re of an anti-socialist party than Dewey had done publicly, but should also tone down the conservative rhetoric in order to appeal to moderate voters. While McLean believed an anti-labor campaign would boost vote totals nationally, he did endorse a st ronger stand on civil rights in order to win back African-Americans to the party of Lincoln. He wanted the GOP to highlight its history of civil rights activism and even went so far as suggesting that Dewey’s FEPC program be publicized widely. While he did not agree with the feasibility of the New York law, he thought it could raise vote totals. “I believe [an ti-discrimination] is a State matter,” McLean wrote, “and that legislation about it is futile, and makes worse the situation of racial prejudice, and th is is mostly my objection to this bill. It will not accomplish what is cl aimed for it, but we cannot afford to argue the point.”76 McLean’s position underscored the Republican myopia on civil rights His belief that the FEPC was “futile” showed a lack of understanding of the depths of economic discrimination. His willingness to champion a policy he did not support shows that the Republicans were indeed reacting to the Democratic success in drawing African 75 Marrs McLean, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 6 Ja nuary 1950. Copy in Folder (Mc Republicans (1)), Box 9, Summerfield Papers. 76 Marrs McLean, Letter to Guy Gabrielson, 3 January 1950. Copy in Folder (Mc Republican), Box 9, Summerfield Papers.

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189 American voters, but did not have any cred ible policies or programs to add to the discourse. Gabrielson, with the full backing of Taft’s most loyal backers, tried to codify these positions into a coherent platfo rm and emulate the success of 1946. On 18 January 1950, the RNC Policy Committee, a subcommittee appointed by Gabrielson, met to formulate the Republican Pa rty’s statement of principles.77 He charged Kelland with writing the finished product and the re sult was “the statement was really what Senator Taft himself wanted.”78 Unlike 1948, when the Taft faction commanded the RNC and failed to utilize the institutiona l advantages of such an arrangement, Gabrielson had used his leadership positi on to create what was for all intents and purposes a party platform that embo died the personal philosophy of Taft.79 The statement equated the Democratic planned economy with the rise of socialism abroad and claimed that “This [economic] program is dictated by a small but powerful group of persons who believe in socialism… whose proposals are wholly out of accord with the true interests and real wishes of the workers, farmers, and businessmen.”80 The statement, differing from the 1948 platform, explicitly approved the Taft-Hartley Act and called fo r continued collective bargaining with management and labor as equal partners. On civil rights, the Kelland draft gave a moderate endorsement of the gene ral concept of racial equality.81 In all, the statement 77 Guy Gabrielson, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 6 January 1950. Copy in Folder (Guy George Gabrielson (1)), Box 3, Summerfield Papers. 78 Bertha Adkins, Interview with John T. Mason. Eisenhower Oral History Project #58. Transcript in Eisenhower Oral History Collection, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, KS. 79 Ibid. 80 Transcript, Meeting of the Republican National Committee, Washington, D.C., 6 February, 1950. Republican Party Papers, Reel 8. 81 Ibid.

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190 was underwhelming at best and failed to ex cite the pro-Taft, pro-conservative base that had favored Gabrielson’s election a year earlier, but was the first step towards a more oppositional stance. Conservatives in the press hoped for a more fervent attack than the statement of principles put forth. Human Events saw the statement of pr inciples as an outright failure and another moderate stance that would not appeal to conservatives. Noting that the off-year election strategy nece ssitated a broad, sweeping statement, the editors believed that “the framers have failed to capitalize on strong, or potentially strong, currents of popular reaction to their political adversary.”82 The editors of Human Events believed that the attacks on the Democratic Party were weak and ineffective, and that stronger statements against communism and spending increases should have been included. Some party members agreed. Arthur Acheson, a New Yorker and party contributor claimed that “We are galloping not drifting, into Socialism, and the powers that govern the make-up of the Republican National Committee sit around and fiddle."83 To outsiders, the Republican division appeared fatal. The left-wing Nation commented that the statements’ attacks on “me-tooism” seemed mindless and reactionary and be lieved that Gabrielson’s efforts for a restatement of principles would drive a ll moderates from the party. The magazine concluded that, based on the rightward shif t in the GOP, “the Republican party seems moved by a mass Freudian impulse to suicide, ” since, in its opinion conservatism was out of step with the mainstream.84 While unaware of the wi dening divisions between the conservatives in the party, the Nation believed that the Republicans were indeed 82 Human Events 7, No. 6, 8 February 1950. 83 Arthur Acheson, Letter to Owen Brewster, 10 April 1950. Copy in Folder A, Box 1, Summerfield Papers. 84 The Nation 170, no. 3, 21 January 1950, 54.

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191 moving to the right. Conservati ves in the party did not thi nk they were doing so fast enough. The most vocal rebellion against Ga brielson’s leadership came from Summerfield and Coleman. Su mmerfield questioned the Chairman’s methods and activity, and thought that Gabrielson was sitt ing on his hands and missing a number of opportunities to criticize the Democratic Pa rty. In mid-March, Coleman contacted the chairmen of the RSCC and the RNCC to determine the feasibility of opening a strategy committee office in Washington to coordinate the 1950 campaign without input Gabrielson.85 Gabrielson, well aware of Summer field and Coleman’s activities, fought back. In May, Gabrielson decided to abolish all standing committees of the RNC and restructure the part y organization to suit his liking. On 10 July, Gabrielson informed Summerfield that the RNC executive committee had decided to let all standing committees “die on the vine.” Ga brielson would not abolish the groups, but would not appoint any new members or soli cit their advice. Summerfield expressed regret, but pledged to inform the strate gy committee that it would no longer function as an active entity.86 On the same day, Summerfield resigned as chairman of the RSC and issued a letter to all RNC members expressing concern over Gabrie lson’s leadership. Public repudiation of the RNC chairman, while irregul ar, was not unheard of. In this case it further polarized the party and made underl ying divisions even starker. The Dewey faction favored Summerfield’s position due to its anti-Taft and an ti-Gabrielson stance. Governor Arthur Langlie of Washington, a Dewey supporter in 1948, expressed doubt 85 Thomas E. Coleman, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 17 March 1950, Copy in Folder (Thomas E. Coleman), Box 7, Summerfield II Papers. 86 Arthur Summerfield and Guy Gabrielson, Transcript of telephone conversation, 10 July 1950. Copy in Folder (Republican National Strategy Committee – Summerfield Resignation as Acting Chairman and Letters pertaining to the Same (1), Box 6, Summerfield Papers.

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192 in Gabrielson’s leadership ab ility, saying “I hope the present leadership of the party is not trying to evolve some mythical, tight cont rol methods -for, I am sure, there is too much independent thought in the Re publican Party to bind it up that way.”87 Harold Talbott, Dewey’s top fund-raiser, wrote to Summerfield saying “I think there has to be a knock-down-drag out fight by those of us who realize what we are up against and at some time have him replaced.”88 Summerfield found favor on this issue with a number of liberal Republicans simply because he opposed one of their chief rivals, not because of his policy stat ements or political ideology. While the Albany group and its supporte rs backed Summerfield and Coleman, the Taft faction staunchly defended Ga brielson. George Hansen, the national committeeman from Utah, believed that Gabrielson’s efforts to limit the bureaucracy would boost Republican efforts in 1950 and 1952. He argued that Brownell’s attempt to create a parallel campai gn organization in 1948 had di rectly led to the party’s defeat and believed that a small, well-c oordinated headquarters staff could mount a more effective drive for the White House than the RSC was capable of.89 Walter Hallanan, never one to mince words, se nt a three page diatribe skewering Summerfield for this resignation. He accused Summerfield of putting his own personal ambition above party unity and criticized him fo r attempting to establish a parallel policy making apparatus, just as Brownell had done in 1945 and 1948. Taft’s 87 Arthur Langlie, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 18 July 1950. Copy in Folder (Republican National Strategy Committee – Summerfield Resignation as Acting Chairman and Letters pertaining to the Same (2)), Box 6, Summerfield Papers. 88 Harold Talbott, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 2 July 1950. Copy in Folder (Republican National Strategy Committee – Summerfield Resignation as Acting Chairman and Letters pertaining to the Same (2)), Box 6, Summerfield Papers. 89 George Hansen, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 25 July 1950. Copy in Folder (Republican National Strategy Committee – Summerfield Resignation as Acting Chairman and Letters pertaining to the Same (2)), Box 6, Summerfield Papers.

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193 most loyal supporters had objected to Browne ll’s efforts, and in 1950 they rallied to Gabrielson’s defense and rejected any challenges to his leadership.90 For their part, Summerfield and Coleman refused to back down in the face of controversy. They had no illusions about Taft’s support for Gabrielson and understood that the Old Guard faction was j ealously guarding its position of power on the RNC. Coleman informed Carlton Ketc hum, finance director of the Republican National Finance Committee, that the Taftite s did not want the brightest minds of the party to hold leadership post s, but rather sought the ex clusion of active Republicans like Summerfield.91 By August, Coleman and Summerfield appeared on the verge of leaving the party. Coleman recounted a c onversation with Bernard LeVander, the Minnesota state chairman, in which he said that he “had reached the point where [he] wanted to find out who had any courage, who the people are that are willing to protect Gabrielsons, Kellands, Spanglers, [L ouisiana National Committeeman John] Jacksons, Reeces, and Hallanans to such an extent that they were entirely willing to get rid of Summerfields and Colemans and others like them.”92 A month later, Coleman informed Sinclair Weeks that he would not attend the upcoming RNC meeting because “if the Chairman is going to jump whenever the whip is cracked by Jackson, Spangler, Reece, Hallanan, and a few others, I cannot be very much interested in [the RNC’s] activities.”93 Coleman believed that the leaders of the Taft 90 Walter Hallanan, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 10 August 1950. Copy in Folder (Republican National Strategy Committee – Summerfield Resignation as Acting Chairman and Letters pertaining to the Same (1)), Box 6, Summerfield Papers. 91 Thomas E. Coleman, Letter to Carlton Ketchum, 17 July 1950. Copy in Folder (Thomas Coleman (2)), Box 1, Summerfield Papers. 92 Thomas E. Coleman, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 21 August 1950. Copy in Folder (Thomas Coleman (2)), Box 1, Summerfield Papers. 93 Thomas E. Coleman. Letter to Sinclair Weeks, 25 August 1950. Copy in Folder (Thomas Coleman (2)), Box 1, Summerfield Papers.

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194 faction sought only to fulfill their own selfish interests, such as maintaining control of patronage in the South, and thought they w ould squander the opportunity to build the GOP as an aggressive, right-wing entity.94 Coleman’s correspondence with other Re publicans can be read in two very different ways. One possible interpretation is that Summerfiel d and Coleman were simply two ambitious political partisan s who, after a struggle for power, were defeated and responded with a somewhat childish smear campaign to besmirch the reputation of their victorious opponent. There is certainly a degree of self-interest in Coleman’s writing. His depiction of the Old Gu ard as the group who would “get rid of the Summerfields and Colemans” shows an all-or-nothing mentality and an unwillingness to compromise. Summerfield also saw this difference in strategy as a sign that Gabrielson was opposed to a Re publican victory in 1950. Summerfield and Coleman, in their campaign to ruin Gabr ielson came across as sore losers. Another interpretation is that Summ erfield and Coleman believed that Gabrielson was not taking full advantage of the national politic al situation and thought that a dire s ituation deserved an extreme res ponse. Their actions outside of the squabble with Gabrielson make this view more plausibl e. Summerfield and Coleman staked out a position well to the ri ght of Gabrielson and his Taft faction supporters. While both groups shared simila r outlooks on the danger of socialism and continued Democratic rule, they differed widely on the tone of their messages. Summerfield and Coleman believed they were witnessing the last days of the Republican Party. Sixteen years of electoral defeats, coupled with a current chairman they had little respect for, made victor y in 1950 seem impossible unless the GOP went on the offensive and assailed the Democrats for every evil that had taken place since 94 Thomas E. Coleman, Letter to Joseph Wishart, 26 August 1950. Copy in Folder (Thomas Coleman (2)), Box 1, Summerfield Papers.

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195 1932. While Taft and Gabrielson believed that they could recreate the 1946 results without taking an inflammatory tone and engaging in purely political mudslinging, Summerfield and Coleman thought no opport unity should be wasted and no charge sparred. The most convincing evidence of this is the pair’s embrace of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his anti-communist crusade. Coleman had worked with McCarthy as a member of the Wisconsin GOP, and he em erged as one of the Senator’s most prominent backers in the party. Shortly after “Tail gunner Joe” made his startling revelations of Communist infiltration in the State Department, Coleman began advising Summerfield of McCarthy’s efforts and searching for a means to exploit the charges for partisan gain. On March 27, 1950, Coleman informed Summerfield that McCarthy had uncovered information on embattled China expert Owen Lattimore and that the Senator “seemed very much elated and said that ‘I have found a pumpkin,’” alluding to the classified documents Whittaker Chambers had given Richard Nixon regarding former diplomat Alger Hiss.95 Summerfield and Coleman then used their political and industrial connections to raise money for McCarthy’s endeavors. McCarthy later wrote to Su mmerfield expressing his appreciation, saying “Your assistance certainly has been welcom e… While the odds at first seemed insurmountable, it begins to look now as though we may ultimately be able to accomplish at least some degree of house cleaning.”96 For a time, Summerfield and Coleman gave more than financial assistance and used the RSC to further McCarthy’s age nda. In March, McCarthy asked Coleman to 95 Thomas E. Coleman, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 27 March 1950. Copy in Folder (Thomas Coleman (1)), Box 2, Summerfield Papers 96 Joseph McCarthy, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 23 May 1950. Copy in Folder (Joseph McCarthy – Investigation State Department (2)), Box 5, Summerfield Papers.

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196 come to Washington and overs ee the publicity and fund-raisi ng aspects of his Senate office. Upon his arrival, Coleman sent for a vacationing Summerfield, and the two went to work negotiating publicity a nd strategy with Senators Lodge and Hickenlooper, the two Republicans that woul d hear McCarthy’s charges on the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, as well as McCarthy’s staff. Coleman and Summerfield arranged to have the gallery packed with Republicans “rather than Commies,” and appealed to reporters for favor able coverage in the press. As a result of their visit, Coleman feared that “the members of the National Committee [did not] have any idea what is going on and re alize how perfectly uselessly National Committee funds are being spent from the standpoint of prod ucing good political result.”97 A week later, Coleman reported that Robert Humphreys, the publicity man for the RNSC, was the only individual work ing for McCarthy on behalf of the party. Coleman noted that he and Humphreys ha d produced nearly every McCarthy press release. Gabrielson had taken no active ro le in making anti-communism a more prominent part of GOP policy, and Coleman cat egorized this as yet another failure in leadership by the party chairman.98 In an April report to the RSC, Coleman noted that, under McCarthy’s stewardship, the GOP ha d taken the offensive on the anticommunist issue and that “best of all, we may get rid of many communist sympathizers and queers who now control policy.”99 This rhetoric was even more inflammatory than the 1946 Congressi onal campaign, which was almost based 97 Thomas E. Coleman, Letter to Bernard LeVander, 8 March 1950. Copy in Folder (Thomas Coleman), Box 7, Summerfield II Papers. 98 Thomas E. Coleman, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 17 March 1950. Copy in Folder (Thomas Coleman), Box 7, Summerfield II Papers. 99 Thomas E. Coleman, Report to the Republican Strategy Committee, 20 April 1950. Copy in Folder (Republican Strategy Committee 1949 -50 (1)), Box 47, Summerfield Papers.

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197 exclusively on anti-communism, and reflected a knee-jerk intolerance that members of the Taft faction, at least publicly, rarely displayed. While Summerfield and Coleman were acting as McCarthy’s fundraisers and publicity men, other Republicans belie ved that “McCarthy is just mad.”100 Taft distanced himself from McCarthy, but never openly repudiated the Wisconsin Senator for his methods. When a rabid McCarthy back er criticized Taft for his lukewarm statements on the anti-communist drive, Taft responded that the project should be pushed to the limit, but that he disagreed with Mc Carthy’s tactics.101 The alliance between Summerfield, Coleman and the McCarthy machine revealed the level of commitment to an ideological cause that so me conservatives on the RNC, in the party, and in peripheral organizations like th e NRRC displayed. The win-at-all-costs mentality that the pair brought to the McCarthy crusade reflected their commitment to a conservative agenda as the solution to America’s evils. It is worth noting also that the feud between Gabrielson a nd Summerfield did not occur over ideology, but ra ther political strategy. They agreed on virtually every substantive policy issue. Gabrielson activel y promoted the Taft-Hartley Act as an integral part of the Republican legislativ e agenda. Summerfield, who had the ear of the auto industry, abhorred the power of la bor unions, believed Taft-Hartley the best defense of the free market system, and thought Truman a tool of the CIO. A piece of anti-Truman propaganda given to Summerfie ld echoed this sentiment. The author, writing ostensibly for a contribution to er ect a statue of Truman in Washington, claimed that “5,000 years ago Moses said 'Pick up your shovels, mount thine ass and 100 Sinclair Weeks, Letter to Lawrence Brooks, 20 April 1950. Copy in Folder (Sen. Joseph McCarthy – Investigation State Department (1)), Box 5, Summerfield Papers. 101 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Harvey Higley, 29 D ecember 1951. Copy in Fo lder (1952 Campaign -Alphabetical File H-J), Box 423, Taft Papers.

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198 camel, and I will lead you into the Promised Land.' 5,000 years later Truman said 'Lay down your shovels, sit on your ass, light up a Camel this is the Promised Land.'”102 Gabrielson, Summerfield, and Coleman viewed the New Deal efforts at a planned economy as un-American and hoped to pr event further Democratic rule. The differences between Summerfield and Coleman and the Taftites stemmed from campaign strategy. Taft wanted a GOP platform that opposed the New Deal on principle but did not venture into extrem es. Gabrielson’s statement of policy took a more oppositional stance than Dewey’s 1948 platform, but did not openly embrace McCarthyism or rabid anti-communism. Su mmerfield and Coleman had more of a crusading zeal. They saw the 1950 election as a win at all costs si tuation and adopted methods and tactics outside the traditional political discourse to attract voters through fear. While their ideologies were remarkably similar, Summerfield and Coleman represented the first stages of the conser vative movement. Taft’s response illustrated that the pragmatic politician of the 1950s was not yet ready for an ideologicallydriven platform. As the election of 1950 loomed, the RNC had essentially split into two and a half factions. The Taft and Dewey camps, in creasingly identified as conservative and liberal Republicans, stared at each other across a no man’ s land. Neither group powerful enough to firmly take control of the party nor strong enough to read the other out of the organization. The Summe rfield-Coleman group, although small in number, fanned the fires of unrest within the current organizational set-up and attacked from the right of the Taft faction. Although Summerfield and Coleman agreed with Taft and his supporters on ma ny policy initiatives and saw communism as a supreme threat to the nation’s well-being, they strongly believed Gabrielson and the 102 Form Letter, Undated. Copy in Folder (Dem ocratic Party), Box 11, Summerfield II Papers.

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199 Taft camp had blown a number of crucial ch ances to lead the Republicans to victory through the creation and exploi tation of a strong conser vative program. Summerfield and Coleman were prominent on the strate gy committee and the RNFC, and this gave them a pulpit from which to preach out against the weakness of Gabrielson’s leadership. The public controversy surroundi ng the end of the strategy committee and the vague 1950 statement of principles a ngered conservative partisans and voters, many of whom believed that the Chairman was steering the ship towards another defeat. Whether liberal or conservative, the pragmatic desire to win was more important than ideological purity.

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200 CHAPTER 6 PRAGMATIC CAMPAIGNS, IDEOLOGICAL VOTERS: THE ELECTIONS OF 1950 1950 was a critical year for Robert Taft and Thomas Dewey, both as factional leaders within the GOP and as incumbent politicians seeking re-election. The actions of Guy Gabrielson and the RNC remained an ever-present concern for the pair but their attention focused to their individual state campaigns. Each had something to prove to his party, his supporters, and the na tion as he positioned himself as viable contenders for the presidentia l election in 1952. Taft had to show that he did indeed have popular appeal and could mount a succe ssful electoral effort. Taft’s critics had used the refrain “Taft Can’t Win” agai nst him since the 1940 Republican National Convention. In 1944, he had barely won re -election to the Se nate and the Dewey group used this figure to consistently clai m that Taft could not pull enough votes to take the White House. A massive victory in the Buckeye State, therefore, would go far to enhance his national vi ability. Dewey had to regain the trust of Republicans who felt betrayed after the poor 1948 performance. To remain relevant in party circles, Dewey had to demonstr ate that he still had a significant following in the most populous state in the nation. He had lost c ontrol of the RNC, but a third term as Governor of New York would shore up Dewe y’s reputation and maintain his place as titular leader of the national party. Each man understood that, to have an impact on the 1952 situation, he had to emerge from 1950 unscathed and ascendant. This chapter will show that the rhetorical differences between the Taft and Dewey wings created two very distinct Republican campaigns. An analysis of candidate stratagems and

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201 publicity programs will show how the comp eting views of the American polity impacted the Taft and Dewey campaigns. Dewey and Taft had two of the most important campaigns in the off-year elections, but the overall GOP effort reflect ed Taft’s political identity. In 1950, the Gabrielson-led RNC ran a national campaign that was initially moderate but took a more conservative tone as election day a pproached. In May, RNC Executive Director A. B. Hermann unveiled a five-point pr ogram for the upcoming congressional elections. Hermann, a former utility infielder for the Boston Braves, had proven more adept at political organization than turning double plays. During Gabrielson’s chairmanship he oversaw the campaign department and designed a program that focused on expanding beyond traditional Republican voting blocs. The first aspect of his plan called for a supposedly concerted e ffort to target African American voters. The second aimed to educate trade unionists on the virtues of the Taft-Hartley Act in order to blunt criticism from the CIO and th e AFL. Points three through five focused on general voter mobilization efforts, includi ng a national “School of Politics” to train precinct workers. The overall program was rather unimaginative but it did make at least a token effort to raid the Democrat ic voter rolls and break up the New Deal coalition. Rather than emulate modern liberalism, as Dewey had done, Hermann proposed to use conservative rhetoric to bring these groups into the Republican column. As in 1946, the RNC pledged to support as many local campaigns as possible, but Hermann gave extra atten tion to six critical states : Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Mississippi, and Idaho. These states reflect the priorities of Gabrielson and Taft, and the implementation of He rmann’s strategy would increase the manpower and financial resource s allocated to local campai gn organizations in states

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202 Taft saw as critical to 1952. They also indi cated Taft’s plan to target interest group voters with a conservative message. He hoped, for example, that promoting the benefits of Taft-Hartley in the industrial states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois would weaken the Democratic hold on or ganized labor and augment the urban vote that had been critical to the Republican victory four years ear lier. The School of Politics was an ambitious effort to recr uit and train precinct workers around the country and reflected the Taftite belief that one of the keys to victory was to reach more undecided voters and bring both indepe ndents and those who did not regularly vote into the party. Most importantly, Hermann’s plan to at tract African-Americans back to the GOP, represented at least a half-hearted acceptance of Dewey’s 1948 strategy, but with a different emphasis. Rather than pr omoting civil rights programs like the FEPC and anti-lynching legislation, Hermann took the advice of an unlikely source: Mississippi National Committeeman Perry Howard.1 In 1950, Howard remained one of two minority members of the RNC and had steadfastly supported the Taft faction for over a decade.2 Because of his loyalty, Hermann had charged Howard with reaching out to African American vote rs nationally. To accomplish this, the Mississippian proposed a very narrowly fo cused program intended to reach a limited audience. He called for a conference of prominent African-American leaders to counter “misrepresentation and incorrect st atements circulated through propaganda by the Democrat administration.” The speak ers list was limited to the four African American Republican Congressmen, a handful of judges, Howard, and Bishop Shaw of the African Methodist Episcopal Chur ch, who would deliver a sermon entitled 1 For more on Howard, see Neil R. McMillen, “Per ry Howard, Boss of Black-and-Tan Republicanism in Mississippi, 1924-1960,” Journal of Southern History 48, no. 2 (1982), 205-224. 2 The other, Mary C. Booze, also represented Mississippi.

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203 “The Moral Breakdown of the Truman Admini stration.” Howard proclaimed that such a conference would show the African American elite that “the Republican Party is not as bankrupt as to colored Re publican leadership,” and that the speakers could not “be bought by the Truman administration, as the administration is buying other people with our money.”3 At first glance, Howard’s methods seem inadequate compared to his goals. To reach out to the bulk of the African Am erican voters through a small group of business and social elites minimized the ro le of groups like the NAACP and the rising independence of black voters. His tactics also represented an outdated view of black opinion leaders and implied that the GOP, and Howard especially, believed that African Americans would be swayed with a small dose of propaganda. The notion of the “bought vote,” common in Republican di scourse since the New Deal, remained paramount and the RNC, yet again, viewed ci vil rights as a token political issue meant to attract votes through the promise, wh ether fulfilled or not, of special, groupfocused, legislation. Gabrielson trumpeted th e Howard proposal as “a method… to get the Republican thinking in the right places in the colored group.”4 These “right places” and the lack of an effective Republican counter-proposal to the Democratic agenda showed that the Taft faction, a nd most of the GOP, had a myopic view of racial issues and failed to make more than a token effort at winning black support, despite the lip service given to th e issue by high ranki ng party officials.5 Hermann’s strategy also revealed anot her area of focus for the Gabrielsoncontrolled RNC: the South. Including Missi ssippi as a critical state was wishful 3 Transcript, Executive Committee Meeting of the Midwest Regional Council of the Republican National Committee, 14 September 1950. Republican Party Papers, Reel 8. 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid.

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204 thinking at best. The party, under Howard ’s leadership, provided only token opposition to the Democrats and fielded virtually no candidates for state and local offices. Mississippi’s senators had b een among the staunchest defenders of segregation in Washington and wielded a great deal of power through plum committee assignments. Nevertheless, making Mississippi a priority emphasized the RNC’s newfound commitment to building a two-party system in the South. Gabrielson and his backers in the Taft facti on believed that Dixie was fertile territory for votes and that a more conservative plat form could bring southern Democrats upset with their national party’s civil rights a nd fiscal policies on board. Wallace Townsend, National Committeeman from Arkansas and a devout Taft follower, pleaded for more support, saying “The Southern Democrats ar e conservative; they are beginning to realize that the Democratic Pa rty no longer represents them, either in principle or in action.”6 Townsend argued that the small partie s of the South were no longer “pocket parties” designed to remain small and be neficial for a small group of people, but rather bona fide organizations intent of effecting longterm political change and challenging Democratic rule.7 With Howard’s plan to at tract African Americans, and Townsend’s entreaties, Taft ma de the South a top priority. For the Taft faction’s overarching stra tegy, Townsend’s statement made sense. During the 1948 pre-convention period, Br ownell’s divide-and-conquer tactics had eroded Taft’s southern support and caused publ ic spectacles in states such as Texas, Georgia, and Mississippi, all of which had delegate contests at either their state conventions or the national convention. A renewed commitment to the region from the RNC would strengthen the position of stat e party leaders and prevent Albany from 6 Ibid. 7 Kari Frederickson deals with the Southern disconte nt over race, states’ rights and the direction of the federal government in the early stages of The Dixiecrat Revolt. See Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt

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205 further encouraging revolts against the estab lished leadership. Public support from the national Republican organization would guara ntee that the patrona ge would continue to flow to current RNC members and their allies, rather than upstart factions who backed a rival national candidate. Townsend claimed that, since the end of World War II, the southern parties had grown in size and stature. While this is highly arguable, no one doubted that patronage positions rema ined the lifeblood of the Dixie GOP. For Townsend to encourage, and for Gabrie lson and Hermann to support, increased Republican efforts below the Mason-Dixon lin e meant that Taft wanted to shore up his following in the South going into 1952. The Dewey camp recognized that Gabriels on’s efforts might th wart any efforts to organize the region on behalf of a more liberal Republican presidential candidate. On April 16, columnist Stewart Alsop wr ote on the perceived ideological links between conservative Republicans and Southe rn Democrats. Since the end of the New Deal, these groups had often worked together in Congress to bloc k a number of White House initiatives. Historians have since cas t doubts on the stability of the conservative coalition, but Alsop, echoing the conventional wisdom of the day, believed that it was strong enough to field a mutually agreeable presidential candidate.8 This, at a time when the Old Guard led the GOP and a si zable group thought the party should move even further to the right, made Alsop’s claim credible to outside observers. A conservative candidate with na tional, rather than sectional, appeal had potentially groundbreaking implications for the 1952 elections.9 8 See John Robert Moore, “The Conservative Co alition in the United States, Senate, 1942-1945.” Journal of Southern History 33, no. 3 (August 1967), 368-376. Since 1949, the press and members of the Senate had discussed realigning the parties by attracting Southern Democrats and removing liberal Republicans. Human Events gave a detailed report of a conversation between Senators of both parties who wished their conservative coalition was permanent. See Human Events 6, no. 12, 23 March 1949. 9 Washington Post 16 April 1950. Alsop’s column reported on the earliest discussions between Republicans and Dixiecrats. As 1952 drew closer, more people believed that a permanent coalition was feasible. In 1952, South Dakota Senator Karl Mundt spearheaded an effort to form a third party of

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206 The Dewey camp moved to blunt Gabriels on’s Southern strategy. In late May, former RNC Chairman Hugh Scott accused si x Southern RNC members of colluding with the Democrats to maintain the one-party system in the region. Scott’s statement, made during a radio interview broadcast from Washington, specifically named Reece, Howard, R.B. Creager of Texas, Lonnie Noojin of Alabama, John Jackson of Louisiana, and Bates Gerald of South Caro lina. He accused these men of “selling their party down the river for patronage, power, and personal advantage.” He specifically cited Reece’s recent acquisition of the Bristol Herald-Courier a Democratic newspaper in his home district, as evidence that the Southern GOP played both sides of the aisle. Scott praised the RNC members from Florida, Georgia, and Virginia, all of whom had, coincidentally, supported Dewey in 1948, for trying to build a twoparty system in the South.10 In Scott’s opinion, the conservative Taftite s did not truly want to build the party and stood in the way of an open political environment in the South. Dewey wanted a Southern GOP that allowed moderates and liberals, not just conservative economic elites, to participate and shape partisan identity at the local level. Taft also wanted a two-party South, but one in which his brand of Republicanism would prosper. Working with those who agreed with Taft’s general philosophy was the surest way to bring this transformation about, even t hough it would proceed very slowly. In 1948, these views had been the basis of the facti onal strategies, and Scott’s attacks indicated that they would remain in play in the future. The Taft faction’s response to Scott’s remarks was furious and swift. Two days after Scott’s broadcast, Taft defended th e Republican leaders chastised by the exconservatives and openly called for the Southern Demo crats to align with the GOP. See “The Southern Rebellion,” The Freeman 1, no. 23, 13 August 1951. 10 Washington Post 28 May 1950.

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207 Chairman. He specifically focused on Reece, saying “No one with any sense would question Carroll Reece’s Republicanism. In 1948 he put on the most strenuous Republican campaign that Tennessee has ever seen.”11 The Alabama Republican Party also supported Lonnie Noojin with a sp ecial resolution declaring Scott’s attack as “unjustified, unwarranted a nd without any truth in fact.”12 Taft’s endorsement of the six RNC members singled out by Scott underscored Gabrielson’s effort to keep the Old Guard factions in command of the S outh. Taft disputed Scott’s contention that the southern GOP was kept purposely small and instead declared that the southern leaders worked hard for the best interests of the party. While the merits of this point varied from state to state, Taft’s public re marks sent the clear message that he had a special interest in the Republican organiza tion in the South and intended to maintain his ties to the regi on to boost his stan ding with the RNC. Scott’s criticism of the southern Old Guard was short lived and he did not broach the subject publicly again. By July, he was in the news again, this time as one of twenty-one Republican congressmen who en dorsed the declaration of principles of the newly-formed Republican Advance.13 Created as a counterweight to groups such as the NRRC, Republican Advance issued a detailed policy statement with the expressed purpose of moving the GOP forward “in the spirit of its progressive past.” A number of points resonated w ith the rhetoric of the RNC, such as the promise not to outbid the Democrats for the loyalty of speci al interest groups a nd the “principle of self-help as opposed to the give-away st ate.” More often th an not, though, the 11 Robert A. Taft, quoted in New York Times 3 May 1950. 12 Birmingham News 9 June 1950. 13 Twenty of the twenty-one signatories were regul arly associated with the Dewey group, including Clifford Case of New Jersey, Walter Judd of Minnesota, and Jacob Javits and Kenneth Keating of New York. The one lone conservative who signed on was Richard Nixon of California. New York Times 4 July 1950.

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208 Republican Advance program was to the left of the RNC’s 1950 Statement of Principles, as the group demanded economic security though econom ic incentives and direct assistance to the public, maintenan ce of existing farm pr ice supports, and an internationalist foreign policy. More im portantly, Republican Advance directly attacked conservative Republicans for th eir civil rights and labor policies. The organization’s platform called for the passa ge of a number of proposed civil rights laws, including the anti-lynching bill and the FEPC, and sternly concluded that “alliances with anti-civil rights Democrats on these matters constitute betrayal of the principles of Republicanism.” It also held the Norris-LaGuardia Act as the pinnacle of Republican labor legislation. Without na ming Taft-Hartley, Republican Advance proclaimed that labor problems “cannot be corrected merely by devising punishments or by exercising the police power. A punitiv e attitude will not cure the labor problem.”14 The Republican Advance platform grew out of a secret meeting held in late June and likely called by Massachusetts Governor Christian Herter and Vermont Senator Ralph Flanders.15 The program was an articulation of the policy goals of those who increasingly iden tified themselves as liberal Republicans and saw conservatism as a losing ideology at the po lls. While taking great pains to delineate between the “give-away” programs of the New Deal and Republican alternatives based on “long range subsidies designed to stimulate new economic opportunities,” 14 Republican Advance, “Republican Principles: A Brief Declaration,” undated. Copy in Folder (Correspondence of Sig Larmon and Others), Box 1, Papers of Young and Rubicam, Inc., Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, KS [hereafter referred to as Young and Rubicam Papers]. 15 W. Howard Chase, on behalf of Flanders and Herter, invited Sigmund Larmon of the publicity firm Young and Rubicam to attend a small gathering of about twenty men to “discuss the necessity and means of reorienting the Republican Party so that it will again win national elections.” The statement of principles quoted above, marked “confidential – not for publication” is adjacent to this letter in Larmon’s papers. W. Howard Chase, Letter to Sigmund Larmon, 2 May 1950. Copy in Folder (Correspondence of Sig Larmon and Others), Box 1, Young and Rubicam Papers.

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209 the platform devoted most of its attenti on to attacking conser vative Republicans for their labor policy and failure to endorse civil rights programs. The Republican Advance program dovetailed with the pr onouncements of a number of the Young Turks, including Henry Cabot Lodge and Geor ge Aiken, each of whom had articles in major periodicals calling for an abandonment of conservatism and the adoption of yet another “forward-looking” program. Dewey also articulated his own liberal Re publican views in a series of lectures delivered at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Beginning in Februa ry, Dewey delivered four talks to the faculty and students on the current state of American politics and policy, foreign relations, and the composition a nd values of the Republican Party. In his first lecture, given on February 8, he labeled the four GOP presidential platforms since 1936 as progressive and constructive. He contended that these had been assets to the party cause and did not prevent the Republicans fr om winning the election, as conservatives had claimed. He further char ged that “Each of [the last four campaigns] was based upon a liberal platform and led by a candidate who assured the people that he did not intend to repeal the Twentieth Century.” Conservatives, according to Dewey, were not true representatives of the GOP and the st aunch adherence to th eir ideology prevented the party from winning national elections. Although he shared a number of their values, Dewey saw conservative Repub licans as too inflexible to govern successfully.16 Dewey had governed New York in acco rdance with traditional Republican principles. At Princeton, however, he cont ended that the party’s progressive streak represented true Republicanism. He espoused a number of more liberal measures, 16 Speech, Thomas E. Dewey, Princeton University 8 February 1950. Copy in Folder (Politics – Speeches 1950 (1)), Box 126, Brownell Papers.

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210 such as “minimum wages, unemployment insu rance, regulation of markets for capital, old age insurance, [and] equal rights for all regardless of ra ce, color, creed or national origin.”17 These had all been a part of Dewey’ s administration and, to the Governor, they were the primary points of differe nce between conserva tive and liberal Republicans. Dewey’s selected list of progr ams also made Taft appear draconian and out of touch with the average American. Certain programs that Taft had supported, such as federal aid to education and housing, could easily fall into the liberal category, but Dewey did not mention them even though he had supported them in his own state. His ticker of acceptable Democratic initiati ves, designed to protect the American public from economic and social hardship s, were all things that conservative Republicans, and Taft himself, abhorred a nd campaigned against. Dewey sought here to stake out a middle ground th at put the liberal Republic ans between the Republican Right and the Democratic Left. Dewey also emphasized differences betw een the liberal Republicans and the Democrats. His second lecture, deli vered on February 9, focused on “big government,” which he believed to be the by-product of nearly two decades of Democratic rule. He contende d that both parties sought to protect the welfare of the American people, but disagreed on the m eans. Republicans sought protection of the free enterprise but with limited correctives in the form of market regulation or social welfare legislation. The Democrats, on th e other hand, believed that an everexpanding federal government and the resul ting bureaucratic system guaranteed the way to peace and prosperity for the greates t number of Americans. Dewey equated the Roosevelt system to the first steps toward socialism and argued that the only things to come from the Democratic administration were high taxes, one-party government, and 17 Ibid.

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211 a reduction of individualism.18 Here, Dewey took a fairly conservative position, but still tried to keep his distance from the Taft wing. Dewey’s criticisms of both his intraand inter-party riva ls allowed him to stake out a position that opposed both conservative Republicans and administrati on Democrats while legitimizing the GOP as the party of progressivism. Dewey hoped his lectures would capitali ze on the growing ideological divisions within the Republican Party and reaffirm liberal Republicanism as a valid and appealing political identity. Just as Summerfield, Coleman, and members of the conservative press were attacking Gabriels on for not being far enough to the right, Dewey, Lodge, Aiken and others were clai ming that the party was not liberal enough and, therefore, out of step with the Amer ican people. During the 80th Congress these divisions were most noticeable in civil rights and labor policy, but here Dewey pointed out minor programmatic differences within the party and portrayed them as irreconcilable. In the process, he argued that those now regarded as conservative Republicans stood in the way of the GOP’s el ectoral success. Dewey’s lecture series, therefore, identified the Gove rnor and his compatriots with a moderate position on the American political spectrum and portrayed conservatives as the enemies to the GOP and the people. The Princeton lectures helped Dewey keep the spotlight and prevented the RNC from overshadowing him. Gabrielson, for his part remained committed to the 1950 Statement of Principles and rejected De wey’s criticism. Gabrielson ran a campaign that was less intensive, less thorough, and less focused than Reece’s national congressional drive had been f our years earlier. In April, Gabrielson issued what he termed a ten-point “indictment” against the Democrats that underscored issues 18 Speech, Thomas E. Dewey, Princeton University, 9 February 1950. Copy in Folder (Politics – 1950 Speeches (2)), Box 126, Brownell Papers.

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212 conservative Republicans believed were most critical, including the “loss” of China and calls for fiscal responsibility.19 The plan was calculated to please the party base, but Gabrielson’s rhetoric did not play we ll in the press. Joseph Harsch of the Christian Science-Monitor thought that the “loss” of Ch ina painted a totalizing picture of gloom and did not accurately represent Truman’s foreign policy.20 Stewart Alsop attributed Gabrielson’s overly aggressive statements to hi s desire to be a successful RNC Chairman and noted that “amateurs cast in difficult roles tend to overact.” He believed that Gabrielson, above all else, desired to run the 1950 campaign on the probusiness principles of the party but did not understand that the plethora of vocal interest groups had expanded the electorate and now guaranteed that such a strategy would not be effective.21 In late June Gabrielson took an even more conservative tone. He asserted that a majority of Americans believed in the cr usade of Senator McCarthy and that few cared about the methods he employed. This was the first time that Gabrielson had publicly endorsed McCarthy. It came on the heels of a statement from New Jersey Governor Alfred Driscoll, a Deweyite, which condemned the Wisconsin Senator for his red-baiting tactics and their possi ble infringements on civil liberties.22 Driscoll urged a liberal position similar to that es poused by Dewey at Princeton. He claimed that “it is silly for us to keep insisting that we were right all of the time our party was out of power, and that the people were wrong during the entire period.”23 Dewey and 19 Washington Post 15 April 1950. 20 Christian Science-Monitor 17 April 1950. 21 Stewart Alsop, Washington Post 28 April 1950. 22 Christian Science Monitor, 23 June 1950 23 Alfred Driscoll, quoted in Washington Post 24 June 1950.

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213 Driscoll also protested th e omission of any favorable civil rights pronouncements.24 Dewey, Driscoll, and the congressional Young Turks believed that the majority of American voters were liberal and hoped to recast the GOP as progressive. Gabrielson and Taft stood in their way. Conservative journals of opinion ha d a different take on the Republican campaign. In June, Human Events forecasted marginal GOP gains in Congress but believed that these would not be enough to threaten the Democratic hegemony. The editors argued that, with the economy improving and a fledgling social welfare program in place, public sentiment seemed to favor continued Democratic rule. They argued, somewhat alarmingly, that “For now that the Welfare State is far better entrenched than ever before; and now that -thanks partly to the Vandenbergs and Margaret Chase Smiths [both regarded as liberal Republicans]-the two party system is disintegrating, a mediocre showing of the GOP in 1950 might erase all hope.”25 Ideologically committed Republicans saw Gabrielson as weak and ineffective, especially since the Dewey wing and liberal Republicans in C ongress continued to speak against the RNC and its Chairman. By September, Human Events claimed that Republican propaganda had reached a “new low of ineptitude.”26 Ideological conservatives believed that the current ma ke-up of the GOP would not advance their policy goals at the ballot box. Gabrielson, it seems, was not conservative enough to please conservative intellectuals and their reading audience. Local campaigns gave pundits and politicians more hope. In 1950, the Ohio senatorial election had potentially groundbr eaking implications for the Republican 24 Christian Science-Monitor 14 February 1950. 25 Human Events Vol. VII, No. 25, 21 June 1950. 26 Human Events Vol. VII, No. 36, 6 September 1950.

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214 Party and its policies in Wash ington. Taft, ostensibly vulne rable to attacks from trade unions over Taft-Hartley, faced an uphill batt le, especially in the heavily industrial districts of the Buckeye State. The Demo crats ran State Auditor Joseph Ferguson, the son of a coal miner from the southern Oh io town of Shawnee. He was a rather unremarkable candidate who had no experience in national affairs, labor relations, or foreign policy. However, during his thirteen-y ear tenure at the Ohio capital, Ferguson had built a strong political organization that received tremendous support from organized labor.27 Pundits viewed Ferguson as a genuine threat to the Republican and, in the final weeks of the campaign, many saw the race as too close to call.28 A union-assisted Democratic victory over Taft would send shockwaves throughout the American political landscape and could solid ify New Deal liberalism as the dominant postwar political ideology. RNC members also recogni zed the implications of the Ohio election. After 1948, Sinclair Weeks of Massachusetts, a former Harold Stassen supporter, had backed Taft and his faction’s efforts to take control of the RNC Chairmanship. In early 1949, he wrote that “The more I think of it the more certain I am that if Bob Taft can win a resounding victory in 1950 he will be right back in the middle of the picture once more.”29 Since the contest revolved princi pally around the issue of organized labor and federal labor policy, the New York Times declared that voters would essentially choose between continuing or ending the New Deal. The paper portrayed the election as one between a struggle for a coalition-style government in which labor would have sizable influence or a politic al system that ignored unions and their 27 James T. Patterson, Mr. Republican 456. 28 New York Times October 15, October 23, 1950. 29 Sinclair Weeks, Letter to Walter Hallanan, 14 February 1949. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Subject File – Ben Tate), Box 465, Taft Papers.

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215 members altogether.30 Observers, therefore, view ed the Taft-Ferguson race as a referendum between two ideologies of government and two competing political philosophies. To defeat Ferguson, Taft adopted an a ggressive and innovati ve approach that combined the staples of his political philosophy—laissez-faire economics, anticommunism, and limited government— with direct appeals to the normally Democratic union members. This tactic mark ed a radical change in campaign strategy for Taft at a time when the political clim ate favored conservatives. While Taft was no friend to labor unions and generally saw th em as impediments to the free market economy, his plan took advantage of disc ontent among rank and file workers and allowed him to score an important propaganda victory for conservatism in America. Taft and his faction entered the 1950 elec tion with a great deal of uncertainty, but had a developed strategy that refl ected their disdain with Dewey’s 1948 presidential run. Taft chose to run on th e record of the Eightieth Congress and his authorship of the Taft-Hartley Labor Act specifically, things De wey had ignored two years prior.31 Conservative Republicans and a majority of business interests— including the National Associ ation of Manufacturers and the United States Chamber of Commerce—supported the Taft-Hartley Ac t. Organized labor did not. The TaftHartley “slave labor” law, as CIO official s termed it, was their call to arms. Since 1948, union leaders had consistently called for its repeal and had launched an extensive campaign through the CIO-PAC and the AFL’s Labor League of Political Education (LLPE) to garner support for the cause on Capitol Hill. The threat of Taft30 New York Times August 11, 1950. 31 R. Alton Lee, Truman and Taft-Hartley: A Question of Mandate (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1966).

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216 Hartley drew organized labor further into politics and gave it an emotionally charged issue with resonance.32 The CIO’s zealous effort to repeal Taft -Hartley impacted Taft’s re-election campaign. Ohio Democrats were in no c ondition to mount an effective campaign alone, but the national party offered little assistance. 33 Early in 1950, with the Ohio Democratic Party in disarray, the CIO-PA C stood willing to help. The PAC’s national leadership made defeating Taft their primar y mission and even went so far as to call Ohio the number one battleground state in the congressional el ections. National CIOPAC head Jack Kroll, a leader in the Ci ncinnati labor movement commented that Ohio was the most important state in the November campaigns. Labor’s campaign rhetoric was much more shrill and aggre ssive than that of the Democratic Party.34 Taft had prepared for the onslaught fro m labor well before the Democrats had chosen their candidate. In early campaigni ng in 1949, Taft had often mentioned that his opponent would be the “tool of avaricious labor leaders” and the “fair-haired boy of the Fair Deal.” Taft campaign mana ger Willis Gradison had correctly predicted that the national AFL convention, scheduled to take place in Ci ncinnati in mid-1950, would become a forum for Taft’s opponents. Union officials and regular Democratic politicians alike tied Taft to the labor i ssue and rallied agains t Taft-Hartley in speeches in Ohio and across the country. In his State of the Union Address, for example, Truman called for the repeal of Taft-Hartley and a return to the labor 32 Robert Zieger, The CIO: 1935-1955 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 248-52; James Caldwell Foster, The Union Politic: The CIO Political Action Committee (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1975), 1-15. 33 Cincinnati Enquirer January 10, 1950. 34 Ibid., January 15, 1950.

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217 relations system of the 1935 Wagner Act. 35 The repeal of Taft-Hartley was clearly the top priority of the Democrats and the unions in 1950. The general political climate of that y ear, however, did not favor labor unions. 1950 began with John L. Lewis’s United Mine Workers mired in a marathon strike against the coal industry that produced upr oar among the American people. Closer to home, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the most prominent newspa per in Taft’s home city, almost always cast unions in a negative light.36 The majority of opinion leaders and business elites in Cincinnati opposed labor unions. Taft also benefited from an upsurge of anti-communism throughout Ohio and in Cincinnati in particular. From January through March, The Cincinnati Enquirer ran a series of weekly articles by James Ratliff that claimed Communist ag ents had infiltrated virtually every organization and social institution in the city and detailed their methods of subversion. Such familiar targets as the Progressive Party and labor unions were mentioned as vehicles for conspirators who had set thei r sights on local char ities and schools. By July, the stories had drawn so much atten tion that the House Un-American Activities Committee made a stop in Cincinnati to invest igate Ratliff’s charges. What transpired was a festival of name-calling, innuendo and sm ear tactics, all of which resonated in the newspapers through letters from lo cal citizens who expressed outrage at Communist infiltration in the lo cal plants, unions, and schools.37 McCarthyism came 35 Cincinnati Enquirer January 4, 1950; memo, Willis Gradison to Taft, November 18, 1950, Political File—1950 Campaign, Box 304, Taft Papers; and Cincinnati Enquirer January 5, 1950. Quotation from Cincinnati Enquirer January 1, 1950. See also Arthur Herman, Joseph McCarthy: Re-Examining the Life and Legacy of America’s Most Hated Senator (New York: Free Press, 2000). 36 See, for example, the columns of syndicated writer Victor Reisel which received top billing in the paper. Cincinnati Enquirer March 14, 1950. 37 Quotation from Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes 241; Cincinnati Enquirer 19 March 1950, 5 August 1950.

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218 to Ohio in 1950, and Taft seemed poised to capitalize on it and win a third term to the United States Senate. The final major issue during the contes t focused on foreign policy, specifically America’s role in Korea. Prior to World War II, Taft had been an ardent isolationist. He had been the most prominent political spokesman of the America First movement, and had done everything in his power to keep the United States from becoming involved in international enta nglements. Although he had soft ened his rhetoric due to the realities of the postwar world, Taft had trouble escaping his isolationist past. Early on, foreign policy appeared to be a minor issue in the campaign. But that changed on June 27 when North Korea invaded South Ko rea. Taft initially supported the Truman administration’s commitment to fighting comm unism on the Korean peninsula, but as the election drew closer he began to fall back to his pre-1942 position. His biographer, James T. Patterson, believes that Taft was “caught amid his anticommunist militancy about Asia, his lifelong hostility toward extensive overseas involvement, and his partisan opposition to Truman.” With American soldiers fighting overseas, however, anything but a firm commitment to the war c ould injure Taft at the polls. He therefore publicly supported the war effort. Ta ft hoped, however, that by highlighting administration mistakes leading up to the war he could politici ze the issue to his advantage. Taft remained vulnerable to char ges of isolationism from the other side, although he did manage in the end to dow nplay the foreign policy aspect of the campaign.38 Taft could have easily ridden anti-labor anti-communism, a nd anti-isolationism to victory but, instead of running a driv e along the lines of the 1946 RNC effort, Mr. Republican chose to run on a more nuanced campaign that reflected the thinking and 38 Patterson, Mr. Republican 454-55.

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219 suggestions of his close advisors. He was de termined to keep in mind lessons learned from Dewey’s failed 1948 presidential cam paign and purposely a voided anything that closely resembled “Me-Tooism.” In the proce ss, Taft gained more confidence in the goal of reaffirming the Republican Party as a vehicle for fiscal and social conservatism. Although he avoided giving any credence to McCarthy and did not make communism a central issue, Taft’s rh etoric still fell on the right side of the political spectrum. Taft’s Ohio organization believed that a new campaign approach would lead to a landslide victory in the Buckeye State a nd become the springboard for the coveted 1952 presidential nomination. In late 1949, Taft’s managers hired an anonymous researcher to travel through twelve states in the South and the Midwest and gauge the opinion of the common voter. Rather than speaking with Republican elites as John Gordon Bennett had done two years prior, this field operative talked to small business owners, gas station attendants, waitresses, and other average, everyday individuals. His report is notable for a number of reasons. First, the researcher detected what he termed a “dominant feeling of uneasiness.” He claimed that nearly every person he spoke with, regardless of political affiliation, disliked Truman and believed that some, if not all, of his policies were misguide d. Small businessmen, small town bankers, and farmers all agreed that Truman’s admi nistration had been marked by wasteful spending and a public debt that, in his words, “left the door’s [sic] open to communism.” The correspondent believed that the tenor of the administration, rather than specific policies, had led to this depr essed public sentiment and played to Taft’s advantage.39 39 Memo, unsigned, 1 December 1949. Copy in Folder (Eighty-First Congress – 1950), Box 539, Taft Papers.

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220 The researcher also highlighted a numb er of overarching problems. The most important, in his opinion, was high taxes rela ted to the Korean War. He reported that “the business man, and every other man who is paying Federal taxes in any substantial sum, is loudly calling for tax re lief. No single group or class of federal taxes are singled out for reduc tion.” Four individuals that the correspondent talked to had actually cashed in war bonds early, be lieving that Truman would order a repudiation of the bonds to k eep the federal treasury aflo at, rather than reducing spending and balancing the budget. The reporter also lamented what he perceived as a growing acceptance of the role of the fe deral government as a source of income among lower class Americans, but believed th at the middle and upper classes resented continued government assistance and regard ed it as a program of “something for nothing.”40 This was an early sign of the anti-t axation and anti-welfare feeling that historians and jour nalists would later describe as a foundation of the postwar conservative movement.41 In 1950, the early signs of this discontent were apparent to Taft and his associates. The report also guided Taft on his campai gn strategy regarding Taft-Hartley and civil rights. On the labor le gislation, the reporter concl uded that “There is no ground swelling demand for repeal of the Taft-Hartl ey law.” The researcher argued that the common man on the street had no opinion on sp ecific provisions of the law, but all generally wanted unions to be amenable to anti-trust laws and resented the added consumer costs that resulted from labor dis putes. To Taft and his campaign staff, this indicated that Taft-Hartley was a safe cam paign issue and would not alienate the nonunion, middle-class voters of Ohio. It also echoed the advice of some of their most 40 Ibid. 41 See Thomas Byrne and Mary Edsall, Chain Reaction

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221 prominent and trusted Old Guard colleagues.42 The researcher reached similar conclusions on civil rights, st ating that “Not one person was found in twelve states that favors the Civil Rights proposals of th e Truman administration.” He noted that the issue had more salience in urban areas lik e Kansas City or St. Louis, but that in middle America, racial measures had almo st no bearing on the electorate. The Taft organization saw this as further proof that the Democratic civil rights program was little more than a ploy to reach minority voters and similar entreaties by the Republican incumbent would do very little for his re-election bid.43 The anonymous report dovetailed with the campaign suggestions submitted to the RNC while it was crafting the 1950 statem ent of principles. Texan Marrs McLean called the civil rights program the “smartest thing politically that Truman has ever done.” He argued that the GOP had to make a statement condemning the administration for its failed promises, but did not believe that the Republicans could suggest a plausible alternative program, let alone implement one.44 Also, in late 1948, the RNC sent 20,000 questionnaires to party members asking them to assess the election results. According to Human Events the respondents overwhelmingly panned Dewey’s “me-too” approach, which included appeals to organized labor and African Americans, and preferred a party organizati on that staked out a conservative position to the right of the New Deal.45 Taft, as both a subscriber to Human Events and a 42 For example, Marrs McLean, in a letter forwarded to Taft, had castigated Dewey for not campaigning on Taft-Hartley in 194 8. McLean believed that an open embrace of the labor legislation would offset any negative propaganda put out by the unions. Marrs McLean, Memo to Hugh Scott, undated. Copy in Folder (Political – Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers. 43 Ibid. 44 Marrs McLean, Letter to Guy Gabrielson, 3 January 1950. Copy in Folder (“Mc” Republican), Box 9, Summerfield II Papers. 45 Human Events 6, no. 1, 1 January 1949.

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222 Republican Party insider, was aware of this su rvey data, which affirmed his belief that conservatism appeared ascendant at the grassroots. Taft, cognizant of the findings of the RNC and the opinions of his associates, launched a re-election campaign designed to drive a wedge between trade unionists and union officials, and esta blish the Senator as a cons ervative. He made direct appeals to organized labor and promoted Ta ft-Hartley as a form of economic salvation that removed workers from the tyrannical rule of corrupt union bosses and their communist allies. Taft r ecognized that Dewey’s 1948 pr o-labor strategy had been flawed, but believed that trade unionists coul d be attracted by issues other than the social legislation at the co re of the New Deal. Taft r ecognized a disjuncture between union officials and the rank and file. In th e three years since Taft-Hartley, he had received numerous letters from concer ned union members decrying the evils of supposedly corrupt union bosses who endorse d programs outside the interests of the average worker.46 Taft, therefore, thought that labor leaders had captured the rankand-file and that the averag e trade unionist wanted free dom from this oppression. He used this divide to make appeals to the general membership while attacking the union bosses and their political efforts. Taft sought to counter CIO-PAC propaga nda and promoted the Taft-Hartley act to union members as a positive good rather than a “slave labor” law. Numerous workers had written to praise the Ohioan fo r his role in creating the bill and espoused its benefits. A General Motors employee from Pontiac, Michigan, thought the bill’s cooling-off clause upheld the right “at all ti me to protect the nation’s destiny and toss in jail any union Big Shot that jeopardizes the nations’ welfare.” Taft consistently argued that the bill allowed unions to thrive and did not take away any of their power 46 Robert A. Taft, Letter to W. H. McMullen, 9 January 1950, Box 304, Taft Papers.

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223 to represent their members. In the first of a series of ra dio and platform speeches, Taft claimed that the law protected the rank a nd file because it outlawed the closed shop, thus giving workers a vol untary right to be repres ented by their union, barred secondary boycotts, and prevented jurisdictiona l strikes. He also noted that unions had thrived under the law, citing Department of Labor statistics that showed a rise in union membership since 1947. Taft concl uded forcefully, saying, “Nobody has been enslaved. No union has been busted. No human being’s rights have b een violated . All these facts add up to one thing: Taft -Hartley is good for the unions and good for our workingmen and good for our country. It is making our democracy work better.”47 This message appealed both to unionists who had achieved substantial gains under Taft-Hartley as well as to a general public who feared ad ditional labor stoppages. In taking such a proactive stance on Taft-Hartle y, Taft diffused the most potent issue in the CIO-PAC’s arsenal. While Taft was able to di vide rank and file workers from union leadership over Taft-Hartley many of his othe r efforts to woo labor proved much less successful. The Taft campaign organized workers into the La bor League for Taft, essentially a public relations vehicle supervised by Ohio newspaperman Gene Carr. After the primary defeat of 1948, sympathetic members of the la bor press had encouraged the Senator to form a pressure group to counter the CI O-PAC and the American Federation of Labor’s Labor League for Political Education. On August 29, 1949, Taft encouraged Tom Colosimo, editor of a small independent publication titled The Steelworkers’ News and an openly-partisan Republican to create a labor committee on the Senator’s behalf. Little came of this effort, however as union newspapers, no matter how small, 47 Lee Crain to Taft, undated, Box 240, Joe E. Dash to Taft, 24 July 1949, Box 304, speech, “Overall Speech on Republicans and Labor,” Box 307, Taft Papers.

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224 could not work actively for Taft without political and econom ic repercussions.48 The Taft leadership then took it upon itself to create a body of unionists who would campaign actively for their candidate and against the CIO-PAC. An undated memo circulated to campaign staff claimed that Ta ft was held in high esteem by the general union membership and argued that an or ganization of workers for Taft would encourage undecided laborers to support his candidacy. More importantly, it would “throw confusion into the opposing camp and in itself would be a diversionary device which would take a lot of the time a nd attention away from the Senator.”49 Although the Taft group planned to esta blish local Labor League committees throughout the state and sign up a total of 200,000 members by election day, they fell far short of their membership goals. A press release from September 28 claimed a membership of just over 10,000. The Labor League, however, generated a good deal of publicity and gave the appearance of a Ta ft-following among organized workers. It published a short newsletter titled Buckeye Labor News and provided a well-funded but numerically weaker alternative to the CIO-PAC. The Taft organization was obviously pleased with the LLFT’s performan ce, as it was subsequently recreated two years later in Wisconsin, the most indus trial state Taft entered during the 1952 presidential primary, but there is little evid ence that the group rallied unionists in any meaningful way.50 48 In an undated letter likely written in 1949, Taft told Don L. Fernandez, editor of the Tri-County Labor Press “I know [supporting me] was a difficult position for a labor paper to take, but I feel that the result of the election showed th at you represented at least as many union labor members as did the so-called leaders of labor unions.” Taft to Don L. Fernandez, undated, Box 307, Taft Papers. 49 Memo, undated, Box 683, Taft Papers. 50 Quotation from Cincinnati Enquirer August 14, 1950; press release, Labor League for Taft, September 28, 1950, Box 298, Taft Papers; Unsigned, Memo to Taft, 5 February 1952, Box 455, Taft Papers.

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225 Taft also used Taft-Hartley as a way to reach out to African American voters. One of the most bitterly contested aspects of the act was the prohi bition of the closed shop. Prior to Taft-Hartley the closed shop made union membership a necessity for employment. It prevented management from establishing a rival company union, guaranteeing that existing organizations woul d remain in power. Taft claimed that the outlawing of this provision benefited Afri can Americans and ha lted discriminatory hiring practices perpetua ted by labor organizations. The flyer stated, “ Under the closed shop there is no way you can get a job unle ss you first become a member of the union. But you know many unions don’t take in colored workers at all. Other unions put colored workers in second-class Jim Crow locals.” The text also contended that the Taft-Hartley law remained the only piece of civil rights legislation that dealt with employment and went on to say: “Bob Taft has proven to be our real friend .” 51 The closed shop campaign flyer was one in a series of handbills that the proTaft Ohio Colored Voters Committee (OCV C) distributed. This group, likely formed by the Taft campaign along the lines of the LLFT, put out two other pamphlets that are notable for articulating Taft’s stand on social legislation. One highlighted the Senator’s support for an increased minimu m wage, federal funding for education, and the Taft-Ellender-Wagner Housing Act. These measures, of course, could be considered “civil rights” legislation only in the broadest sense, but the OCVC pointed out that these measures all benefited Af rican Americans. This handbill was also notable because it highlighted the more liberal aspects of Taft’s legislative record at a time when conservative voters seemed ready to vote for the Senator en masse. Taft’s plans for federal aid to education and pub lic housing had been deemed socialistic by conservative critics in the GOP, and their in clusion in his re-election bid shows that 51 Undated campaign flyer, Box 303, Taft Papers.

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226 Taft was not running a campaign based on hi s overall record, not one slanted along ideological lines. The second flyer did not ma ke any false asserti ons, but it did put a positive, though somewhat misleading, spin on Taft’s meager civil rights record.52 Taft also made a favorable impression on segments of the African American press. The Cleveland Call and Post one of the most influential black newspapers in the state, endorsed Taft throughout the campaign and reported on the divisive campaign rhetoric of the la bor unions. An editorial on September twenty-third claimed, “Under the leadership of the CIOPAC . programs have been put into action especially designed and calculated to poison the minds of the Negro voters against Senator Taft.” The October 28 editi on linked Taft to progr ess on civil rights legislation and predicted that if Ferguson were elected, a further entrenchment of the Democratic Party would bol ster the southern bloc.53 Ultimately, the OCVC campaign and the endorsement of the Cleveland Call and Post proved unsuccessful. During the campaign, the NAACP denounced Taft for his anti-FEPC stance. Since the issue came to the fore in 1946, he had been against creation of a compulsory FEPC to root out workplace discrimination. He contended that it overstepped the powers of the Fe deral government. An opponent of federal regulations on businesses, Taft sponsored a bill that created a permanent FEPC but one limited to an advisory role. The NAA CP supported his opponent, and on election day the Democratic contender won every majority black district in the state.54 Although futile, appealing to African Ameri can voters was a marked departure from Taft’s previous senatorial runs and his 1948 presidential primary campaign. 52 Ibid. 53 Cleveland Call and Post October 28 and November 4, 1950. 54 Patterson, Mr. Republican 448, 471.

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227 Taft’s campaign for African American votes reflected the conservative Republican position that the Democrats ha d bought the black vote through hollow promises of civil rights a nd social welfare legislation.55 Conservatives believed rather fervently that the Democratic Party was not committed to any form of civil rights legislation. They viewed Democratic entreatie s for racial equality as empty rhetoric designed to keep the New Deal Coalition t ogether without producing any substantive policy changes. The pamphlet pointed out that the 81st Congress had been in session for 554 days and had failed to pass any of the six civil rights measures on the 1948 Democratic platform. Taft, rather than e ndorsing the Democratic civil rights program, promoted Taft-Hartley as a concrete de fense of African-American economic rights and espoused the virtues of his educa tion and housing proposals. These were consistent with his overarching campaign strategy and showed that he was not thinking of minority groups as voters with special needs or interests, but was highlighting a specific benefit of a law that helped all Americans. Most Republicans proved both unwilling to actively champion civ il rights legislation and incapable of crafting a viable alternative to the Democratic program. The flyer listed only three Senatorial votes as evidence of GOP comm itment to equality and had one weaksounding appeal for blacks to vote Repub lican. There was no proposal for new safeguards to prevent racial discrimination, and the Taft campaign was illustrative of this lack of vision. Taft made all the trad itional, limited appeals for African American votes that were expected of him, but did li ttle to make special entreaties to minority voters. While the lack of response from th e African American community was expected, Taft’s more inclusive election strategy did reward the incumbent with 55 Campaign Flyer, “Civil Rights Double-talk,” undated. Copy in Folder (Politics – 1950 – RNC Publications (7)), Box 126, Brownell Papers.

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228 increased support from the white working cl ass. Taft’s opponent also did little to hinder his efforts, as Ferguson and his labor backers played thei r roles assigned by the Taft campaign—Ferguson as a puppet of labor and the unions themselves as outside agitators—with great aplomb. From the outset, virtually every prominent labor leader came out against Taft. On January 21, 1950, th e AFL began its anti-Taft drive at the dedication of its new state headquarters in Columbus. AFL President William Green and Minnesota Senator Hubert H. Hum phrey attended the ceremony and both spoke out against Taft and the Ohio GOP. Green pr oclaimed that Taft was the “champion of the anti-labor cause” and that it was labo r’s “solemn duty to make him the former champion this November.” CIO leaders such as Jacob Potofsky and Philip Murray also attacked Taft at the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America convention in May and Green denounced the Senator again in July and August.56 The labor press also vigorously employed anti-Taft rhetoric. The CIO News the national press organ of the organization, ra n unflattering news stories on the Senator in nearly every issue leading up to the cam paign. On June 3, the paper ran an election report on the Buckeye state which was e ssentially a campaign speech written by Kroll. He claimed, “Behind the symbol of State Auditor Ferguson are other realities— the realities of a better and brighter world for the people of Ohio and of our whole country.” The August 28 edition ran five articles on the campaign, including a favorable review of an anti-Taft comic book and an assessment of Taft’s foreign policy stance—which was determined to be favorable to Korean aggression.57 Beyond these polemical flourishes, the CI O mounted serious grassroots efforts to mobilize its membership to support Ferguson. The CIO News reported that both the 56 Cincinnati Enquirer 22 January and 30 January, 1950; New York Times 2 February, 16 May, 17 May, 19 July, and 10 August, 1950. 57 CIO News 3 July, 28 August, 4 September, 1950.

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229 Ohio CIO-PAC central committee and the st ate CIO Council, also headed by Kroll, were planning the “most dynamic registrati on drive” ever. Their mission was “the registration of every eligible voter, regardless of politic al affiliation, in the areas where registration is require d.” In April, 285 members attended a registration and campaign workshop sponsored by the state PA C. Organizers discussed the central issues of the election and effective tec hniques for voter activation and mobilization. The national meeting of the PAC, held in June, reaffirmed these goals and pledged unwavering support for “candidates for public office . who share our belief in a truly liberal America,” and urged every CIO member to give money to the campaign and vote on election day.58 The 1950 campaign marked one of the most effective and determined campaigns in CIO history, and Ohio was its central focus. Taft was, of course, not running agains t the unions, but they may have put up more of a fight than his opponent. Fe rguson won a 51,000 vote plurality in the Democratic primary and, from there, wasted little time preparing for November. He met with President Harry Truman on May 26 to discuss gaining support from the national committee and made the brash stat ement that he would defeat Taft by 250,000 votes. He pledged to campaign with great zeal and take his message to the rural and poor urban areas of the state.59 He was also an extremely weak candidate. He had name recognition from his tenure as State Auditor but little else. Throughout the campaign, he received a very unfavorable reaction from the press for his folksy ways. On September 13, Ferguson responded by lashing out at journalists who, he claimed, were biased in favor of Taft. He ch arged that editorial car toons that ridiculed his lack of a college educati on that and the overall pro-Ta ft slant of the Ohio press 58 CIO News 27 March, 15 May, 19 June, 1950. 59 New York Times 27 May, 1950.

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230 was un-American. In all fairness, Ferguson’ s caricature was no mo re unflattering than that of any other politician. The cartoonists often depicted him as a small child with his gapped teeth and large eyeglasses. On the campaign trail, Ferguson made several blunders that showed his ignor ance of national issues. When asked what he would do about Korea, Ferguson supposedly re plied, “I’ll carry that county too.”60 The press lambasted Ferguson, but nothing indicates that his treatment was undeserved or harsher than that given to any other ca ndidate. To make matters worse, Ohio Democratic Governor Frank Lausche refuse d to endorse Ferguson, likely due to his numerous weaknesses and his personal respect for Taft.61 In contrast, Taft proved to be a very sk illful campaigner. He spent most of the spring and summer months of 1950 in Wash ington working on legislative business, but often discussed politics with the medi a and stressed Communism and price control measures frequently. In an interview with the New York Times in March, he stated that the principal issue of the campaign was “Liber ty vs. Socialism,” but Taft insisted that the issue was larger than just Communism in general or Communists in government. He argued that Truman’s economic progr am “actually calls for about as much socialism as the Labor program in Great Br itain,” and he insisted that slashing the deficit was a better economic program than increased spending.62 In the field, Taft made the labor issue his top priority, largely in response to the negative press and voter backlash caused by the heavy influence of the CIO-PAC. While Taft busied himself with an in tense two-month campaign, Ferguson was virtually absent. He only made one or two speeches a day due to his poor public 60 Ibid., 1 October, 1950; Wooster Daily-Herald 4 May, 1950, quoted in Patterson, Mr. Republican 457. 61 New York Times 20 June, 22 June, 23 June, 25 June, and 23 October, 1950. 62 Ibid., 5 March, 15 July, 1950.

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231 speaking ability. Taft, on the other hand, often made four or five. Ferguson, however, did distribute more literature to citizen s through the mail than Taft. He used the combined apparatus of the labor unions and his own Democratic organization to distribute hundreds of thousands of flyers, pamphlets, and other pieces of literature directly to the voters of Ohio, especially in the rural areas. The mo st controversial, a comic book distributed by the United Labor League of Ohio entitled “The Robert Alphonso Taft Story—It’s on the Record,” de picted Taft as the puppet of special interests and Ferguson as a true man of the people. The piece claimed that Taft’s opposition to price controls, his isolationi st stand on foreign policy, and the TaftHartley Act worked against the interest of the average citizen. Taft called the book defamatory, but the United Labor League distributed 1.5 million copies throughout the state.63 Taft made a much better showing at his many stops throughout the Buckeye State.64 The incumbent also benefited fr om two critical groups: the business community and Republicans from around the nation. In November 1949, the Ohio Association of Trade Executives, an umbre lla organization representing nearly forty industry associations, formed the non-partis an Ohio Voters. The group was formed as “a Union of Business Men who plan to elect Senator Taft in spite of the opposition of all other Unions.” Ohio Voters had an in itial war chest of 125,000 dollars and planned a massive voter mobilization effort. The gr oup’s leadership included members of the auto dealers, hotel, insurance, retail, banking, publishing, buildi ng supply, dairy, and medical industries. Arthur Packard, presiden t of the Packard Hote ls Corporation of Mount Vernon, Ohio, served as chairman. The Ohio Voters did not make a significant 63 Ibid. 29 August, 17 September, 1950; Patterson, Mr. Republican 459-60. 64 New York Times 30 August, 8 September, 1950.

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232 public impact on the election, but the level of support this broad spectrum of Ohio industry groups gave to Taft and his conservative program is significant. The business community willingly supported Taft’s campaign and his efforts to undermine labor leaders and unionists.65 Generous Republicans in a nu mber of other states also launched fund-raising drives in the name of protecting conservatism.66 Throughout the campaign, the Democrats and their union allies predicted a landslide victory while Taft a nd his organization simply said that it would be a close race. The day before the election, Taft to ld reporters that he hoped to win by 30,000 votes. The press had the contest too close to call as late as October, believing that an increased numbers of registered voters a nd energetic union activity gave Ferguson a chance. While the challenger’s weakness as a candidate had become obvious on the campaign trail, the state and national media be lieved that the incr eased presence of the CIO-PAC would overcome his deficiencies. Ferguson took a differe nt approach. After telling Truman and the national media that he would win the election by a quarter of a million votes in May, he late r raised that figure to 350,000. When all the votes were counted, Taft won by 431,184, the second largest plurality in Ohio history at that time. This figure is important for two reasons. First, Taft’s margin of victory far outpaced Republican numbers in the previous few elections, demonstrating both hi s personal appeal and the approval of his platform and campaign rhetoric. In 1948, for example, Fe rguson had won re-election to the state auditor’s post by nearly 300,000 votes while Thomas Dewey failed to carry the state in the Presidential election. In 1944, Taft had managed only a 17,000 majority. In 65 Arthur J. Packard, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 26 November 1949. Copy in Folder (P (1)), Box 27, Brownell Papers. 66 H.D. Draper, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 14 January 1950. Copy in Folder (“D” Republicans), Box 7, Summerfield II Papers.

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233 fact, the 1950 results were an anomaly in Ta ft’s career. Continually saddled with the charge that he lacked popular appeal, Taft scored a landslide vi ctory that surprised even his most ardent supporters. Whil e the political climate of 1950 favored Republicans and his opponent failed to m ount any campaign of note, state and national Democrats also attack ed Taft more aggressively than ever before. Ohio had not seen such a fierce campaign and get-ou t-the-vote drive like the one from the CIOPAC. Taft’s sizable margin of victory testifie s to the appeal of a fiscally conservative platform to Ohio voters in an election cy cle where a stark contrast existed between candidates.67 Secondly, the results exposed tensions and fundamental differences among labor leaders, the average union member, and the Democratic organization. Taft exploited these divisions to the fullest. The vote totals were partially due to the challenger’s poor showing on the campaign trail, but the effectiveness of the Republican campaign to win over organized la bor, especially the rank and file, should not be understated. Taft estimated that the Democratic challenger carried an estimated sixty percent of the labor vote. While this number is pure conjecture from the candidate, Taft did win all of the larger industrial counties in the state, a very significant fact for the author of the Taft-Hartley Act and labor’s top political target. In all, Taft carried eighty -four of eighty-eight countie s, losing only a handful of smaller coal and steel counties. The margin of victory in each of the three largest manufacturing centers was more th an Taft’s statewide count in 1944.68 He was the 67 Republican National Comm ittee Research Division, The 1950 Elections: A Preliminary Analysis, November 1950. Copy in Box 126, Folder RNC Publications (7), Brownell Papers; Patterson, Mr. Republican 471. 68 Taft lost Belmont, Jefferson, Lawrence, and Pike counties while polling majorities of 45,000 in Cincinnati, 42,000 in Columbus, and 22,000 in Cleveland. He also carried Toledo by 15,000, Akron by 6,000 and Youngstown by 3,500. RNC Research Division, The 1950 Elections

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234 first Republican to win the Democratic stronghold of Cuyahoga County in the twentieth century despite th e fact that the CIO mobili zed eight hundred election-day workers in Cleveland, the largest force th e federation assembled in any major city nationwide. While Taft likely would have won reelection regardless, his efforts to attract the labor vote led to the la rge number of votes he received.69 The most significant aspect of the Oh io Senatorial Election of 1950 was not Ferguson’s poor performance or even th e massive anti-Taft commitment from organized labor. It was Taft’s willingness to reach out to constituent groups thought to be firmly tied to the Democratic Party, positioning himself as a potentially viable contender nationally. Events surrounding th e election created th e political climate favorable to a conservative Republican, but even with such a seemingly easy victory on the horizon, Taft made a concerted effo rt to broaden his appeal to African Americans and organized labor. In 1948, Dewey had focused on winning these groups back to the GOP using essentially De mocratic ideas. Taft understood that conservative Republicans would not provide the level of el ectoral majority he hoped for, so he adopted Dewey’s strategy but anchored it to his personal view of the American polity, which he regarded as cons ervative. His attempt divide the rank and file from union leaders enhanced his polit ical fortunes. Taft’s active pursuit of a central element of the New Deal coaliti on illustrated his willingness to expand beyond his traditional constituency and to broade n the appeal of the Republican Party, both key elements in a larger attempt to gather a national majority around a conservative agenda. Taft’s re-election made him the early front-runner for the 1952 Republican nomination. Reporters seized on his margin of victory as pr oof that Taft could win big 69 Election data for each Ohio Senate race can be found at: http://dewine.se nate.gov/ohio_senators.htm

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235 elections and could potentially garner e nough public support to unseat Truman. The Washington Post opined that, in 1950, Taft had mo re prestige than he had had two years prior due to his leadership in the Ei ghtieth Congress, his authorship of TaftHartley, and his dramatic vi ctory over a union-backed can didate. His re-election had rallied his followers in the Midwest and th e South and proved to many that his brand of Republicanism, rather than “me-tooism ,” held the key to electoral success.70 Joseph and Stewart Alsop believed th at Taft had the nomination lo cked up and would coast to victory unless both Dewey and Warren challe nged him. The Alsops noted that Warren had been building a bloc of support in the We st and that Dewey still had a great deal of influence in the Northeast. Only an a ttack from both coasts, or a run from General Dwight D. Eisenhower, could prevent Taft from becoming his party’s standardbearer.71 As Taft was plotting a strai ght course to a successful re-election in Ohio, his chief intra-party rival was taking a more indirect route back to the New York governor’s mansion. In the waning days of 1949, Dewey refused to indicate his future role in state politics.72 With the governorship, a United States Senate seat, and the entire New York General Assembly up for re-election, Dewey’s legislative agenda adopted a very partisan tone. Rather than focus on issues that divided the Republican Party, he played up policies that were mutu ally agreeable to all GOP factions. He made health care his central focus in an e ffort to counter Truman’s expected push for national health care. Neither of the GOP f action wanted a state-supported insurance program for all Americans. Dewey drove this home in an effort to unify his party at 70 Washington Post 12 November 1950. 71 Joseph and Stewart Alsop, Washington Post, 12 November 1950. 72 Christian Science-Monitor 28 December 1949.

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236 the state level.73 He pledged to cut spending, maintain tax rates, and keep a balanced budget in the face of a mounting fiscal crisis. He explicitly rejected federal grants-inaid, which he saw as the key to federal re gimentation of state governments. He also argued that Social Security had failed to meet the needs of the aged and pledged to find a permanent, state-level solution to provi de an acceptable level of benefits to the elderly.74 The New York Times noted that Dewey, ever the champion of federalism, had made a “persuasive statement of his political philosophy and the assurance of continued good housekeeping.”75 Dewey’s new program, not as inventive as his past agendas, was a far cry from his earlier campaigns as a “New Deal Republican.” In New York, his public face was very conservative, reflecting both the experience of the 1948 campaign and the tenuous position of the state party. On Februa ry 27, the state GOP met and decided to begin its fall campaign immedi ately, citing the number of state offices up for grabs and the potential challenge from the Democrats.76 As the legislature came to a close in late March, some Republicans contended that it was highly possible that the Democrats would sweep the state and nationa l offices and gain control of both houses of the assembly.77 In April, leaders of various county parties, with the backing of National Committeeman J. Russell Sprague began a Draft Dewey movement to convince the governor to seek a third term They reasoned that the GOP’s chances were better with a proven leader and known commodity heading the ticket.78 73 New York Times 2 January 1950. 74 New York Times 5 January 1950. 75 New York Times 7 January 1950. 76 New York Times 28 January 1950. 77 New York Times 26 March 1950. 78 New York Times, 2 April 1950.

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237 Dewey truly did not want a third term.79 Throughout the summer, the Governor moved to squash any possibili ty for a return to Albany. On ly after it appeared that Dewey’s handpicked successor, Lieutenant Governor Joseph Hanley, could not win and the crucial Wall Street element of th e party threatened to withhold funds did Dewey reluctantly assent to seek re-elect ion, and then only if Hanley was given the Senatorial nomination.80 On September 4, Dewey announced that he was indeed a candidate to much acclaim from the press and his party.81 Republicans around the nation saw the Dewey announcement as good ne ws. Arthur Krock noted that even members of the Taft camp saw it as positive, with the exception of “those who believe that the party should revert back to 1 900,” and those that sought a return to isolationism. The columnist believed that a successful re-ele ction campaign would make Dewey the early favorite for the 1952 nomination.82 The New York GOP platform, released on September 6, read more like the final report of an outgoing administration rather than a statement for the future. The document praised the past eight years of Republican rule in New York and emphasized gains made since the end of the war. The platform claimed that the state had the broadest social welfar e program of any state in th e union and consistently met the needs of its people. It claimed that the state had maintained successful labor relations without punitive measures, citi ng programs such as increased minimum wages, expanded workman’s compensati on laws, disability measures, and 79 The Dewey papers have only one painfully weak folder on the 1950 election. Richard Norton Smith gleaned most of the behind the scenes events of the 1950 campaign from a number of oral history interviews, much of which is beyond the scope of this chapter. See Smith, Thomas E. Dewey and his Times, pp.557-565, fns 31-36. 80 Ibid. 81 See, for example, the editorial in the NYT. New York Times 5 September 1950. 82 Arthur Krock, quoted in New York Times 11 September 1950.

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238 unemployment programs as the key to industr ial peace. The party also wholeheartedly endorsed Dewey’s civil rights record, ci ting the FEPC and a new law barring discrimination in public housing as examples of the Republican commitment to racial equality.83 The 1950 New York GOP platform reflect ed Dewey’s Princeton lectures and not the more conservative statement he made to the legislature in January. Empire State Republicans ran the 1950 campaign on the tenets of liberal Republicanism. Dewey and his backers attacked the Democr ats for wasteful spending and a tendency for centralization of government while prom oting their own record on civil rights, labor, and fiscal responsibility.84 The Republicans could only afford to run as liberals once the popular incumbent rejoined the campaign. Dewey’s personal prestige could easily offset any substantive challenges from his opponents and squelch ideological divides amongst the party faithful. Although there was not much of a conservative element within the New York GOP, Dewe y’s campaign repudiated his own early efforts to run a conservative campaign more oppositional to the Democratic effort. Dewey’s campaign strategy paid off on election day, as he defeated his opponent Edward Lynch by nearly 500,000 votes. Hanley could not unseat the popular Democratic incumbent Herbert Le hman, however, and went down by more than 200,000.85 Correspondents attributed these results to the differences between the candidates and paid tribute to Dewey’s re putation as an effective governor. The Christian Science-Monitor believed that the Governor had redeemed himself after 83 New York Times, 7 September 1950. 84 See, for example, New York Times 2 October 1950, and New York Times, 13 October 1950. 85 New York Times 8 November 1950.

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239 1948 and was now in position to use his ol d organization and influence to push a successor, possibly Eisenhower, for the 1952 nomination.86 Nationally, the 1950 elections generated an upswing of Republicanism, but sent mixed signals as to which ideology and brand of Republicanis m was dominant. The Republicans picked up five Senate seats a nd were now two short of control of the upper house. Forrest Donnell of Missouri wa s the lone GOP incumbent to lose reelection, but the party picked up six seats in states that included Utah, California, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. On the Gubernator ial front, the parties basically split the thirty-three states up for grabs, with the Democrats winning seventeen and the Republicans sixteen.87 Congressionally, the Democrat majority was diminished to twenty seats, marking a gain of nearly thirty for the GOP.88 The victory, although not as ground-breaking as the 1946 results, seemed to indicate a rise in conservatism. Taft, Colorado Senator Eugene Millkin, and Reece all returned to Washington. Liberal Democrats such as Utah Senator El bert Thomas and Majority Leader Scott Lucas did not. Maryland’s Millard Tydings, one of McCarthy’s earli est critics, also saw defeat. James Reston of the New York Times noted that most of the Republican victories, with the exception of those in New York and Pennsylvania, brought conservatives into office.89 Gabrielson regarded the vi ctory as vote against the Democratic foreign policy, but members of the press saw it as “a repudiation, but no shared mandate.”90 86 Christian Science Monitor 8 November 1950. 87 Christian Science Monitor 8 November 1950. 88 Ibid. 89 New York Times 8 November 1950. 90 Christian Science-Monitor 8 November 1950.

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240 1950 was a watershed year for Republicans on both sides of the factional divide. Taft and Dewey continued to govern as m oderates, but each adopted an ideological identity during their campaigns. Dewey hoped to appeal to moderates and liberals, and both his Princeton lectures and his 1950 re -election drive allowed him to stake out a position on the left-wing of the GOP. He continued to call for a forward-looking Republican Party and openly worked for the votes of African Americans and the working class. Taft also reached out to these traditionally Democratic constituencies, but based his entreaties on a more conserva tive platform. He ma de Taft-Hartley, one of the major points of contention between liberal and conservative Republicans, the cornerstone of his successful re-election campaign. In the process, he established himself as the top Republican presiden tial hopeful and further bolstered his conservative credentials. At a time when the Republican political spectrum had expanded to include such far-right wingers as Summerfield, Coleman, and McCarthy, Taft stood ready to benefit from an elector ate that appeared to be moving rightward. The burgeoning conservative intellectual movement had energized a number of Republicans to rely less on pragmatism and adopt more consistently conservative rhetoric and policies. Taft continually por trayed himself as a staunch opponent of the Democratic program, but directly targeted groups such as labor unions and AfricanAmericans to reduce Democratic majoritie s. The condemnation of “me too” had gained saliency since the 1948 election and the Taft faction had capitalized on it to win control of the RNC and lead a mode rately successful national campaign during the congressional election cycle. Dewey remain ed Taft’s rival for control of the party through his continued governorship and a h earty organizational following, but Taft appeared ascendant after his Ohio la ndslide. The stage was now set for 1952.

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241 CHAPTER 7 “THE GREAT REPUBLICAN MYS TERY:” THE 1952 PRE-CONVENTION CAMPAIGN The 1950 elections did little to dispel the factionalism in the Republican Party. Since both Taft and Dewey won overwhelm ing election victories amidst difficult circumstances, neither group gained a signi ficant advantage over the other. The RNC’s national effort, while not as spirit ed as in years pa st, had dented the Democratic majorities in Congress but the Party lacked a clear mandate. As the GOP began gearing up for the 1952 pre-conventi on season, the national political climate remained virtually unchanged. The Korean conflict continued in stalemate. McCarthy’s crusade grew more aggressive and continued to enjoy high levels of public support. The economic picture looked to be one of ever-increasing prosperity. Inside the Republican organization, however, the situa tion transformed dramatically with rumors that General Dwi ght Eisenhower would run for president. A career military officer who had gained celebrity status through his successful leadership of the D-Day Invasion and his command of the European theater in the waning days of World War II, “Ike” had always voted Republican but his military commission had prevented him from maki ng public political statements. In 1948 Southern Democrats mentioned him as a potential candidate, but Ike refused them well before the party’s national convention. After his defeat the same year, Dewey recognized Eisenhower as a hi ghly desirable, and extrem ely electable, candidate to unify the party and end the two decades of Democratic dominance. In 1952, the Dewey faction led Eisenhower’s pre-c onvention campaign based on the General’s personal popularity at the expense of politic al issues. Taft, however, believed that

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242 1952 was his year to become president a nd was prepared to rally those loosely identified as conservatives in opposition to the Truman administration, By June, Eisenhower appeared virtua lly assured of winning the party’s nomination. This chapter will explore the competing campai gn strategies of the Taft and Dewey factions leading to the 19 52 convention and further illu strate how their political outlooks and ideological leani ngs shaped their electoral tactics and solidified their political identities. In November 1950, the Republican Party remained an amalgamation of disgruntled personalities. Although most partisans occupied the center of the American political spectrum, the party had become polarized betw een self-identified conservatives and liberals with neit her group holding a clear majority. The overarching divisions in the party, however, remained personality driven rather than ideological. The major exception to this tr end was a small, but growing, number of anti-communists who espoused McCarthy ism. Just after the 1950 elections, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Marquis Childs reported that the Taft and Dewey factions still held the most power, but McCarthy’ s followers were gaining momentum and challenging for control from the far right Childs referred to the McCarthyites as “extremists who would take the party not me rely into isolation but into a kind of reaction that would seem to have as its end product the garrison or, perhaps more accurately, the stockade state.”1 Childs believed that McCarthy backers such as Indiana Senators Homer Capeheart and Ed ward Jenner and Kansas Senator Andrew Schoeppel could oppose Taft’s leadership in the upper house. With Arthur Summerfield and Thomas Coleman still st umping for McCarthy in party circles, Child’s forecast of a tri-factional dis pute for the 1952 nomination seemed highly 1 Marquis Childs, quoted in Washington Post 11 November 1950.

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243 plausible. Insiders, however, did not belie ve that anti-Communism and McCarthy’s brazen tactics were enough to win a no minating contest against the two major factions. Since his defeat in 1948, Dewey had been planning for 1952. His organization had stayed intact and his financial backer s remained committed to his leadership and style of liberal Republicanism. With the Old Guard becoming more vocal and seemingly more electable, the Gove rnor faced a quandary. Before 1948, no Republican had ever been re-nominated afte r an unsuccessful pres idential run, and it appeared impossible for Dewey to be the standard-bearer after two defeats. To continue to shape the party, he needed a candidate who could attract a majority of voters, shared his vision of the Republican Party as a progressive institution, and promoted a strident defense against fo reign and domestic communism and big government. The 1950 New York campaign had shown that none of Dewey’s closest associates had a high enough profile to compet e for a state office, much less a national one. If a liberal Republican was to be no minated, they would have to come from outside the New York organization. As early as 1949, Taft had anticipated th ese developments and believed that the Dewey camp would back another liberal-m inded candidate rather than supporting him. He told associates that he expected the “eastern internationalists,” as he termed them, to run either Harold Stassen or Henry Cabot Lodge.2 This assessment showed a gross miscalculation of both the nature of the Dewey faction and the Governor’s tendencies for micromanagement. Dewey ha d tenuous working relationships with his colleagues outside his own state and, while they agreed on a number of policy points, there was no linkage between the Dewey and the Stassen factions and no alliance 2 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Renfro B. Creager, 5 Ja nuary 1949. Copy in Folder (Political Republican – 1949), Box 910, Taft Papers.

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244 between the New York and the Massachusetts parties. The liberal Republicans rallied around Dewey because he had electoral potential, held a prominent office, and espoused the correct policy goals, in that order. That deference from other likeminded partisans, even those deeply comm itted to a liberal Republican platform, was not easily transferable to a Stassen or a L odge, neither of whom had the track record or the electoral potential of Dewey. The Albany strategy had been consistently based on polling data and public image, and no one else in the party could match Dewey’s record in these arenas. The Dewey organization was built around Thomas Dewey the man, not his political principles. The Dewey inner ci rcle well understood this fact. In 1944, Brownell was placed in charge of th e RNC and reshaped the operations of headquarters to reflect the needs of the Dewey group. In 1948, he worked outside the regular party and built a national organiza tion of individuals who were committed to the Governor first and the programs he endorsed second. Once again, this enabled Brownell, Sprague, and others to closely manage the campaign. This strategy had big risks but could bring poten tially big rewards. Operati ng outside of the official Republican organization allowed him to mini mize the role of dissenters who backed another candidate or disagreed with platform issues. Should th is strategy fail, as it did in 1948, it left Brownell and Dewey open to ch arges that they ran the campaign like their own personal fiefdom and the excl usion of long-time political operatives weakened their continued el ectoral efforts. In 1952, the Dewey group still saw the Old Guard Republicans as impediments to elec toral success. Albany, therefore, sought a

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245 candidate who was willing to defer to his leadership, was not beholden to Taft, and had national appeal. Neither Stasse n nor Lodge met either criterion.3 Brownell was also fully aware of th e differing brands of Republicanism throughout the United States. Southern and Midwestern Republicans tended to hold more conservative political beliefs, and this was where Taft found most of his strength. Republicans in the Northeast and the West were more liberal in their thinking and tended to support Dewey both financially and through votes in the RNC. In 1948, Brownell had attempted to fight a numbe r of local battles to take power away from established state leaders who favored Taft. Although this remained the preferred strategy, the uproar surrounding the loss in 1948 made this a riskier proposition. In order to guarantee victory, the Dewey facti on would either have to run a balanced ticket linking the Midwest with the Northeas t, or find a candidate who could bridge the traditional divisions between the regions. To realize his goal, Dewey turned to the man who pundits and politicians had gazed at with starry eyes for the last four years. Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of a handful of successful World War II commanders who were regarded as presidential material. As early as 1949, columnists Joseph and Stewart Alsop speculated that Dewey was on the hunt for a candidate who had a national following and similar political beliefs, and mentioned Eisenhower as his first choice. Since Eisenhower held the presidency of New York’s Columbia Un iversity and resided in the Governor’s home state, he seemed the logical heir to the Dewey organization. The Alsops claimed that Eisenhower already had th e backing of the New York financial community and, if 3 The same could be said for the 1948 Taft faction. In 1952, the Taft supporters were more concerned with ideology than Dewey backers, but no other conservative Republican had Taft’s public reputation or political stature.

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246 he agreed to run, would be difficu lt to beat in a national contest.4 In January 1950, New York Times political reporter Clayton Knowles reported that Republicans of all stripes saw Eisenhower as a po ssible nominee and predicted that “The Governor could break ground for an Eisenhower candidacy by himself essaying an active role as titular leader of the party which he has hitherto eschewed.”5 A Gallup poll released on April 4 showed that thirty-seven percent of Republican voters favored an Eisenhower candidacy. Taft was the choice of seventeen percent, with Dewey receiving fifteen percent and Stassen twelve. Th irty-three percent of independe nt voters also said they would vote for Eisenhower if he won the GOP nomination.6 Dewey, very cognizant of Eisenhower’s el ectoral potential, worked behind the scenes to attach his name to the General’ s candidacy and soon made his efforts public. In June 1950, reporters asked Dewey to co mment on rumors that he was trying to convince Eisenhower to run. He deflected the question but added that he believed that Eisenhower had the qualifications necessary to lead the nation.7 On October 15, in the midst of his own gubernatorial re-ele ction campaign, Dewey appeared on the television program “Meet the Press” and e xplicitly called for Eisenhower to be the next Republican nominee. He stated that Eisenhower adopted Republican principles in his speeches and, therefore, the Governor believed that Ike could rightly be labeled as a member of the GOP. 8 Dewey’s announcement put him at the fore of a growing Draft Eisenhower movement. Before th e 1950 election, a number of newspapers 4 Washington Post 11 November 1949. 5 New York Times 15 January 1950. 6 Washington Post, 4 April 1950. 7 New York Times 19 June 1950; Jerome Nashorn, Choosing the Candidates 1952 (New York: Garland Publishing 1988), 44; John Robert Greene, The Crusade: The Presid ential Election of 1952 (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1985), 19. 8 New York Times 16 October 1950.

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247 wishfully opined that the Republican Part y was becoming a vehicle for a moderate strain of liberalism.9 The Christian Science-Monitor saw Dewey’s “Meet the Press” announcement as a way to position himself to become the “king-maker” in the event that Taft lost in Ohio.10 Lodge, Stassen, New Jersey G overnor Alfred Driscoll, and Oregon Senator Wayne Morse all releas ed statements the following day congratulating Dewey for his proactive stat ements and also endorsed an Eisenhower nomination. Eisenhower responded with a twoparagraph statement refusing to run for the presidency, but many, in cluding the editors of the Washington Post, remained hopeful that Ike would agree to run if convin ced that it was his patriotic duty to lead.11 Dewey’s “Meet the Press” message ma de his intention not to seek the Republican nomination clear. While it did not guarantee that he w ould not be active in selecting the 1952 candidate, it dispelle d any notion that Dewey would use his organizational strength to prom ote himself for the post. This gave him a graceful exit from the national spotlight while mainta ining his position as an important power broker. The statement also established Dewey as Eisenhower’s most prominent backer. A number of individuals in the press and in the part y had hoped that Ike would run, and Dewey’s pronouncements ope nly linked the Governor with the General. Reporters now pursuing stories on Ike’s candidacy would naturally question Dewey, and his reputation as a Republican leader made Eisenhower’s chances seem more legitimate. This signaled to liberal Republicans that, if Eisenhower could be convinced to run, the full might of the Albany group would back him. 9 Christian Science-Monitor 31 May 1950. 10 Christian Science-Monitor 17 October 1950. 11 Washington Post, 17 October 1950.

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248 In December 1950, Dewey’s plans encountered a major problem when Truman dispatched Eisenhower to France as the fi rst military commander of the new North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He took l eave from Columbia University and, by January 1, 1951, was in Europe. His return to active duty prevented him from making any political statements or criticizing the Commander-in-Chief or his policies. Should Eisenhower assent to run, he could not cam paign for himself. Dewey, undeterred, still believed that the General was the best man for the job and proceeded to work on his behalf. Throughout 1951, Dewey utilized his skill at political organiza tion to overcome a number of obstacles, including Ike’s abse nce and a growing c onservatism in the Party and the nation. He and his inner circle used their 1948 contacts to foster and coordinate support for the Eisenhower candi dacy. The Governor kept track of the organization and communicated important information to Eisenhower and General Lucius Clay in Paris through a series of memos. Fancying himself something of a secret agent, Dewey used an alphabetical c ode to refer to prom inent individuals and outline their place in the Eisenhower camp.12 Recognizing that the General was a reluctant candidate at best Dewey’s memos provided a cl ear and seemingly accurate update on events within elite Republican circ les, drafted to assu re Eisenhower that capable and committed “soldiers” backed him. 12 Dewey used a different set of codes when addressing different audiences. A number of the more prominent individuals, such as Stassen, and Pennsylvania Senator James Duff, “F,” and “A” respectively, remained consistent. Taft, also, remain ed the original “G” thro ughout the correspondence. The lower end of the alphabet changed between memo s sent to Clay and memos that remained in Albany for use by Brownell, Sprague, and Stevens. Eisenhower was referred to as “our friend.” Dewey generally dictated the decoding information to his correspondent over the telephone, but fortunately Clay typed a copy out for Eisenhower to use when deciphering the memos in his Paris office and kept him updated when new individuals were added to the decoder ring. See Lucius Clay, Memo to Dwight D. Eisenhower, undated. Copy in Folder (Lucius D. Clay [Sept. 1951 – Dec. 1951], Box 24, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers; and Lucius Cl ay, Letter to Dwight D. Eisenhower, 16 January 1952. Copy in Folder (Lucius D. Clay [Sept. 1951 – Dec. 1951]. Box 24, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers.

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249 In spring 1951, Eisenhower assented to allo w a tentative organization to be built on his behalf, with Dewey personally taking char ge of the efforts. His first task was to fuse new guard Republicans into a coherent candidate-centered group. In a memo to Clay dated June 24, Dewey argued for swif t action. He believed that Taft and his supporters were “conducting a very effective campaign in all 48 states, backed by immense resources which are being spen t quite without scruple.” Although he acknowledged this campaign would not wo rk everywhere, he thought that the 1950 results made Taft a stronger contender than he was four years earlier. With this in mind, he met with Pennsylvania Senator James Duff and Scott to work out an operational arrangement and combine their organizations.13 They agreed to conduct their efforts in secret, lest Eisenhower appear to be too eager or jeopardize his military assignment, and noted that “Work must be done and a lot of it.”14 Albany operatives, aware that conservativ e sentiment was on the rise in the Midwest and the South, believed that they should work in the background and publicly distance themselves from the Eisenhow er drive lest their efforts be portrayed as a power grab from the eastern wing. Rely ing on Duff and Scott as the public faces would not alleviate the situation, as Duff had recently won control of the Pennsylvania delegation from the Old Guar d organization of Mason Owlett and now had a reputation as a member of the “Easte rn Establishment.” Their solution was to use a front-man to be the public spokespe rson for the General’s campaign while the Dewey group did the organizational work. Their first choice was Kansas National 13 As late as March, Taft manage David Ingalls believed that Duff would work for a Taft nomination. Ingalls noted to Louisiana RNC member John Jackson th at “Also, most of the reports that Senator Duff was on Eisenhower's side and tied up with Dewey and Stassen are not becoming clearly wrong, and he is not committed anywhere, I am perfectly sure. It would be unfortunate for us if we lost his friendly and helpful support, I am sure of that.” See David Ingalls, Letter to John E. Jackson, 26 March 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Louisiana – G – Mc), Box 356, Taft Papers. 14 Thomas E. Dewey, Memo to Lucius Clay, 24 June 1951. Copy in Folder (Lucius D. Clay [Jan. 1951 – June 1951], Box 24, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers.

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250 Committeeman Harry Darby. A successful ma nufacturer from Kansas City, Kansas, Darby was a plausible choice because he ha iled from Eisenhower’s native state. Although he had generally conservative politi cal views, Dewey and others believed that he could assist their e fforts and wanted to support a winning candidate out of his own self-interest. Dewey, Br ownell, Duff, and Scott met with Darby in Washington and asked him to front the Eisenhower orga nization, but he seemed “quite loath to take action and said he would not do anything until he had talked with his associates and friends.” Further conversations with Kansas Senator Frank Carlson convinced Dewey that Darby was simply being cautious and would take the public lead when the time was appropriate.15 Stassen was the next member of the lib eral team to come on board. Dewey, in his frank assessment to Clay, noted that many had reservations about the former Minnesota Governor and his longtime po litical rival. Dewey, however, said that, despite doubts as to his character, “I thi nk he is undoubtedly a solid, experienced and intelligent man. My own philosophy is that it is of the greatest importance that everyone of substance be heartily welcomed into the movement and made to feel that he is a leader.”16 Dewey met with Stassen and advised him of the current arrangements with Duff and Scott and esse ntially made him a full partner in the organization. Stassen pledged to bring hi s remaining followers into the Eisenhower camp and, since Eisenhower had not agreed to allow the group to place his name on the ballot in any states, consen ted to run in any primary elec tions in order to keep Taft from winning unopposed. Stassen had conferred w ith a group of his closest associates and reported back to Dewey that they stood committed to the Ike cause, assuming he 15 Ibid. 16 Ibid.

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251 pledged to run as a Republican, and want ed to begin laying the groundwork for the 1952 primary elections in Oregon, Wiscons in, New Jersey and Nebraska. Dewey assured Clay that Stassen would defer to Dewey’s leadership until “D [Darby] gets off the pot and takes over, as I hope he will.”17 Dewey’s efforts marked a continuation of his pre-convention campaign tactics from 1944 and 1948, but with one major difference. The increased identification of the Republican factions as ideological oppos ites gave Dewey an additional tool to unify the disparate state political organiza tions into an efficient, operational group. Stassen unquestionably loathed Dewey and hi s political tactics. Both men, however, shared important programmatic goals and id eas, including an internationalist foreign policy. Stassen worked with Dewey in support of Eisenhower because Stassen believed that the General would be committe d to a continued American presence in Europe and he distrusted the Old Guard. He feared that Taft’s pr evious isolationist position and current calls to streamline th e federal budget could harm the continuing Cold War effort. In Stassen’s mind, a Taft presidency could damage American foreign obligations. While he was also closer domes tically to Dewey than Taft, foreign policy drove the Minnesotan to join for ces with the Dewey faction. In most other cases, however, the personal and pragmatic dimensions of politics trumped principles. Albany maintained clos e ties with its old or ganization throughout the nation. Dewey reported to Clay that, of his “friends from around the country,” only one had joined the Taft camp and that he could be brought back. “I should not like to see [him] lost from the side of the angels,” he said. He noted that in North Carolina the state party appeared to be splitting and that his most committed supporter, Sim De Lapp, could win the delega tion “with timely assurances for his own 17 Ibid.

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252 people.” Even Summerfield and Coleman, th e two staunchest backers of McCarthy and most vocally conservative operatives in the RNC, had contacted Dewey to discuss the Eisenhower effort. Dewey informed Clay that the duo would support Taft on ideological grounds, but were “afraid they ma y be getting themselves, by default, on the wrong bandwagon if our friend rea lly is going to be available.”18 He hoped to bring them into the fold and help counter Ta ft’s effort in the Midwest. After all, a liberal Republican was better than any Democrat. Dewey’s quarterbacking further complic ated the always fluid relationship between ideology and pragmatic politics in the nomination proce ss. His organization was built on, as he alluded to in the Clay memo, “timely assurances” to local power brokers around the nation. Dewey had alwa ys been blessed with favorable poll numbers, a highly competent group of politic al operatives, and a well-funded war chest to hire field men and launch publicity campaigns. The platform, always couched in general terms, was geared to maximize hi s vote count rather than endorse a specific set of policies. He thought conservative views would not win elections, so he distanced himself from them regardless of his political views or programmatic goals. The message, more than the substance, fueled Dewey’s campaign strategy. In 1952, although Stassen and a handful of others opposed Taft because of foreign policy issues, most of the Dewey supporters favor ed Eisenhower because he had inherent publicity advantages as a popular war hero. De mocratic entreaties to Ike, especially from the South, showed Republicans that he had cross-party and cr oss-regional appeal and could thus link the GOP with disaffected Democrats. Promoting Eisenhower the candidate, rather than Eisenhower the prin cipled policy-maker, seemed like a much safer strategy and enabled Albany to form its 1952 organization using 1948 tactics. 18 Ibid.

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253 The Taft camp took a completely differe nt approach to the 1952 pre-convention campaign and planned to run on a conservati ve reaction to the New and Fair Deals. This played to Taft’s strength and his pr e-disposition to utilize existing Republican state organizations to shoulder the burde n of his campaign work. Most Old Guard Republicans cut their teeth in the Harding a nd Coolidge years. They subscribed to a political credo that favored limited and non-activist government above all else and believed that twenty years of Democratic rule had harmed the free market economic system. They were also disgusted by the sort of personality politics that Dewey played. Gabrielson had shifted the RNC to the right a bit, but not as much as Summerfield, Coleman, and the conservative press had want ed. Taft and his advisors believed they had the opportunity to energi ze the right and far ri ght of the GOP with his legislative record and a strong defense of principles, while tr ying to draw in the rest of the party with his newfound electoral success and his reput ation as a loyal and capable leader. Dewey’s showing in 1948 helped matters tremendously. Two successive defeats, especially with victory so clos e in the latter campaign, had injured the Governor’s reputation and cas t doubt on his ability to win. Charles Paul, a Republican official from Washington, reported a general shift away from Dewey towards Taft after the 1950 election returns. He informed Taft’s finance manager, Ben Tate, that “Several of the more intelligent Dewey leaders have told me, since 1948 and before the recent election, that they were thr ough with 'expediency' and ducking issues. While they did not indicate that they would go for Taft, it is quite clear to me that they provide a fertile ground for Taft organization.”19 Both Taft partisans and a number of media outlets echoed these sentiments. Be rnard Kilgore, the President of the Wall 19 Charles Paul, Letter to Ben Tate, 21 November 1950. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Subject File – Ben Tate (1)), Box 465, Taft Papers.

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254 Street Journal wrote privately that th e next election “should be decided on principles” and lamented the fact that the Dewe y group was beginning to organize around a candidate simply because he could be elected.20 Human Events a publication that had lost faith in the RNC in 1950, expres sed hope that Taft would understand the necessity of creating a hard-hitting campaign based on a concrete set of conservative aims.21 Taft’s people recognized this sen timent and based their pre-convention campaign on giving these Republicans a candidate they could support. Initially, Taft kept his presidential aspi rations quiet and publicly disavowed any desire to run for the White House. Ta ft commissioned a low key, quietly conducted survey of state and county leaders to accurately gauge his potential strength.22 This responsibility fell to tw o of his most loyal partisans, former Undersecretary of the Navy David Ingalls and Ohio industrialist Ben Tate. Beginning in Spring 1951, the pair traveled from state to state visiti ng with prominent Republicans and business leaders to test the level of support for the Ohio Senator..23 In the process, revealed their pre-convention strategy to Dewey. In May, Edward Converse, a Dewey supporter and president of a small airline in Nevada, reported to Brownell that the Taft front men “feel that Eisenhower is th eir chief opponent.” The Taftites argued that Dewey had failed in the last election becau se he had favored “me-tooism” and had made a poor choice by installing Brownell as campaign manager. They promised that Taft would espouse strong conservative vi ews and challenge the legitimacy of the 20 Bernard Kilgore, Letter to John Marshall, 6 August 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Subject File – John Marshall), Box 457, Taft Papers. 21 Human Events 8, no. 3, 17 January 1951. 22 Robert A. Taft, Letter to David Ingalls, 20 January 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign -Miscellany – David Ingalls (2)), Box 454, Taft Papers. 23 David Ingalls, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 31 January 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Correspondence – 1950-1952), Box 436, Taft Papers.

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255 New Deal. Eisenhower, in their opinion, had not proven himself to be a Republican. They strongly urged the attendees to suppor t Taft lest a repeat of the 1940 Willkie campaign occur and Eisenhower, who they regarded as a Democrat, gain the nomination.24 Ingalls and Tate had attempted to include Nevada in a growing Taft organization but succeeded only in tipping o ff Albany of their intention to attack Eisenhower as a newcomer and a fly-bynight Republican. Doubts as to Taft’s viability as a candidate, regardless of his policy stands and his personal value system, persisted. The Taft men were apparently awar e that they could not rewrite the rules of politics, as Tate made a strong guarantee that a Taft administration would reward loyal Republicans with jobs and importan t offices. The Taft group placed more importance on principles in its strategy, but had no illusions about changing the nature of party politics. Based on correspondence between the field men and other members of the Taft inner circle, the Reno meeting was an anomal y. In other cities, the duo apparently had more success casting Taft as the conservati ve, politically attractiv e, alternative to Eisenhower. Ingalls told a compatriot from Tennessee that he did not “want to fool Bob” with overly optimistic reports but trul y believed that there was a groundswell of Taft sentiment throughout the nation.25 In June, he told Louisiana National Committeeman John Jackson that Taft ha d strong support in the Dakotas, the Carolinas, Washington, Oregon, Massachus etts, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin. Ingall’s message seemed to be a realistic assessment, as he listed California, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut as areas with virtually no Taft backers. The 24 Edward Converse, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 2 June 1951. Copy in Folder (Politics – 1950 Speeches (2)), Box 126, Brownell Papers. 25 David Ingalls, Letter to Guy L. Smith, 20 May 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Tennessee – I-O), Box 406, Taft Papers.

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256 South, the Midwest, and the Pacific Northw est all seemed to be solidly behind Mr. Republican. In Ingall’s estimate, Taft was well on his way to the 1952 GOP nomination thanks to his conservative platform that appealed to a majority of voters.26 On October 16, when Taft formally ente red the 1952 Presidential race, he had more pledged delegates than in either his 1940 or 1948 runs.27 He also had a vastly improved management structure. In 1948, Taft, Brown, and I. Jack Martin did most of the footwork. In 1952, the organization was gr eatly expanded. Tate remained the chief financial officer and fund-raiser. Martin coordinated publicity with a small group of professionals led by Lou Guylay, Taft’s publ ic relations advisor from the 1950 Ohio campaign. Ingalls managed the campaign with assistance from Brown, but responsibility for state organizations was split between four regional managers. John D. M. Hamilton, a former RNC Chairman, ma naged the campaign in the Northeast. B. Carroll Reece oversaw most of the South, with Brown handling states where he had personal connections, such as Florida.28 Vernon Romney of Utah served as manager of the western states, with Coleman, the arch-conservative manufacturer from Wisconsin, supervising field work in th e Midwest. From there, the national organization appointed “key men” in each state to handle day to day operations and report any difficulties or added needs to the regional manager, who then coordinated a solution with Ingalls, Brown, Martin, a nd Taft. Key men were mostly elected 26 David Ingalls, Letter to John E. Jackson, 28 June 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Louisiana – G-Mc), Box 356, Taft Papers. Other members of the Taft faction believed that Ingalls and Tate had done a valuable service to the organization and the Republican Party. Thomas Coleman, the ideological conservative who backed Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist witch hunts, praised Ingalls, saying “There is no question that the better atmosphere on the Taft situation is due to a great extent to the contacts that you have made.” See Thomas Coleman, Letter to David Ingalls, 25 September 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Miscellany – Thomas Coleman), Box 435, Taft Papers. 27 Robert A. Taft, Press Release, 16 October 1951. Copy in Folder 1952 Campaign – Miscellaneous – Correspondence), Box 422, Taft Papers. 28 David Ingalls, Letter to I. Jack Martin, 25 May 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Miscellany – David Ingalls (1), Box 454, Taft Papers.

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257 officials, RNC members, and state party chai rs, reflecting Taft’s pl an to work through existing Republican organizations. In a few states, such as Georgia and New Jersey, the party leadership supported Dewey a nd Taft relied on rival GOP factions, but overall he preferred to work with the o fficial, entrenched partisans as much as possible.29 Taft’s 1952 management staff was vastly different than his 1948 entourage. A number of individuals, such as Brown, reta ined their importance at the top of the organization, but the creation of a re gional manager system was a tremendous improvement. The regional managers were tig htly connected with their territories. A Tennessean managing the South, for example, allowed for more familiarity with the local nuances of the state parties in Dixi e. Where Dewey relied on direct connections between Brownell and state players, Taft added an additional layer of control designed to prevent crises from getting out of hand and keep the leadership from spreading itself too thin. The Taft group ha d political experience and solid ties to the GOP. The group included two former RNC Chairmen, Reece and Hamilton, and a well-known fund-raiser in Coleman. They di d not have had the same caliber of national celebrity as Dewey or Stassen, but the Taft leaders had the important advantage of a collegial working relations hip. Brown and Reece had worked together on the RNC’s 1946 Congressional campaign. Coleman had worked with Reece and Brown in his role with the Republican National Finance Committee. Romney and Hamilton could be considered outsiders to the group, but their disdain for Dewey was 29 Memo, “List of Taft Key Men,” undated. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – New Jersey – Young Republicans and Clubs), Box 376, Taft Papers.

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258 a strong motivation.30 The loose structure that charac terized the early stages of the Eisenhower campaign was totally abse nt from the Taft leadership. By November 1951, it was apparent that Eisenhower would indeed be an active candidate for the Republican nomination.31 It was also obvious to the Taft group that Eisenhower had a great deal of support from Wall Street and the business community. Julius Klein, a former Army general a nd public relations man from Chicago, had advised Ingalls that former General Motors President Alfr ed Sloan supported Taft’s political views, but thought that Eise nhower had a better chance of winning the election. This marked a shift in Sloan’s pe rsonal outlook and signa led a rising interest in the Eisenhower candidacy among business elites.32 Ingalls lamented the declining support of the manufacturi ng interests, saying “How Eisenhower could be a good candidate on the Republican Ticket, when he says that he agrees with Truman's Foreign Policy and has been working with the administration for so long, is beyond me. We would just have another 'Me-Tooer' campaign, I guess."33 Although they had received a number of conflicting reports, the Taft group understood that one of the 30 In late 1949, Taft wrote to Romney saying “I think it was necessary to show the people that the Republican Party still believed in its principles and was not going to turn itself into a Junior New Deal Party. I feel hopeful that there will be a reaction before the next election, and I f eel quite certain that we never can succeed unless we tell the people what is wrong with the present government, and how well progress can be made within American principles of government." Romney agreed with this sentiment, which explains his willingness to work for Taft’s nomination. See Robert A. Taft, Letter to Vernon Romney, 7 January 1949. Copy in Folder (Po litical, Taft – 1949), Box 911, Taft Papers. 31 John D. M. Hamilton, Letter to David Ingalls, 7 November 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign -Miscellany – John D. M. Hamilton), Box 454, Taft Papers. 32 Sloan had pledged to donate and support a Taft candidacy in March 1951, but now thought Eisenhower was the candidate to b eat. See John Marshall, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 12 March 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Florida – M), Box 337, Taft Papers. 33 David Ingalls, Letter to Julius Klein, 13 September 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Miscellany – David Ingalls (2)), Box 454, Taft Papers.

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259 largest segments of the Republican base the business commun ity, preferred their opponent.34 Dewey, despite the ever-growing support from the Sloan and other powerful contributors, believed Taft could pose a genuine threat to Ike. In a memo written to Clay sometime in December 1951, Dewey conceded that Taft’s early strength had made some members of the Eisenhower organi zation nervous, but that he himself was not concerned. He claimed that half of his 1948 supporters had remained loyal to Albany, with a quarter shifting to Taft and a quarter waiting on Eisenhower to publicly declare his candidacy. He thought Taf tites had a “fanaticism” that was absent in the Eisenhower group, but believed that Taft had peaked too early and “‘commitments’ in December can and usually do weaken or evaporate in the June heat.” Brownell believed that Taft a nd Eisenhower would each end up with 500 pledged delegates entering the conventi on, but Dewey thought the momentum would swing toward Ike after January and ma ke a first ballot nomination certain.35 Despite Dewey’s optimistic outlook, the Albany group was clearly at a disadvantage. The coalition that Dewey had formed in June did not work well together and the Pennsylvania delegation did not trust Stassen. The Pennsylvania group and Henry Cabot Lodge, now a full pa rtner in the group, had also, for unknown reasons, removed Harold Talbott from his fund-raising role and installed millionaire playboy John Hay “Jock” Whitney, a fact wh ich Dewey greatly lamented but did not stop.36 The Eisenhower leadership also could not agree on a viable primary strategy. 34 Robert Smith, Letter to Everett Dirksen, 23 November 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Alphabetical File – Clarence Br own), Box 424, Taft Papers. 35 Thomas E. Dewey, Memo to Lucius Clay, undated. Copy in Folder (Lucius D. Clay [July 1951 – Dec. 1951], Box 24, Eisenhow er Pre-Presidential Papers. 36 Ibid.

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260 Dewey “proposed that some opposition be ar tificially stimulated,” and encouraged Stassen to enter selected state races to make Ike look stronger. Dewey opposed entering Eisenhower in the Wisconsin and Or egon primaries, but the addition of Duff, Scott, Stassen, and Lodge complicated ma tters for he and Brownell. Since Dewey could not be directly linked with the cam paign, lest he be open to charges of “bossism” from Taft supporters, he had no c hoice but to work through surrogates, and found himself outvoted on the primaries. He was clearly uncomfortable with sharing control with the others, a nd hoped that his voice would prevail when it came to questions of strategy. The tig ht ship of 1948 could not be recreated with so many disparate interests at the helm.37 All of Dewey’s concerns reflected the most critical disadvantage of the Eisenhower candidacy: an abse ntee candidate who was, by virtue of his military commission, unable to make partisan stat ements on domestic or foreign policy. The group had established a number of counter-m easures to overcome this, such as the possible entry of Stassen in a number of primaries, but disagreed on the proper method of formally announcing an Eisenhower presidential run.38 The issue was critical because the Taft orga nization had made Eisenhower’s lack of a public political stance central to its pre-convention campaign. Charges that the General was not a true Republican had saliency in GOP circles, espe cially after the partisan infighting that took place in the wake of the 1948 electi on. For the Eisenhower campaign to get off 37 Dewey opened his memo to Clay with the statem ent “Because of the confus ion of advices which I know are being received and the hysteria reflected by some, I think the time has finally come when I must regretfully impose myself upon our Friend.” He hoped to use his experience and reputation to be the final voice of reason in advising the Gene ral and his closest military friends like Clay. 38 On January 4, Stassen announced that he would enter the Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota primaries. Taft responded publicly that Stassen was “wasting his time and money.” There was no mention of Stassen’s ties to the Eisenhower organization. See Washington Post 4 January 1952.

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261 the ground, Ike had to be firmly pledged to the Republican Party. His organization could do the rest. Taft and his people unders tood that Dewey’s involvement and Eisenhower’s absenteeism were liabilities and exploite d them to the fullest, making the Albany group, Eisenhower’s overseas a ssignment, and his lack of established political views critical points of their campaign. Ike’s en igmatic stand on public policy dovetailed well with the conservative, anti-“me too” rhetoric Taft and hi s followers hammered home. In August 1951, former RNC Chairman and Iowa national committeeman Harrison Spangler issued a ni ne page letter to member s of the RNC and prominent Republicans in the House and Senate expres sing his opposition to Eisenhower and to Dewey’s continued role in the national GOP In his opinion, the American voter had been betrayed in the last two elections by candidates who sacrif iced principles in favor of “artificial moves that are made for vote-getting purposes only.” The party was at fault here because it had select ed candidates based on their perceived popularity or public image rather than any so rt of service or le gislative record. He specifically attacked Dewey and his conduct in the 1948 campaign as antithetical to the will of the average Republican and accused him of “bossism” and ignoring the advice of Congressional Republicans. Thes e tactics had made it “impossible to determine whether the horses they were riding carried the New Deal or the Republican colors.” He also claimed that Eisenhower would lead the country to socialism because of his lack of political experience. Spangler’s writing showed the conservative nature of the anti-Eisenhower line in some Republican circles and in segments of the press for mo st of the last half of 1951. 39 39 Harrison Spangler, Letter to Thomas E. Martin, August 1951. Copy in Folder (Republican National Committee (2)), Box 7, Summe rfield Papers. See also, The Freeman 1, no. 26, 24 September 1951.

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262 With the battle lines drawn, the first offici al test of the election cycle came with the New Hampshire primary. Although the event was scheduled for March 11, 1952, the organizational work had actually star ted in late 1951. New Hampshire Governor Sherman Adams and Senator Charles Tobey led a public drive to put Ike’s name on the ballot.40 Initially, the Dewey organization hop ed to offset Eisenhower’s absence by running Stassen in New Hampshire to simulate competition for Eisenhower and to draw Taft in to the race. If Taft swep t New Hampshire unopposed it would grant him a foothold in the middle of the Northeast. Stassen hoped that th e Taft group would relish the chance to defeat the internationa lists on the East Coast and enter a primary that it could not win.41 He also adamantly denied that he had entered the race as an accessory to Eisenhower and claimed that he was acting on his own, a statement that was patently false.42 Nothing short of a declarative statem ent from Eisenhower could overcome the questions about his partisan identity or his absence as an active campaigner. In the minds of Dewey and his associates, a head to head victory against his closest rival would prevent Taft from gaining an unassailable front-running position. Eisenhower, however, flatly refused to resign from his NATO post and return to the United States to campaign for the White House. Thr oughout much of the spring, the General’s leadership team kept supporters in terested by making announcement after announcement that Eisenhower would be an active candidate and would give his 40 New York Times, 6 December 1951; Nashorn, Choosing the Candidates 108. 41 In a somewhat pathetic attempt to curry favor with Eisenhower, Stassen took full credit for the General’s victory in New Hampshire, saying “As I anticipated, my entry last December and my direct challenge to him did spread out his effort. It led di rectly to his entry into New Hampshire, whereupon I did not enter any New Hampshire delegates and centered my effort on his bad foreign policy record.” See Harold Stassen, Letter to Dwight D. Eisenhower, 14 April 1952. Copy in Folder (Harold E. Stassen [Sept. 1951 – April 1952]), Box 111, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers. 42 New York Times 7 January 1952; Greene, The Crusade 78.

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263 blessing to a New Hampshire primary cam paign. Finally, on January 6, 1952, Lodge sent a letter to Adams decl aring that, based on conversati ons at Columbia University between Eisenhower, Duff, Lodge, and Kans as Senator Frank Carlson, Eisenhower was a Republican. Lodge explicitly authori zed Adams to register Eisenhower’s name, and those of his pledged delegates, on the ballot as a Republican.43 Eisenhower took no action to withdraw his name.44 On January 7, the General issued a statement that he would accept the Republican nomination, not the Democratic one, but, once again, only after he had received a “clear call to duty” from the American people.45 Arthur Krock commented that this announcement removed a number of major obstacles for the domestic leadership group by assuring the nation of hi s partisan identity. Republicans who were afraid the General was rea lly a closet Democrat no l onger had anything to fear.46 Human Events still contended that, while his af filiation was no longer a secret, “it would be folly to nominate a man whose record would be subject to attacks from such an authoritative antagonist as his former boss, the Democratic Administration. Some investigation by GOP leaders of the Ei senhower record and impartial judgment thereon is called for.”47 Dewey believed that the an nouncement was a success. In a memo to Clay, he estimated that ninety percent of his 1948 suppor ters and his “public following” would support Eise nhower at the convention.48 43 Henry Cabot Lodge, Letter to Sherman Adams, 6 January 1952. Quoted in Christian ScienceMonitor 7 January 1952. 44 New York Times 7 January 1952; Greene, The Crusade 78. 45 New York Times 8 January 1952. 46 New York Times 8 January 1952. 47 Human Events 9, no. 3, 16 January 1952. 48 Thomas E. Dewey, Memo to Lucius Clay, 14 January 1952. Copy in Folder (Lucius D. Clay [Jan. 1952 – Feb. 1952], Box 24, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers.

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264 January, as Dewey predicted, turned out to be the high point for the Taft campaign. A survey conducted by the Associ ated Press showed that Taft had a majority of pledged Republican delegates throughout the nation, but that Ike led in newspaper endorsements by a two to one margin.49 In New Hampshire, Taft faced a dilemma. The state was clearly outside of hi s geographic base, so if he opted in he would enter with a disadvantage. On the ot her hand, the race seemed to be between a weak candidate in Stassen and an absentee war hero with no political experience or programmatic stands on record. A number of Taft’s advisors belie ved that he should enter the race. On January 29th, Taft a nd Stassen officially entered the New Hampshire primary. The press reported that Taft would rather risk an unfavorable primary rather than allow Eisenhower an easy victory.50 In February, F. E Schulter, a New Hampshire Taft supporter, reported that the Eisenhower delegate slate looked very strong, but an independent poll conducted by a research firm in Chicago showed Taft in front only with thirty-five percent of the vote to Eisenhower’s thirty-three.51 Beginning in early March, Taft conducted a five hundred mile, twenty stop tour of New Hampshire.52 He virtually ignored Eisenhow er and instead attacked the Democrats, calling for a return of integrity to the executi ve branch, a reduction in spending and taxation, and a foreign policy not conducted through secret negotiations.53 Eisenhower’s surrogates took a diffe rent strategy and made Taft’s electoral potential the main issue, claimi ng that a Republican defeat in November 49 Washington Post, 27 January 1952; Washington Post 31 January 1952. 50 New York Times 29 January 1952. 51 F. E. Schlulter to John D. M. Hamilton and Robert A. Taft, 23 February 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – New Jersey – S) (cite is correct), Box 375, Taft Papers. 52 The trip was announced in late February. See Christian Science-Monitor 25 February 1952. 53 New York Times 29 February 1952; Nashorn, Choosing the Candidates, 142-144.

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265 could make the party irrelevant.54 The message seemed clear: elect Eisenhower or keep the Democrats in power. As the state campaign drew to a close, Taft did make Eisenhower an issue, but only criticized his managers for entering him in a race when he could make no statements on domestic or foreign policy. This continued the conservative strategy of atta cking Eisenhower as a hollow candidate, and drew sharp rebuke from Eisenhower’s supporters.55 For the most part, Taft stuck to appeals of a strong opposition to the Democratic Party and a return to the conservative principles of the GOP. His rhetoric, however, came for naught. On March 11, New Hampshire Republicans cast their ballots overwhelmingly for Eisenhower The General picked up over thirty-nine thousand, w ith Taft winning nearly thirty-thousand. Stassen netted just over five thousand. Taft carried Manchester, the state’s largest city, but Eisenhower took the cap ital city of Concord.56 Both the Taft and the Eisenhower orga nizations emerged from New Hampshire in a state of disarray. Th e Ohio group had gambled on upsetting Eisenhower and lost. Brown told a Taft supporter from Minneso ta that the Senator’s entry in New Hampshire made as much sense as Brow n running as a Republican congressional candidate in Mississippi.57 The Eisenhower group, despite it s victory, believed that its campaign was still in grave danger. In Febr uary, Adams had complained that the Taft people were putting up a tough fight and that things were not as easy as they appeared in the press.58 Dewey’s January memo to Clay indi cated that the infighting remained a 54 New York Times 6 March 1952. 55 New York Times, 10 March 1952. 56 New York Times 12 March 1952; Nashorn, Choosing the Candidates, 204; Greene The Crusade 81. 57 Clarence Brown, Letter to Walter Ploeser, 26 March 1952. Copy in Folder 31 (P), Box 15, Clarence Brown Papers. 58 Sherman Adams, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey, 8 February 1952. Copy in Folder 12 (Hon. Sherman Adams), Box 1, Series VI, Dewey Papers.

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266 threat for Ike. The liberal coalition that Dewey had formed six months earlier was spending more time attacking each other th an Taft, and Dewey clearly was not in control of the situation. Dewey also rea ffirmed that Eisenhower’s most critical weakness was his lack of public policy stat ements. The Governor again pleaded for Eisenhower to return in the spring “in orde r to answer the additional questions which honest men have a right to ask.”59 The next few weeks saw Taft reaffirm his strength in the Midwest. In Wisconsin, the bailiwick of his Midwestern manager Tom Coleman, Taft won an aggressive campaign against an ineffectua l Stassen and California Governor Earl Warren.60 For most of late March, Taft stumpe d in the Badger State and, on April 1, took twenty-four delegates to Warren’s six. On the same day, Taft won the Nebraska primary by just over twelve thousand votes against Eisenhower. Neither candidate had entered their names on the ballot, but thei r followers organized write-in campaigns, Taft’s obviously more successfully.61 The press believed that the Wisconsin and Nebraska results had rejuvenated the Taft campaign. Marquis Childs wrote that Taft had scored a “technical knockout” in his Midwestern campaigns.62 To the Taft camp, the results affirmed their strategy of cr iticizing Eisenhower for his lack of public pronouncements and promoting their own conservative ideology. Romney summed up the sentiments of the Taft group when he told one correspondent that “General Eisenhower is livi ng, as it were, in a glass house. He has 59 Ibid. 60 Eisenhower was barred by Wisconsin election law from placing his name on the ballot unless he personally affirmed that he was actively seeking the nomination. Since he was precluded from doing this under military regulations, Eisenhower could not ru n head to head against Taft in Wisconsin. See New York Times 16 January 1952. 61 Christian Science-Monitor 18 March 1952; Christian Science-Monitor 2 April 1952; Greene, The Crusade 82-93. 62 Washington Post 3 April 1952.

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267 taken no position whatever on many of our c ontroversial subjects and his position is somewhat analogous to President Cooli dge's comment that everybody is against sin.”63 In April 1952, on the heels of the primar y victories, Tennessee GOP Chairman and Knoxville News-Sentinel publisher Guy Smith circulated a petition asking Eisenhower to make his political views known.64 Shortly after Smith’s petition drive, the Taft group released a survey conducte d by Kenneth Colegrove, a political science professor from Northwestern University, wh ich claimed that Eise nhower was likely to lose support with every policy statement he made. If Eisenhower, for example, came out in favor of the Taft-Hartley Act, Colegr ove predicted that he would lose nearly sixty percent of his supporters.65 While these numbers are highly questionable, the Taft group believed that the Colegrove lett er was effective propaganda and hoped that it would stem the growing Eisenho wer tide in Republican circles.66 Taft stood ready to discuss issues and grew tired of an opponent who refused to do so. The Eisenhower group, unwilling to walk into the trap set for it, ignored Taft’s complaints and made no policy statements fr om its headquarters. Instead, it continued to base Eisenhower’s candidacy on his perc eived popularity. In a form letter sent to Republican delegates after their election, Lodge made absolutely no effort to mention a programmatic agenda of any kind, nor a ny opposition to the Democratic program. 63 Vernon Romney, Letter to Charles Redd, 28 March 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Vernon Romney), Box 462, Taft Papers. 64 W. H. Spencer, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 16 April 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Louisiana – N-W), Box 356. Taft Papers. 65 Claude Robinson of the Opinion Research Company believed that the research methods employed were not realistic and did not reflect reality. He believed that Smith’s survey would be a better campaign tactic, but conceded that Colegrove’s name gave the material a certain voice of authority. See Claude Robinson, Letter to B. E. Hutchinson, 7 May 1952. Copy in Folder (B. E. Hutchinson (1)), Box 4, Summerfield Papers. 66 I. Jack Martin, Letter to Kenneth Colegrove, 6 May 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Alphabetical File – Colegrove Letter), Box 424, Taft Papers.

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268 Instead, he wrote “We of the Eisenh ower Campaign Committee are convinced, regardless of the merits of the other candida tes, that in Dwight D. Eisenhower we are supporting a candidate who can return the Republican Party to victory. We believe also that all of us at th e Convention will face the duty of nominating the man most likely to win in November.”67 Ignoring the charges that Eisenhower had no formed political opinions or, even worse, could be a closet Democrat showed the supreme confidence of the liberal wing of the part y. Despite their best efforts, the Taft organization could not turn the 1952 race into a question of conservative principles or policy if their opponent refused to discuss such matters. The Eisenhower group preferred to cont rol the political discourse and use individuals friendly to the campaign, but not openly affiliated to it, to attack Taft on key policy issues. This orator y through surrogates insulate d Eisenhower from partisan mudslinging and did allow the liberal Re publicans to assail Taft for his past controversial stands. For example, in an April 23 speech delivered in Nevada, New Hampshire Governor Sherman Adams condemned Taft for fourteen specific foreign policy votes and claimed that a “legislator with that kind of record had little comprehensive understanding of the real re sponsibilities of this nation, or of its uncertain and precarious situ ation in the world today.” Adams did list some vague aspects of Eisenhower’s pers onal political philo sophy, but they were such platitudes as “He believes the threat of Communism is a present danger to the security of this nation,” and “Eisenhower aggressively oppos es war.” Adams, somewhat ironically, concluded by decrying Taft’s support of fe deral aid to education and claimed that 67 Henry Cabot Lodge, Letter to Guy L. Smith, 16 May 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Tennessee --Eisenhower Program, TN), Box 407, Taft Papers.

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269 Eisenhower would not support such a liberal principle.68 The following day, Taft pointed out that a majority of the Republican House and Senate delegations supported his positions on foreign and domestic polic y and, for Adams to imply that Eisenhower did not, raised serious questions.69 Adams’s line of attack signaled accept ance of an important fact that the Eisenhower group could not i gnore. Continued dissatisfact ion with the Democratic administration and the rise of anti-communism as a political issue had made much of the nation more conservative on social a nd economic issues. In 1952, the “forwardlooking” program continually espoused by De wey and other liberal Republicans was not guaranteed to carry the nation. By linking Taft to increased federal aid to education and housing, Adams attempted to place Eisenhower to the right of Taft. Taft legislated as a centrist on most issues and had consistently tried to find a middle ground where federal funding could be used without a loss of local control. In its rhetoric, the Eisenhower group equated this to an acceptance of the New Deal and tried to cast Taft as a liberal in order to raid his conservative following in states outside of the Northeast. In the battle of public opi nion, Eisenhower appeared to be the clear front-runner while Taft seemed the most qualified. But, in 1952, the public and the primary voters did not choose the nominee, the Republican delegates did. So while Lodge, Adams, and others were in the spotlight decrying Taft for his foreign and domestic agendas, Brownell was once again cultivating the network of support that had nominated Dewey in 1948. Although there were a number of conservatives in the West, the 68 Sherman Adams, Speech, “Nevada, ” 23 April 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Alphabetical File – Sherman Adams), Box 424, Taft Papers. 69 Robert A. Taft, Press Release, 24 April 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Alphabetical File – Sherman Adams), Box 424, Taft Papers.

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270 South again appeared to hold the key to the nomination because of its weak state parties. The RNC planned the convention for 1,206 delegates a nd allotted the South 229, or just over one sixth of the total nominating votes.70 Brownell wrote in his memoirs some years later that these Southern delegates “represent ed almost no one at home… but they constituted a sizable bloc in the 1952 convention’s balloting, and by and large they were Old Guard conser vatives strongly in favor of Taft.”71 To the Eisenhower forces, then, defea ting Taft in the South could pay huge dividends. No one expected Taft to do well in the Northeast, so his primary defeats in New Hampshire and New Jersey, while gi ving fodder to the Eisenhower publicity machine, did not drastically reduce his de legate totals. The Midwest, with the exception of Kansas, viewed Taft as one of their own and was the base of conservative Republicanism. Eise nhower could gain delegates if he won head to head contests here, but faired poorly in Wisconsi n, Nebraska and Illinois, meaning this plan would take a great deal of organizational wo rk and financial resour ces. In the end, this effort might not be worth the risk, for a ny sustained defeat could derail a campaign based primarily on personal charm and an au ra of invincibility. The South looked to be more fertile ground for planting the seeds of discontent in the Taft camp and Brownell made the region his top priority. Political columnists understood the impor tance of Dixie. In early February, Marquis Childs reported th at Taft had roughly one hundred pledged delegates in the South and this number, combined with one hundred and fifty in the Midwest, made up 70 For more on the Southern situation in 1952, see Paul T. David, et. Al. Presidential Nominating Politics in 1952 Vol. III The South (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1954). The introductory chapter is especially important. 71 Herbert Brownell with John P. Burke, Advising Ike: The Memoirs of Attorney General Herbert Brownell (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1993), 105-6.

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271 the bulk of Taft’s strength.72 The Eisenhower camp made th eir intention to challenge Taft’s strength in the South no secret.73 As in the North, the basis of the General’s campaign was made on his ability to win th e election. In March, the Alsops reported on a survey of the editors of fourteen major newspapers in the South. Only one, the editor of the Tampa Morning News believed that Taft coul d win the state against President Harry Truman. The rest agreed that Eisenhower had the popularity to carry Dixie, but the Republican organizations were all solidly in favor of nominating Taft. In commenting on the disconnect between party leaders and voters, which they termed “The Great Republican Mystery,” the Alsops concluded that Taft’s inability to break the Solid South would bring another Republican de feat. Eisenhower, in their opinion, remained the only hope for the GOP in 1952.74 The press hammered Eisenhower’s popularity almost as if they we re reading press rel eases directly from Brownell’s typewriter. “Taft Can’t Win” was the theme that Brownell and his subordinates trumpeted to Republicans as they made their way through Dixie. Nowhere was this more important, and more catastrophic to the Taft campaign, than in Texas. The Lone Star State was central to Alba ny’s Dixie Divide in 1948 and, in 1952, remained the number one priority for Brownell. All of the facets of the national Eisenhower campaign, the divide and conquer strategy, the popularity-based appeal, and the importance of the independent voter, came t ogether in Texas in direct opposition to Taft’s issue-based approach. 72 Washington Post 5 February 1952. 73 New York Times 28 February 1952. 74 Washington Post 5 March 1952.

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272 The Texas campaign took place in two aren as: within the state GOP and before the court of public opinion. Behind the scen es, Brownell once again relied on his top state lieutenants, Colley Briggs and Hoba rt McDowell, to line up friendly individuals for a statewide network. Since 1950, the political situation had become more favorable to Briggs and McDowell afte r the death longtime Texas RNC member Renfro B. Creager left a power vacuum at the top of the party. Harry Zweifel, state party chair under Creager had been elevat ed to the RNC and the Dewey supporters still remained on the outside.75 However, Brownell also had a new ally in the form of Texas oil tycoon Jack Porter, who had join ed the Creager fac tion in 1948 amidst rumors that he had tried to buy control of the party. After Creager’s death, Porter had challenged Zweifel for the national committ ee seat but failed to make a serious showing before the state committee.76 Rather than play along with Zweifel, Porter fought the Old Guard and countered its efforts to support Senator Taft.77 Porter’s activities against Taft reflected both his view of Eisenhower’s potential popularity and his stance on the Tidelands Oi l controversy. Porter became involved in Republican politics after the Truman Admini stration had attempted to federalize the mineral rights to offshore oil deposits that had traditionally been the jurisdiction of the states. The Texas oil industr y as a whole had opposed this and Governors Buford Jester and Allan Shivers had openly protes ted to Truman, members of Congress, and 75 W. C. Briggs, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 28 October 1950. Copy in Folder (Br (1)), Box 24, Brownell Papers. 76 Briggs confided to Brownell that Porter had not r eally put up a fight and that he was an” amateur and knows nothing what ever about politics; just has a he ll of a lot of money.” W. C. Briggs, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 20 November 1950. Copy in Folder (Br (1)), Box 24, Brownell Papers. 77 W.C. Briggs, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 20 Apr il 1951. Copy in Folder (Br (1)), Box 24, Brownell Papers. Up until November 1951, it was unclear as to whether Zweifel would support Taft or Eisenhower. Porter, however, was committed to Eisenhower early on. See David Ingalls, Letter to Walter Rogers, 13 November 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Texas – L-Mc), Box 409, Taft Papers.

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273 the Democratic National Committee. Porter’s Republican activities were ostensibly a way to stimulate more opposition to this program by strengthening the GOP in Texas and ultimately electing a Re publican president with a states’ rights view on the Tidelands question. Porter, like many Amer icans, believed that Eisenhower had the greatest chance of being elected and, theref ore, threw his support behind the General even before the Texas national co mmittee seat had gone to Zweifel.78 The ideological distinction between Taft and Eisenhower was not on the issue itself, as Taft had been a strident opponent of Truman’s position and voted for a numbe r of the quitclaim measures that came through the Senate. Po rter supported Eisenhower to bring in Democratic and independent voters to th e state party. While both candidates would settle the Tidelands issue in the name of the states, Porter believed Ike was more likely to win. Porter’s empowerment changed the dyna mics of the Texas Republican Party and bolstered Brownell’s efforts. Initiall y, Porter operated as a lone wolf and subverted Zweifel’s position on his own. In Ap ril, Briggs reported that Porter was attempting to introduce legislation to pr event “a State Committee of Stooges [from throwing] out duly elected Delegates to our State Convention.”79 He had backed a bill sponsored by the lone Republican in the Texas state legislatur e, Edward Dicker. Cognizant of the 1948 actions of Mike Nolte and other Republicans who had restricted access to precinct and county conventions through questionable methods, 78 In May 1951, Porter had advised Ingalls that he was going to challenge the Zweifel faction regardless of the national contenders and if “Taft got in the middle that was his hard luck.” Through most of fall 1951, Ingalls tried to play peacemaker between the Zweife l and Porter groups, saying “The thing that astonishes me, however, is the fact that with as few Republicans as you have in the State of Texas, is that you can't get together. It seems to me as long as there is a continual battle among you and Zweifel and Marrs, the result is going to be injuri ous.” See David Ingalls, Letter to Marrs McLean, 17 May 1951, Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Texas – L-Mc), Box 409, Taft Papers; and David Ingalls, Letter to H. Jack Porter, 18 September 1951. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Texas -L-Mc), Box 409, Taft Papers. 79 W. C. Briggs, Letter to William Pheiffer, 8 April 1951. Copy in Folder (Br (1)), Box 24, Brownell Papers.

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274 the Dicker Bill established specific guidel ines for announcing party gatherings and prevented late venue changes. In the words of Porter, “if the house burned down, they’d have to have it on the vacant lot.”80 Brownell had been instrumental in drafting the bill and encouraged Porter to work for its passage.81 After the bill had passed, Porter agreed to drop his quest to become national committeeman, and joined forces with Briggs and McDowell.82 The trio worked well toge ther, with Porter bankrolling the political activities of his allies, including a number of visits to county chairmen to line up delegates. He also became the leader of the Draft Eisenhower movement in Texas. Behind the scenes, the trio worked to line up a number of attractive delegate candidates and organized opposition in c ounties under the contro l of the Zweifel faction.83 The upstart group couched its efforts in the quest to expand the state party and create a viable two-party system. This coin cided with their private ambition as well, as Brownell told Briggs that he hoped that “it will be possible to induce a group of progressive young fellows to run for office on the Republican ticket. The only real way, as you and I have so often discussed, to build up the Republican Party in Texas is to start at the bottom and elect local candidates.”84 Briggs and McDowell had made token efforts toward this goal over the y ears but Porter, the energetic newcomer, brought a fresh enthusiasm and a zeal that was rare in the South. He also brought a 80 Interview with Joe Ingraham and H. Jack Porter, 9 November 1972. Copy in Eisenhower Library. 81 Edward Dicker, interview by Jo hn Luter, 23 Decembe r 1969. Transcript, Oral History Collection, Eisenhower Presidential Library, Abilene, Kans as. Hereafter cited as Dicker interview. 82 Edward Bermingham, Letter to Dwight D. Eisenhower, 7 February 1952. Copy in Folder (Edward J. Bermingham [ Jan. 1952 – Feb. 1952], Box 11, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers. 83 W. C. Briggs, Letter to Herbert Brownell, 20 Apr il 1952. Copy in Folder (Br (1)), Box 24, Brownell Papers. 84 Herbert Brownell, Letter to W. C. Briggs, 20 November 1950. Copy in Folder (Br (1)), Box 24, Brownell Papers.

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275 different ideological leaning, as he based his appeals on a mix of genuine conservative principles and racism. In June 1951, for example, he told the Young Republican Federation of Nueces County that the Republi can Party believed in states’ rights and did not support the F.E.P.C. He then claimed that “Less than a million communists and socialists in strategic Northern an d Eastern states control the election of presidents, simply because the people of Texas… have been blindly voting the Democratic ticket, and not for the principl es of government in which they believe.”85 In 1952, Porter linked Eisenhower to c onservative causes that he, and the disaffected members of his former party, be lieved in. He wrote three separate letters to Eisenhower in Paris asking his views on taxation, foreign policy, the tidelands, and race relations. Eisenhower’s answers, drafte d while he was still in France but based on previous public statements, revealed a number of critical aspects of General’s personal political ph ilosophy. On the Tidelands contr oversy, Eisenhower issued a forthright support of states’ rights, saying “O nce again, I agree with the principle that federal ownership in this case, as in others is one that is calc ulated to bring about steady progress toward centralized owners hip and control, a trend which I have bitterly opposed.”86 On racial issues, Eisenhower re sponded differently. In May, after Eisenhower returned to campaign, Porter sent him two lett ers playing up the segregation issue and linking it to communism. He claimed that “If we passed an F.E.P.C., which tells you whom you can hire, the next step will be to tell the worker for whom he can work, which will complete the cycle of physical and economic 85 H, Jack Porter, Speech to the Young Republican Federa tion of Nueces County, 21 June 1951. Copy in Folder (Mc (2)), Box 26, Brownell Papers. 86 Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to H, Jack Porter 28 March 1952. Copy in Folder (Politics – 19511952 – Correspondence (5)), Box 127, Eisenhower Pr e-Presidential Papers. Eisenhower did ask Clay to read the letters, lest Ike “cross-up” Clay. See Dwight D. Eisenhower, Memo to Lucius Clay, 28 March 1952. Copy in Folder (Lucius D. Clay [Jan. 1952Feb. 1952] (cite is correct), Box 24, Eisenhower PrePresidential Papers.

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276 slavery.” Eisenhower, to his credit, refused to acknowledge these claims and made general statements in favor of em ployer rights and reduced taxation.87 Eisenhower would not support the Southern racial view and deflected Porter’s views and requests for a public statement with silence.88 On the national level, Eisenhower’s letters to Porter did not mesh well with the moderate audience that Dewey and Br ownell had envision ed, revealing the ideological component that had largely b een subsumed by appeals to Ike’s popularity. In May, Lodge wrote to Eisenhow er saying that the Porter le tters, while well-received in Texas, were described by some as “t o the right of Taft.” He encouraged Eisenhower to say as little about Tidelands and race relations as possible. This was the tactic Dewey took in 1948 on the Tidela nds issue and Lodge was fearful that Eisenhower would be cast as a conserva tive which, in his opinion, would be a deathblow to the campaign.89 Eisenhower thanked Lodge for his opinion and told him that he did not like the ideological labels that had been affixed to certain political views. Eisenhower claimed that he ha d simply defended his statement as his 87 H. Jack Porter, Letter to Dwight D. Eisenhower, 14 May 1952. Copy in Folder (H. J. Porter), Box 92, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers. 88 Porter explicitly asked Eisenhower to endorse a St ates’ Rights position regarding civil rights when he informed Ike that “I think that if you will point out the tremendous progress the negroes have made in this nation, as compared to the lack of progress by the uncivilized Indian tribes who were placed on reservations, you can make an excellent argument fo r handling these social problems on the state level, where time, experience and education will rapidly cr eate better relations among the different segments of our society. Without about a ten-year period, th e negroes received their freedom and the uncivilized Indian tribes were placed on reservations. The negr oes have been self-suppo rting, and have produced great educators, scientists, doctors, lawyers, su ccessful businessmen and ar tists, but the full blood Indians on the reservation have produced one nationally known figure I know of, and that was Jim Thorpe. I am not certain that Jim came from a reserv ation tribe.” See Jack Porter, Letter to Dwight D. Eisenhower, 9 May 1952. Copy in Folder (H. J. Porter), Box 92, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers. 89 Henry Cabot Lodge, Letter to Dwight D. Eisenhower, 12 May 1952. Copy in Folder (Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.), Box 72, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers. Lodge made a similar plea in a letter four days earlier. See Henry Cabot Lodge, Letter to Dwight D. Eisenhower, 8 May 1952. Copy in Folder (Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.), Box 72, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers.

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277 legitimate viewpoint. He closed by saying “But I would be less than frank if I should give you the impression that I intend to tailo r my opinions and convictions to the one single measure of net vote appeal. I know, of course, that you ha ve no such thought in mind and I certainly appreciate your spirit of helpfulness and guidance.”90 Of course, this is what Dewey, Lodge, and othe rs had done throughout the campaign. Their reluctance to promote a conservative issu e reflected their strategy of focusing on Eisenhower’s popularity to attract a broad sw ath of voters, including those outside of the party’s base. As the Republican precinct day appr oached, the groundswell for Eisenhower was tremendous. The Texas organization benefi ted from financial support from the oil and cattle interests, the two largest industries in the stat e, making voter mobilization easier. The publicity surroundi ng the Tidelands issue and its impact on the state’s education system, the beneficiary of the st ate’s mineral leasing revenue, also had bipartisan appeal. On May 3, the GOP held its precinct meetings throughout the state. Normally, since the state party was so small, it was not uncommon for these gatherings to be held at the homes of prominent Republicans. This was the case in 1952 but, since the Dicker Bill mandated th at the meetings be publicly announced, a number of prominent Old Guard official s found their living ro oms besieged by Ike supporters. Around the state, formerly De mocratic citizens who suddenly found an urge to join the GOP outvoted longti me Republican suppor ters. Their votes overwhelmingly went to delegates pledge d to Eisenhower. In a few cases, these elections stood. In others, the precinct captain, usually the homeowner, called a second meeting to order on the front lawn and selected a rival slate of delegates favoring Taft. These rump delegations were elected in Houston, Dallas, and even in 90 Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Henry Cabot Lodge, 20 May 1952. Copy in Folder (Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.), Box 72, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers.

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278 the precinct meeting headed by Zweifel himself.91 In San Antonio, Taftites had the upper hand, but in the rest of the state Eisenhower emerged as the victor. In the aftermath, it appeared clear that Porter and his Albany -influenced friends had outflanked Zweifel. On May 6, thirtyone county meetings saw individuals bolt the proceedings and elect rival groups to the state convention. These areas accounted for just under half of the total delegates to the state convention.92 Over the next two weeks, Zwiefel and Porter engaged in a pub lic war of words. Porter claimed that Zweifel had not been campaigning in favor of Senator Taft, but rather organizing a bolt to subvert the will of the majority.93 Zweifel responded with claims that Porter had participated in an “organized near re volutionary movement to defeat Bob Taft,” and was backed by a group of liberal De mocrats who supported the New and Fair Deals. He claimed that the precinct meeti ngs were “forced majority rule” and that these results did not reflect the will of the Texas Republicans.94 Zweifel could not dispute the results, so he argued that th e voters themselves were illegitimate. Expanding the Republican base, to the na tional committeeman, meant bringing in traitorous outsiders to overrule the principled minority in Texas. On May 26, the credentials committee of the state GOP met at Mineral Wells, a resort town on the Gulf of Mexico, a day before the state committee was slated to begin. With Zweifel in control of the stat e party, the committee was packed with Taft 91 Henry Zweifel, Press Release, 27 May, 1952. Co py in Folder (1952 Campaign – Press Releases), Box 460, Taft Papers; Precinct Committee Meeting Report, Dallas County, Texas (undated), copy in Box 70, Katherine Kennedy Brown Papers, Departme nt of Special Collections and Archives, Paul Laurence Dunbar Library, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio [H ereafter cited as KKB Papers]. 92 David, Presidential Nominating Politics in 1952 Vol. III, 321. 93 H. Jack Porter, Letter to Jesse Jones, 9 May 1952 Copy in Folder (Citizens for, Advisory Council), Box 1, Oveta Culp Hobby Papers, Dwight D. Eisenhow er Library, Abilene, Kansas. [Hereafter cited as Hobby Papers] 94 Henry Zweifel, “Statement of Henry Zweifel,” 20 May 1952. Copy in Folder (Citizens for, Advisory Council), Box 1, Hobby Papers.

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279 supporters and, after presentations from all contested counties, the Taft supporters were seated in twenty-six of thirty-one counties. After the assembled state convention moved to seat the Taft backers from the other five counties, the Eisenhower supporters walked out and held a rival convention across the street. Both groups elected a slate of delegates. Zweifel’ s group had thirty Taft supporters, four MacArthur supporters, and four Eisenhower supporters. Porter’s group was thirtythree for Eisenhower and five for Taft. Each group vowed to send their delegations to the national convention in Chicago and let the RNC declare the true victor.95 The fallout from the state convention wa s immediate. Both Eisenhower and Taft had managers present to guide the Texas factions, making the candidates themselves look somewhat culpable. Taft had dispat ched Ingalls and Reece, while Brownell attended on behalf of the Eisenhower leadership. The press picked up on this and claimed that the Reece and Ingalls had dr iven the “Taft stea mroller” through the convention and appointed delegates counter to the legal and binding votes of the county meetings. The Taftites claimed th at the Eisenhower supporters were only “one-day Republicans” and that Zwiefel ha d protected the integrity of the party by removing the outsiders. Joseph Alsop, repor ting for his news syndicate and the Houston Post claimed that “The simplest way to describe the concept of the Taft faction is to say they appear to believe that Republicanism is almost like the British peerage, a rare hereditary privilege.”96 Reporters, especially the editors of the Houston Post claimed that Taft had stolen the dele gates from Eisenhower, and the description of the “Texas Steal” was picked up by reporters around the nation. The Eisenhower 95 David,, et. al, Presidential Nominating Politics in 1952 Vol. III 320-330. 96 Houston Post 27 May 1952.

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280 campaign echoed the “Texas Steal” rhetoric and claimed that justice would be served at the national convention in Chicago.97 The Texas contest turned on Brownell’s efforts to expand the Republican Party beyond the control of the local Old Guard orga nizations, a theme that was repeated in Georgia, Tennessee, and Louisiana. While Eisenhower had the popularity to draw large number of Democratic votes, his orga nization only backed local factions that were on the outs with the Old Guard when it benefited their candidate. There was no sense of urgency to upset Democratic one-p arty systems when it could harm, or have no impact, on the Eisenhower nomination. Florida was the most prominent example of this, as the Eisenhower group snubbed the leader of a prominent movement dedicated to increasing the st ate party in favor of a loca l organization that portrayed itself as non-partisan in order to gain independent and Democratic votes. Party expansion in the South, however, was the key to the Eisenhower strategy going into the national convention in Chicago. The 1952 pre-convention campaign t ook place under much different circumstances than in 1948. Taft, not willi ng to make the same mistakes, brought a fully-developed management structure to the table and staffed it with experienced politicians and Republican insiders. The four additional years of Truman’s administration had brought on new political issues, including the Korean War, communism, continued high rates of taxati on, and further expansion of the federal bureaucracy. Taft hoped to draw support from the thousands of single-issue conservative voters that were becoming tire d of continued Democratic rule. Dewey, on the other hand, had to work from behind the scenes and promoted a candidate who could not make partisan statements. The Gove rnor was also concerned with events of 97 Houston Post, 30 May 1952.

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281 Truman’s first full term, but believed that oppositional rhetoric would alienate voters and keep the Democrats in power. But in th e days before the Chicago convention, the Texas Steal and Eisenhower’s expected retu rn to the United States overshadowed all other issues.

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282 CHAPTER 8 “IF WE SLEEP ON THIS, WE ARE REALLY SUCKERS:” JUNE – NOVEMBER 1952. Events in Texas marked the end of th e major pre-convention effort. Now, all eyes turned to the Republican National Convention, scheduled to begin on July 9, 1952 in Chicago. Leading into July, a number of events diminished Taft’s chances for the Republican nomination. The Eisenhower or ganization relentless ly publicized the Texas story and claimed the moral high gr ound just as its candidate’s popularity appeared to be peaking. In June, Eise nhower stepped down from his NATO position and returned to the United States to camp aign. His entry bolstered his already surging popularity and allowed him to address ma jor issues directly. The convention proceedings showed that the factionalism that had hampered the GOP for roughly the last decade had worsened and now threaten ed to splinter the party. Only a quick concession from Taft and a pledge of un ity from both sides kept the Republicans together. This chapter will examine the Republican National Convention of 1952 and determine how the political machinati ons and publicity organization of the Eisenhower campaign overcame Taft’s issuebased approached and, in the process, angered party leaders and conservati ve voters sympathetic to Taft. On June 4, Eisenhower addressed the public for the first time as a presidential candidate. He delivered a speech in his homet own of Abilene, Kansas in front of five thousand rain-soaked onlookers. Much to th e surprise of Taft, Eisenhower distanced himself from the Truman foreign policy and called the “loss” of China to the Communists “one of the greatest inte rnational disasters of our time.”1 He linked high 1 Dwight D. Eisenhower, quoted in New York Times 5 June 1952.

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283 inflation to the economic practices of th e New and Fair Deals while pledging to protect the nation from communist subversi on. In short, he affirmed a number of Taft’s own positions. Eisenhower’s public sp eaking ability did not meet expectations, as he seemed to have poorly rehearsed hi s performance, but the rhetoric did seem more combative than the speeches Dewey had delivered in 1948. Taft responded to Eisenhower’s Abilene address with a firm d eclaration of his own principles and policy goals. He called for an immediate end to pri ce controls, pledged to balance the federal budget during his first year in office a nd, like Eisenhower, repudiated Truman’s foreign policy.2 This response did little to count er Eisenhower’s speech, especially since he had openly criticized Truman’s fore ign policy at Abilene and stolen some of Taft’s talking points. Eisenhower joined his own campaign at a cr itical time in the election cycle. In May, Taft appeared to be gaining po pularity among Republicans and independent voters. A Gallup poll released on June 4 found that Taft had gained three points in the last two weeks and now tr ailed Eisenhower by seven.3 On June 20, a Gallup poll showed that sixty-one percen t of Republican county chairmen favored Taft versus thirty-one percent for Eisenhower. At this level of party leadership, Taft led over Eisenhower in every section of the country with the S outh and the Midwest giving him his largest majorities.4 With Eisenhower an active candidate, Taft now had the opportunity to challenge his opponent on specific policy questions. Ei senhower proved willing to discuss and defend his points of view on most topics, coun tering the Taftite charge that he had no 2 Robert A. Taft, quoted in Washington Post 20 June 1952. 3 Washington Post 4 June 1952. 4 Washington Post, 20 June 1952.

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284 political philosophy. In the month leading to the national convention, three major issues emerged as the most critical: foreign policy, communism, and corruption. A number of secondary issues, such as high taxation, farm subsidies and price supports concerned voters in the Midwest and the Sout h particularly, but the three major issues had salience throughout the nation. Somewhat surprisingly, the Republicans ran ahead of the Democrats on all of them. Despite their factional differences and personal animosity, the Taft and Dewey wings agreed on these critical issues. Since the end of World War II, Taft privately opposed many aspects of the Democratic fo reign policy, but deferred to Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg’s leadership on in ternational affairs in the Senate. Until Vandenberg’s death in 1951, Taft reluctan tly accepted a bi-partisan foreign policy. Before the war, Taft had been one of the leaders of the isolat ionist wing of the Republican Party and was one of the most prominent members of the noninterventionist group Americ a First. By 1952, he had accepted American involvement in world affairs but believed Truman’s containment program, which required permanent standing armies and a seemi ngly never-ending supply of foreign aid, threatened to bankrupt the nati on and restrict civil liberties. He specifically believed that the continual state of military prepare dness threatened to make the United States a “garrison state.” In his mind, controls on the economy in the name of national defense could potentially destroy the free en terprise system and allow the government to dominate the markets. He believed the high tax burden associ ated with national defense was wasteful and acted as a drag on the economy. Taft advocated a military policy that emphasized a large air force, which required fewer resources and reduced the troop burden. While he could never convi nce the White House or the Pentagon to

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285 adopt his ideas, Taft remained a consiste nt advocate for a strong, defensive foreign policy that did not overburden the American citizen at home.5 In 1952, foreign policy was Taft’s weakest platform position. Despite his public pronouncements for restructuring American fo rces abroad, observ ers still regarded Taft as an isolationist. Korea had been an issue during Taft’s 1950 Senatorial campaign but, due to the background of hi s opponent and the active participation of the CIO-PAC, he had minimized its importan ce and made organized labor the critical question. In 1952, he did not ha ve that luxury. United Nations troops, mostly from the United States, had been in Korea for nearly two years and the American people were growing tired of the war.6 Throughout 1952, Elmo Roper-NBC polls found that an ever-increasing percentage of the population, up to fifty-two percent in late October, believed Korea to be the most im portant problem facing the country.7 Taft, fully aware that foreign policy was both his weakness and his potential challenger’s greatest strength, had launched a proactive strike against his critics to deflect charges of isolati onism. In 1951, he published A Foreign Policy for All Americans a 121 page monograph that detailed his plans for American involvement in Europe and Asia, as well as his st rategy to combat the Communist threat throughout the world. He declared that co rrecting American foreign policy was a more pressing concern than limiting the e xpansion of the federal bureaucracy, his traditional legislative goal, but saw the tw o tasks as interrelated. The government’s first duty, in Taft’s estimati on, was to protect Am erican liberty at home and create a 5 For more on Taft’s foreign policy, see Michael J. Hogan, A Cross of Iron: Harry Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998); and Clarence Wunderlin, Robert A. Taft: Ideas, Tradition, and Party in U.S. Foreign Policy (Lanham, MD: SR Books, 2005). 6 See, for example, Washington Post 23 February 1952 for a repo rt of the ongoing peace talks. 7 Polling data quoted in Louis Harris, Is There a Republican Majority? Political trends, 1952-1956 (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1954), 22-26.

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286 foreign policy that did not sacrifice th e good of the nation for a strong presence abroad. Repeating what had already beco me a mantra among conservatives, Taft attacked the Democrats and the State Departme nt for allowing Stalin to gain the upper hand in Eastern Europe at the Potsdam a nd Yalta conferences. He reiterated his criticism of the containment doctrine, saying that the army was too large and that the nation was overcommitted in its alliances with Great Britain and France. Taft declared support for international or ganizations designed to foster peace, but claimed that the United Nations was not strong enough to guarantee compliance, but that the Security Council could potential ly entangle the United States in foreign conflicts against its wishes. In his opinion, the best foreign policy involved a smaller, more-flexible defense program and a more aggressive strategy to fight communism.8 Conservative intellectuals and journalists had taken this approach in their criticism of American foreign policy. Felix Morely, for example, wrote in Barron’s that only a limited system of alliances, such as NATO, could effectively unite the free world. A worldwide organization like the United Na tions could not promote harmony as long as the Soviet Union and China were members.9 The editors of The Freeman likewise, did not see the UN as a legitimate orga nization and demanded that Truman resign because of the Korean Conflict, which they called “Mr. Truman's sole decision,” a “clear usurpation of the cons titutional prerogative of Congress,” and “the worst military defeat in our history.”10 8 Robert A. Taft, A Foreign Policy for All Americans (Garden City, NY: The Country Life Press, 1951). 9 Felix Morley, “The UN and NATO: The More Li mited Organization Shows Far Greater Promise,” Barron’s National Business and Financial Weekly 32, no. 9, 3 March 1952. 10 The Freeman 1, no. 9, 22 January 1951, 261.

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287 Throughout the campaign, Taft repeated the claims from his monograph at rallies and in speeches. He continually asserted that the Korean War was an unnecessary war and that Truman had used th e UN Security Council as an excuse to sidestep Congress and its constitutional au thority to declare war. Had Truman made Asia a priority and armed the South Kor eans after World War II, Taft believed, war would have never broken out.11 Taft also thought war was a poor method of promoting American values overseas. In one of his most forthright, but private, statements made in a letter to an inquisitive student from Texas, Taft claimed that “It seems to me that we should never risk wa r except to protect the liberty of the people of this county, for war itself can destroy our liberty at home, and the outcome of war may easily destroy the liberty of our peopl e from abroad.” The Senator went on to argue that “There was a time, perhaps, wh en war might be justified as a matter of national policy. Today, war is only an engine of complete destruction. It kills five civilians for one soldier. There is no real vi ctory even for the nation that prevails. In future times the more serious indictment of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations will be their failure to avoid war.”12 At a number of public appearances, Taft pledged to expedite the peace process in Korea if el ected and proclaimed that continuation of the Democratic foreign policy threatened the nation’s survival.13 The Democratic Party was certainly susceptible to charge s of mishandling America’s international relations and Taft’s position had re sonance with many voters. The Gallup organization found that most Americans believed the Republican Party would 11 See Robert A. Taft, Radio Address, 25 March 1952. Copy in Folder (Addresses – 1952 (2)), Box 1327, Taft Papers. 12 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Barbara Ashley, 5 April 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 – Texas – A), Box 407, Taft Papers. 13 New York Times 27 January 1952.

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288 improve the country’s foreign policy. A poll released in late March surveyed independent voters and found that sixty-one percent did not believe that Republicans would jeopardize America’s commitments in Europe.14 Although some pundits disagreed with this assessment, the GOP stood to profit on Korea and Cold War. 15 Polling data and conventional wisdom s eemed to show that Taft’s oppositional stance would pay dividends against the De mocratic Party. Taft’s major obstacle, however, was not Truman, but Eisenhower. Taft had to convince his own party that he was capable of managing American involve ment overseas without jeopardizing the fragile postwar balance. Here, Taft ran into the same charges of isolationism that he had been fending off since 1944. Lodge, Stassen, and Adams each made Taft’s foreign policy record a topic of conversati on. They claimed that the Ohioan’s Senate career showed incompetence at best and, at wo rst, a total disregard for American aims in Europe. During the New Hampshire prim ary, Lodge told voters that Eisenhower was all that stood between America and a communist Europe giving the clear impression that Taft would abandon the con tinent to Soviet ag gression if elected.16 Taft and the conservatives countered th at Eisenhower would be incapable of questioning or criticizing Truman’s foreign policy because of his prominent role in NATO. Upon his return from Paris, Eise nhower dispelled this rumor quickly and efficiently. As his biographer notes, the Ge neral had been a loyal member of the Democratic foreign policy establishment and carried out the orders of Roosevelt and 14 Washington Post 30 March 1952. 15 In February, James Reston of the New York Times predicted that Eisenhower would continue most of the Democratic foreign strategy. He also forecast that Taft would be faced with a Democratic majority in the Senate and thus incapable of drastically overhauling Truman’s Cold War plans. Reston contended that, if elected, Taft “wouldn’t consciously try to turn the clock back, but he might very well let it run down,” meaning Taft could not make the chan ges he wanted and, therefore, would do little to protect American interests abroad. See New York Times, 27 February 1952. 16 New York Times 8 March 1952.

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289 Truman without question. This did not mean th at, as a civilian, he would continue to advocate the same tactics in private life From his initial Abilene speech going forward, Eisenhower conceded a number of Taft’s points and pointed out the deficiencies in the Truman program. Taki ng a page from Taft’s book, Ike proclaimed that “if we had been less soft and weak, there would probably have been no war in Korea!”17 He emphasized that he had had no pe rsonal involvement with Yalta or Potsdam. In short, he had been a loyal soldier and was not a party to Democratic administration’s foreign blunders.18 With Eisenhower blasting the Truman administration, Taft’s attacks had no sali ence. Eisenhower, as the first commander of NATO, had more credibility on international relations than an ex-isolationist Senator from Ohio. This issue, more than any other, bolstered the General’s popularity. On the domestic front, the issue of Communism at home was inextricably linked with foreign policy. Here again, Taft stood to benefit from the Democratic record. Since the end of World War II, the threat of communist subversion had gained traction. Anti-Communist politicians and bureaucrats, such as Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy and Federal Bureau of I nvestigation Director J. Edger Hoover, launched investigations a nd sensationalized publicity operations against supposed Communists. McCarthy’s bluster and brava do energized the Far Right wing of the American political spectrum. A number of prominent GOP officials and contributors, either to defend national security or to make partisan gain, supported McCarthy’s activities and claimed that the Democratic Party had allowed Soviet agents to spy with impunity. The failure of American foreign policy in Asia was linked to Communist subversion within the State Depa rtment, an agency filled with Roosevelt 17 Dwight D. Eisenhower, Quoted in Stephen E. Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990), 270. 18 Ibid., 270

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290 and Truman appointees. The Alger Hiss perjur y trial and the espiona ge convictions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg convinced the av erage American that the Soviet Union had infiltrated the civilian and military establishments on the Democratic watch.19 Embracing anti-Communism in this el ection cycle, however, required the Republican candidates to walk a fine line. McCarthy’s outlandish tactics had earned the scorn of a number of critic s in both parties and in the press. The Senator’s crusade had become synonymous with anti-Communism and, for a candidate to take a strong stand against subversion they had to confront McCarthyism. Taft’s leadership role had given him more experience w ith McCarthy and he was able to adopt a middle-ground position that endorsed McCarthy’s overall objective without embracing his methods. When a correspondent from Wisconsin quest ioned Taft’s support for McCarthy, the Ohioan responded that the investigation of subversion should be “pushed to the limit,” but that he did not agree with McCarthy’s approach.20 Eisenhower had actively resisted communism abroad through his wo rk with NATO and had anti-communist credentials that were just as strong, if not stronger, than Taft’s. His military involvement, however, allowed Eisenhower to distance himself from McCarthy’s political style in the hopes of gaining more moderate voters. Regardless of their ties to the Wisconsin Senator, neither candidate could be accused of being soft on communism. The final major issue confronting Rep ublicans in 1952 was corruption in the federal government. Since 1950, a number of scandals involving high government officials and agencies had gripped the public and dominated the headlines. One 19 For two general histories of postwar anti-Communism, see Schrecker, Many Are the Crimes, and Powers, Not Without Honor 20 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Harvey Higley, 29 D ecember 1951. Copy in Fo lder (1952 Campaign – Alphabetical File H-J), Box 423, Taft Papers.

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291 pollster noted that the cases of government fraud had been so widespread that they had become part of Amer ica’s “daily conversation.”21 Since most of the corruption had stemmed from the federal bureaucracy, an entity which Taft strongly opposed and criticized on numerous occasions, he appeared to gain from the De mocratic troubles if nominated. Eisenhower, likewise, had no tangible connection with any of the institutions charged with fraud and was unharmed by the corruption issu e. Initially, Eisenhower’s identification as a political outsider helped him edge Taft on the corruption issue. A Gallup poll released in mid-February found that forty-five percent of those surveyed believed Eisenhower was the man to restore law and order to the federal government versus thirty-one who favored Taft. Among registered Republicans, Taft held the edge fo rty-nine to thirty-six percent.22 A poll released a week later found that fifty-five percent of respondents believed Truman was incapable of ending corruption within the Democrat ic administration, giving the GOP, no matter which candidate took the nominati on, the advantage over its opponents.23 Public opinion also coincided with Ta ft’s positions on a number of minor issues. On fiscal policy, for example, a Fe bruary 19 Gallup poll found that forty-four percent of respondents thought that Taft w ould do a better job at reducing government spending as opposed to thirty-six who t hought Eisenhower would be more likely to trim the budget. Among those identifying them selves as Republicans, the numbers were fifty-nine for Taft to twenty-seven for Eisenhower.24 Sixty percent of independent voters believed that Rep ublican anti-spending arguments were 21 Harris, Is there a Republican Majority? 33. 22 Washington Post 21 February 1952. 23 Ibid, 1 March 1952. 24 Ibid, 20 February 1952.

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292 persuasive, meaning that Taft’s fiscal conservative line had potential appeal among voters.25 With both Taft and Eisenhower on the winni ng side of the major issues, neither could claim an advantage on policies going in to the convention. The polls found that a Republican, no matter what faction, scor ed higher over a Democrat, but the Republican delegates still remained the cri tical roadblock betwee n the candidates and the White House. By late June, only a small handful of delegations had not committed to a candidate. Of those, Michigan was one of the most populous and, therefore, one of the most important. Although the state party had remained neutral, delegation chairman Arthur Summerfield had secretly been wooing the Eisenhower faction for some time. Summerfield had deep connectio ns to the auto manufacturers and had been advised by a number of top executiv es that they backed Eisenhower. In November 1951, an official with Ford info rmed Summerfield that Eisenhower was fast becoming the consensus nominee of the industry, noting that many ‘have a high regard for Taft as a Senator, but they express reluctance to vote for him as president.”26 At nearly the same time, Summerfi eld’s political partner, Wisconsin’s Thomas Coleman, had cast his lot with the Taft camp and urged Summerfield to join the Ohioan’s organization. During the spring, Summerfield put off any public decision and allowed Coleman to update him on Taft’s progress. All the while he was busy making arrangements to support Eisenhower. Summerfield had to maintain his ties with Detroit, so the will of the auto industry trumped his alliance with Cole man. Summerfield did nothing to obstruct Taft’s progress in Michigan and even en tertained members of the Taft team on a 25 Ibid, 28 March 1952. 26 Ernest Breech, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 26 November 1951. Copy in Folder (B (2)), Box 1, Summerfield Papers.

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293 number of occasions, but behind the scenes he actively worked to join the Eisenhower camp. His entre into this group came th rough Milt Dean Hill, head of the Washington bureau of Michigan-based newspa per chain Federated Publications. Hill had close contact with a nu mber of Eisenhower’s NATO st aff, including Lieutenant Colonel Craig Cannon and Colonel Paul T. Carroll. As early as November 1951, Hill had inside knowledge that Eisenhower plan ned to run and secretly supported the General’s candidacy. Carroll, for example, fed Hill easily answerable political questions to ask during a press conference in order to keep Eisenhower’s name in the political arena without revealing too much information.27 Eisenhower’s military staff had admiration for Hill, and Hill used this relationship to advance Summerfield as a potential campaign manager and Eisenhower adviser. In a January letter to Cannon, Hill viciously attacked Lodge and Duff as incompetent, self-motivated po liticians. He claimed that none of the Eisenhower leadership gave “a tinker’s da m (sic) about Ike Eisenhower – what he stands for; who he is – a nything else,” and that “that bastard [U.S. Representative Jacob] Jake Javits, a pseudo Democrat who masquerades as a Republican,” had gained entry into the Eisenhower inner ci rcle through his relationship with Dewey.28 Through much of spring 1952, Hill sowe d seeds of doubt among Eisenhower’s military liaisons and tried to dilute Dewey’s influence on the General. At the same time, he was advising Summerfield on how to position himself to lead the Eisenhower fight in Michigan and possibly the nation. By April, Summerfield had secured an audience with Eisenhower and traveled to Pa ris. Hill likely told both parties what 27 A letter from Hill to Summerfield notes that Carroll told Hill to ask “Have you seen or talked with Senator Duff,” and “Have you talked with Milton [E isenhower] during your visit here.” See Milt Dean Hill, Letter to Arthur Summerfield. Copy in Fold er (Milt Dean Hill (2)), Box 4, Summerfield Papers. 28 Milt Dean Hill, Letter to Craig Cannon, 7 January 1952. Copy in Folder (Milt Dean Hill (1)), Box 4, Summerfield Papers.

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294 topics to discuss and helped slant the meeting toward a favorable outcome for Summerfield.29 By early June, Summerfield’s acti ons had caused uproar among Michigan Republicans. The Michigan State Convention had declared that the ten Delegates-atLarge, of which Summerfield was one, must remain neutral. Partisans had heard rumors, that Summerfield was lining up for Eisenhower and hoped to gain the chairmanship of the RNC.30 Clare Hoffman, U.S. Representative from Michigan’s fourth district, expressed concern at thes e reports, saying “natur ally, I think that would be a wonderfully fine thing for Mich igan, though I certainly hope that the deal if there is one does not include an attempt to throw Michigan's delegation to Eisenhower.”31 Six days later, Summerfield pleaded his innocence and claimed that he was not working for a particular candida te and wanted nothing to do with the RNC chairmanship. He affirmed that the state de legation would listen to the will of the voters and cast their ballot s for the best candidate.32 Summerfield’s intrigue was just one of a number of stories surrounding the opening of the Republican National Convention, but Michigan and Pennsylvania, another critical swing state, remained the largest uncommitted states. 29 Milt Dean Hill, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 17 April 1952. Copy in Folder (Milt Dean Hill (1)), Box 4, Summerfield Papers. Throughout their correspondence, Hill informed Summerfield of his conversations with the Eisenhower group and routinely fed Lodge, Brownell, and others information favorable to Summerfield and the Michigan organiza tion. There is no evidence to indicate that Hill stopped this tactic here, especially since he had such a good rapport with Cannon, Carroll, and others on Eisenhower’s Paris staff. See Milt Dean Hill, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 28 May 1952. Copy in Folder (Milt Dean Hill (1)), Box 4, Summerfield Papers. 30 Hill believed that Summerfield’s actions had upset the plans of “Lodge, Vandenberg, and Brownell,” and believed that the group would retaliate. He thought that this group wanted to work with the auto industry without interference from Summerfield. See Milt Dean Hill, Memo to Arthur Summerfield, 28 May 1952. Copy in Folder (Milt Dean Hill (1)), Box 4, Summerfield Papers. 31 Clare Hoffman, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 12 June 1952. Copy in Folder (H (4)), Box 3, Summerfield Papers. 32 Arthur Summerfield, Letter to Clare Hoffman, 18 June 1952. Copy in Folder (H (4)), Box 3, Summerfield Papers.

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295 As the negotiations raged on between Summerfield, Pennsylvania Governor John Fine, and the Eisenhower leaders, the Taft group had a much more public controversy to deal with. The events in Te xas had left Taft open on his Southern flank and threatened to derail his nomination pros pects. The activities of Reece and Ingalls and the heavy-handed tactics of the Zwiefel group had raised doubts as to Taft’s integrity and, in an election cycle alre ady dominated by corruption, this became choice fodder for the press and Eisenhowe r’s campaign staff. Lou Guylay, Taft’s publicity advisor, claimed that “most of the working newspapermen, from our own knowledge, were Eisenhower supporters, and th ey delighted in the controversy that was unfolding.”33 Joseph Alsop had coined the te rm “Texas Steal” and throughout June the slogan gained widespread usage. Eisenhower adopted it as one of his main speaking points on the campai gn trail, often making it th e first topic on the agenda.34 Eisenhower’s reliance on the Texas contr oversy, and the eagerness of reporters to cover a controversial issue, ke pt the Lone Star delegates in the news, and implicated Taft at Mineral Wells. The specter of Te xas would hover over Taft and provide a key issue for the Republican national convention. The Taft camp found its candidate’s reput ation slipping with each Texas Steal story published. Throughout the pre-conventi on period, the conservatives had claimed that the so-called “eastern press” had c overed the Republican situation from a proEisenhower standpoint and had simply exagge rated the Texas Steal because they had no other issue with which to attack Taft. Guylay cataloged these and other incidents of supposed media bias. He reported, for ex ample, that on a televised broadcast of a mock political rally on Washington televi sion station WTOP, Walter Cronkite had 33 L. Richard Guylay, Interview, Eisenhower Library. 34 Washington Post 22 June 1952.

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296 referred to Taft by sounding out his initials and calling him a “Rat.” Guylay claimed that Cronkite’s statements were typical, saying “The problem with CBS is general omission of news developments in th e Taft campaign, playing down of these developments when they are carried, and a very apparent effort to promote the Eisenhower campaign. This is evident from news coverage and from special current events shows as well as from the straining by CBS top stars to aid the Eisenhower cause.”35 Print media outlets also were subject to conservative scrutiny for allegedly biased coverage. The Freeman reported that the New York Times had committed several instances of what it termed “Ali ce in Wonderland headlining.” On May 21, for example, the Times titled its story on the District of Columbia primary as “Taft Loses to Eisenhower in Capital ‘Home’ Distri ct,” highlighting that the Senator’s neighborhood delegate was pledged to Eise nhower even though Taft won thirty-three DC delegates to Eisenhower’s four.36 Since its inception in 1951, The Freeman had claimed that a majority of the press would be against Taft and the conser vatives. In September of that year, it predicted that columnists that it termed “liberal” and “interna tionalist” would parrot the Dewey line and back Eisenhower. It li sted writers such as Joseph and Stewart Alsop, Walter Lippmann, Marquis Childs, a nd Drew Pearson as prime candidates to propagate what the magazine termed Dewey-inspired rhetoric.37 As the Republican convention drew closer, The Freeman’ s forecast proved prescient. The Alsops, writing shortly after Eisenhowe r’s return to the United States, claimed that the General was “is the most effective political personality to emerge on the American 35 Richard L. Guylay, Memo to Robert A. Taft, undated. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Miscellany – Richard L. Guylay), Box 453, Taft Papers. 36 “All the News that Fits,” The Freeman 2, no. 19, 600. 37 The Freeman 1, no. 26, 24 September 1951, 809-813.

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297 scene since the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”38 After Eisenhower’s first speech fell flat the Alsops asked their r eaders, for the true Eisenhower “is bound, eventually, to come out.”39 Initially, Marquis Childs also equated Eisenhower to FDR, but rather than making excuses for the General, he attacked Taft mercilessly. Labeling the Senator’s pre-convention campaign “ruthless,” Childs cas t Taft as an unreconstructed ideologue who was so steeped in his own righteousne ss that he could neither consider any alternative point of view nor see the destructive nature of his actions in Texas. Childs believed that Taft’s political philosophy was inflexible and he openly argued that the conservatives and the Communists both want ed a totalitarian state. The columnist concluded that “Taft could conceivably win the prize for which he has so long thirsted. But the Presidency won at the co st of shattering and dividing the country would almost certainly be self-destr oying for the man that won it that way.”40 Childs’s comments did not reflect reality. Taft was not an ideologue. Had he been, he would not have drawn the ire of the conservative press for advocating federal aid to education and public housing. Taft held and proselytized a number of conservative views and was the choice of the Old Guar d and the right-wing media, but Taft remained a pragmatic politician despite hi s conservative-themed campaign. Inaccurate though it was, Childs’s characteri zation of Taft as an Amer ican Stalin bolstered the Deweyite case that Taft’s nomination woul d hijack the Republi can Party from its progressive base and guarantee the GOP’s continued minority status. Both Childs and 38 The Washington Post 7 June 1952. 39 Washington Post 23 June 1952. 40 Washington Post, 18 June 1952.

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298 Dewey assumed that most Republicans ha d moderate-to-liberal tendencies and believed that Taft’s campaign themes held no electoral value whatsoever.41 On the eve of the national convention, with Texas dominating the headlines, Taft had lost most of his advantages over Eisenhower. His control of the RNC remained his one edge and played a crucial role in Taft’s nomination strategy. He and his lieutenants had learned the lessons of 1948, when RNC Chairman Reece had governed neutrally and allowed the Dewey f action to set the tone and tempo of the proceedings through appointment of a neutral keynote speaker. Gabrielson had appointed a majority of Taft supporters to the Committee on Arrangements, which selected General Douglas MacArthur to deliver the keynote address. MacArthur’s name was submitted by two national committeemen, Pennsylvania’s Mason Owlett and West Virginia’s Walter Hallanan, both Taft supporters. After a majority of the Taft-dominated committee approved MacArt hur’s selection, Eisenhower’s backers protested. They claimed that the keynoter should not be a possible dark horse candidate, but Gabrielson overruled their ob jections. The RNC hoped to ensure that the national convention would be a c onservative gathering, addressed by conservatives, held in a conservative cit y, with the purpose of naming a conservative nominee.42 Control of the RNC and a number of the st ate parties also gave Taft the upper hand on the Credentials Committee. Brownell’s strategy of fostering party splits in the South had created delegate contests in Te xas, Georgia, Florida, and Louisiana, meaning these states would send two de legations to Chicago. The Credentials 41 At times, the Taft organization took the media bias charge to the extreme, such as the time that Ingalls attacked the Gallup organization for slanting its opinion polls to favor Eisenhower over Taft. While this charge was unfounded, it was not as inflam matory as Childs’ claims. For Ingalls’ charges on Gallup, see Washington Post 20 May 1952. 42 New York Times 9 June 1952.

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299 Committee was charged with hearing these contests and determining which slates would be seated on the conve ntion’s permanent roll. The full convention would then ratify the decisions of the committee through its approval of the permanent roll. In a nomination battle already running neck and neck, the disputed delegates could conceivably have given Taft or Eisenhower the majority on the convention floor. The Credentials Committee was com posed of one delegate per state and Federal territory, appointed by the delegations themselves. This meant that Gabrielson could not personally stack the committee for Taft and re quired the factions to negotiate directly with the state leaders to seat favorable delegates. The membership of the committee was an important strategy point, as a weak appointee might have a change of heart and take the opposite side on a key vote. The conventional wisdom dictated that only a committed supporter with unquestioned loyalt y should be appointed to Credentials. Taft’s strategy of working with the regular state parties increased his chances of controlling the Credentials Committee, but his managers were taking no chances. Among themselves, Taft’s inner circle deba ted a number of tac tics to ensure the delegate contests went their way. Coleman and Hamilton, for example, proposed a rule change that restricted membership on Credentials to delegations with more than three members. They pointed out that th e Virgin Islands had one delegate, an Eisenhower supporter, who received an automatic position on the committee. Changing the rules would take this vote away, and Hamilton thought that “If we [Taft’s leadership] sleep on th is we are really suckers.”43 Jack Martin reported that the Eisenhower delegates in a num ber of states had attempte d to use illicit methods to appoint one of their own to the committee, including a group from Delaware that had 43 John D. M Hamilton, Letter to I. Jack Martin, 5 May 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Alphabetical File -Chicago Conven tion Plans), Box 424, Taft Papers.

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300 named its Credentials member while one -third of the delegation was absent.44 Despite actions such as this, the Taft group believe d that it had a twenty-nine to seventeen advantage on the committee with seven members undecided. These numbers reflected the outcomes of the primary elections, as well as Taft’s Southern and Midwestern centers of support.45 Despite his institutional and numerical adva ntages within the RNC, Taft entered Chicago on the defensive. While he had hoped to compromise on Texas, he also continued his criticism of Eisenhower and hi s supporters. At his first Chicago press conference, he attacked the Gallup organi zation as an Eisenhower propagandized and claimed that its polls were controlled by De wey. Only a week earlier, Taft had labeled Gallup an agent of the Eisenhower ca mpaign. His Chicago comments signaled continued opposition the so-called “Eastern Establishment.”46 Somewhat ironically, Gallup released a poll of elig ible voters taken during the first week of the convention that found a moderate Republicanism that a ccepted Social Security and other social welfare programs was more popular than complete acceptance of the New Deal. Gallup concluded that “anyone who condemn s the Roosevelt-Truman policies in blanket fashion probably would not carry th e independent votes,” implying that Taft could not win in November.47 Gallup’s findings and Taft’s reaction s how a gap between conventional wisdom and Taft’s political instincts and field repor ts. Over the past year, the Taft camp had toured the nation, dispatched representa tives to survey grassroots opinion, and 44 I. Jack Martin, Letter to David Ingalls, 14 May 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Alphabetical File – Chicago Convention Plans), Box 424, Taft Papers. 45 Paul Walter, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 19 June 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Chicago Convention (2)), Box 431, Taft Papers. 46 Christian Science-Monitor 26 June 1952. 47 Washington Post 6 July 1952.

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301 established a campaign structure that re lied on the feedback of local political operatives. The Ohioan had continually heard that he was the choice of most Republicans and that his platform also app ealed to a sizable number of Democrats, especially in the South, and independent voters. Taft’s co rrespondence files literally overflowed with letters of support from across the country, with many urging the Senator to aggressively oppose continued Democratic rule. Once he launched his campaign, Taft believed that two entities had undermined his efforts: the Dewey organization and the eastern press. After the 1948 presidential polls had proven so wrong about Dewey’s chances, Taft and his backers believed that Dewey and Gallup were in league and saw the polls as purely a propaganda instrument. Taft’s charges appeared outlandish on first glance, but in his mind Gallup was dancing to the tune that Dewey called. As the campaign season wore on, the public opinion appeared to be shif ting away from Taft more and more. On 26 June, the Christian Science-Monitor wrote that Taft had receive d word of another Gallup poll favorable to Eisenhower just as he was hearing reports that Irving Ives had pledged to bow out of his re-election campaign should Taft be nominated. According to the reporter, Taft responded by slamming his fist onto his desk and shouting charges that both stories were part of a Dewey strategy to discredit him. Taft defended his issuebased campaign and claimed that “the met hod of campaigning is far more important than the candidate. Dewey and Willkie lost because they waged the kind of campaign I am afraid Eisenhower would wage. Polls don’t mean a thing.”48 While Dewey and Gallup were friends, there is no evidence that the research firm had slanted his findings to favor one ca ndidate over the other. To Taft’s critics, this sort of outburst gave further proof th at the Ohioan was unfit to lead. The Alsops 48 Christian Science-Monitor 26 June 1952.

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302 claimed that Taft’s latest “tantrum” wa s misguided not because of the impeccable reputation of Gallup, but because Ives and De wey were “not that close.” Of course, Dewey and Ives had a professional worki ng relationship and often came down on the same sides on civil rights and labor policy. It was Dewey, after all, who instructed Ives to end his criticism of Taft-Hartley a nd allow its passage. For the Alsops to claim that Ives and Dewey were not working t ogether, or that Ives did not want an Eisenhower presidency was simp ly a misstatement of fact.49 On June 30, Taft and his backers found so lace in their contin ued control of the RNC. Most of the delegations had decl ared, with only Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, and Maryland still publicly und ecided. With the delegations beginning to fall into place, the contested delegations remained the outstanding issue of the convention. The Taft and Eisenhower forces we re at odds over three states, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. They had agreed not to get involved in the Florida contest because the pro-Taft state party and th e independent Florida for Eisenhower group allied against the upstart Miami faction of Wesley Garrison. Eisenhower also stayed out of the Florida challenge because the doubl e-dealing Florida leadership had sent an exploratory message to Hugh Scott asking for favorable consideration from the Eisenhower group in exchange for their vote s. Florida RNC member C. C. Spades assured Scott that the Pennsylvanian would be “perfectly satisfied with the number of votes for Eisenhower.”50 Since the regular delegation guaranteed had the strongest legal case for seating, the Ei senhower group did not make Florida an issue and the Spades group was seated by a unanimous vote of the Credentials Committee. 49 Washington Post 30 June 1952. 50 C. C. Spades, Letter to Hugh Scott, 24 March 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Convention Delegate Contests – Florida), Box 129, Brownell Papers.

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303 The contests in the remain ing Southern states all cen tered around very similar arguments. In each of the disputed states, the small, Old Guard-dominated parties had used their institutional control to reject Eise nhower majorities in a number of districts. The state parties each argued th at the General’s supporters were “one day Democrats” who had temporarily switched party affiliations and hoped to select the nominees of both parties. According to the Old Guard, these individuals were not legitimate Republicans. State leaders had used their au thority to throw out Eisenhower majorities and claimed that their actions were an ear nest defense of the two-party system and kept the Democrats from influencing th e nominees of both parties. The state Eisenhower forces, with the blessing a nd assistance of the national campaign managers, challenged the legality of these state rulings and argued that the Republican organizations had disenfranchi sed thousands of voters. In Louisiana, for example, the challengers were a group of Eisenhower s upporters organized as the New Republican Leadership (NRL) and claimed that RNC member John Jackson and the state party had committed “fraud and conspiracy” by disenfranchising newly-converted Republicans.51 While the specific details and names behi nd each of the contests were different, the Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas episodes a ll raised questions about the nature of the Republican Party in the South. The NRL clai med that “The Louisiana State central Committee is Jackson’s other self. It has no re al function except to lend color of title to Jackson’s claim to ownership of the Republican Party.”52 The limited nature of the Louisiana party, a trait emulated in Ge orgia and Texas, prevented anyone from seriously challenging Jackson w ithin the state. He had used his arbitrary authority to 51 Pamphlet, “The Louisiana Story,” undated. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Louisiana – The Louisiana Story), Box 356, Taft Papers. 52 Ibid.

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304 reject the legal and legitimate NRL-contro lled meetings, just as Zweifel had done in Texas. The Credentials Committee, therefore, would be the tribunal of last resort, and Taft’s control of it indicated that the NRL’s claims would likely be rejected there as well. The Eisenhower group, well aware that Taft had the Credentials Committee stacked solidly with loyal par tisans, mounted a publicity blit z in an effort to try the Southern cases before the c ourt of public opinion. F. A. Zaghi, a strategist with Eisenhower’s public relations firm Young a nd Rubicam, circulated a memo to key members of the Eisenhower for President Committee saying “Our objective is, of course, to ridicule all of Ta ft's claims and at the same time, build up an impression of a successful Eisenhower campaign. Our releases should also point out the fact that honorable delegates dislike Ta ft's dishonorable tactics.”53 Zaghi noted that Taft’s public statements of delegate strength ha d been diminishing since Mineral Wells and believed that the Eisenhower team should take the offensive and at tack Taft’s claims, rather than letting the Senator’s statem ents go undisputed. In late June, the Eisenhower group adopted Zaghi’s advice and issued a steady stream of press releases questioning Taft, his ethics, and his number of committed delegates. The Eisenhower camp contended that Taft’s attempts at poli tical trickery meant that the Ohioan was no longer a serious contender for the nomination.54 The Eisenhower forces had committed their share of questionable dealings, but their political machinations had been largel y out of the public view. Their concern for expanding the GOP in the South, while noble on the surface, only applied to cases 53 F. A. Zaghi, Memo to Bob Jones, 19 June 1952. Copy in Folder (Correspondence of Sig Larmon and Others), Box 1, Young and Rubicam Papers. 54 Henry Cabot Lodge, Press Release, 29 June 1952. Copy in Folder (News Releases by Henry Cabot Lodge), Box 2, Young and Rubicam Papers.

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305 that helped their nomination effort. Calls fo r a viable two-party system did not apply to Florida, even though Garrison argued hi s case on the same fundamental issues as the pro-Eisenhower groups of the South. The tone of the comments also indicate that the Eisenhower campaign had a difficult tim e in downplaying Taft’s policy goals and legislative record. The appeal s to a moral issue garnered more press and made a more sensational story, pushing the matter of Ei senhower’s qualificati ons and experience further out of the public spotlight. The General’s popularity-based strategy was supplemented by an emotionally charged appeal for justice and democracy. On July 1, the RNC met to approve the temporary roll of the national convention, meaning they would hear from th e disputed delegations first. This was a mere formality, as the Credentials Committee still had to hear the contests and the convention had to adopt the permanent roll. On July 2, the RNC voted to seat the proTaft Georgia group by a vote of si xty-two to thirty-nine. The New York Times called this “Taft’s most impressive victory so fa r.” Lodge disagreed and charged “The Taft machine may think that they have won a temporary victory, but they will find that public opinion will not stand for such disgraceful shenanigans.”55 Taft, thanks to his control of the RNC machinery, appeared poise d to move past the delegate contests and begin the convention as the clear frontrunner. As the RNC heard the Louisiana and Texa s contests, the war of words between the candidate organizations continued in the press. On July 1, three Republican Governors, Dewey, Sherman Adams of Ne w Hampshire, and Douglas McKay of Oregon, each sent telegrams to the RNC calli ng for the seating of the pro-Eisenhower Texas delegation. The trio had gathered in Houston as part of the Conference of the Governor’s of the United States and took the opportunity to once again use their 55 Henry Cabot Lodge, Press Release, 2 July 1952. Copy in Folder (News Releases by Henry Cabot Lodge), Box 2, Young and Rubicam Papers

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306 elected offices to promote the Eisenhower nomination. On 3 July, twenty-three of the twenty-five GOP governors sent a much-publ icized statement to the RNC asking for the group to bar any contested delegates fr om voting on the credentials of any other disputed delegates.56 Under the 1948 convention rules, disputed delegates on the temporary roll could vote on the rulings of the Credentials Committee regarding contests in other states, but they could not vote on their own contests.57 Since the RNC had voted to include the pro-Taft Georgia delegation and seemed ready to include their brethren from Texas and Louisi ana, the Taft forces gained over fifty delegates for these crucial floor votes. W ith the convention deadlocked between the two candidates, these votes co uld potentially make the difference between ratifying or rejecting the decision of the Credential s Committee. The Governors’ petition was drafted very broadly and simply asked fo r the GOP to nominate a candidate with clean hands and take proactive steps to free the party of corruption going into the November election.58 The Governors’ statement was a move of political genius. The effort was instigated by Dewey, with Adams, Alfred Driscoll, Walter Kohler of Wisconsin, and Val Peterson of Nebraska working to secure their colleagues’ signatures. As in the Senate and the RNC, the Republican Gove rnors were not unified ideologically. A number of Midwesterners fa vored Taft over Eisenhower. Mi ndful of this reality, the Dewey group asked these conservative governor s to sign the petition very late in the Houston meeting when they were pressed fo r time. Peterson, for example, asked for 56 The only two governors who did not sign were Pennsylvania’s John Fine and Maryland’s Theodore McKeldin. Both men had already left for Chicago, but later signed on during the convention. See New York Times, 4 July 1952; and New York Times 5 July 1952. 57 The rules of the previous condition were traditionally adopted with no modification on the opening day of the convention. 58 New York Times 4 July 1952

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307 the support of Utah’s J. Bracken Lee, Taft’s most vocal gubernatorial supporter, at the airport as he was preparing to board a pl ane for Chicago. Adams later reflected that the conservatives, had they had time to disc uss and give the matter full consideration, likely would not have signed the petition because of its political ramifications.59 In the press, the signatures of Lee and others made Taft appear isolated from his closest allies. Taft quickly moved to downplay the Gove rnors’ statement. He told reporters that the matter of disputed delegates voting on contests was not a question of morality, but simply a parliamentary con cern and the Governors were incorrect.60 Gabrielson also rejected the proposed rule change and told reporters that the party must indeed have clean hands after the convention, and should therefore not make decisions to benefit one candidate over the other during the national convention.61 While these arguments both had merit, the so me members of the press did not agree. The New York Times equated the seating of disputed delegates with the corruption supposedly rampant in the Democratic Part y and asked how a party could claim to oppose moral laxity when it wa s itself governed improperly.62 On 3 July, the convention proceedings re vealed the political slant of the RNC, as the Credentials Committee voted to add th e pro-Taft delegates of Louisiana to the temporary roll. It also ruled in favor of Ta ft on two minor contests in Mississippi and Missouri. This resulted in a net gain of nineteen delegate s for the Senator and showed the Eisenhower group that it had no chance at changing the situ ation through regular 59 Sherman Adams, Interview, OH 162, Transcript in Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas. 60 Christian Science-Monitor 3 July 1952. 61 New York Times 4 July 1952. 62 New York Times 4 July 1952.

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308 party channels.63 On the same day, Dewey arrived in Chicago to much fanfare and opened another line of attack on Taft. He compared the events of 1952 to the Republican National Convention of 1912, in which William Howard Taft’s control of the party machinery kept Theodore Roosevelt from winning the nomination. Dewey pointed out that the split a nd the subsequent three-way el ection kept the GOP out of power for eight years and claimed that Taft’s actions could have the same effect. Taft countered that Dewey’s statements were ju st more political propa ganda, and declared that “No one has been a more ruthless polit ical dictator than Governor Dewey when he had the chance.”64 Taft also requested that Ei senhower turn his attention to attacking Democrats instead of Republicans, but this thinly-veiled appeal for unity did little to calm the turbulent waters.65 The governors’ statement and the contr oversy over the conve ntion rules were the first steps in a well-conceived strategy to use procedural methods to circumvent Taft’s control of the RNC. Herbert Browne ll directed the Eisenhower convention fight with the help of the staff of Young and Rubicam and other Eisenhower leaders. He had spent a week in the New York P ublic Library studying the 1912 election and analyzed the mistakes of the Roosevelt faction.66 Using history as his guide, Brownell intended to challenge Taft’s position of strength early on. With the 1952 delegates evenly split, a slight numeric edge could make a great deal of difference. The demographics also made convention manage ment more difficult than in 1948, as the nearly-even number of Taft and Eisenhower delegates, th e contests, and the publicity 63 New York Times 4 July 1952. 64 New York Times 4 July 1952. 65 Washington Post 4 July 1952; Greene, The Crusade 100-103. 66 William B. Pickett, Eisenhower Decides to Run: Presidential Politics and Cold War Strategy (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2000), 202

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309 operations made the proceedings more complex. Rather than risk the collapse of such a large-scale operation, Brownell decided to challenge Taft’s cont rol at the beginning of the convention. 67 Every interested observer expected that the Credentials Committee would seat the Taft delegates. The only time this deci sion could have been reversed was when the 1206 convention delegates voted to make the temporary roll permanent at the start of the convention. Generally, the full conventi on deferred to the Credentials Committee, but a large outcry at the beginning could pot entially convince the floor delegates to overrule the lesser body. This was the hear t of the Governors’ memo, as the Eisenhower group had a better chan ce at winning this critic al vote with the pro-Taft disputed delegations off the voting rolls. W ith the contested groups able to vote on the other contests, it would be mathematic ally impossible, assuming the political intelligence on delegate preferences were accurate, to overrule the Credentials Committee on the floor. The Governors’ stat ement had introduced the issue to the press and the public, and it was up to Brow nell and the Eisenhower floor leaders to get it through the convention. Following the Governors’ statement, Lodge made it known to the RNC and the press that he intended to present the proposed rule change, now dubbed the “Fair Play” amendment to the RNC before the temporary roll had been approved. On July 4, as Taft was playing golf in Washingt on and relaxing before the convention, Lodge was issuing more media statements. He cl aimed that he had 650 delegates committed to voting for the Fair Play amendment, including a number of committed Taftites.68 That same day, the RNC voted to seat th e pro-Taft slate of Texas delegates, 67 Sherman Adams, Interview, OH 162, Transcript in Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas. 68 New York Times 4 July 1952.

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310 prompting Lodge to decry the “ruthless steam roller tactics of the Taft machine” once again.69 As the Eisenhower group continued thei r two-pronged assault on public opinion and parliamentary procedure, Taft buck led under the strain. He had never been pleased with the Texas situation and, since mid-May, had urged his advisors to work for a compromise solution. Most of the inner circle had resisted, believing that such a move would signify weakness, imply guilt, and completely cede the moral high ground to the opposition.70 Guylay had prepared a summary of newspaper coverage of the Texas Steal that illustrated the volat ility of the issue wi th each unfavorable editorial and column.71 After the media blitz and the c ontinued personal attacks, Taft issued a statement of his own proposing th at the candidates split the Texas delegates twenty-two to sixteen with the majority fa voring Taft. This entailed Taft keeping six delegates who were not contested and dividi ng the rest evenly. He argued that this proposal was generous and was intend ed to prevent further animosity.72 The RNC, quick to move past Texas, voted to accep t Taft’s compromise and added twenty-two Taft delegates and sixteen Eisenhower dele gates to the conventi on’s temporary roll. This was a temporary fix, however, as the Cr edentials Committee still had to rule on the merits of the delegate contest. Browne ll’s strategy, therefore, remained in play.73 69 Henry Cabot Lodge, Press Release, 4 July 1952. Copy in Folder (News Releases by Henry Cabot Lodge), Box 2, Young and Rubicam Papers 70 James T. Patterson, Mr. Republican 544. 71 L. Richard Guylay, “A Survey of Newspaper an d Magazine Comment and A ccounts of the ‘Texas Issue,’ Undated. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign File – ‘Texas Affairs’ (1)), Box 465, Taft Papers. 72 Taft did not completely accept defeat on the issue and, in his statement, again claimed that the Texas meetings had been overrun with one-day Democrats who had subverted the two-party system. He contended that his proposed compromise was so generous that no one could question his motive to place Republican unity before personal po litics. See Robert A. Taft, quoted in New York Times 5 July 1952. The Times printed the full text of his message. 73 Washington Post 5 July 1952.

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311 While Taft attempted to play peacemak er, the two campaign managers issued hostile statements castigating each other. Ingalls, thoroughly disgusted with Lodge’s personal attacks, sought to cas t the Fair Play amendment as the actions of a desperate individual. Lodge, for his part, continued his refrain and again pledged never to compromise with thievery. Ingalls responde d that the Eisenhower group had rejected the Taft compromise without consulting th eir candidate and claimed that the Texas Steal was the only i ssue Eisenhower had.74 Ingalls claimed that the Fair Play proposal was similar to a football coach who said “M y team is backed up on its 1 yard line, with 30 seconds to play. Time out! We want to change the rules, and add 50 yards to our end of the field.”75 With confirmed dele gate totals remaining at roughly five hundred for Taft and four hundred and fi fty for Eisenhower, Ingalls was clearly confident that the RNC could hold back th e Eisenhower forces regardless of the morality of Mineral Wells. Taft disagreed and hoped to secure a peaceful end to the partisan infighting. The Taft compromise was essentially a la st-ditch effort from the Senator to diffuse the ethical issue of the Texas Steal The Taft leadership disagreed with the maneuver, but the Senator overruled his s ubordinates. On July 6, the eve of the convention, Gabrielson met with Lodge, Clar ence Brown, and RNC Counsel and Taft supporter Ralph Gates in order to broker a compromise and preserve the party he oversaw. Gabrielson wanted Lodge to accept the Taft compromise, asking the Eisenhower manager rhetorically why the GOP’s dirty laundry should be aired in public. Lodge, staying on message until the ve ry end, informed the Taftites that he 74 Taft for President Committee, Press Release, 4 July 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Press Releases, Chicago, Ill.) Box 460, Taft Papers. 75 Taft for President Committee, Press Release, 5 July 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Press Releases, Chicago Ill.), Box 460, Taft Papers.

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312 would “not be a party to any backroom deal ” and would not take any action counter to the will of Republican voters. Although the meeting ran all night, the foursome could not reach a compromise.76 On the morning of July 7, the Republ ican National Convention officially commenced. The issue-based campaign of Ta ft and the popularity contest that Dewey and Brownell had orchestrated had devolved into the basest, mo st vile, form of politics. With little fanfare, Gabrielson ga veled the assembled delegates and guests to order and immediately recognized Ohio Senator John Bricker. The 1948 VicePresidential nominee, representing his stat e delegation, moved to adopt the rules of the 1948 convention. In previous years, th is had been a pro forma motion that generated no discussion. In 1952, the Eisenhow er forces chose this moment to make their stand. Washington Governor Arthur Langlie followed Bric ker and proposed the Fair Play amendment. The measure as intr oduced barred all disputed delegates, save those who had been approved by over a two-thirds majority by the RNC, from voting on any contests until the convention had a dded them to the permanent roll. This action, in effect, would allow the delegates from Florida and othe r states with minor contests, most of which were for Eisenhower, to be seated. If adopted, the Fair Play amendment would reduce Taft’s majo rity by just over thirty votes.77 After Langlie brought the Fair Play amendment to the floor, the Taft organization fell apart. Just a few moments before the convention began, Coleman, now operating as Taft’s floor manager, and Brown had hastily formulated a counter to the Eisenhower strategy. They planned for Brown to request a point of order to exclude seven Louisiana delegates who neith er side disputed but who were still 76 Interview, Catherine Howard, OH 255, Transcri pt in Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas. 77 Patterson, Mr. Republican 552.

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313 wrapped up in the Pelican state contest. If the maneuver worked, Gabrielson would recognize the point of order and remove th e seven delegates from the group in the Langlie motion, essentially saving seven votes for Taft. The Eisenhower forces would have to challenge the Chairman to overtur n his ruling, and Brown believed that they would not risk losing the first vote of the convention over seven delegates. Once Gabrielson had excluded the seven Louisiana delegates, Brown planned to accept the Fair Play amendment, and take away the only issue that, in his opinion, the Eisenhower group had. The Brown plan was a huge gamble. If it worked, the Taft group would take the first step towards party un ity and remove the major c udgel of the Eisenhower convention campaign. If it was unsuccessful, th e Taft faction would force an early vote that it could potentially lose. Losing the first vote of the convention would show neutral delegates that Taft’s grip on th e convention was not as tight as everyone thought and give credence to the Eisenhow er claims of widespread Republican support. In their calculations, however, Br own and Coleman failed to consider the practical realities of the c onvention structure. A packed convention hall filled with cheering delegates and attendees was not a situation conducive to easy coordination. Since the Fair Play amendment came in th e opening moments of the proceedings, and since Brown and Coleman had coordinated their strategy only minutes before the convention began, they did not have time to a dvise the rest of the Taft leadership of their plan. In short, they were th e only two who knew the new strategy. As Langlie finished his proposal, Brown arose and was recognized. As he made his way to the podium to make his point of order, he had a change of heart. Gabrielson was never a full member of Ta ft’s inner circle and was under severe pressure from Eisenhower leaders, both publ icly and privately, to condemn the Texas

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314 Steal and rid the party of corruption. This made Brown doubt how Gabrielson would rule on the question. When he took the mi crophone, rather than introduce a point of order, Brown proposed an amendment to the Fair Play amendment excluding the seven Louisiana delegates from consider ation. Rather than placing the onus on Gabrielson, the amendment proposal opened the matter to a vote of the entire convention. Here, Brown made a terrible mist ake. The Fair Play maneuver had been planned for weeks. Since it was scheduled to come early in the proceedings, the Eisenhower leadership had its communications system in place to relay instructions to delegates on the floor at the start of the convention. As Brown introduced his amendment to the convention, he was met w ith a chorus of boos from the Eisenhower faithful. His proposal sounded very mu ch like a maneuver against honesty and, despite his plausible argument for rem oving the seven Louisiana delegates, the morality of the issue had already became ingrained in the collective psyche of the 1206 delegates. Brown’s amendment handed the conventi on to Eisenhower. He had chosen the wrong battle to fight. When the vote on th e Brown amendment was taken, the Taft group lost 658 to 548. The Taftites then agreed unanimously on the Langlie amendment to the rules, but by then it was too late. The vote had shown that Taft had at most 548 votes, a number that included th e contested delegates from Louisiana, Georgia, and Texas. The remaining uncommitted delegations, Michigan, California, and Minnesota, had given their support ove rwhelmingly to the Eisenhower position, with only one of their combined one hundred and forty four delegates voting for the Brown amendment.78 While this vote did not guara ntee support for a particular 78 The lone dissenter was a Michigan delegate. See Patterson, Mr. Republican 555.

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315 candidate later on, it punctured Taft’s claims of insurmountable delegate strength and started the bandwagon effect for the Eisenhower group. Taft’s support was neither as plentiful not as solid as he believed. Delegations he had counted on, including Michiga n, had cracked under the pressure of Eisenhower’s convention organization and publicity campaign. Arthur Summerfield’s actions are indicative of the political realities at the upper echelon of party leadership. He had perhaps the strongest conservative credentials of any active member of the RNC. Along with Coleman, he had worked ti relessly to promote McCarthy’s antiCommunist crusade from its incepti on. Summerfield supported the burgeoning conservative intellectual movement by distri buting copies of books by authors such as John T. Flynn and Henry Hazlitt to his friends and associates, and even asked Hazlitt for a confidential analysis of the GOP.79 His alliance with the Dewey wing and the Eisenhower organization illustrate that, ev en though Summerfield had a well-formed ideology, his actions were shaped by polit ical realities. With Eisenhower looking more and more like the nominee, Summerfie ld could either get on board or get left behind. Even though Dewey and Brownell did not share Summerfield’s political philosophy, the election of a Republican to the White House was paramount, so he opted to put policy concer ns on the back burner. For the next few days, Taft held out hope that he could mount a comeback. On July 8, seeing the Brown vote as a mandate, he surrendered any claim to the disputed Louisiana delegate spots and allowed the convention to seat the pro-Eisenhower forces without a fight. That night, his a dvantage in selecting the keynoter came to naught as MacArthur failed to rally the cons ervative faithful and gave a fairly weak 79 Hazlitt had advised Summerfield that the Republican Party should bring out the facts, rather than play personality politics, and should reorganize the pa rty machinery to be more effective at opposing Democratic legislation. Arthur Summerfield, Letter to Henry Hazlitt, 15 January 1951. Copy in Folder (B. E. Hutchinson (4)), Box 4, Summerfield Papers.

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316 speech. The following day, the Georgia delega te question came before the convention. The Credentials Committee had voted to seat the pro-Taft slate, and the Senator’s supporters aggressively defe nded that decision. At one poi nt, Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen took to the rostrum, pointed his finger directly at Dewey and the New York delegation and angrily stated “we followed you before and you took us down the path to defeat.”80 Dirksen’s rhetorical flourish was an entreaty to the assembled faithful not to support the New York Governor a third tim e. Dewey, in defiance, turned and began counting the New York delegation, arrogantly showing Dirksen and the Taft faction that he had the numbers to put Eisenhower over. Dirksen’s dramatic appeal did little to stop the Eisenhower bandwagon, as the RNC voted 607 to 531 to seat the proEisenhower slate. Many Eisenhower supporters believed that Dirk sen’s fiery oratory reflected the frustration of the Taft camp and actually convinced a number of moderate and neutral delegates to cast their lot with the General.81 Afterwards, the Taft managers ceded their claim on the di sputed Texas delegation, ending the Texas Steal controversy and seating thirty-t hree more pro-Eisenhower delegates. Eisenhower’s nomination was now assured.82 Taft made a last ditch effort to cas t the Albany group as a small cabal of operatives who treated the party as their personal fiefdoms. Dewey, aware that his affiliation with Eisenhower could open the Ge neral up to charges of being a stooge of the eastern Republicans, had tried to work be hind the scenes and not take a public role 80 Interview, Catherine Howard, OH 255, Transcri pt in Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas. 81 Catherine Howard thought that the Dirksen speech marked the turning point of the Taft campaign. Former Tennessee representative John Jennings told Summerfield that the Ike supporters “should be grateful for the ineptness of Dirksen in attacking the Pennsylvania delegation and Governor Dewey.” John Jennings, Letter to Arthur Summerfield, 15 July 1952. Copy in Folder (J (1)), Box 26, Brownell Papers. 82 Patterson, Mr. Republican 555-558.

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317 in the campaign. Early on the morning of July 9, Ingalls circulated a broadside to the delegates entitled “Sink Dewey.” This inflammatory piece explicitly linked Eisenhower to Dewey and argued that the 1952 campaign would be a continuation of the disastrous 1944 and 1948 campaigns. Inga lls contended that Dewey’s “gutter politics” had prevented the Republican Party from serving as an effective opposition to the Democrats. He proclaimed that “Until and unless Dewey and Deweyism are crushed our party can never win and Amer ica can never be made safe from the insidious efforts of the New Dealers, whatev er their party label, to take us down the road to socialism and dictatorship.”83 Creating the image of Dewey as a party boss with no regard for the will of the Republican voters serv ed the dual purpose of linking Eisenhower with the liberal wing of the pa rty and evoking memories of the abortive 1948 election. Classifying Dewey as a destru ctive element in the party made the Governor and his style of politics seem “un-Republican,” and the Taft camp hoped that the party faithful assembled in Chicago would agree. On July 9, Taft’s presidential dream ended as Eisenhower received 595 votes to Taft’s 500 on the first ballot. The conventi on hall erupted in cheers as Eisenhower, a man who many conservatives saw as an interloper since he had announced his affiliation a little more than six months prio r, won the nomination. It marked the third successive convention the Dewey faction had won. The Taft supporters hung their heads in disappointment. Immediately fo llowing the nomination, Eisenhower began the long, arduous process of party reconcil iation. He phoned Taft in his hotel room and asked if they could have an improm ptu meeting. Taft agreed and Eisenhower, despite the advice of most of his lieutenants, hurried to Taft’s suite in the nearby 83 Newspaper Tear Sheet, undated. Copy in Folder (Thomas E. Dewey – 1944-1948), Box 2, Robert Humphreys Papers, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas [Hereafter cited as Humphreys Papers].

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318 Conrad Hilton Hotel. In the lobby and outsi de Taft’s headquarters on the ninth floor, the hero of D-Day encountered Taft s upporters openly weepi ng, lamenting their icon’s defeat. After a brief, closed-door meeting, Taft and Eisenhower emerged and gave statements to reporters. Taft assure d the newsmen that he and his followers would work diligently for an Eisenhower vi ctory in the national election. Eisenhower complimented Taft’s grace under fire and pl edged to work with Taft, then quickly departed back to his headquarters.84 Eisenhower’s conciliatory visit had laid the groundwork for a relatively successful relationship later on. His mo re pressing concern, however, was the selection of a vice-presiden tial nominee. Historically, the selection of a running mate united two factions or two ideologies in to a single electoral entity. Dewey, for example, had selected Bricker in 1948 to heal the wounds left after a particularly bitter fight. As the Eisenhower inner ci rcle assembled to choose the nominee, a number of Taft supporters came up for consid eration. Taft had called Kansas Senator Frank Carlson and asked him to float Dirk sen as a possible running-mate, prompting Dewey to curtly respond that “That will not be given further consideration.”85 The group gave more serious discussion to th e non-Taftites, including House Minority Leader Charles Halleck and New Jersey Governor Alfred Driscoll. New Jersey Senator Alexander Smith had asked the group to consider giving the slot to Taft, but Russell Sprague vetoed that, saying that the GOP could not carry New York with Taft on the ticket.86 The name that emerged as the frontrunner was California Senator Richard Nixon. Brownell reasoned that Nixon had traits to compliment Ike and 84 Patterson, Mr. Republican 564; Ambrose, Eisenhower 272. 85 Interview, Frank Carlson, OH 488,Transcript in Dwight D. Eisenhower Library. Abilene, Kansas. 86 Patterson, Mr. Republican 565.

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319 provide ideological balan ce to the ticket. Since 1946, Nixon had been a prominent figure in the anti-communist movement and his investigation of Alger Hiss had given him high standing among conservatives. Nixon, therefore, had the cr edentials to speak authoritatively on one of the pressing issues of the day. Eisenhower approved the near-unanimous vote of his advisors, and instructed Brownell to send for Nixon, who accepted the nomination w ith little hesitation87 Eisenhower’s final acknowledgement of th e Taft faction came in his acceptance of the 1952 Republican Platform. Authored by a Taft-inspired RNC before the nominee had been determined, the document was tailor-made for a Taft campaign. The platform was grounded on open and for ceful opposition to th e legacy of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations. The preamble claimed that the Democrats had “disrupted internal tranquility by fostering class strife for venal purposes,” a veiled reference to legislation ai med at unions and the poor, and that the New Deal had “violated our liberties by turning loose upon the count ry a swarm of arrogant bureaucrats and their agents who meddle into lerably in the lives and occupations of our citizens.” The Deweyite calls for a party of progressive, forward-looking principles were nowhere to be found in the 1952 platform. On foreign policy the GOP promised to rid the State Department of t hose responsible for th e betrayals at Yalta and Potsdam, as well as the “Asia Last” pol icy. Rather than seem isolationist, the Republicans pledged to support the United Nations, but only after the needs of America had been dealt with first. This plank was remarkably similar to the views Taft had espoused since 1951. The platform made an even stronger st and on domestic issues. After declaring the GOP to be free of communists, the plat form affirmed that a Republican president 87 Interview, Herbert Brownell, OH 157, Transcri pt in Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas.

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320 would only appoint loyal indi viduals and would completely overhaul the internal security apparatus erected by the Democrats. The document also called for an end to high tax rates, price and wage controls, and promised to uphold the principles of the Taft-Hartley Act. On civil rights, the Pa rty supported anti-lynching and anti-poll tax measures, but only promised anti-discrimina tion legislation that did not set up a new bureaucracy or duplicate the efforts of th e states. This differed from Dewey’s 1948 platform in that the FEPC was not explicitly mentioned, but was implicitly rejected. Finally, the Republicans pledged to end co rruption in the Federal government and institute a reformed civil service system that promoted employees on merit and not political expediency.88 Eisenhower’s acceptance of the 1952 platfo rm showed both his willingness to work with the Taft wing of the party a nd his own personal political principles. Eisenhower made some minor corrections, such as insisting that a clause was added backing NATO, but agreed with most of the statements as drafted by the committee. The document itself was a remarkable shift from the 1948 platform and a testament to the growing ideological differences be tween the Taft and Dewey wings. The conservatives, determined not to recreate the results of 1948, drafted their statement as a repudiation of the polit ical center. The rhetoric was similar to the campaign program that Reece had used in 1946, w ith communism and foreign policy taking center stage. Eisenhower agreed with most of these d ecrees, but had to embrace them publicly in order to convince the conservati ves that he was not a puppet of Dewey or a closet Democrat who would repudiate the platform in office. Since Taftites had dominated the platform committee, the Dewe y faction accepted the platform as it was written, but planned to di sregard it almost completely during the campaign. 88 1952 Platform of the Republican Party, Quoted in Kurian, The Encyclopedia of the Republican Party.

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321 The Eisenhower victory was a bitter pill for Taft. Once again, Dewey had outmaneuvered him. In the aftermath of th e convention, Taft authored a memorandum detailing what he saw as the factors that led to his defeat. It is uncertain whether Taft was writing to assuage the concerns of hi s key men, a number of whom obviously felt responsible for the floor fiasco, or whethe r he was writing a strategy memo to prevent similar mistakes from happening in the fu ture. He claimed that the convention had been lost even before the Fair Play amen dment reached the floor because of what he termed a number of “underlying causes.” Thes e included “the power of the New York financial interests,” “four-fifths of the infl uential newspapers in the country” that opposed Taft, and “the majority of Repub lican governors” who supported Eisenhower and were able to exert pressure on their de legations. Taft thought that he had entered Chicago with 604 pledged delegates versus 500 for Eisenhower. Taft believed that the “underlying causes” eroded this majority on the convention floor more than any procedural vote. On the Fair Play questi on, Taft concluded that “It was probably a mistake to take a vote because it showed that the combined forces against us controlled the Conventio n, but even a concession on our part would also have been regarded as a sign of weakness.” Taft beli eved that he lost the vote because of pressure from Summerfield, De wey, and Fine in their resp ective states, not Brown’s hasty action on the podium. Taft conceded, howev er, that this partic ular vote led to the bandwagon effect that put the nomination out of reach.89 For Taft, the most important issue wa s not questionable cam paign tactics in Texas or the pro-Eisenhower slant of a sma ll cabal of governors a nd party leaders, but the supposed bias of the major media outlets Taft explicitly clai med that “control of the press enabled the Eisenhow er people to do many things which otherwise could not 89 Robert A. Taft, “Analysis of the Results of the Chicago Convention,” undated. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Chicago – Analysis of), Box 431, Taft Papers.

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322 have been done.” He believed that his supporters had acted co rrectly in Texas and, rather than allowing the Democratic party to take over the Lone Star GOP and dictate the Republican nominee, he and his followers had called for an honest and fair hearing of the delegate cont roversy. The press, in Taft’s opinion, had made the issue into an emotional one. Under normal circumstances, the matter would have had a few days worth of newspaper coverage and then died out. By keeping the issue before the public, he believed the press handed Eise nhower his most effective weapon. Taft reported that a number of national committ eemen were not allowed to accept a compromise because “it would deprive them of the smear issue.” Taft conceded that Reece and Ingalls should have never allowed Mineral Wells to become an issue to begin with, but believed th at the press was responsi ble for blowing it out of proportion. Taft’s post-convention analysis revealed the importance of the 1952 convention for conservative Republicans. Going into th e 1952 election cycle, Taft was the clear front-runner. The 1950 Ohio Senatorial el ection had shown that Taft had popular appeal. His allies controlled the RNC its choices of convention site and keynote speaker show that the Taft faction ha d learned from their 1948 mistakes. The campaign organization was much stronger this year as well. Polls revealed that the nation had grown more conservative and in creasingly disgruntled with the Truman administration. Public discomfort with th e continued conflict in Korea, and the associated price controls and increased taxation, benef ited Taft. His calls for a modified foreign policy that kept one eye on the Soviets and one eye on the budget seemed to be well-received. Gallup polls indicated that the polity had finally come to see things Taft’s way. It is no surprise th en that conservatives saw the events of Chicago as a conspiracy of the highest order. Here once again, Thomas Dewey, a

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323 Republican who had advocated positions in opposition to Taft seized control of the party by promoting a hollow candidate di stinguishable from the Democrats only because of his popularity and his party labe l. The early part of the campaign was based on Eisenhower’s smile and, once the General retired his commission and returned to the United States, most of the rhetoric seemed to be designed to co-opt Taft’s message. This, combined with the ro le of the press and the political backroom dealings in a number of state delegati ons, made Eisenhower’s nomination seem like an illegitimate power grab to many conserva tives. Taft knew he had been beaten, he just did not believe his opponent s had engaged in a fair fight.

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324 CHAPTER 9 PRELUDE TO A PURGE: EISENHOW ER’S ELECTION AND THE DEATH OF TAFT, NOVEMBER 1952 – 1953. Dwight Eisenhower’s nomination ushered in a period of hopeful optimism for the Deweyite wing of the Republican Party. Li ke the previous three GOP presidential candidates, Eisenhower had won the party’s top spot without Old Guard backing. In 1940, 1944, and 1948, however, the nominees had failed miserably during the general elections. Eisenhower’s ascendancy to the he ad of the ticket diffe red from Willkie’s or Dewey’s because the General seemingly had captured the public’s imagination. His popularity transcended party lines and he sc ored well in surveys of Democratic and independent voters. The Alsops and Marquis Childs regarded the hero of D-Day as a 1950s version of Franklin Roosevelt, right down to his charming smile and disarming demeanor. Should Eisenhower capture th e White House and stop the Democratic victory streak at five, they claimed, his pr esence and principles might forever alter the Republican Party just as Roosevelt had tr ansformed the Democratic Party. Dewey had made this his goal when he attached his name to the Eisenhower candidacy. Since the mid-1930s, Dewey had called for a set of “f orward-looking principles” and hoped to recast the GOP as a progressive force, just as it had been in his childhood. Though his platform was much vaguer than that of Taft, Dewey had made this moderate, inoffensive style of Republicanism the central component of his rh etoric and parts of his programmatic agenda. This “New Deal Republicanism” had played well in New York, but in 1944 and 1948 he had failed to convince the party faithful to share his vision. With Eisenhower’s popularity and Dewey’s plan for the party, the GOP appeared to be on the verge of a la ndmark shift in political identity.

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325 Conservative Republicans differed with Dewey’s assessment. When Taft failed to overcome the moral question of the Texa s Steal and the procedural mastery of Herbert Brownell, Old Guard Republicans t hought that a November GOP defeat was again certain. In 1952, the majority of the American people had adopted conservative positions on most major issues. The oppositio nal stance to certain tenants of the Democratic foreign policy meshed well with a population tired of lo sing soldiers in the seemingly never-ending Korean conflict. The wartime price controls and elevated tax rates had grated on the average American for almost two years and, according to the polls, they had had enough. If Robert Taft had ever had a chance at becoming President it was in 1952. After the nomina tion had gone to Eisenhower, Taft stood in an unenviable position. Although his party had rejected him, he remained the leader of its conservative wing and its legislative group. For Eise nhower to win, Taft and his organization had to participate fully in the election campaign. For a Republican administration to succeed, Taft had to coopera te and promote its agenda in the Senate. Eisenhower had extended the olive branch when he had met with Taft on the night of the nomination. He had also accepted the conservative 1952 Republican platform with little modification. Through the campaign and into 1953, Taft and Eisenhower formed a reluctant partnership that provided stab ility to the GOP and temporarily fused the rival groups into a cohesive electoral unit. In August 1953, that alliance dissolved with Taft’s untimely death, and with it the hopes of perman ently healing the Republican split. This chapter details the uneasy relationship between the Taft and Dewey factions from the end of the Republican National Convention through the death of Robert Taft. It explores Eisenhower’s inhere nt conservatism and his unwillingness to go along with Dewey’s anti-conservative campaign style and reveals that Dewey’s influence was not as perv asive as Taft and his cohort believed.

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326 As per tradition, Eisenhower’s nominati on brought a housecleani ng at the top of the RNC. Gabrielson had favored Taft and made critical decisions to help the Ohioan in the run-up to Chicago, so he did not expe ct to retain his lead ership position. Shortly after Eisenhower’s nomination, two names em erged in the press as frontrunners for the top party post. The first, Sinclair W eeks, had supported Taft since 1948, but had switched to Eisenhower once the General reve aled his partisan identification. He had publicly asked for Taft to withdraw his na me from consideration in the face of the Texas Steal controversy a nd loyally worked for Eisenhower’s nomination. The second, Arthur Summerfield, had arrived at the Chicago convention as a supposedly undecided state leader and swung his Mich igan delegation to Eisenhower on the convention floor. The timing of his switch earned the gratitude of the Albany group and made Summerfield an important member of its team. Based on his correspondence with Milt Dean Hill, it seem s unlikely that Summerfield plotted to join the Eisenhower team just to stand in the background. He had his sights set on the chairmanship from the beginning and maneuvered to keep Michigan uncommitted until the last possible second, maximizing th e importance of the delegation’s support.1 On July 12, Eisenhower indicated that Su mmerfield was his choice to lead the party, and the RNC elected him chairman th rough a unanimous vote. West Virginia’s Walter Hallanan was elevated to one of four newly-created vice-chairmanships, making him the lone Taft supporter among pa rty officers. Other Taftites, including Werner Schroeder of Illinois and Katherin e Kennedy Brown of Ohio, either stepped down or lost their seats on the RNC ex ecutive committee. Summerfield appointed Eisenhower supporters to take their places leaving Hallanan and Mason Owlett the 1 Washington Post 12 July 1952. For the relationship betwee n Milt Dean Hill and Arthur Summerfield, see Chapter 7.

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327 only Old Guard voices in the party’s upper echelon.2 Within a matter of hours, the entire balance of power had shifted on the RNC. Taft and his supporters remained in the party, but now had only limited infl uence and very little authority. Along with the personnel turnover, anothe r important rule change ensured the loyalty of the RNC to Eisenhower. Real izing that the South had played a disproportionate role in the nominating pro cess and well aware that a majority of the RNC favored Taft, Summerfi eld pushed a rule through the convention that expanded the RNC. Henceforth, party chairmen of st ates that had either Republican governors or a majority Republican Congressional delegation would now receive votes on the committee. Summerfield believed that Gabr ielson, a Chairman who he labeled as ineffective, had held his post at the whim of the Southern Old Guard, and he hoped to reduce Dixie’s power in order to increase the effectiveness of the RNC. Since the Southern GOP had no chance at reaching either of the benchmarks in the near future, the new members came from areas outside th e South. Taft could count a number of Midwestern state chairmen among his followe rs, but the addition of votes from New England and the West Coast gave the Dewey wing a numerical advantage and dramatically reduced the importance of the South. While Dewey earnestly believed that Eisenhower would win the election, a dding more loyalists to the RNC provided insurance that he woul d retain control of th e party even after a defeat, as he would have the votes to turn back future takeover attempts by the conservatives.3 With the question of the RNC settled, the presidential campaign began in earnest. During the third week of July, after a short vacation, the Eisenhower 2 Washington Post 12 July 1952; Arthur Summerfield, Memo, 18 July 1952. Copy in Folder (Summerfield, National Chairman ), Box 8, Summerfield Papers. 3 Joseph Michael Dailey, “The Eisenhower-Nixon Campaign Organization of 1952,” (Ph.D. Diss., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1975); Ralph M. Goldman, The National Party Chairmen and Committees (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1990), 487-507.

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328 leadership regrouped in Denver to lay out its strategy for the forthcoming contest.4 In a repudiation of the 1948 setup, Summerfield ’s duties as RNC Chairman included managing the campaign apparatus, meaning that no separate el ectoral organization would be established to report directly to the candidate. In 1948, Brownell’s work as independent campaign director had angered a number of Republicans, especially conservatives, who believed that Dewey had not fully utilized the party faithful. Sherman Adams was appointed as Eisenhower’s Chief of Staff and tapped to be the liaison between the candidate and the RN C. Close cooperation between Adams and Summerfield was meant to ensure Republican operatives had clear directions and worked in concert with the wishes of the candidate and subsidiary organizations.5 The question remained as to which state f actions would be recognized and given management duties in their bailiwicks, but that decision was left to Summerfield and the RNC staff. The largest question the Eisenhower leader ship faced was the role of Taft and the conservatives in the Republican organi zation. A number of liberal Republicans such as Adams and Lodge hoped that the Taft ites would be left on the sidelines. This put the tentative alliance made on the ninth fl oor of the Chicago Hilt on to its first test. One important part of that post-nominati on meeting was Taft’s request that his backers be allowed to work in the pres idential campaign and not be punished through unfavorable assignments. Eisenhower had c onceded this important point without consulting any of his top aides. Taft loya lly supported those w ho had fought for him during the pre-convention campaign and did not want to see his lieutenants drummed out of the party. Whether or not they want ed to stay was another matter altogether. 4 New York Times 24 July 1952. 5 Washington Post 29 July 1952; New York Times 29 July 1952.

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329 During the convention, Ben Tate had to be physically restrained from punching Dewey after the two crosse d paths in a hotel lobby.6 Ohio Congressman George Bender told RNC Secretary Katherine Howa rd that, although her candidate had won, the liberal Republicans should “walk humbly.”7 After a national convention focused on highly emotional and personal attacks, pe destrian calls for party unity would not automatically bring the Taft faction back into the fold. Beyond disappointment over various personal slights, real or imagined, many of Taft’s followers genuinely doubt ed Eisenhower’s leadership and were openly resistant to joining another liberal Republican orga nization. The remnants of the 1948 Dewey group, however, recognized the critical impor tance of the Old Guard to the party’s campaign. Even though Albany had successfully remolded the RNC, Taft still had the loyalty of a number of established state l eaders in the Midwest and the South. For the election effort to be successful on a nationa l scale, these individua ls had to contribute and work with the national organization to mobilize voters. As Brownell noted in his memoirs, Taft’s followers “were the biggest, the strongest, by far the strongest within the Republican ranks.” Without their back ing, the campaign would be much more difficult.8 Joseph and Stewart Alsop believed that the last three election efforts had failed because compromises between the c onservatives and progressives within the GOP had diluted the purity of the liberal message. They hoped that Taft’s backers, referred to as “large, elderl y albatrosses,” would not be involved in the campaign and allow Eisenhower to run as an unfettered progressive.9 Brownell and the Eisenhower 6 Patterson, Mr. Republican 564 7 Interview, Katherine Howard, OH 255, Transcript in Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas. 8 Interview, Herbert Brownell, OH 362. Transcript in Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas. 9 Washington Post 13 July 1952.

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330 campaign staff disagreed with this assessmen t. In their opinion, the only way to win in November was with Old Guard support, and the surest way to br idge the factional divide was to win an endorsement from Taft. As the Republicans dispersed from Chica go to the campaign trail, Taft pondered his personal involvement in the Eisenhower effort. Imme diately after the convention, he returned to his vacation home in Murray Bay, Ontario, Canada to recover from the months of intense campaigning. The bitter f eelings of the convention did not go away suddenly and the Senator planned to avoid campaigning as much as possible and only speak on behalf of Senators and Represen tatives who he personally supported and wanted to see elected. From July th rough August Eisenhower and his advisors repeatedly asked Taft for an endorsement and hoped to schedule a meeting between the two principles. The Eisenhower leader ship sought party unity, but Taft still smarted from the personal attacks relating to the Texas issue. His advisors and friends encouraged him to be obstinate and not allo w the Dewey faction to use Taft’s name and reputation to win the support of conserva tives. They still regarded Eisenhower as a political novice, and feared that Dewe y run a campaign that went against their political philosophy. Taft spent most of Augus t fishing and golfing, content to remain aloof while his secretaries fielded calls from Lodge, Clay, Adams, and their colleagues almost daily.10 Finally, after a month of intense solicita tion, Taft relented. Despite his personal feelings, his loyalty remained with his part y and his associates. The Senator, however, was fearful that appearing with Eisenhower could be interpreted as a surrendering of his principles. He asked Everett Dirksen, Chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, to establish a set of parameters for a possible discussion. On 10 Patterson, Mr. Republican 572-574.

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331 August 6, Taft wrote Dirksen to lay out five conditions that Eisenhower must agree to before a meeting could take place. These included promises to reduce the budget to 60 billion by fiscal year 1955 and pass an accomp anying tax cut, not to appoint Dewey or Ford Foundation Chairman Paul Hoffman as S ecretary of State, to implement a labor policy in accord with the princi ples of the Taft-Hartley Act, to reject the Democratic system of agricultural price supports, and to appoint a cabin et staffed with an equal number of Taft and Dewey supporters. Taft indicated that these points were open for discussion, but made it very clear that some sort of agreement had to be in place before he would visit with Eisenhower. If his terms were met, Taft pledged to vigorously campaign for the Republican tic ket and instruct his followers to do likewise. If Eisenhower and his lieutenants publicly claimed that Taft was abandoning his conservative organization or embracing lib eral Republicanism, Taft was prepared to issue a statement expressing strong disa greement with Eisenhow er’s principles and further split the party.11 Taft’s cautious approach revealed his continued distrust of Dewey and his tactics. He did not want to be misreprese nted as a liberal in the press, which he believed Dewey controlled. Taft also thought that a strong defense of his fundamental political beliefs would convince Eisenhower to distance himself from Dewey. Feeling no sense of urgency about the matter, Taft sought counsel from his inner circle. He informed Reece that he wanted to influe nce Eisenhower’s decisions as president, saying “I think that I should require vari ous and rather definite assurances with reference to the manner in which the new Ad ministration will be run.” Taft told Reece that his ultimate ambition was to secure “a general understanding that the next administration will adhere to conservative principles and include a reasonable 11 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Everett Dirksen, 6 August 1952. Copy in Folder (Eisenhower, Dwight D. (4)), Box 1286, Taft Papers.

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332 proportion of those who repr esented the Taft side.”12 The Senator was more concerned with Eisenhower’s administra tion then the Republican campaign and believed that he had an opportunity to prev ent the GOP from emulating the policies of the Truman administration. He thought that Eisenhower was more conservative than Dewey and the rest of the Eisenhower lead ership, but feared that the Governor’s influence would create a “Republican New Deal administration,” which, in Taft’s opinion, would be more difficult to combat in the Senate than f our more years of Democratic rule.13 Despite such forebodings, however, Taft believed that he could shift the campaign and the next administration to th e Right. This outlook stemmed from his opinion that the Eisenhower campaign was floundering in its early stages. Most observers agreed with this assessment. Ne braska Senator Hugh Butler, for example, told Carlson point blank that Eisenhower’s rhetoric was falling flat in the Midwest and the campaign needed Taft’s endorsement to rally the troops.14 Guylay reported that the pre-convention power struggle between Dewey, Lodge, and Duff had continued after Chicago and had prevented the formation of a clear strategy, thus hindering the campaign..15 Human Events noted with some irony that the Eisenhower leadership had advised the General to fly to Taft’s vacation home in Murray Bay, Ontario. The magazine noted that “The proposal is variously attributed to 12 Robert A. Taft, Letter to B. Carroll Reece, 14 August 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Tennessee – P-S), Box 407, Taft Papers. 13 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Jesse Jones, 13 August 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Texas – IK), Box 409, Taft Papers. 14 Hugh Butler, Letter to Frank Carlson, 23 August 1952. Copy in Folder (Eisenhower, Dwight D. (4)), Box 1286, Taft Papers. 15 L. Richard Guylay, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 13 August 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Miscellany – Richard Guylay), Bo x 453, Taft Papers. Guylay’s information came from Jim Ellis, a public relations man who had recently lost the contract for the Eisenhower campaign.

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333 Summerfield, the new GOP National Chairma n, and (surprisingly) to Mr. Herbert Brownell. The latter directed the hatchet j ob on Taft for Dewey in the recent primary campaign.”16 The Eisenhower organization’s zealous pursuit of the Taft endorsement made it seem as if its campaign had stalled. Eisenhower indeed needed Taft’s help, as his first month on the campaign trail was rocky. In mid-August, Brownell authored a number of concil iatory letters to individuals such as Harold Stassen designe d to soothe egos and refocus the liberal Republicans to the task at hand. His langua ge indicates that the infighting that characterized the liberal group remained af ter Chicago and there was discord at the top of the Eisenhower organization.17 Bringing the conservatives into the campaign would offset a lack of enthusiasm from liberal Republicans like Stassen, should they decide to become inactive. Carlson told Houston newspaper publisher Oveta Culp Hobby that all of Taft’s t op aides had been contacted and asked to work for the Republican ticket with the exception of Da vid Ingalls, who “was completely crushed over Bob's defeat.” The same people who had frozen the Old Guard out of RNC executive positions a month earlier were now begging them to help their party, but were often rebuffed.18 Marrs McLean refused to shake Jack Porter’s hand at a Texas GOP meeting and Thomas Coleman refused to work as an aide to his former ally Summerfield.19 Taft realized the effects of the party split. He advised his associates that the liberal Republicans were unwill ing to admit guilt ove r their convention 16 Human Events 9, no. 32, 6 August 1952. 17 Herbert Brownell, Letter to Harold Stassen, 15 August 1952. Folder (St (1)), Box 27, Brownell Papers. 18 Frank Carlson, Letter to Oveta Culp Hobby, 8 August 1952. Copy in Folder (Citizens For, Advisory Council), Box 1, Hobby Papers. 19 Marrs McLean, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 23 August 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Texas – Marrs McLean), Box 409, Taft Papers.

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334 tactics, which Taft took personally, or comp romise. In his opinion, they only came to him out of necessity, so he di d not rush to their assistance.20 Despite the negative feelings still li ngering from Chicago, Taft’s closest political allies encouraged him to meet with Eisenhower if only to check Dewey’s influence on the candidate. Reece, believ ing that the liberal Republicans seemed poised to recreate all of the mistakes of the 1948 campaign, relayed a pessimistic view of the Eisenhower organi zation. He noted that his Tennessee group had not been given approval to lead the Republican activit ies in the Volunteer State and saw this as a larger pattern of Old Guard exclusi on. He claimed that the Dewey group had organized the national effort “on a basis of elimination rather than assimilation.” Although he did not explicitly advise Taft to meet with Eisenhower, he implied that failure was imminent in the general election un less Taft stepped in and provided some guidance and balance to the Republican or ganization. The future, in Reece’s opinion, did not look bright if “Dewe y, Hoffman and others of that ilk [were] brought into an administration with the implicati ons that would be involved.”21 Jack Martin put it in much starker terms when he claimed that “If he [Dewey] does come to Washington in any capacity he will dominate the Executive Branch of the Government.”22 He advised Taft to make certain that Dewey was not appointed to any cabinet post and strongly urged the Senator to meet with Ei senhower lest the Dewe y organization have free hand to handle the staffi ng of the new administration. 20 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Billie Noojin, 25 August 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Alabama – L-S), Box 320, Taft Papers. 21 B. Carroll Reece, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 22 August 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Tennessee – P-S), Box 407, Taft Papers. 22 I. Jack Martin, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 14 August 1952. Copy in Folder (Eisenhower, Dwight D., 1952 (4)), Box 1286, Taft Papers.

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335 Reece and Martin both assumed that Eisenhower would defer to Dewey’s leadership out of political ignorance rather than ideological ag reement. While they greatly underestimated the General’s acume n and experience, they genuinely thought that a vote for Eisenhower was a vote for a Dewey-controlled White House.23 This terrified Reece and Martin, a nd the concerns they expresse d to Taft stemmed from a mix of personal interest, fear, and animo sity. They thought a liberal Republican administration would prevent the Taftite s from making patronage appointments, therefore weakening the most traditional and enduring source of Old Guard power. A Democratic administration would be worse for the country, but a liberal Republican victory could injure their personal standings within the party. Reece, for example, believed that Eisenhower would recognize an upstart faction in Tennessee and that he would no longer have a place in the nationa l GOP hierarchy, meaning everything he had worked for politically would be for naught. There was also an underlying hatred of Dewey in their correspondence. They be lieved that the only steal committed in 1952 was when the New Yorker had swindled the convention from Taft through an unfair and unrelenting publicity campai gn that had moved beyond the bounds of respectable politics. Taft’s assistance could potentially co rrect the Republican course, but before the Ohioan would agree, the Old Guard wanted concessions from the Deweyites. Taft shared the feelings of his top ad visors, but he emphasized the ideological and programmatic ramifications more than any personal disdain for Dewey. Frederic 23 This was far from the truth. Dewey’s core 1948 organization participated in the campaign, but the addition of Summerfield, Lodge, Adams, and Stassen made the Eisenhower campaign a coalition broader than it had been in previous elections. In early August, Eisenhower noted with wonder that Dewey had kept his promise that he “would carefully abstain from offering me any direct political advice or counsel. In view of your great experience in this field, it ha s been most amazing to me that you have been able to observe so patiently and so exactly this limitation.” Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey, 1 August 1952. Copy in Folder 4 (Dwight D. Eisenhower), Box 16, Series X, Dewey Papers.

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336 C. Nelson, writing in Human Events claimed that “Republican candidates can’t afford to make the mistake of assuming that the American people want what Walter Lippmann wants, namely a campaign without issues.”24 Taft agreed with this sentiment. He told one concerned citizen “that the conservative Republicans ought to agree on a more definite form of organizati on that will maintain the principles in which all of us believe, regardless of wh at other Republicans may think about them.” His call for an ideological-based collec tive operating within the boundaries of the traditional party was a rejection of a candi date-centered group. Taft hoped that his party would regroup along pr inciples, not personalities.25 Taft’s and his advisors, therefore, sa w the meeting with Eisenhower as an opportunity to correct mistakes in the pr esent GOP setup and possibly salvage the future of the nation. Eisenhower’s early l ack of success and the sheer volume of entreaties from Albany made the conserva tives believe they had power over the Dewey faction. If they did not support the Republican cause, victor y would be harder to come by. The conservatives, then, believed they had some bargaining chips. By late August, Taft was satisfied that Eisen hower would agree to his principles.26 On September 12, the two men finally met over breakfast at Eisenhow er’s residence in the Morningside Heights subdivision of New York. In a two-hour conference, Taft pledged to campaign for Eisenhower in exch ange for Eisenhower’s promise that his administration would not turn into a Repub lican version of the New Deal. Following the meeting, Taft held a press conference detailing the results. Still wary that 24 Human Events 9, no. 35, August 27, 1952. 25 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Burton Faragher, 21 August 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Florida – E-G), Box 337, Taft Papers. 26 Clarence Brown, Letter to Katherine Kennedy Brown, 26 August 1952. Copy in Box 14, KKB Papers.

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337 Eisenhower could claim that Taft had supported a rival pol itical philosophy out of expediency, the Senator read a pre-drafted statement to protect his reputation and keep his followers informed of his intentions He explicitly attacked what he termed Eisenhower’s “editorial and columnist supporters and other individuals” who endorsed a Republican New Deal and called for a purge of conservative elements from the GOP. He noted that the two Republi can leaders did not completely see eye to eye on foreign policy, but claimed that they only had “degrees of difference.”27 The message was that both men had roles to pl ay in undoing the Fair Deal and the Truman foreign policy, and they could only a ccomplish their goals through cooperation.28 The Morningside Heights meeting was a turning point in the 1952 election. Party unity had been temporarily restored thanks to a truce between the two major Republican factions, and the changes were immediate. After Morningside Heights, most of Taft’s most vocal supporters worked enthusiastically for Eisenhower.29 Ohio Chairman Ray Bliss and Senator John Bricker lauded Taft’s statement and encouraged all Republicans to wo rk for victory in November.30 Some observers, however, looked on in horror as the seemi ngly liberal Republican candidate joined with the leader of the conservatives and pledged to support the major points of the Right-wing agenda. The Nation claimed that Eisenhower was “bargaining with the Taft isolationists” and saw the alliance as an opportunity for Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson to capture the moderate voters.31 Oregon Republican Wayne Morse, 27 Robert A. Taft, Press Release, Quoted in New York Times 12 September 1952. 28 Eisenhower Headquarters, Press Release, 12 September 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Background Material (7)), Box 427, Taft Papers. 29 Frank Carlson Interview, OH 488, Eisenhower Library. 30 New York Times 13 September 1952. 31 The Nation 175, no. 15, 11 October 1952, 327.

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338 the GOP Senator with the most liberal voti ng record, believed that Eisenhower had betrayed his supporters. Morse was further ir ritated when the General’s staff refused to let Morse participate in any campaign activities. At the American Federation of Labor convention, for example, Morse refuse d to sit with Eisenhower on the platform because he was not allowed to speak. One month after Morningside Heights, Morse repudiated his Republican affiliation and decl ared himself independent. He spent the next months campaigning for Stevenson.32 Both contemporary observers and historia ns alike have regarded Morningside Heights as the decisive point in the election. James Hagerty, a New York Times reporter and Eisenhower’s campaign press secretary, believed that the TaftEisenhower meeting brought the Old Guard into the fold completely because it showed that the General was willing to work with the conservatives.33 Taft biographer James T. Patterson regarded the meeting as “a grand step towards unifying the party.”34 Others viewed the event as a poten tially damaging misstep for the Dewey faction. The Alsops claimed that Eisenhower had given into Taft’s wishes and had set the stage for a future showdown over the direction of the Re publican Party. They argued that Taft had only been allowed in because of a fear that, should Eisenhower lose, Taft would gain full control of the GOP and could establish what they termed rather hysterically as a “Fascist Party.”35 The Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate, Alabama Senator John Sparkman, claimed th at the conservative Taft wing had 32 Gail Quentin Unruh, “Eternal Liberal: Wayne L. Morse and the Politics of Liberalism” (Ph.D. Diss., University of Oregon, 1987), 107-109. 33 James Hagerty, Interview, OH 91, Transcript in Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas. 34 Patterson, Mr. Republican 578. 35 Washington Post 15 October 1952.

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339 captured Eisenhower and was holding the Republi can ticket hostage in the name of an outdated political ideology.36 The Taft-Eisenhower alli ance highlighted one of Eisenhower’s personal strengths: the ability to compromise. Eisenhower’s pres tige greatly enhanced his electability and allowed him the freedom to run a non-doctrinaire campaign. He was able to overcome the factional dispute be tween conservatives and liberals primarily because he could bridge the gap between th e ideologies without sacrificing any votes. Dewey in 1948 and Taft in 1952 had planned elec toral drives that ta rgeted a specific group of voters. Dewey, believing conservati ves out of touch w ith the American voter, ran a centrist campaign that avoided fo rthright statements on many issues. Four years later, Taft, thinking that the GOP did not do enough to please the Right, did the exact opposite and positioned himself on the ot her side of the Republican spectrum. The Morningside Heights meeting showed that an issueless, personality driven campaign allowed a popular candidate to take a political stand and still keep the centrist vote intact. Neither Taft nor Dewey could have accomplished this. Eisenhower, then, essentially combined the electoral strategies of both camps into one. Both factions continued as they de sired, but Eisenhower’s personality smoothed out the differences and allowed both groups to operate together as a coherent whole. The publicity value of Morningside Heights had positive ramifications in the short term. Energizing the conservative base was critical for voter mobilization, and Eisenhower’s assurances that he would not govern as a New Deal Republican helped on this score tremendously. The Dewey facti on, however, still set the tone for the campaign and tried to persuade Eisenhower to run as a moderate. Taft had signed on as a stump speaker, but had gained no r eal influence within the Eisenhower inner 36 New York Times 13 September 1952.

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340 circle. Brownell, Dewey, Adams, Hagerty, and others had more sway than Taft because they were present on a day to da y basis and had masterminded his nomination strategy. This led to a number of conflicts such as one in late September when Eisenhower delivered a speech to the nationa l convention of the American Federation of Labor that called for changes in the Ta ft-Hartley Act. Taft and Summerfield had approved a draft copy that faintly prai sed Taft-Hartley, but Adams and Dewey substituted a version written by former RNC labor advisor Don Louden that criticized key portions of the labor legi slation. Ostensibly, their aim was to help the flagging reelection campaign of New York Senator Ir ving Ives, but conser vative journalists thought this was indicative of a forthcoming rejection of Taft’s political principles. Regardless of the purpose, this went agai nst the Morningside Heights agreement and confirmed that the liberal Republicans played a more important role than the Taft organization in setting the t one of the Eisenhower campaign.37 While the Taft-Eisenhower meeti ng garnered the media attention, Summerfield’s presence as RN C Chairman was actually the most important factor in appeasing conservatives and fostering part y unity. Summerfield’s interest in the conservative intellectual movement and his position in the automotive industry had fostered a right-leaning political philosophy that was evident during his chairmanship. Adams noted that Summerfield’s views were out of step with the majority of Eisenhower’s advisers and that he challenge d the liberal Republi cans on a number of critical points.38 His RNC Chairmanship allowed him to become an effective spokesperson for the right wing in th e Eisenhower organization. Throughout the campaign, Summerfield made a number of decisions that helped Eisenhower’s 37 Human Events 9, no. 40, October 1, 1952. 38 Sherman Adams, Interview, OH 162, Transcript in Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas.

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341 credibility with conservatives and prev ented the GOP from repeating the same mistakes they made four years earlier. Summerfield made his pr esence felt from the beginning. On August 1, the Eisenhower leadership convened in Denver to plan the strategy for the election cycle. At a late night session at the Brown Hote l, around twenty people heard two competing campaign proposals. While vastly different in size, scope and detail, the plans ultimately conflicted over the role of pub lic image in American politics and the importance of partisan identification. Even though neither Dewey nor Taft was present, the proposals represented the st ark contrast in cam paign rhetoric and expectations that had so divi ded their factions for nearly a decade. In their discussion of the competing strategies, the Eisenhower leadership essentia lly had to decide whether to embark on another “me-too” campa ign, or to focus on issues and run as a loyal opposition to their Democratic foes. Mary Lord and Walter Williams, the l eaders of the Citizens for Eisenhower organization (CFE), introduced a plan that mirrored the 1948 Dewey campaign, but with additional contingencie s designed to take advant age of Eisenhower’s personal popularity. They presented a poorly structur ed plan crafted solely to attract independent voters and disa ffected Democrats. Sigmund Larmon, a public relations professional with Young and Rubicam had created CFE during the pre-convention campaign to capitalize on Eisenhower’s celebr ity status and sway voters regardless of partisan affiliation. Lord, a wealthy Minne sotan who had worked with Brownell as Director of the 1940 New York World’s Fair, and Williams, a banker and former Republican Senatorial candida te from Washington, chaired the CFE. In Denver, they presented a five page outline for a nati onal campaign organization designed to make CFE the driving force in the national campaign.

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342 The Lord-Williams plan called for Eise nhower to appoint a strategy committee, ostensibly his established leadership group, and to rely on CFE to do the bulk of the voter mobilization work. In this setup, the RNC and the CFE both reported directly to the strategy committee, but the independent group was given primary consideration and expected to play the most important role. In a cover letter accompanying their plan, Lord and Williams claimed that CFE could reach up to ten million more voters than the RNC because “the Regular Republi can [sic] organization has little appeal, but rather the reverse.” Th e organization memo argued th at the CFE would reach out to “those Republicans who desire more progres sive leadership,” a nd provide the first step to integrating these people into the national Republican organization. While Lord and Williams claimed that their group could be used as an auxiliary to the RNC in places like the South where the GOP was ine ffective, the underlying subtext was that the CFE group would merge with, and ostensib ly take over, the Republican Party after the election. The CFE organizers believed that “this is a process that must be made an important order of business by Eisenhower after election.”39 The CFE plan was the outgrowth of the Deweyite style of image-focused, candidate-centered politics. Its proponents believed that Eisenhower had the potential to realign the political parties around his candidacy. Lord, Williams, Larmon, and other CFE leaders believed that the Genera l’s personal charm and public persona were sufficient tools to win a nati onal election. The CFE plan was, therefore, a continuation of the 1948 Dewey campaign because it placed the onus for election exclusively on the candidate and advocated working outside of the traditional party organization. Williams and Lord believed that the majority of American’s rejected the traditionally 39 Walter Williams and Mary Lord, “A Plan for Citizens Action,” undated. Copy in Folder (Citizens for Eisenhower Workers), Box 1, Campaign Series, Ann Whitman Papers, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas [Hereafter cited as Ann Whitman Campaign Papers].

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343 conservative nature of the RNC and th e Republican Party. Even though a sizable number of liberal Republicans had been added to the body after the 1952 convention, Lord and Williams thought most voters woul d continue to view the GOP negatively. In short, they thought that the Republican label was a drag on Eisenhower because conservatives had soiled the progres sive potential of the party. Rather than allow the CFE plan to b ecome the blueprint of the Eisenhower campaign, Summerfield submitted a sixteenpage strategy memo referred to as “Document X.” Believing early on that th e Dewey faction would try to base the campaign on personality rather than issues Summerfield and Robert Humphreys, a conservative journalist recently tapped to head the publicity division of the RNC, had drafted the plan two weeks before the Denver meeting and, following the emergence of the Lord-Williams proposal, presented it as a counter proposal. Humphries had assisted Taft in his 1950 Ohio campaign and learned a valuable lesson when the Senator said “All any candidate is doing, regardless of th e office he is seeking, is asking people to vote for him – and if you don’t ask them, the voters will vote for the fellow who does ask them.”40 Taking this brief statement as the gospel truth, Humphreys drafted a comprehensive docum ent that outlined the goals of the campaign and listed a number of tentative campaign stops and taking points for midAugust through the November election. While Humphreys later admitted that a wellorchestrated publicity effort and a candida te-centered approach could ultimately determine an election, he believed that th ese tools would not deliver a victory unless “there is a market and a good product to offer.”41 40 Robert A. Taft, Quoted in Robert Humphries, Memo, “The Story of Document X,” Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign and Election – Document X – Robert Humphreys (1)), Box 10, Humphreys Papers. 41 Robert Humphries, Memo, “The Story of Document X,” Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign and Election – Document X – Robert Humphreys (1)), Box 10, Humphreys Papers

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344 Document X and the CFE plan repres ented two diametrically opposed schools of thought. The Lord-Williams plan wanted to write off the conservative Republicans and replace them with independents and Demo crats. Document X devoted most of its first section to bringing back “the hard-core vote of 20 million Republicans.” Humphreys believed that the Taft-Eisenhow er feud and the Texas Steal had damaged the party and had diminished the numb er of potential Republican voters for November. The plan conceded that the num ber of registered Republicans would not be enough to garner a majority, but the base had to be brought back in line before the GOP could appeal to other interest groups and voting blocs. Conservatives did not guarantee victory, but without them the Repub licans were sure to lose. Humphreys’s proposal called for the campaign to open in Indianapolis, the heart of Taft’s Midwestern territory, but Ad ams objected. He was not completely convinced that the Eisenhower effort should focus on rebuildi ng the right wing. As a compromise, the campaign was scheduled to begin at a Y oung Republicans meeting in Philadelphia, but Indianapolis was included on the itinerary for the following month.42 The Humphreys plan also placed more emphasis on the RNC than the CFE proposal did. After the convention, Summer field, Humphreys, and new RNC Director of Organization Wayne Hood, feared that the liberal Republicans would attempt to finance and manage the Eisenhower campaign separate from and without any regard to the party or its electoral apparatus. Such a setup was potentially disastrous because the CFE was not beholden to the party or ganization for patronage appointments. Should Eisenhower win, the RNC believed it should fill the executive branch with loyal supporters. If CFE, a group that had e xplicitly rejected conservatives, managed the campaign, it would probably appoint th eir own supporters in place of loyal 42 Ibid.

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345 Republicans. The factional dispute that had divided the national and some state parties for nearly a decade had created a climate rife for the exclusion of any defeated groups, and Summerfield and Humphreys wanted to prevent any formal purging should the GOP become the party in power. Document X, therefore, was drafted to prevent a liberal Republican power grab. Although the plan did not discuss any sort of ideological positions, it was designed to blunt the established campaign tactics of the Dewey faction. Humphreys later admitted to Adams that he and Summerfi eld had crafted their proposal with the expressed purpose of preventing Walter Williams from taking control of the Eisenhower campaign. Their efforts paid o ff. Humphreys delivered a forty minute presentation to the Eisenhower leadersh ip on Document X and received very few complaints. Lodge believed that the plan focused too much on campaign rallies and not enough on television, but did not object to the proposal on any sort of ideological basis. After a brief discussion, the group adopted the Humphreys proposal as the campaign organization, effectively placing CFE under the control of the RNC and reaffirming the importance of the party structure.43 The actions of Summerfield and his RNC staff effectively prevented the Eisenhower group from recreating the 1948 Dewey campaign. Over the next month, Summerfield actively worked to educate Ei senhower to the importance of the party apparatus and its role in the campaign, a nd ease tensions between Eisenhower and the right wing of the Republican Party. The latt er task proves arduous. In 1952, senators Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin and William Jenner of Indiana, two of the most rabid anti-communists in the upper chamber and members of the conservative “Class of 43 Ibid Humphreys made his presentation to the group on a series of flipcharts, but destroyed them in the furnace of the Brown Ho tel the following day. Th ree copies had been prod uced in book form and were given to Eisenhower, Summerfield, and Humphries. One copy exists in Humphreys’ papers at the Eisenhower Library in Abilene.

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346 1946,” faced reelection. Naturally, they sought an endorsement from the Republican nominee, but Eisenhower and his advisors we re very reluctant to embrace them. Anticommunism loomed as one of the most important issues of the election, but McCarthy’s tactics were simply too extrem e for most Republicans to support. Dewey, Brownell, and Adams believed that any connection with McCarthy would prevent Independents and moderate Republicans from voting for Eisenhower. After some weeks of lobbying, Summerfield convinced Eisenhower to support all Republican candidates regardless of their ideological po sition over the objection of Adams. This greatly enhanced party unity and eased the tensions between the Old Guard and the Dewey faction.44 Adams and the Dewey faction believed th at such a course of action was a mistake. The liberal Republicans still believed that the conservatives had cost them the 1948 election. With Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy a powerful factor in these local and state campaigns and en ergized committed Republican voters, he threatened to drive moderate and independe nt voters to the Democrats. Eisenhower had to balance his treatmen t of McCarthy, but this stra tegy also had risks. His organization had worked to bring Taft and hi s inner circle into the fold because it understood that conservative Republicans made up a majority of the party. While Taft was more representative of the right-wi ng core than McCarthy, a repudiation of McCarthyism could anger a si zable number of conservati ves and keep them from voting for the GOP in November. In summer 1952, many in the Republican leadership tolerated McCarthy, even though the liberal Republic ans had grown weary of his antics.45 44 Ibid. 45 In July 1950, most of the Young Turks signed Margaret Chase Smith’s Declaration of Conscience and tried to distance themselves, and their party, from the Wisconsin Senator. Since then, relations had

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347 Eisenhower’s treatment of McCarthy was, therefore, a delicate balancing act and once again indicated the pitfalls of th e broad spectrum of ideological opinion in the Eisenhower leadership. Dewey, Lodge, and Adams wanted Eisenhower to avoid any reference to McCarthy or McCarthyism and concentrate on anti-communism broadly without mentioning specific inves tigations or individuals. On August 4, Joseph and Stewart Alsop reported that Eise nhower planned to deliver a speech that renounced both anti-communism and hate -mongering in an effort to separate McCarthy from the communist issue. The Al sops also claimed that the nominee would not campaign in Wisconsin.46 While this plan met approval from the liberal Republicans, it angered Summerfield and a num ber of state partie s in the Midwest. Behind the scenes, Summerfield worked to reconnect with Coleman, his former political ally and leader of the Wisconsin Republican Party, and convince him to work actively for Eisenhower. The Chairman also scheduled a campaign stop in Wisconsin for early September, but Hood asked for its cancellation, prompting the Alsops to claim that such appeasement of the cons ervatives, who were obviously unreasonable and ignorant of the political realities, indicated that the GOP had a “death wish.”47 The end result of this tug of war be tween liberals and conservatives was a neutral stance towards McCarthy on the campa ign trail. Eisenhower took a number of thinly veiled shots at McCarthy and his methods, but rarely mentioned him by name. In Boston, Ike told the crowd that “If we are to win this deadly struggle with Communism, we must have a leadership th at can do the job, that is morally and spiritually strong…We must be able to take just pride in those who lead us -in how not grown any more cordial. See Ellen Schrecker, Many are the Crimes and Richard Gid Powers, Not Without Honor 46 Washington Post 4 August 1952. 47 Washington Post 31 August 1952.

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348 they talk to the people, in the company they keep, in their respect for truth and fair dealing, in whether they bear fa lse witness against their neighbor”48 But while Eisenhower hinted at his opposition to McCart hyism and reactionary politics, he was still the leader of the GOP and had a duty to work for the good of the party. In early September, Summerfield convi nced the General to appear with McCarthyite Senator William Jenner at a campaign stop in Indian apolis. In his speech there, Eisenhower claimed that the Republican Party supported all its candidates a nd urged Indiana to elect the full GOP slate. Although he never mentioned Jenner by name, most observers regarded this as a formal endorse ment. As Eisenhower finished his delivery and photographers began snapping pictures, Jenner rushed to the rostrum and hugged the candidate. Aware the Jenner could use th ese photos as publicity material for his own campaign Adams accosted Summerfield fo r scheduling the rally and explicitly linking Eisenhower with one of the most reactionary members of the Old Guard. Summerfield retorted that Adams was not a team player and continued to advocate Ike’s endorsement of a ll Republican candidates.49 The Jenner affair showed that the w ounds of Chicago had not completely healed. The conservative and liberal factions still had major disagreements, but the Taftites exhibited a more moderate brand of conservatism and were more smoothly integrated into the 1952 campaign. After Taft had agreed to endorse Eisenhower, the factions reached a state of dtente an d these flare-ups did not provoke enough controversy to end the truce. Neither side was truly enamored with the other, but the alternative of another four years of a Demo cratic president was too much to consider. 48 Dwight D. Eisenhower, Speech, 19 October 1952. Copy in Folder (Speeches – 1952), Box 193, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers. 49 Sherman Adams, Interview, OH 162, Transcript in Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas. Adams conceded that Summerfield held a different ideological position than the Dewey wing of the party and the tension between the two points of view caused the most tension on the campaign trail.

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349 Privately, Taftites complained amongst them selves that they were not allowed to prominently figure in the campaign. Prior to 1948, Republicans of all factions worked together after the conventi on to elect the Republican candidate. In 1948 and 1952, the Dewey faction had tried to give more respons ibility to rival state factions and remove the Old Guard of their importance. Even though they lost at Chicago, the Taft faction did not expect to lose thei r positions within the GOP. South Carolina RNC member J. Bates Gerald bitterly advised Martin that “All political lead ers who went down the line for the Senator being treated as step children by some of the top brass in Eisenhower movement[.] This seems to be a good way to loose the national campaign as Dewey did in 48.”50 Although some Taftite groups were given pivotal roles on the local and state levels, such as Reece’s orga nization in Tennessee, others such as the Clarence Brown group in Ohio and the Walth er Hallanan faction in West Virginia remained on the outside looking in.51 Brownell’s divide and conquer strategy was still in place in most Southern states an d infuriated the Old Guard throughout the campaign. While conservative politicians lamented their fate, there were some signs that their political beliefs were spreading be yond the party apparatus. 1952 also marked the entry of the conservative intellectual m ovement into the electoral arena. After growing dissatisfied with Dewey’s 1948 campaign, the Truman foreign policy, and what they believed to be increasing soci alist tendencies within the Democratic 50 J. Bates Gerald, Telegram to I. Jack Martin, 6 Se ptember 1952. Copy in Folder (Eisenhower, Dwight D. (4)), Box 1286, Taft Papers. 51 Unlike Gerald, many of Taft’s associates saved their complaints until after the election, rather than burden the Ohioan while he was on the campaign trail. After the election, the cold shoulder from the RNC and the Eisenhower group continued, prompting vociferous complaints from the Old Guard. See Leonard Hall, Telegram to Leslie Hart, Folder (Ten nessee Situation 1953 (1),), Box 176, Papers of the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas [Hereafter cited as Hall Papers]; Katherine Kennedy Brown, Letter to Leonard Hall, 20 July 1955. Folder 7, Box 17, Katherine Kennedy Brown Papers; Wa lter Hallanan, Letter to Robert A. Taft, Folder (Politics – Republican – 1953 – H-K), Box 1259, Taft Papers.

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350 Administration, conservative write rs and journalists had take n a more active role than ever before. On the pages of their journals and in their newspape r columns, right-wing pundits probed Eisenhower’s position on the cri tical issues of the day, lest he slip back into the candidate-centered focus or the “me-tooism” associated with the Dewey faction. Yale law student Brent Bozell, writing in Human Events believed that Eisenhower and his advisors were unprepared to deal with the Korean conflict. “A ‘me-too’ on ignorance,” Bozell claimed, “won’t do.”52 Despite the conservative tone of the campaign, Human Events was skeptical as to how Eisenhower would govern. On October 22, the magazine reported that Taft’s backers were working hard for Eisenhower, but were saving some of their en ergy for the future in case Eisenhower won and followed the line of the “Eastern internationalists.” 53 According to George Nash, the conser vative intellectual movement did not speak with one voice and often had large internal disagreements on policy issues.54 This fact is evident in the broad sp ectrum of conservative opinion during the presidential campaign. Felix Morley, writing in Barron’s believed that Taft’s influence on the campaign would be enough to convince Eisenhower that “liberty against creeping socialism” was the central issue of the campaign.55 The editors of The Freeman saw the Taft-Eisenhower alliance as a validation of the numerical superiority of conservative Republicans and believed that the GOP was finally 52 Brent Bozell, “An Education for Ike – And Others,” Human Events 9, no. 33. 13 August 1952. 53 Human Events 9, no. 43, 22 October 1952. 54 Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America xv-xvii. 55 Barron’s National Busi ness and Financial Weekly 32, no. 38, 22 September 1952, 3.

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351 prepared to mount a fight on an oppositio nal basis, rather than on Dewey-like platitudes and an avoi dance of the issues.56 Still more conservative intellectuals believed that Eisenhower would govern as a New Deal Republican in spite of Taft’s role in the campaign. A month before the election, Human Events founder Frank Chodorov claimed that, if he were the governor of a state, he would secede fr om the union in order to resist the centralization of the federal bureaucracy. He did not believe that either presidential candidate could stop the trend started by Roosevelt.57 Freeman Tilden, another contributor to Human Events thought that Eisenhower was not a true representation of conservatism and wrote a four page pi ece entitled “The Morality of Abstention.” While he did not explicitly encourage ri ght-leaning citizens to stay at home on election day, he planned to do so simply because his views were not represented by either major political party.58 Chodorov and Tilden occupied the minority position among conservatives, as most of their ideo logical brethren believed that Eisenhower and Taft would work together to halt the growth of th e federal bureaucracy, lower taxes, and radically alter American foreign policy. With Taft, Summerfield, and a number of conservative inte llectuals backing Eisenhower, the Republican campaign took on a more right-leaning tone than in the previous three election campaigns. Eisenhow er held a firm veto power over his speechwriters and, while he would listen to his advisors, he would not make public stands counter to his personal views. With a pro-Taft platform at his disposal, Eisenhower did adopt conservative positio ns on many topics. On the issues of 56 The Freeman 3, no. 1, 6 October 1952. 57 Human Events 9, no. 42, 15 October 1952. 58 Human Events 9, no. 37, 10 September 1952.

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352 corruption and communism, the General promised to “clean up the mess in Washington” and pledged to review the Truman loyalty-security program. He endorsed lower taxes and spending cuts. Foreign policy remained the largest difference between the ideological poles, as Eisenhower promised to end the Korean Conflict as quickly as possible, but would not pledge to scale back NATO operations or change the defensive posture in West ern Europe as Taft had called for. On domestic issues, however, Eisenhower campaigned as a conservative.59 With most conservative politicians and intellectuals working for the Republican candidate, the public tensi on in the party diminishe d. On election day, the GOP cruised to victory on Eisenhower’s shoulde rs, marking an end to two decades of Democratic rule in the White House. The results were overwhelming. Eisenhower scored fifty-five percent of the popular vot e and won the Electora l College 442 to 89. Stevenson carried a scant nine states a nd only one of those, West Virginia, was outside the South. The Republican Southern Strategy also paid huge dividends as Eisenhower carried Texas, Florida, Tenness ee, Virginia, and Oklahoma. These results gave credence to the Eisenhow er-as-FDR school of thought, as the General did very well in urban areas in the Northeast. The Republicans on ce again gained control of Congress, but by a paltry eight votes in th e House and through a tie in the Senate. Nixon’s tie-breaking vote allowed for the GOP to organize the upper chamber as the majority party, but they would have to wo rk with the Democrats to get legislation through such a deadlocked body.60 59 Most of the work on Eisenhower the candidate focus on major incide nts of the campaign, such as the controversy over Nixon’s campaign slush fund and the incident with McCarthy in Wisconsin, rather than addressing Eisenhower’s platform. Stephen Am brose claims that Eisenhower’s conservatism was an olive branch to the Old Guard, but makes little mention of Eisenhower’s stand on domestic issues. See Stephen Ambrose, Eisenhower 266-286. 60 Stephen Ambrose, Eisenhower 286. Taft told associat es that he planned to once again work with the Southern Democrats as a conservative coalition to check liberal legislation. Robert A. Taft, Letter to H.

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353 For Republicans everywhere, victory was sweet. The GOP had ended the Democratic dominance, but not everyone was optimistic. The events of the campaign kept the Taft wing junior partners in the organization and failed to permanently bridge the gap between the Taft and Dewey factio ns. In the period leading to Eisenhower’s inauguration, these tensions once again became apparent. Eisenhower had promised the American people that he would “cl ean up the mess” in Washington and end corruption in the federal bureaucracy. This requ ired a turn over in the civil service, but since no Republican had occupied the Wh ite House in twenty years, there was no ready-made group of GOP office seekers to step in and fill the top positions in the executive branch. Eisenhower turned once again to Dewey and Brownell to recruit and staff the new Republican cabinet and agency heads. As they had shown in Chicago, the Dewey faction did not regard th e Taftites as legitimate Republicans and the Albany group made no effort to reward the Taft forces. At Morningside Heights, Taft, cognizant of the fact that the liberal Republicans would have free hand to make appointments, had asked for equal representation for conservatives on the cabinet. Eisenhower appa rently did not agree to this, but did consent to withhold the Secretary of State position from Dewey and Paul Hoffman as Taft had asked. As the early nominations were made public, Ta ft could complain little.61 General Motors President Charles W ilson was named Secretary of Defense and promised to bring corporate efficiency to the Pentagon and reign in military spending. Brownell was appointed Attorney General but Taft could not dispute his legal credentials or his public service. Summerfield was named Postmaster General, R. Cullen, 26 December 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Alphabetical File – C), Box 423, Taft Papers. 61 Taft advised an associate from Indiana that “On the whole, the Cabinet appointments are good, and I can certainly cooperate with most of those chosen .” Robert A. Taft, Letter to R. O. Ahlenius, 6 December 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Alphabetical File – A), Box 423, Taft Papers.

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354 the traditional appointment for the Chairman of the victorious pa rty, and Taft did not question his promotion. Taft’s cousin Ezra Taft Benson of Utah was named Secretary of Agriculture. Benson, Summerfield, a nd Oveta Culp Hobby, the new Federal Security Administrator, were the most r eadily identifiable conservatives in the new cabinet. Regarding the party structure, Eisenhower asked the RNC to promote Wes Roberts, the Director of Organization during the campaign, to the Chairmanship. His work on behalf of the party as an assist ant to Summerfield made him acceptable to both the Taft and the Dewey faction.62 The early cabinet appointmen ts did not trouble Taft or his followers, but the Senator was reportedly “irked” that there we re no Taft backers among the list of early nominees. This changed with the announ cement of the new Secretary of Labordesignate. Maintaining the fundamental pr inciples of Taft-Hartley was one of a handful of specific policy points discussed at the Morningside Heights meeting and Taft, as the architect of the Republican labor program, expected Brownell and Eisenhower to give his recommendation some weight. Shortly after the election, he had forwarded the name of Dean Brown of Kenyon College to Eisenhower, but Brownell had rejected him because of his religious background. Since a number of urban, working-class Catholics had voted Re publican in the northeast, Brownell and Dewey wanted to appoint a Catholic as Secr etary of Labor in a show of gratitude. In late November, Taft dutifully submitted th e names of John Danahaer, the former RNC official from Connecticut, and Clarence Ma nion, former Dean of the Notre Dame Law School and a widely-published conservative and labor expert. Manion had long been a supporter of Taft-Hartley, and Taft th ought both Manion and Danaher shared his 62 Roberts, however, was not acceptable to Republi cans in his home state of Kansas. Alfred Landon expressed his displeasure in a letter to the Eisenhow er leadership shortly after Roberts’s appointment. See Alfred Landon, Letter to Robert Humphreys, 13 February 1953. Copy in Folder (Alf Landon -1950 – 1964 (3)), Box 4, Humphreys Papers.

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355 views on organized labor. Both men had ex cellent Republican credentials and Taft expected one of the tw o to get the position.63 On December 1, the Eisenhower transition team announced the appointment of Martin P. Durkin as Secretary of Labor-des ignate. Durkin was President of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plum bing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States, an American Federa tion of Labor union. Even worse for Taft, during the campaign Durkin had worked to elect Stevenson and consistently advocated the repeal of Taft -Hartley. Observers, still basking in the Eisenhower euphoria, did not see the faulty logic of either position. The President of the AFL publicly thanked Eisenhower for Durkin ’s appointment and called it a move “conciliatory to labor.”64 The Christian Science-Monitor lauded the selection of a union official to head the Department of Labor and hailed Eisenhower’s cabinet as representative of the bipartisan majority that had elected him.65 The New York Times predicted that Durkin would prove to be a valuable asset to the new administration and saluted his nomination.66 Eisenhower had attracted De mocrats and Independents, and his cabinet reflecte d his base of support. While the major media outlets received wo rd of Durkin’s appointment warmly, Taft did not. Taft had h eard nothing from Brownell after he had recommended Danaher and Manion and fully expected both to be consulted on the appointment and given advance knowledge of Eisenhower’s choice. Instead, he found out after the name had been released to the press. He was eating lunch in the Senate dining room 63 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Gordon Chalmers, 6 December 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Alphabetical File – C), Box 423, Taft Papers. 64 New York Times 2 December 1952. 65 Christian Science-Monitor 2 December 1952. 66 New York Times 3 December 1952.

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356 when a Senate page relayed the message fr om his office. Prescott Bush was sitting across the table from Taft and reported th at the Ohioan, known for his short temper, “nearly exploded.” Taft exclaimed “This is in comprehensible! It's incredible that this appointment could have been made without consulting any of us.”67 The selection of Durkin violated a number of Senatorial trad itions. Regardless of the fact that Taft disagree with Durkin’s labor outlook violen tly, it was expected that Taft would be asked to give his consent ahead of time sin ce he would have to work closely with the Department of Labor. Not only had Brownell left Taft in the dark, but he had not consulted Senators Homer Ferguson and Ch arles Potter, the two Senators from Durkin’s home state of Michigan. The Durk in appointment angered Taft for a myriad of reasons and brought his resentment and di strust of the liberal Republicans back to the fore. Taft believed that Dewey and Brownell had convinced Eisenhower to break the Morningside Heights agreement. Rather than seek clarification or more information from Brownell or Eisenhower, Taft issued a statement calling Durkin’s appointment an “affront to millions” of union members and Democrats who had gone against their party affiliations and voted for Eisenhow er. He implied that Brownell had never mentioned Durkin as a possible nominee dur ing previous discussion and regarded the move as treacherous.68 The underlying subtext of the Taft statement was that Brownell and the Dewey faction had reopened the split between the conservative and liberal factions. 67 Prescott Bush, Interview, OH 31, Eisenhower Library. 68 Sherman Adams later claimed that Harold Stassen had made the Durkin appointment. The former Minnesota Governor had worked closely with the AFL building trades unions during the campaign and Brownell deferred to Brownell because of this. Ad ams claimed that Stassen had forwarded Durkin’s name to Eisenhower and it was approved without consulting Brownell. Taft did not know this at the time. Sherman Adams, Interview, OH 162. Eisenhower Library.

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357 The Taft announcement sent shockwaves through official Washington and the conservative Republicans. Most media observe rs condemned Taft for his aggressive response. The New York Times showing a questionable gras p of events, claimed that “Taft Breaks Truce By Calling Durkin ‘Incredible’ Choice.”69 Human Events brashly claimed that the Albany group was filling the executive branch with its supporters to prepare for yet another Dewey presiden tial run in 1956. Referring to the Durkin appointment as a “crisis,” the magazine re ported that “Now is the time, say some observers, for Taft to take the initiati ve and offer the Southern conservative Democrats an equal place in the organizati on and the hierarchy of the Congress. This would provide a constructive step towards th e realignment of parties which is so long overdue.”70 The Taft and Dewey factions could work together during an election, but few doubted that they could come together to lead the nation. From November 1952 through January 1953, Taft mulled over his role in the Senate. The Durkin appointment affirmed Taft’s doubt as to whether Eisenhower could act independently of the Dewey faction’s leader ship. He questioned whether or not he and the President could work together but Taft wanted the Republican Party to succeed and was willing to work with the new administration. Believing that the President had the right to appoint the Cabine t of his choice, Taft opted not to block the Durkin appointment on the Senate floor. In mid-December he informed Carlson of his desire to relinquish hi s position as head of the Republican Senate Policy Committee and run for Majority Leader. He asked Carlson to run the scenario by Eisenhower, and two days later Carlson held a press conference endorsing Taft for the job. The press and the rest of the GOP Senato rial contingent correc tly interpreted this 69 New York Times 3 December 1952. 70 Human Events 9, no. 49. 3 December 1952.

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358 as an order from the President. As the first session of the eighty-second Congress opened, the Republican caucus elected Taft Senate Majority Leader, making him the official guardian of the administration’s le gislative agenda. Taft had worked out a deal with California Senator William Knowland and backed him as the new head of the RSPC because the two men had simila r views on foreign policy. Other than the selection of Levrett Saltonstall as Major ity Whip, the liberal wing was kept out of leadership positions. Once again, conser vatives had control of the Republican machinery in the Senate.71 Taft’s leadership position reflected his prestige as a legislator. Eisenhower and Dewey understood that the Senate was Taft’s domain. Although Taft wanted more say in the White House, especially regardi ng Cabinet appointments, Dewey could not challenge Taft’s reputation as a capable Senator. The “Young Turks” had tried to weaken Taft’s standing in 1949 and 1951 and were defeated both times. Although Dewey and Taft despised each other, the New Yorker could not dethrone Taft on Capitol Hill. Eisenhower could either work with Taft or see their agenda blocked by the conservative coalition of Republicans and Southern Demo crats that had held sway over the Senate since the New Deal. The first session of the 83rd Congress opened with intense debate amidst a sideshow atmosphere. Taft faced his first challenge as Majority Leader immediately with the organization of the Senate and its committee structure. The GOP and the Democrats had an even number of fort y-seven Senators with Morse now voting independent. He voted to caucus with the Republicans, giving them the right to organize the Senate as the majority. Taft, however, was not willing to forgive a traitor to his party. Since early Decem ber, Taft had been plotting to remove Morse from his 71 Patterson, Mr. Republican 586-7.

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359 committee assignments. With the slim majority, Morse could case the deciding vote on the Labor committee, making it highly possibl e that a repeal of Taft-Hartley could be reported to the Senate over Taft’s objections.72 As a result, the Republicans did not assign Morse to any of his old committees The Oregonian then turned to the Democrats for help, but they also refused to seat Morse on the Labor committee. Now relegated to minor committees, Morse subm itted a bill authorizing three additional seats for the Labor and Armed Services committees. The measure was defeated eighty-one to seven, leaving Morse w ithout a home in the upper chamber.73 The Morse incident proved to be a minor diversion and Taft and the Congressional Republicans quickly proved effective stewards of the Republican legislative program. Eisenhower respected and admired Taft’s abilities as a legislator and the two quickly established a stable and amiable working relationship. The President and his advisors met with the C ongressional leadership on a weekly basis to keep both groups apprised of critical polic y decisions and key pieces of legislation. House Majority Leader Charles Halleck cl aimed that the meetings allowed for open discussion between the executive and legislative branch. He contended that every participant was given freedom to speak their mind and argue their case on pending legislation with the understanding that the group would work together to implement the consensus position, whatever it may be This direct line of communication allowed for Taft and his colleagues to c onsistently advocate a conservative position and become close advisers to the President. The Dewey faction was represented 72 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Francis Case, 6 Dece mber 1952. Copy in Folder (1952 Campaign – Alphabetical File – A-C), Box 423, Taft Papers. 73 Unruh, “Eternal Liberal,” 114-116.

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360 through Brownell and other executive appoint ments like Stassen and Adams, so the voices of both groups were heard in the Oval Office.74 On a number of previously contentious i ssues, Taft and Eisenhower agreed with little discussion. Since 1947, Tidelands Oil had remained an open policy question. In May 1952, the House and Senate passed yet another quitclaim bill giving the oil rights to offshore areas to the adjacent states.75 Truman vetoed the measure and attacked the Republicans, and Eisenhower specifically, for their endorsement of state ownership in an election year.76 During the campaign, Eisenhower followed the advice of Jack Porter and other Texas oilmen and advocated ceding the mineral rights to the state governments, a position that enabled Ei senhower to win the support of Texas Democratic Governor Allen Shivers and most of the Lone Star State’s oil industry.77 According to a July Gallup poll, more Americans supported state ownership than Federal control by a slender forty-nine to forty-two percent ma rgin. Eisenhower’s position helped him carry Florida and Texas. His endorsement of economic federalism also struck a re sponsive chord throughout the So uth in the name of States’ Rights.78 Eisenhower and the Congressional leadersh ip saw eye to eye on Tidelands Oil. Taft, Millikin and Halleck soon worked out a strategy where Congr ess would take the lead on passing the measure with no help from the White House. Eisenhower pledged 74 Charles Halleck, Interview, OH 489, Eisenhower Library. 75 Washington Post 17 May 1952. 76 Washington Post, 30 May 1952. 77 For Eisenhower’s campaign position on the Tideland s, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Henry Cabot Lodge, 20 May 1952. Copy in Folder (Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.) Box 72, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers. For the reaction of Governor Shivers, see Christian Science-Monitor 9 September 1952 and George Norris Green, The Establishment in Texas Politics: The Primitive Years, 1938-1957 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979). 78 Washington Post 26 July 1952.

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361 to sign the bill if the controversial subsidiary clause, giving the states land rights beyond the continental shelf, was removed.79 Over the next two months, the legislative group worked together to neutra lize pressure form Southern Democrats to add this provision while Eisenhower told repor ters that he was not in a race to give federal land away.80 In early April 1952, the bill emerged from committee and was reported favorably to the Senate floor. Libe ral opponents of the measure staged five weeks of intense debate that saw Morse shatter the filibuster record and speak for nearly twenty-four hours st raight against the bill.81 In late April, Eisenhower publicly called for an end to the debate.82 On May 5, after Taft successfully brought the measure to a floor vote, the bill passed fifty-six to thirty-five.83 Nine days later, the House approved the measure, and Eisenhow er signed the quitclaim bill into law.84 The Nation proclaimed that the “world’s record give-away program” was the first step in the total abdication of the United States’ na tural resources to private developers and an end to the conservationist movement.85 The Tidelands Oil controversy was the first of many examples of cooperation between Taft and Eisenhower. The two also agreed on promoting a limited civil rights program that would not anger Southern De mocrats. Taft successfully resisted a 79 Legislative Meeting Notes, 26 January 1953. Copy in Folder (L-1 (1) [January 26, February 9, and February 26, 1953]), Box 1, Legislative Minutes Series; Legislative Meeting Notes, 2 March 1953. Copy in Folder (L-2 (2)) [March 2 and 9, 1953]), Box 1, Legislative Meeting Series. 80 Legislative Meeting Notes, 23 March 1953. Copy in Folder (L-2 (1)) [March 23, 1953]), Box 1, Legislative Meeting Series. 81 For more on the controversy and Morse’s extended speech, see Betty Jane Murdock, “The Speaking of Senator Wayne Morse on Tidelands Oil,” (Ph.D. Diss., University of Oregon, 1969). 82 Washington Post 25 April 1953; 83 Washington Post 6 May 1953. 84 Washington Post 15 May 1953. 85 The Nation 176, no. 20, 16 May 1953, 416-417.

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362 bipartisan rule change from New York Senators Irving Ives and Herbert Lehman that would effectively limit filibusters and enab le the Senate to vote on civil rights legislation. Taft moved to ta ble the change and his motion passed seventy to twentyone.86 Eisenhower refused to take a positi on on the matter and argued that Congress had the right to set its own rules.87 In their legislative mee tings, Taft and Eisenhower agreed that a compulsory Fair Employment Practices Committee was not feasible and that a voluntary version was the best proposal for the first session. Taft had the votes to pass anti-lynching legislation and a cons titutional amendment outlawing the poll tax, but Colorado’s Eugene Millikin believed that both measures would fail and they were not pursued aggressively. Throughout the spring, Taft strongly advocated a more forthright civil rights program.88 In March, Taft advocated th e addition of two seats to the District of Columbia City Commissi on, and asked Eisenhower to pursue more substantial equality measures. Eisenhower mulled the creation of a new committee on civil rights, but decided agai nst it because he feared that it would make “radical proposals.”89 In the arena of civil rights, Taft was generally more progressive than Eisenhower. During the first session, despite Taft’s en treaties, no major civil rights proposals were reported to Congress. Taft maintain ed his opposition to a compulsory Fair Employment Practices Commission becau se he doubted its constitutionality. Eisenhower adopted a similar stance and did not aggressively promote the FEPC as Dewey had done in New York. In 1953, the Pr esident took a very conservative stance 86 New York Times 8 January 1953; Washington Post 8 January 1953. 87 New York Times, 6 January 1953. 88 Legislative Meeting Notes, 9 February 1953. Copy in Folder (L-1 (1) [January 26, February 9 and 16, 1953]), Box 1, Legislative Minutes Series. 89 Legislative Meeting Notes, 30 March 1953. Copy in Folder (L-2 (2) [March 30, 1953], Box 1, Legislative Minutes Series.

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363 on civil rights and his admini stration did oversee some minor improvements, such as desegregation of schools on military bases a nd some restaurants in the District of Columbia. These actions earned faint prai se from NAACP head Walter White, but civil rights leaders argued that th ere was much more to be done.90 The Eisenhower Administration and th e Congressional conservatives also reached a middle ground on labor policy. Taft, despite his angry response to Durkin’s appointment as Secretary of Labor, pledge d to work with the administration but jealously guarded the principl es of the Taft-Hartley Act.91 In late December, American Federation of Labor President Geor ge Meany declared that his organization would accept changes in the law and not continue its demands for repeal.92 This marked a new willingness to work with the Republican administration. In January, Eisenhower met with CIO President Walter Re uther, who also sought cooperation in reworking the labor laws. Taft, Halleck, and ot hers expressed their distrust of Reuther and cautioned Eisenhower about promising too much or expecting assistance from the CIO. Eisenhower asked Taft and new labor Committee Chairman Alexander Smith to meet with Reuther as a sign of good faith. Taft agreed.93 By the end of March, the administration, the Congressional le adership, and the labor unions had reached no agreement on the proposed revisions. Halleck, wary of trusting the unions, hoped that the principl es of the law would remain intact. Saltonstall urged the White House to take a stand and wanted the issue resolved 90 Washington Post 10 November 1953. 91 New York Times 20 December 1952. 92 Washington Post 22 December 1952. 93 Legislative Meeting Minutes, 9 February 1953. Copy in Folder (L-1 (1) [January 26, February 9 and 16, 1953]), Box 1, Legislative Minutes Series.

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364 before the start of the 1954 election cycle.94 By late June, the administration endorsed a list of seventeen amendments. Meany supporte d fifteen of those and Taft noted that the criticism from the AFL would be lim ited and the organization might endorse Republican candidates in 1954. The CIO, however, thought the changes would not weaken Taft-Hartley enough. Taft and Joseph Martin ceased negotiations with Reuther and his associates.95 The legislative meetings revealed that Eisenhower and Taft were closer in domestic policy goals than most believed. In February, New York Times reporter William S. White predicted that Taft would buck the administration on questions of foreign policy, but in actuality their “di fferences of degree” were minor and the Senator never challenged Eisenhower on his diplomatic leadership.96 They agreed on labor, civil rights, and Tidelands Oil, an end to price controls, and continued public housing legislation. The legislative meetings were a double-edged sword, however, as they highlighted the remain ing tensions between the Republican factions. During Eisenhower’s first year, the budget and the ta xation rate divided the White House and the Congress more than any other issue. On April 30, 1953, Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey and White House Budget Di rector Joseph M. Dodge reported their preliminary budget estimates to the leader ship meeting. Their estimated spending level for the next fiscal year was close to eighty billion dollars, with nearly thirty percent of that figure goi ng to national defense. Th e Republicans had campaigned on lowering taxes and reducing spending, but the numbers that Humphrey and Dodge 94 Legislative Meeting Minutes, 9 March 1953. Copy in Folder (L-2 (2) [March 2 and 9, 1953]), Box 1, Legislative Minutes Series. 95 Legislative Meeting Notes, 24 June 1953. Copy in Folder (L-4 (4) [June 24 and 29, 1953]), Box 1, Legislative Minutes Series. 96 New York Times 26 February 1953.

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365 presented were on par with the previous y ear budget that the Truman administration had implemented. The estimates were based on a continuation of the Democratic foreign policy, complete with large standing armies in Europe and no decrease in foreign aid.97 Taft, Halleck, and others had consisten tly advocated budget a nd tax reductions in the legislative meetings, and Humphrey s’ report did not come close to meeting their expectations.98 Taft’s response to the figures coul d best be described as extreme. As Halleck put it, “Taft just hit the ce iling. He just raised unshirted hell.”99 Taft repeatedly banged his fist on the desk in obj ection, saying “I can't express deepness of my disappointment at program [the admini stration] presented t oday.” He chastised Humphrey and Dodge for the inflated budget numbers and believed that his worst preelection fears were coming true. Eisenhower and his administration were making no effort to stop the out of control federal sp ending or correct Democratic foreign policy mistakes. Taft had long advocated a restru cturing of the armed forces to rely on airpower as a cost-saving alternative. When the new budget took no steps toward military cutbacks, Taft believed that the administration had betrayed its campaign promises and the Republican Party. He excl aimed that the budget would prevent the election of a Republican Congress in 1954 and further alienate Old Guard Republicans and the right wing. Eisenhower di sagreed with Taft’s position, but gave the Senator the opportunity to vent his frustr ation and express his displeasure. By the end of the meeting he was still so worked up that he could not speak to the press, lest 97 Legislative Meeting Notes, 30 April 1953. Copy in Folder (L-3 (2) [April 30, 1953]), Box 1, Legislative Minutes Series. 98 Legislative Meeting Notes, 9 February 1953. Copy in Folder (L-1 (1) [January 26, February 9, and February 23, 1953] Box 1, Legislative Minutes Series. 99 Charles Halleck, Interview, OH 489, Eisenhower Library.

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366 he be cross-examined and public ly reveal his true feelings.100 The “Unshirted Hell” meeting was the most violent disagreemen t that Taft had with the Eisenhower administration. In late April, Taft began to show signs of illness. He was visibly weak and experienced continual pain in his hips a nd knees. By May, Taft could no longer cope with his deteriora ting condition and checked himsel f into Walter Reed Memorial Hospital. Initially diagnosed w ith an anemic condition, Taft left the hospital four days later and resumed his public service. Afte r a round of further tests, his doctors determined that Taft had cancer. The physic ians could not determine the point of origin, but the cancer had sp read throughout a large portion of Taft’s body. On June 10, Taft appointed Knowland as Acting Majori ty Leader and turned over his day-today duties to the California Senator. He told the press that he had a serious illness, but kept the specific details private. He spent the next month in and out of the hospital but tried to keep up with his duties in the Senate as much as possible.101 During the summer of 1953, Taft conti nued to observe and critique the new Republican administration. The flaws he reporte d to his associates loomed large in the face of the split between conservatives and liberals within the GOP and revealed Taft’s remaining distrust of his factional riva ls. He told a friend that “The President is being pulled in two directions, and usually wh en it is toward socialism I find it comes from what you might call the Dewey camp.”102 Brownell’s position as Attorney General, Adams role as Eisenhower’s Chief of Staff, and the appointment of Durkin as Secretary of Labor placed liberals in high places in the administration. 100 Legislative Meeting Minutes, 30 April 1953. Copy in Folder (L-3 (2) [April 30, 1953]), Box 1, Legislative Minutes Series. 101 Patterson, Mr. Republican 600-612; William S. White, The Taft Story (New York: Harper, 1954). 102 Robert A. Taft, Quoted in Patterson, Mr. Republican 608.

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367 Conservatives did, however, have more of a say in the White House than they believed they would have after Chicago. The tension from the campaign remained, and Taft placed the blame, somewhat irrationally, on Dewey and his associates whenever Eisenhower deviated from a conser vative position. Taft continued to view Albany and its like-minded colleagues as threats to a Republican administration, revealing the inferiority complex right-leani ng operatives had when it came to dealing with the White House. Taft also believed that the White House and the RNC were withholding patronage appointments to punish his friends and associates. On July 1, he informed Kathleen Kennedy Brown that “the questi on of patronage is still a troublesome one.”103 In January, Republicans expected to have 350,000 federal jobs to dole out to loyal supporters, but in late Febr uary that number was reduced to 110,000.104 Since the GOP had been out of power for twenty years, they did not have an established patronage operation in place at the start of Eisenhower’s term. As a result, the RNC, now under the direction of former New Yo rk Congressman Leonard Hall, had to create one from scratch and a number of positions remained open while they sought out qualified Republicans.105 In some states, this nece ssitated compromises between the liberals and the conservatives. In Tenne ssee, for example, Reece worked with the state Eisenhower organization and se t up a six-member commission to make employment recommendations, with three members coming from the Reece group 103 Robert A. Taft, Quoted in Patterson, Mr. Republican 608. 104 Washington Post 25 February 1953. 105 See, for example, Washington Post 10 February 1953.

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368 and three from the Eisenhower faction.106 Of the Taft supporters, Reece got off the easiest and had at least some c ontrol of the party in his stat e, likely due to his position in Congress.107 Patronage was a critical i ssue in the South. A number of Old Guard Republicans still controlled state parties in Dixie and the RNC attempted to limit their appointment power and weaken their position within th eir state. Eisenhower associate Edward Bermingham advised the President to ta p John Minor Wisdom of Louisiana and Elbert Tuttle of Georgia to oversee a sp ecific Southern patronage organization. Bermingham feared that the White H ouse would ignore the region and leave conservatives in control of the Southern GOP. He also believed that the Old Guard could claim that the North was raiding their fiefdoms, so he urged “that this important work remain free of Northern direction.”108 Sherman Adams assured a concerned attorney from Texas that “Southern Re publican recognition and appointments shall hereafter be for the friends and leaders of the Southern people and not for exploiters or scalawags. As to learning from mistakes or the past, you are entire ly right that it is 'time for a change.'”109 The change Adams hoped for was a wholesale tran sference of power away from Taft supporters to the upsta rt factions Brownell had cultivated since 106 Charles Willis, Letter to Sherman Adams, 25 Ju ne 1953. Copy in Folder (GF-109-A-2 Tennessee 1952-1953 (2)), Box 529, General File, Papers of the President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas [Hereafter cited as General File]. 107 Reece remained important because he was a pivota l swing vote on the H ouse Rules Committee. In 1954, an exasperated RNC official told Sherman Adams “It is completely incomprehensible to me that Carroll Reece's vote on any particular bill is more important than build ing a party for '54 and victory in '56." The new blood of the RNC apparently believed that Reece was standing in the way of progress in the Volunteer State. Charles Willis, Letter to Sherma n Adams, 20 May 1954. Copy in Folder (GF-109A-2 Tennessee 1952-1953 (2)), Box 529, General File. 108 Edward Bermingham, Letter to Dwight D. Eisenh ower, 10 November 1952. Copy in Folder (OF 138 – Alabama), Box 689, Official File, Papers of the President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas [H ereafter cited as Official File]. 109 Sherman Adams, Letter to William Burrow, 19 D ecember 1952. Copy in Fo lder (OF-1 38-C (1)), Box 708, Official File.

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369 1948. The RNC had large-scale plans for re vitalizing the Southern GOP, and those ambitions started with new leadership at the top. Taft held a different view. Consider ing the Southern GOP his friends and supporters, he believed that Eisenhower and his Deweyite advisors had turned a blind eye to the South. In December, he claimed that the South had been ignored in the Cabinet appointments in an effort to appease African-Americans in the North, but hoped that Dixie would receive more patronage after the inauguration.110 By June, Taft’s supporters were pleading with Taft to lobby the administration for more patronage appointments. Walter Hallanan cl aimed that the West Virginia GOP could not get as much as a postmaster appointed and that someone in RNC headquarters was obstructing their progress and their nominees He informed Taft that a New Yorker, Mary Keedick, was supervising his state’s patronage appointments in the RNC, and Hallanan believed that she was connected w ith Dewey. He blamed the factional split for the lack of plum positions in his state.111 The Senator received similar complaints from associates in Texas, S outh Carolina, and Mississippi.112 Taft’s poor health prevented him from taking up the issue with Hall or other RNC executives, but the Southern situation remained the most visibl e sign of the factional split in the early days of the administration. On July 4, Taft checked into New Yo rk Memorial Hospital for exploratory surgery, but doctors could not locate the source of th e tumor. Rather, they found cancer throughout his abdomen a nd realized that even the most aggressive treatment 110 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Wallace Malone, 6 D ecember 1952. Copy in Fold er (1952 Campaign – Alphabetical File – E-G), Box 423, Taft Papers. 111 Walter Hallanan, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 12 Ju ne 1953. Copy in Folder (Politics – Republican – 1953 – H-K), Box 1259, Taft Papers. 112 Mrs. A. Lee Matthews, Letter to Robert A. Ta ft, 20 March 1953. Copy in Folder (Politics – Republican – 1953 – L-N), Box 1259, Taft Papers.

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370 could not stop the spread of the disease. On July 31, Taft slipped into a coma and died thirteen hours later. His death shocked th e American public. He had managed to keep the severity of his condition under wraps a nd had tried to continue his Senatorial duties when possible. The Christian Science-Monitor called Taft a “towering figure” and noted that he had stuck to his conserva tive principles even when they proved to be unpopular.113 William White noted that Taft’s death could severely weaken Republican unity and the New York Times, the same paper that saw Taft as complicit in the Texas Steal, called the Ohioan a man of great personal integrity and principle. President Eisenhower released a statemen t calling Taft’s death a tragedy for all Americans.114 Taft’s death temporarily stalled the conservative-liberal feud within the Republican Party. With the RNC ostracizing most of Taft’s closest supporters and encouraging party expansion among liberal and moderate voters, conservatives soon found themselves on the outside looking in. In 1953, Taft’s prestige and his working relationship with Eisenhower gave the righ t-wing faction an entre into the White House and the RNC. After Taft’s passing, th e mantle of political conservatism fell to men who lacked the sterling reputation a nd legislative acumen of the Ohioan. The new Majority Leader, William Knowland, wa s not a reliable conservative and, in 1949, had voted with the Young Turks to remove Taft from his leadership role on the Republican Senate Policy Committee. Neith er Eugene Millkin, one of the most ideological conservatives in the Senate nor John Bricker commanded the same attention and merit as Taft Taft’s death removed the most welcome conservative voice from the White House and the most pr ominent legislator from the Republican 113 Christian Science-Monitor 1 August 1953. 114 New York Times 1 August 1953.

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371 Party. Republican conservative s lost their spokesman and, in their quest to regain control and the direction of their party, lost their mo st effective proponent.

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372 CHAPTER 10 CONCLUSION Many contingent and conflicting factors drive politicians in their quests to acquire personal power and prestige. Although a number of concerns can lead individuals to adopt critical policy positions and work for legislative goals, some of which can seem at times to go against the tradition of their party and the interests of their constituents, the drive to win elec tion and maintain power remains paramount. After World War II, Robert Taft and Thom as Dewey, two politicians who had very similar core ideologies but opted to assume radically different political identities in the press and on the campai gn trail, divided the Repub lican Party. While their differences manifested rhetorically, they we re rooted in a fundamental interpretation of the will and mindset of the American voter. The intensity surrounding their efforts to control the GOP and occupy the White House led to an unprecedented zeal among their followers and supporters. In the tens e aftermath of the 1948 presidential election, the factions increasingly id entified themselves, and thei r opponents, with ideological signifiers. As the 1952 election drew closer, this simplistic discursive trend took on a functional value. Republicans opted to suppor t Taft or Dewey depending on how they saw both themselves and the American body politic. Initially, Dewey and Taft each adhered to a basic philosophy of government that characterized the Republican Party of the ea rly twentieth century. Both men believed that control of governmental programs should be exercised at the local level. Dewey’s restructuring of the New York higher educat ion system and Taft’s plans to provide federal funding for public education both reflect this core belief. They also agreed that

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373 the government should be fiscally respons ible and not overburden its taxpayers. During his first term, Dewey oversaw budget cuts that generated a hefty surplus for the Empire State. Likewise Taft, throughout his Senatorial career consistently called for reductions in federal taxing and spendi ng, as well as a balanced budget. Neither men generally supported expanding the bureau cracy or the respons ibilities of the government, but were willing to do so when the situation necessitated it. Taft grew into a strong proponent of public housing when it became clear that private enterprise could not keep up with the postwar de mand. Dewey, likewise, promoted a Fair Employment Practices Committee to fight racial discriminatio n in his state. While the two Republicans did disagree, sometimes qu ite violently, on the merits of specific programs, their guiding, overarching political philosophies were remarkably similar. If this is the case, and it certainly appears to be, what then caused the Republican Party to fracture into essentia lly two camps over political ideology? Why did the Taft and Dewey feud take on such gargantuan proportions and threaten party unity and effectiveness in the critical 1948 and 1952 election cycles? Historians have generally attributed the divide to persona l animosity between the two leaders. Both Richard Norton Smith and James T. Patterson, the two most prominent biographers of Dewey and Taft, claim that the controvers y arose because of disagreements stemming from the 1944 presidential election and what Taft saw as heavy-handed tactics for party control leading to the 1948 nomination.1 While there is some truth to these assertions, and the two men certainly did hate each other, this is not enough to explain the high level of discord between the candi dates, their inner circles, and their followers among the general party member ship. If petty dislike and unbridled ambition were the roots of the problem, ne ither candidate likely would have rallied 1 Patterson, Mr. Republican 378; Smith; Thomas E. Dewey and his Times 33-4.

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374 the level or depth of support that they did am ongst the party faithful, as the desire for electoral victory would have ostensibly overridden such trif ling concerns. Both politicians proved capable of putting past history aside with other rivals, most notable Dewey and Harold Stassen’s collaborati on during the 1952 campaign, so what made their squabble so lasting and permanent? To fully understand the factional controversy, one must understand the underlying assumptions of both sides. Dewey and his advisers believed that the New Deal had fundamentally shifted American politics away from the conservative, probusiness elites who traditionally supported the GOP, and had given the working class and minority groups unprecedented levels of political power. While these latter groups could not control the outcome of an election on their own, their importance in the New Deal coalition indicated to Dewe y that the Republican Party needed to modify its approach and its platform to compete with the Democrats on a primarily liberal playing field. This did not mean that Dewey or the “liberal Republicans” abandoned their political ideo logy entirely, but they did em phasize certain points at the expense of other, more traditional Republican ideas and policies. They attempted to recast the GOP as a progressive ins titution with a public image of moderate liberalism and sympathy for the economic ha rdships of the poor and downtrodden. In their view, the Republican Party would not be effective at drawing votes as a conservative or Old Guard institution, as they believed conservatism was an outdated ideology that had lost its appeal after 1929. Taft, on the other hand, thought that the New Deal was nothing more than a temporary aberration brought about by an ec onomic crisis. Once the problems of the Depression had passed, the Ohioan thought that the political system would return to the principles of the 1920s. He believed th at the American peopl e generally supported

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375 limited government, free enterprise, and indi vidual initiative, and would support the Old Guard Republicans if given the opportuni ty. He viewed Dewey and his “forwardlooking” party as a surrender of Republican prin ciples and their effo rts to dictate party policy as an undermining of American valu es. Taft went along with Dewey in 1944, but saw the 1948 campaign as an inept effo rt to parrot the Democratic program. Because he believed Americans were ge nerally conservative, he saw Dewey’s rhetoric of confidence and platitudes as a wasted opportunity, and the Republican defeat in 1948 drove him to consolidate his political base through appeals to a platform that opposed the modern liberalis m of the Democratic Party. This plan appealed to a growing segment of conserva tive Republicans active at the grassroots, and provided an aggressive opposition to the Ne w Deal. It was the direct antithesis of Dewey’s campaign program. The worldviews of the two candidate s guided their campaign efforts and provided the framework of their factional disp ute. Their fundamental belief that either liberalism or conservatism would repel vot ers drove their selection of campaign tactics and publicity strategies. In 1948, Dewey purposely hid his plans for a sweeping investigation of communist s ubversion, distanced himself from the Tidelands Oil controversy, and campaigne d against the Republican-authored TaftHartley labor act because he genuinely thought that the American people would reject these initiatives as part of an outdated conservatism. Taft, likewise, promoted his stands on the Tidelands, Taft -Hartley, and his rejection of the FEPC as efforts to restore limited government and thought th ese programs would enhance his electoral potential. Essentially, both f actions thought that the other promoted losing strategies that would doom the GOP to further na tional defeats. The desire to win the

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376 presidency, then, drove the two camps to mount frenzied attacks on each other to sway RNC members and party leaders to s upport their program and point of view. Both Taft and Dewey clung steadfastly to their interpretations of the body politic. Essentially, they believed they we re right, their oppon ents were wrong, and there was no room for compromise. Their supporters agreed. The war of words that followed the 1948 election forced Republicans to choose one ideology over the other. At the grass-roots level, conservative ac tivists saw the Dewey-dominated eastern wing as faux Republicans who prevented true conservative Republicans from leading their party. In the early stages of th e Eisenhower administration, the two sides cooperated fairly well. Flare ups over th e budget and the Secretary of Labor aside, Taft and Eisenhower developed a strong wo rking relationship and the influence of Dewey, while prevalent in appointments a nd throughout the White House staff, did not completely drown out the conservatives. After Taft’s death, the situation changed radically. The Administrati on and the RNC mounted a pur ge of conservatives and tried to once again recast the party as pr ogressive, this time under the moniker of “modern Republicanism.” By 1956, the divide between conser vative and liberal Republicans was complete. That year, Arthur Hays Sulzberg er wrote to Dewey e xpressing his disdain over a brewing controversy between Harold Stassen, now a cabinet official, and VicePresident Richard Nixon over Nixon’s place on the 1956 ticket. Sulzberger put it very bluntly when he said “Some people dislik e the devil – that is how I feel about conservative Republicans.”2 Many in the RNC and the executive branch agreed. Earlier that year, the President’s brother Milton pointed out that “The Republican party [sic] is being rebuilt (thirty-nine new State Chairm en have been elected during 2 Arthur Hays Sulzberger, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey, 28 September 1956. Copy in Folder 5 (A.H. Sulzberger), Box 43, Series X, Dewey Papers.

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377 [the Eisenhower] administration) and this reform will be more meaningful and dependable four years hence.”3 The liberal Republicans had removed Old Guard influence from the GOP throughout the nation. After the events of the 1952 nationa l convention, when the Texas Steal dominated the headlines, conservative journa lists, intellectuals, and voters rejected the GOP leadership for its actions. P hyllis Schlafly, writing in 1964’s A Choice Not an Echo claimed that Dewey and his eastern a ssociates “dictated the choice of the Republican presidential nominee just as co mpletely as the Paris dressmakers control the length of women’s skirts.”4 The call from the right to reject the “Eastern establishment,” the pejorative name given to the liberal Republicans, motivated delegates to nominate Goldwater and take back the GOP. The battle lines of this conflict were drawn in 1944 and, over ti me, the conflict between two Republican leaders would help shift modern American politics to the right. 3 Milton Eisenhower, Letter to Dwight D. Eisenhower, 16 January 1956. Copy in Folder (Jan. ’56 Miscellaneous (4)), Box 12, Ann Whitman DDE Diary Series, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas [Hereafter cited as Whitman Diary]. 4 Phyllis Schlafly, A Choice Not an Echo (Alton, IL: Pere Marquette Press, 1964), 6

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378 LIST OF REFERENCES Archival Sources Archives of Appalachia, East Tenne ssee State University, Johnson City Tennessee B. Carroll Reece Papers Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene Kansas Ann Whitman Diary Series Arthur Summerfield Papers Arthur Summerfield Papers II DDE Pre-Presidential Papers DDE General File DDE Official File Herbert Brownell Papers Len Hall Papers Oveta Culp Hobby Papers Papers of Young and Rubicam Robert Humphreys Papers Library of Congress, Washington DC Robert A. Taft Papers Ohio Historical Society, Columbus Ohio Clarence Brown Papers Wright State University, Department of Special Collections, Dayton Ohio Kathleen Kennedy Brown Papers

PAGE 386

379 University of Rochester, Department of Special Collections, Rochester New York Thomas E. Dewey Papers Government Publications Congressional Daily Digest Congressional Record Newspapers and Periodicals Barron’s Birmingham News Christian Science-Monitor Cincinnati Enquirer CIO News Cleveland Call and Post Houston Post Human Events Los Angeles Times Miami Daily News New York Herald and Tribune New York Times Pittsburgh Courier The Freeman The Nation The Progressive The Texas Republican Washington Post Secondary Sources Ambrose, Stephen E. Eisenhower: Soldier and President. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990.

PAGE 387

380 Andrew, John A. The Other Side of the Sixties: Young Americans for Freedom and the Rise of Conservative Politics. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997. Bell, Daniel. The New American Right. New York: Criterion Books, 1955. Berman, William C. Politics of Civil Rights in the Truman Administration. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1970. Bjerre-Poulsen, Neils. Right Face: Organizing the Amer ican Conservative Movement 1945-65. Copenghaen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2002. Black, Earl and Merle. The Rise of Southern Republicans. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 2002. Bone, Hugh A. Party Committees and National Politics. Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1958. Bowen, Michael. “A Politician of Principle: Three Events in the Congressional Career of B. Carroll Reece.” Master’s Thesis : East Tennessee State University, 1999. Boylan, James R. The New Deal Coalition and the Election of 1946. New York: Garland Publishing, 1981. Brinkley, Alan. “The Problem of American Conservatism.” American Historical Review 99, no. 2 (April 1994): 409-429. ________. Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin and the Great Depression. New York: Vintage Books, 1983. Broderick, Francis L. Progressivism at Risk: El ecting a President in 1912. Westport, CT.: Greenwood Press, 1989. Brownell, Herbert with Burke, John P. Advising Ike: The Memoirs of Attorney General Herbert Brownell. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1993. Buckley, William F. God and Man at Yale: the Superst itions of Academic Freedom. Chicago: Regenry, 1951. Carter, Dan T. Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995. Chace, James. 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft and De bs – The Election that Changed the Country. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004. Cherny, Robert W. American Politics in the Gilded Age, 1868-1900. Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1997. Clark, James Anthony. Marrs McLean: A Biography. Houston, TX.: Clark Publishing, 1969.

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381 Cohen, Lizabeth. The Consumer’s Republic. New York: Vintage Books, 2003. Cole, Wayne S. Roosevelt and the Isol ationists: 1932-45. Lincoln, NB.: University of Nebraska Press, 1983. Cotter, Cornelius P. and Hennessy, Bernard C. Politics Without Power: The National Party Committees. New York: Atherton Press, 1964. Countryman, Matthew. Up South: Civil Rights and Black Power in Philadelphia. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005. Critchlow, Donald T. Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroot s Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005. Dailey, Joseph Michael. “The Eisenhow er-Nixon Campaign Organization of 1952.” Ph.D. Diss., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1975. Dalleck, Matthew. The Right Moment. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. David, Paul T. Presidential Nominating Politics in 1952 Vol. III The South Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1954. ________. The Politics of National Party Conventions. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1960. Dawley, Alan. Struggles for Justice: Social Resp onsibilities and the Liberal State. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 1991. Donaldson, Gary A. Truman Defeats Dewey. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1999. Edsall, Thomas Byrne and Mary. Chain Reaction: The Importance of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics. New York: Norton, 1991. Engler, Robert. The Politics of Oil: A Study of Private Power and Democratic Directions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961. Fausold, Martin L. The Presidency of Herbert C. Hoover. Lawrence, KS.: University of Kansas Press, 1985. Flynn, John T. As We Go Marching. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1944. ________. The Road Ahead, America’s Creeping Revolution. New York: Devin Adair, 1949. Foster, James Caldwell. The Union Politic: The CIO Political Action Committee. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1975. Frederickson, Kari. The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

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382 Freeland, Richard. The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1972. Gallup, George H. The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion 1935-1971. Vol. I. New York: Random House, 1972. ________. The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion 1935-1971, Vol II. New York: Random House, 1972. Gardner, Michael R. Harry Truman and Civil Rights: Moral Courage and Political Risks. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2002. Garrett, Garet. The People’s Pottage. Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers, 1953. Goldman, Ralph M. The National Party Chairman and Committees: Factionalism at the Top. Armonk, NY.: M.E. Sharpe, 1990. Gould, Lewis L. Grand Old Party. New York: Random House, 2003. ________. Reform and Regulation: American Pol itics from Roosevelt to Wilson. Prospect Heights, IL.: Waveland Press, 1996. Green, George Norris. The Establishment in Texas Politics: The Primitive Years, 1938-1957. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979. Green, John C., ed. Politics, Professionalism, and Power: Modern Party Organization and the Legacy of Ray C. Bliss. Lanham, MD., University Press of American, 1994. Greene, John Robert. The Crusade: The Presidential Election of 1952. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1985. Griffith, Robert. The Politics of Fear. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1987. Harris, Louis. Is There a Republican Majority ? Political trends, 1952-1956. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1954. Hayek, Frederick. The Road to Serfdom Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1944. Haynes, John Earl, ed. Calvin Coolidge and the Coolidge Era. Washington, DC.: Library of Congress, 1998. Heard, Alexander. The Costs of Democracy. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1960. Herman, Arthur. Joseph McCarthy: Re-Examining the Life and Legacy of America’s Most Hated Senator. New York: Free Press, 2000. Hogan, Michael J. A Cross of Iron: Harry Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

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383 Jacobs, Meg. “‘How About Some Meat?’ : The Office of Price Administration, Consumption Politics, and State Building from the Bottom Up, 1941-1946,” Journal of American History 84, no. 3 (Dec, 1997): 910-941. Johnson, Donald Bruce. The Republican Party and Wendell Willkie. Urbana, IL.: University of Illinois Press, 1960. Karabell, Zachary. The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election. New York: Vintage Books, 2000. Kesaris, Paul L., ed. Papers of the Republican Party. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1987. Key, V.O. Southern Politics in State and Nation. New York: Vintage Books, 1962. Kirk, Russell. The Conservative Mind, from Burke to Santayana. Chicago: Regenry, 1953. Kruse, Kevin. White Flight: Atlanta and the Ma king of Modern Conservatism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005. Kurian, George Thomas. The Encyclopedia of the Republican Party. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe Reference, 1997. Lassiter, Matthew The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics
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FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT: THE QUEST FOR REPUBLICAN IDENTITY IN THE
POSTWAR PERIOD















By

MICHAEL D. BOWEN


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2006

































Copyright 2006

by

Michael D. Bowen















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This project is the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication, but

it would not have been possible without assistance and support from a number of

individuals along the way. First and foremost, I have to thank God and my parents for

all that they have done for me since before I arrived at the University of Florida. Dr.

Brian Ward, whose admiration for West Ham United is only surpassed by his love for

the band Gov't Mule, was everything I could have asked for in an advisor. Dr. Charles

Montgomery pushed and prodded me to turn this project from a narrow study of the

GOP to a work that advances our understanding of postwar America. Dr. Robert

Zieger was a judicious editor whose suggestions greatly improved my writing at every

step of the way. Drs. George Esenwein and Daniel Smith gave very helpful criticism

in the later stages of the project and helped make the dissertation more accessible. I

would also like to thank my fellow graduate students in the Department of History,

especially the rest of "Brian Ward's Claret and Blue Army," for helping make the

basement of Keene-Flint into a collegial place and improving my scholarship through

debate and discussion. Finally, I must thank the UF library system for closing Library

West in December 2003 and keeping it closed until August 2006. A dissertation is a

challenging thing to begin with, but when scholars do not have easy access to research

materials, it becomes a more harrowing task that one can explain.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iii

ABSTRACT ............... ................. ........ .............. vi

CHAPTERS

1 IN T R O D U C T IO N .............................................................................. .......... .. .. .

2 "THIRST FOR POWER AND SELF-PERPETUATION": THE DIVISION
OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, 1944-1946 ................ ..................................22

3 POWER WITHOUT CONTROL: CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS AND
THE 80TH CON GRESS, 1946-1948.. ................................. ........ ....... ............... 65

4 OPPORTUNITY WASTED: THOMAS DEWEY AND THE REPUBLICAN
FAILURE OF 1948 ............... .................... ........... .............. .. 111

5 "A NATION OF MORONS:" THE AFTERMATH OF THE 1948
E L E C T IO N 1949-1950 ............................................ ......................................... 153

6 PRAGMATIC CAMPAIGNS, IDEOLOGICAL VOTERS: THE ELECTIONS
O F 1 9 5 0 .......................................................................... 2 0 0

7 "THE GREAT REPUBLICAN MYSTERY:" THE 1952 PRE-
CONVENTION CAM PAIGN .........................................................................241

8 "IF WE SLEEP ON THIS, WE ARE REALLY SUCKERS:" JUNE -
N O V E M B E R 1952 ........................................................................... .................. 2 82

9 PRELUDE TO A PURGE: EISENHOWER'S ELECTION AND THE
DEATH OF TAFT, NOVEMBER 1952 1953. .............................................. 324

10 C O N CLU SIO N ............................................................ .............. .. 372

L IST O F R E FE R E N C E S ..................................................................... ...... ................378

A archival Sources................ .................. ................................. ..... .......... 378
Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City
Tennessee .................. ..... ........... .. ...... ... ................ 378
Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene Kansas ................ ...............378
Library of Congress, W ashington DC .................................... ............... 378
Ohio Historical Society, Columbus Ohio ............. ................. ....................378









Wright State University, Department of Special Collections, Dayton Ohio..... 378
University of Rochester, Department of Special Collections, Rochester
N ew Y ork ................................................................... ............... 379
G overnm ent Publications ............................................................................ 379
N ew spapers and Periodicals ............................................. ............................ 379
Secondary Sources ...................................................... ... .. ............ 379

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ........................................ ............................................387















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT: THE QUEST FOR REPUBLICAN IDENTITY IN THE
POSTWAR PERIOD

By

Michael D. Bowen

August 2006

Chair: Charles Montgomery
Cochair: Brian Ward
Major Department: History

This dissertation explores the construction of partisan political identity after

World War II. Long thought of as the party of rich white men, the Republican Party

fractured over the proper method of achieving majority status in the aftermath of the

New Deal. The party, once unified behind the banner of big business and laissez-faire

economics, divided into two groups with decidedly different worldviews on race and

class. One faction, championed by New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, struggled

to make the party an institution of diversity and democracy and to include African-

Americans and labor unions in its organizations. Dewey's policy initiatives on civil

rights and industrial relations were among the most egalitarian and forward-thinking

of his day, and included the first state Fair Employment Practices Commission in the

nation. The second faction rallied behind Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft and catered to

elite and middle class interests. The Taftite legislative program was extremely pro-

business, both big and small, and resulted in the Taft-Hartley Act and the end of price

control measures designed to help consumers cope with a wartime economy. The









struggle for control of the GOP and its fundamental principles had far-reaching

ramifications for American public policy. Dewey's frustration of the right-wing

element fueled resentment that helped shape the modern conservative movement.

Although these factions were labeled "conservative" and "liberal" in the press

and by their opponents, they had nearly identical styles of governing. They espoused

similar policy initiatives in areas such as education and housing. The two factions

differed over social legislation designed to help African-Americans and unionized

workers. Dewey sought to expand the postwar Republican Party by appealing to these

two Democratic voting groups. Under Dewey's leadership, the Empire State passed

the first state provision barring employment discrimination based on race, religion, or

national origin. His aggressive stance on labor relations benefited both employers and

employees and New York largely escaped the post-World War II strike wave that

swept the rest of the nation. Taft disagreed with Dewey's methods and moved to

rebuild the GOP on its traditional base of big business and upper-class whites. He

flatly rejected a national version of New York's anti-discrimination commission and

authored the Taft-Hartley Act, a measure that erased many of the gains organized

labor had made under the Roosevelt administration.

The splintering of the GOP arose from two competing views of the American

polity and the ramifications of the New Deal. Taft and Dewey hoped to take the

Republican Party in opposite directions. The results of their struggle shaped the party

for the next fifty years.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

In April 1952, Robert Taft's pre-convention campaign was in full swing as he

addressed a group of Republicans in Pittsburgh. After briefly acknowledging the local

and state politicians who made his trip possible, Taft emphasized the platform he had

preached for the past five months. Known as "Mr. Republican," the senior Senator

from Ohio laid out his political philosophy in clear terms, saying "We offer the

American workman a return to honesty and integrity in Washington, a reduction in his

tax burdens, a stimulation of the process of improved production to increase his

income and standard of living, a foreign policy which will protect his security without

drafting his boys for military service and limit his opportunity."1 Although he had

announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination in November 1951, Taft

and his closest advisors had been planning their campaign since 1948, when New

York Governor Thomas E. Dewey lost the presidential election to Democratic

incumbent Harry Truman.2 Often regarded as the most shocking upset in American

political history, Dewey's defeat galvanized Taft, his inner circle, and millions of his

supporters across the nation. Their efforts to secure the GOP nomination in 1952

helped lay the groundwork for the modern conservative movement.





1 Speech of Robert A. Taft, delivered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 15 April 1952. Copy in Folder
(Speeches and Notes 1952), Box 331, Speech File, Robert A Taft. Papers, Manuscript Division,
Library of Congress [Hereafter cited as Taft Papers].

2 Zachary Karabell, The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election (New York:
Vintage Books, 2000); Gary A. Donaldson, Truman Defeats Dewey (Lexington, KY: University of
Kentucky Press, 1999); Sean J. Savage, Truman and the Democratic Party (Lexington, KY: University
of Kentucky Press, 1997).









Although Taft had the moniker of "Mr. Republican," he was not the most

dominant individual in the GOP. In terms of political success and popular following,

Dewey easily overshadowed Taft. Rising to power first as New York City's District

Attorney and later as Governor of New York, Dewey had the most loyal following

within the party. Using his political connections in New York City, Dewey assembled

a highly skilled team of political advisors who built a national organization for the

Governor composed of state party leaders and potential national convention delegates.

This, more than anything else, allowed him to maintain control of the GOP, but he

and his advisors understood that, in the wake of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's

administration, the Republican Party would have to attract voters from outside its

traditional, pro-business base. Beginning with his 1944 presidential nomination,

Dewey made a calculated effort to reshape the public identity of the Republican Party

and sell the party as a progressive institution capable of rivaling the Democrats as a

vehicle for change. While Taft campaigned on issues similar to those in his 1952

speech in Pittsburgh, Dewey spoke in generalizations and only mentioned vague

"forward-looking" principles. Although both individuals adhered to a similar set of

core political beliefs that rejected most forms of statism and held the individual

ultimately responsible for their own livelihood, the difference in their campaign and

publicity programs fostered an open split in the Republican Party that characterized

the GOP for over a decade.

By their very nature, political parties are rife with internal disagreements, but

the feud in the postwar GOP stands out not only for its intensity, but because of what

it says about American politics after 1944. From 1932 through 1952, the Republicans

lost five straight presidential elections and held a majority in Congress for only two of

those years and the Senate for only four. On the surface, the disagreement between the









Republican titans arose specifically over the most effective way to regain majority

status in the short term, but the underlying cause of the factional tiff was something

much deeper. Between 1932 and 1944, the political landscape of the nation was

altered radically. The financial crisis of the Great Depression and the ensuing war

necessitated innovative economic and social changes at the highest level of American

government. With Roosevelt in the Oval Office, the New Deal reshaped the nation's

political institutions. The Democrats replaced the program of the 1920s GOP, which

included only limited regulations and kept industrialists as the most prominent

constituency group in Washington, with a more inclusive system that safeguarded the

working class and minority groups. Organized labor, long the bane of Republican

chieftains and the captains of industry, now found a permanent place at the bargaining

table with the creation of the National Labor Relations Board. After 1936 African-

Americans, once a critical constituency group to the GOP, became the most

consistently Democratic voting bloc in the country. This, along with the Democratic

Solid South, made Roosevelt's grip on the White House virtually unbreakable and left

the Republicans scrambling to remain a potent force in American politics.

The anxiety of prolonged minority status led to a period of indecision. The

purpose of any political party is to win elections. By 1944, the party elite were

struggling to cope with reshaping the GOP, but disagreed on the proper method and

direction to bring victory. Dewey, raised in the era of Republican progressivism,

promoted the party as a moderate rival to New Deal Democracy that pledged support

to union workers, African Americans, and the urban poor. Governing in New York,

Dewey believed that he understood the impact of the electoral realignment and hoped

to change the message of the party to fit with the times. Taft held a completely

different view and portrayed the GOP as a counter to modern liberalism and a return









to limited government based on individualism. He believed that a pro-business system

and a strict construction of the constitution were the normal and most logical ways to

govern the nation, and sought to enhance Republican opposition to the Democratic

administration. As a party long out of power, Dewey and Taft crafted their platforms

and programs based on their views of the American public, and divided the party

through their rival candidacies and campaigns.

In the process, each faction castigated its rivals as traitors to party principles and

as faux Republicans, making this divide into something much more permanent. Over

the next four years, and even into the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the

rival factions repeated their charges in order to gain an electoral advantage. These

rhetorical flourishes took on a functional value among the party faithful and the

average voter. In the public eye, Taft and Dewey went from political rivals who

espoused a number of similar policies to bitter ideological enemies with two

competing views of the American polity. While Taft and Dewey did have a personal

animosity that colored their interaction negatively, their fundamental political beliefs

were never as divergent as people believed. The competition between the two wings,

more than anything else, gave the GOP its ideological character and opened its

political identity up for debate.

With the sides divided into two camps, the picture grew more complex. As Taft

was building a reputation of opposing liberalism, conservatism was emerging as an

intellectual movement. Historian George Nash has argued that intellectual

conservatism formed as a combination of three distinct schools of thought:

traditionalism, libertarianism, and anticommunism. During the late 1940s and 1950s,

journalists and scholars who subscribed to these perspectives debated among

themselves, and an ever-growing popular audience, as to which aspect was more









important for the ideology of their movement. Anticommunism, which called for a

strident defense against a potential Soviet subversion, galvanized the general public,

both liberals and conservatives alike. By 1960, traditionalists and libertarians had

allied with right-leaning anticommunists to support a cohesive conservative program

that had such a popular following that liberals and moderates in both parties could no

longer treat the movement as a wishful nostalgia or a reactionary impulse, as they had

for the past decade.3

Conservatism is, as most -isms seem to be, a catch-all term encompassing a

number of distinct and often contradictory principles and political interpretations.

Codifying conservatism for this project has been an exceptional challenge. Taft and

Dewey existed in a time before the "conservative intellectual movement" that Nash

has so eloquently and thoroughly described. When the GOP was beginning to split in

the mid-1940s, William F. Buckley, now widely regarded the godfather of modern

conservatism, had just recently graduated from Yale. His first book would not be

published until 1951 and the first issue of National Review did not arrive on

newsstands until two years after Taft's death. The nascent right-wing press was

limited to the libertarian Human Events and the fledgling Commentary. Writers such

as John T. Flynn and Frederick Hayek appeared in some mainstream publications like

Reader 's Digest and completed their own monographs, but these sold a limited

number of copies. In the late 1940s, the conservative movement, if it can be called a

movement, lacked coherence. It did not yet embody an accepted set of principles that

could serve as a litmus test between conservatism and liberalism.




3 For an example of the "liberal" take on conservatism in the early 1950s, see Daniel Bell, The New
American Right (New York: Criterion Books, 1955); George Nash, The Conservative Intellectual
Movement in America since 1945 (Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 1998)









The set of principles that Robert Taft subscribed to, which, in this narrative, is

referred to somewhat obliquely as "conservatism," was based on a strict interpretation

of the constitution and a limited federal government. It was not centered on anti-

communism, like the philosophy of so many conservative intellectuals.4 While Taft

abhorred Soviet communism in specific and socialism in general, his position derived

from his upbringing, education, and worldview. First and foremost, Taft believed in

and strove for a small federal government. He despised bureaucracy and worked

consistently to limit federal spending and trim agencies and workers from the

government payrolls, but he was not completely rigid in his views. In most cases he

saw more government as problematic, but in certain situations such as the postwar

housing shortage, Taft concluded that the federal government was the only institution

that could bring about an adequate solution to social problems. Second, Taft had a

strong allegiance to federalism. He despised centralized planning and saw most New

Deal programs as experiments in social engineering. But even when he proposed a

national solution to what was ostensibly a series of interconnected local problems,

such as his aid to education measures, Taft demanded that state and municipal

governments maintain local autonomy. Third, Taft held supreme faith in the primacy

of the individual and the right of free association. Throughout his effort to restrict the

power of labor unions, a quest that ultimately led to the passage of the Taft-Hartley

Act, the Ohio Senator never questioned the right of workers to organize and bargain

with employers. What he disliked, rather, was the tendency for union leaders to speak

politically for the rank and file without consulting them. He believed that union




4 Nash contends that anti-communism was broad enough to unite two distinct schools of conservative
thought, traditionalism and liberalism, into a somewhat coherent intellectual movement. See George H.
Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America, 118-140.









efforts to speak for the working class were undemocratic and fostered a class rivalry

that, to Taft, represented politics at its lowest form.

Fourth, Taft was guided by a strict interpretation of the Constitution. For

example, Taft failed to support a number of racial equality measures because, in his

mind, the rights of the states to control their own economy, their own voting

procedures, and their own criminal justice systems were more important than

affording special privileges to one group of people, especially as the Democratic Party

was continually moving to expand the power of the federal government after World

War II. Taft was by no means a racist and worked for civil rights measures, such as

home rule for the District of Columbia and anti-poll tax measures, when he believed

that is was a legitimate expulsion of federal power under the Constitution, but he

remained rooted to his conservative views in most other cases. Fifth, Taft embraced a

foreign policy view that placed the needs of the United States over any external

commitments. Prior to World War II, this fundamental belief manifested itself as

isolationism, but as the Cold War progressed it shifted into a grudging acceptance of

American commitments abroad and a fear that increased defense spending could

overburden the government and the American taxpayer. Finally, Taft was opposed to

most of the social welfare programs of the New Deal. He understood the impetus for

programs like Social Security during the Great Depression but believed that their

usefulness had passed. Taft saw federal relief dollars as a drain on the productive

capacity of the economy. Although he realized the political reality that Social Security

could never be repealed, he quietly regretted its supposedly harmful effects on

American enterprise.

In the late 1940s, the "conservative" faction, labeled somewhat derisively as the

Old Guard, adhered to most of Taft's political principles. This group of established









politicians, many of whom had been affiliated with the Harding, Coolidge, and

Hoover administrations, made up the bulk of Taft's support. Most of their number

hailed from the Midwest, but some Southern and Western Republicans allied with

Taft as well. Their factional opponents came primarily from the Northeast, but had

pockets of support from throughout the nation. Dewey was the leader of these so-

called "liberal Republicans." His successful tenure in Albany led to the Republican

Presidential nominations of 1944 and 1948 and effective control of the GOP platform

in those crucial elections. Although a number of Republicans competed for their

party's nomination in those years, only Taft and Dewey had the support to have a

legitimate chance of heading the ticket.

Labeling Dewey as a "liberal Republican" is somewhat misleading in that he

did not hold a strict adherence to the tenants of modem liberalism as embodied by the

New Deal. An overwhelming majority of the New Yorker's policy decisions reflected

traditional Republican values. Dewey drastically reduced taxes in his first term and

created a budget surplus through a program of fiscal responsibility and county

autonomy. In creating the State University of New York system, for example, Dewey

placed the burden of funding on the local communities of the various campuses

through local sales tax collection. Rather than overextending the state treasury, he left

higher education in the hands of the local leaders, not a centralized authority, just as

Taft did with his aid to education bills. In some cases, Dewey took a harsh view

toward organized labor, going so far as making it a terminable offense for state

employees to strike in the wake of a teacher's dispute early in his first term.

Taft and Dewey did not agree on all policies, however, with foreign policy the

most important difference. Dewey was an avowed internationalist who thought that

America should strive to maintain peace and commerce abroad at virtually all costs.









He and his supporters, including future Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and a

number of his financial backers on Wall Street, saw Taft's "America First" position as

arcane and backwards. Most of the Dewey faction used this view as evidence that Taft

was unfit to lead. On domestic matters, Taft and Dewey differed on social issues.

They were equally tough on labor but disagreed on methodology. Dewey was much

more willing to negotiate with more moderate labor groups in the American

Federation of Labor, and used his prestige to settle a number of statewide strikes in

the Empire State. Taft, on the other hand, saw all unions as potential impediments to

the free market and preferred to restrict their activity, rather than bring them to the

negotiating table. Dewey did prove to be slightly more willing to manage the

economy and regulate businesses. Under his watch, New York passed the first state-

level Fair Employment Practices Commission in the nation, which barred most forms

of discrimination in the hiring, firing, and promotion of workers. Taft never

invalidated the right of employers to choose their own employees.

From the brief survey of their policies, it becomes clear why it is problematic to

refer to Taft and his followers as conservative and Dewey and his associates as

liberal. Although differences existed, there were no major divisions between the

actual domestic policies of the two Republican titans. These ideological signifiers,

however, have become affixed permanently in the historical narrative due to their

conflicting worldviews. This project asks why the postwar Republican Party split into

two factions that, while similar in governing philosophies, came to be seen as

complete opposites with little hope of reconciliation. The answer lies not in policy

provisions or legislation, but rather in campaign styles and a competing view of the

modern electorate. The desire to win the Republican nomination and the White









House, masking a fundamental dispute over ideology, divided the GOP into two

competing groups.

Taft split with Dewey after the 1944 election, but the gap grew after the

Republican loss in 1948. Taft and his followers believed that Dewey and the "liberal

Republicans" had abandoned the party base through their campaign to build another

New Deal coalition. This strategy, which the Old Guard called "me-too

Republicanism," was anathema to Taft. He believed that by failing to take a

principled stand against the excesses of the New Deal, Dewey had surrendered the

contest on day one and had not played up the party's advantages: its firm commitment

to limited government and its clear, level-headed plan to reduce taxes and price

controls while keeping organized labor in check. These had been the guiding

principles of the Republican-controlled 80th Congress. In Taft's mind, when Dewey

turned his back on the party's legislative record and ran a neutral, personality-driven

campaign, the Governor had abdicated his responsibility as GOP standard-bearer. Taft

thought the American people would choose to support the traditional Republican

program over a continuation of the New Deal, but Dewey did not give the public a

chance to make that decision.

Dewey, on the other hand, opposed Taft not because of an embrace of modern

liberalism, but because Dewey held a view that can best be labeled as "anti-

conservatism." Other than isolationism, Dewey agreed with most of Taft's political

philosophy, but he believed that limited government and fiscal responsibility would

not attract voters. Coming from the heavily urban state of New York, Dewey was

impressed by the charisma and charm of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and thought that

a campaign designed to appeal to nominally Democratic groups like African-

Americans and organized labor could swing enough voters into the Republican









column to capture the White House. Dewey had consistently advocated a bland

program of "forward-looking principles" designed to offset the GOP's reputation of

curmudgeonly conservatism that came with Herbert Hoover's administration and the

Great Depression. He believed that the party needed to shed its image as an Old

Guard enclave and embrace some of the changes associated with the New Deal. While

this did not mean an out and out abandonment of party principles, it did signify an end

to outright opposition to the Democratic platform and a tacit acceptance of an

expanded federal bureaucracy and the power of the federal government.

If the party had been unified behind one of the two candidates or had only one

clear leader, the internal disagreements could have been diffused through negotiation.

In the atmosphere of electoral competition, however, the ambitions of politicians

forced party officers and rank and file to choose sides. The closed-system of the

Republican Party and the Republican National Committee made allies into rivals

competing for patronage positions, titles, and prestigious government jobs. Supporting

a presidential candidate and ushering him to victory could pay huge dividends on the

state and local level, meaning that all Republican officials had a stake in the national

leadership. With Taft and Dewey having the largest popular followings and most

comprehensive national organizations, they were easily able to turn back lesser

challengers like Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen and California Governor Earl

Warren. The Republican Party effectively divided into two camps based on personal

allegiance to Taft and Dewey.

Politicians, by the very nature of their profession, argue and debate constantly.

This project, however, contends that this particular factional split shaped the rise of

what historians term as modern conservatism. Taft represented what could be

described as an early version of the "Silent Majority," the group of middle-class,









suburban Americans that worked hard, paid their taxes, and preferred that the

government leave them alone as much as possible. This project does not seek to move

the start date of the Silent Majority to before the 1970s. It does, however, note that

Taft picked up on, and spoke to, a poorly-formed, unorganized group of average

Americans who resented and rejected parts of the Democratic program. In the late

1940s, before the Brown decision and during the early stages of the post-war housing

boom, the sentiments that would become homeowner populism existed as a number of

single issues, but did not have the saliency that they would have in the late 1960s,

after the Civil Rights movement.5 Taft's arguments for curtailing organized labor,

ending price controls, and maintaining local autonomy appealed to this growing

segment of the public. Dewey, on the other hand, believed that the American people

had embraced most of the Democratic program and the Republicans would have to

also in order to become electorally viable again. As Dewey maintained his control of

the GOP, and promoted a more moderate agenda, conservative Republicans

increasingly believed that their party had been hijacked and that the Dewey leadership

failed to represent them adequately. From 1948 through the end of Eisenhower

administration, this sentiment grew into open distaste for the "liberal Republicans"

and the so-called "Eastern Establishment." At the grassroots, this manifested into the

conservative zeal behind Barry Goldwater's 1964 candidacy. Ultimately, the seeds of

the Reagan Revolution were sown in the Taft-Dewey split.6



5 For more on the politics of suburban populism, see Robert O. Self, American Babylon: Race and the
Strugglefor Postwar Oakland (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), and Matthew
Lassiter, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton, NJ: Princeton
University Press, 2006).

6 See Jonathan M. Schoenwald, A Time for I, ... *"i The Rise of Modern American Conservatism
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2001); Neils Bjerre-Poulsen Right Face: Organizing the
American Conservative Movement 1945-65 (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2002); and
Matthew Dalleck, The Right Moment (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).










In the last decade, historians have taken a thorough look at conservatives and

their role in American politics and society. Answering a challenge from Alan

Brinkley issued as part of an American Historical Review roundtable, scholars have

shaken their traditional distaste for figures such as Goldwater and Reagan and begun

to assess their impact on public policy and political culture in the late twentieth

century. The bulk of this work has focused on the period from 1960 through 1994

and has depicted the rise of Goldwater and Reagan as a response to the race- and

class-based policies of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Thomas

Sugrue has argued that tensions associated with white discontent in working class

Detroit caused a mass exodus from the Democratic Party that started after World War

II and accelerated in the late 1960s.8 Dan T. Carter has illustrated how George

Wallace, a former Democratic Governor from a Deep South state, seized on working-

class discontent to launch a surprisingly successful third-party assault in the name of

individualism and hard work that thrived on racially-coded language, such as the

equation of "law and order" with a reaction to the urban riots of the late 1960s, as well

as an appeal to American tradition.9 Thomas Byrne Edsall and Mary Edsall have

taken this a step further and traced the Reagan Revolution of 1980 to a fear of high

taxes and a white reaction against policies that favored minorities and the poor.10 Earl


7 Alan Brinkley, "The Problem of American Conservatism," American Historical Review 99, no. 2
(April 1994): 409-429.

8 Thomas Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race andInequality in Postwar Detroit (Princeton,
NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996). Sugrue's work is the vanguard of an emerging literature on race
and local politics in postwar America. See also Self, American Babylon; Kevin Kruse, White Flight:
Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005);
Matthew Lassiter, The Silent Majority; and Matthew Countryman, Up South: Civil Rights and Black
Power in Philadelphia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005).

9 Dan T. Carter, Politics ofRage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the
Transformation ofAmerican Politics (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995). For an alternative
account with a West Coast focus, see Dalleck, The Right Moment.

10 Thomas Byrne and Mary Edsall, Chain Reaction: The Importance ofRace, Rights, and Taxes on
American Politics (New York: Norton, 1991).










and Merle Black have further codified the shift of the South from solidly Democratic

to majority Republican and attributed the change almost exclusively to a white

backlash against the racially skewed policies of the national Democratic Party."

While these writers have shown a well-documented, plausible argument for a

racially motivated political philosophy, few have turned their attention to the period

before the 1960s and the rise of the modern Civil Rights Movement. Lisa McGirr has

shown that conservatism grew in postwar Orange County, California from a grass-

roots movement focused on local issues into a politically potent force that captured

the state GOP and grew into a stronghold of power for Reagan.12 Donald T.

Chritchlow's biography of Phyllis Schlafly similarly shows the establishment of a

conservative network from the ground up and delves into the motivations and fears of

right-wing activists and voters in the mid-to-late 1950s.13

The Critchlow and McGirr books are the first signs of an emergent literature on

grassroots conservatives.14 This dissertation provides a complimentary narrative to

those studies. Rather than focusing on local conservatives and their organizational and

electoral efforts, this project explains why the Republican Party was resistant to

espousing conservative principles at a time when dissatisfaction some New Deal

programs and the Democratic Party were on the rise in segments of the press and in



1 Earl and Merle Black, The Rise of Southern Republicans (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of the
Harvard University Press, 2002).

12 Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton, NJ: Princeton
University Press, 2001).

13 Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis \. /l/,jly- and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman's Crusade
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005).

14 For more on conservative activists in the 1960s, see Gregory Schneider, Cadres for Conservatism:
Young Americans for Freedom and the Rise of the Contemporary Right (New York: New York
University Press, 1999); and John A. Andrew, The Other Side of the Sixties: Young Americans for
Freedom and the Rise of Conservative Politics (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997).
See also Kruse, White Flight, and Lassiter, The Silent Majority.









localized pockets throughout the nation. While it appears implausible that this

discontent could have led to a Republican victory in a presidential contest,

conservatives did have success in the 1946 and 1950 congressional elections,

suggesting a sizable following in key districts. This project argues that the efforts of

Dewey and other "liberal Republicans" forced conservatives to deal with a hostile

party and, in the process, gain a populist, anti-authoritarian zeal that bolstered the

nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964.

This project contends that the conservative movement did not simply spring

forth in reaction to the Great Society or the Civil Rights Movement, or from the mind

of William F. Buckley. While these aspects are obviously important, this dissertation

argues that, after 1948, the factional dispute over campaign tactics and rhetorical

strategy in the postwar Republican Party took on an ideological dimension that

motivated activists, intellectuals, and politicians to espouse a fervent conservatism.

Dewey and Taft each sought to mold the party to fit their view of the American

public. Dewey believed that a majority of Americans supported the New Deal and

pledged to keep the core of the Democratic program intact. Taft, thought that the bulk

of the polity resented the activist state imposed from Washington and believed that an

oppositional stance would be the most effective way to win a national election. As the

GOP split between these two points of view, people chose a political identity, either

conservative or liberal, to support the candidate that most closely fit that position. The

larger effect of the Taft and Dewey fight was to shape the political identity of the

party. In 1952, when the conservatives lost the fight, right-leaning individuals grew

frustrated with the GOP because they believed that it no longer represented their

views. This sense of alienation motivated conservatives to redouble their efforts to

control the Party and gave an electoral outlet to the grassroots activism throughout the









nation. While the internal machinations of the GOP are one aspect in the larger story

of the New Right, one cannot understand Barry Goldwater or Phyllis Schlafly without

taking the Janus-faced nature of the postwar GOP into account.

The project reaches its conclusions through varied methods. First, it explores

the differences between the campaign rhetoric and platforms of the top GOP

candidates to demarcate the differences between conservative and liberal

republicanism. Since the late 1960s, the terms "liberal" and "conservative" have

popularly accepted meanings that signify a set of political principles. In the late 1940s

and early 1950s, these terms were vaguer and less fixed. Anticipating a trend that was

to become more common, Taft and Dewey increasingly used these terms as pejorative

labels and symbols of otherness to attack their opponents, rather than a fixed political

identity. Republicans had a number of programmatic disagreements and, while

scholars have explored this topic thoroughly in regards to foreign policy, few scholars

if any have explored the nuances of the Dewey and Taft domestic agendas and spelled

out the differences.

Second, this project will explore the political maneuverings of both party

factions prior to and during the national conventions of 1948 and 1952. Generally,

studies of political history focus on either national issues or local contests. Assuming

that Tip O' Neill and Thomas Sugrue are correct in their contention that all politics

are local, this project will show how strictly local issues ruined Taft's convention

plans and gave the incipient conservative movement a setback just as it appeared to be

ascending.15 This project is the first to assess the behind-the-scenes Republican

politics and place them in the context of ideology.


15 Thomas Sugrue, "All Politics is Local: The Persistence of Localism in Twentieth-Century America,"
in Meg Jacobs, et al., eds. The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in American Political History
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 301-326.









Third, the project looks at the relationship between pragmatic politics and the

conservative ideology. The Republican Party that ultimately thwarted Taft's

presidential ambitions was motivated first by a desire to regain national power and

second by ideology. The programmatic goals of the Dewey and Taft factions were

very similar in the mid-1940s, but after the election of 1948 they grew further apart as

repeated electoral failures caused each group to change its strategy. Dewey rejected

calls for a conservative state and left many on the Right looking for a rebirth of the

Republican Party after 1952.

Finally, this dissertation will examine the motivations behind the competing

rhetorical strategies that Dewey and Taft adopted. The two leaders created very

distinct rhetorical styles to reach different target audiences. Dewey, aware that he

would have won the 1944 election had he gained a small percentage of votes in urban

areas, crafted a platform and political identity to appeal to the working class. He

spoke in generalizations and campaigned as an upbeat reformer who wanted to keep

some critical aspects of the New Deal in place but manage the program more

effectively and with less government waste. Taft generally believed that Americans

desired a return to the pro-business, pro-economy style of government reminiscent of

the 1920s. He thought that the New Deal had temporarily upset American politics and

that a majority of the population preferred a limited government and individual

freedom, rather than an increasing dependence on Washington for economic stability.

Both men held tightly to their characterizations of the body politic and accused the

other of espousing a losing philosophy. In the pre-convention periods of 1948 and

1952, Taft and Dewey attacked each other more than they did the Democrats simply

because they thought their rival was destined to bring another defeat on the national

stage.









It is worth noting here on the temporal constraints on the project. The period

from 1944 to 1953 is admittedly brief, but it has been chosen for a specific purpose.

The four election cycles in this period were the only ones in which conservative

Republicans had a chance to control their party and win a national election. The crisis

period from 1929 through 1945 prevented politics as usual in the United States and

stifled the chances of the opposition party. Roosevelt's overwhelming popularity early

in his administration and his successful prosecution of World War II prevented any

serious opposition from the Republicans until the war ended in 1945. The terminal

date, 1953, is also critically important because the inauguration of Eisenhower

secured Deweyite control of the party apparatus for the next eight years. No

conservative Republican would challenge the right of a sitting president to preside

over a national committee and party leadership of his choosing. The conservatives

could either support the Eisenhower initiatives, or perhaps quietly disagree, or be

regarded as disloyal partisans and therewith lose the benefits of patronage while

potentially damaging the party's legislative agenda. Eisenhower's program was

deemed by many to be too liberal. He angered conservatives with his desire for bi-

partisanship in his cabinet and his unwillingness to dispense patronage to partisan

operatives. Both extreme anti-communists, like John Birch Society founder Robert

Welch, and mainstream conservatives, including National Review founder William F.

Buckley, looked outside of the party and formed their own organizations. They would

return to the party in 1964 and espouse the candidacy of Goldwater. By that time, the

liberal wing of the party had lost control of the party in the aftermath Vice-President

Nixon's defeat at the hands of Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960.

Finally, 1953 is an important year because it was the last time Taft figured in national









events, as he died of cancer that year. His death led to a temporary loss of leadership

for conservatives within the party and further weakened their already inferior position.

The dissertation draws from the papers and correspondence of Dewey, Taft, and

their top lieutenants as they plotted and executed their strategies to secure the

presidential nomination of the Republican Party in 1948 and 1952. It analyzes the

public and private negotiations within these groups and their relationships with state

and local party organizations around the nation. Tracing the sentiments of the party

leadership at both the national and grass-roots level highlights the disjuncture between

the elites and the rank and file, and shows the efforts of Taftites to regain control of

their party after World War II. Chapter 1 gives a brief overview of the party structure

and details the aftermath of the presidential election of 1944. Dewey lost by a wide

margin in the Electoral College but a two-percent shift in seven key traditionally

Republican states would have given him a victory over Roosevelt. As a result, Dewey

adopted a new program designed to appeal to wavering Democratic voters. Dewey's

campaign manager, Herbert Brownell, also modernized and expanded the party

machinery after the election and kept the party viable after the war ended. Chapter 2

explores the conservative takeover of the RNC by Tennessee Representative B.

Carroll Reece. An ardent Taft supporter, Reece used the publicity organs created by

Brownell to mount a conservative program that gave the GOP its first congressional

majority since 1930. The remainder of the chapter lays out the conservative positions

in five key areas through legislative initiatives undertaken by the 80th Congress. These

programs, civil rights, federal aid to education, public housing, labor relations, and the

Tidelands oil controversy, show the major points of contention between the Taft and

Dewey factions and the efforts of conservative legislators to reaffirm the Republican

Party as a conservative party. Chapter 3 goes through the 1948 election cycle. Here,









the Dewey wing regained control of the party apparatus and ran the 1948 election on a

vague platform. This chapter will explore the nomination battle between Taft and

Dewey and the role of the 80th Congress in the presidential election.

1948 was the turning point in the factional struggle. Chapter 4 deals with the

period after 1948 and the conservative attempt to retake control of the national party.

The ineffective Dewey campaign accented the ideological and strategic differences

between the two factions and fueled Taft's determination to aggressively attack the

New Deal as a bureaucratic aberration in American political history. Chapter 5

focuses on the Ohio Senatorial election and the New York Gubernatorial elections of

1950. These local elections were essentially test runs for the different campaign styles

of the liberal and conservative factions. Ultimately, Taft scored the most compelling

victory through a campaign that principally attacked the CIO-PAC instead of his

Democratic challenger. This contest also illustrated the appeal of the conservative

message and offered a sharp contrast to the so-called "me-too" style of Dewey.

Chapter 6 brings out the local party conflicts that eventually decided the 1952

Republican nominee. The fight over the national party chairmanship and local battles

in Texas allowed Eisenhower to steal the nomination away from Taft at a time when

the popularity of the latter's message was peaking. Chapter 7 brings the open conflict

to a close as Eisenhower won the nomination, the White House and forced Taft and

his followers to get along or get out. Although Dewey and his associates managed

Eisenhower's campaign, he was by nature a conservative and many of his policies

were in step with Taft's political views. After his first two years in office, Ike angered

conservatives in a number of ways and fueled the fire that would eventually become

the Goldwater candidacy. Chapter 8 carries the story through the death of Taft and

shows that, even though Taft became a valued member of the Eisenhower






21


administration as its leader in the Senate, the two factions still had sizable

disagreements that threatened the Republican program.















CHAPTER 2
"THIRST FOR POWER AND SELF-PERPETUATION": THE DIVISION OF THE
REPUBLICAN PARTY, 1944-1946

Near the end of World War II, the national Republican Party suffered from a

debilitating personality disorder. After 1929, the American public linked the Great

Depression with President Herbert Hoover's economic policies. This, coupled with

the pervasive feeling of crisis that came with the war, had led to a burst of partisan

loyalty for the Democrats and prevented the Republicans from achieving any notable

electoral success. The GOP had not held the White House or a majority in either

house of Congress since 1933 and functioned as a coalition partner with conservative

Democrats to block New Deal legislation.1 By 1944, still stuck in a seemingly endless

rut, party leaders set out to revitalize the Republican organization and mold the

national apparatus into an effective publicity, voter mobilization, and policy making

body. In the process, RNC Chairman Herbert Brownell angered some members of the

GOP and helped foster a split between followers of New York Governor Thomas E.

Dewey and Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft. This chapter details the early divide between

Taft and Dewey from 1944 through 1946. It also shows the importance of the RNC in

determining the political identity of the GOP and reveals the early campaign strategy

of the liberal Republicans to promote a the party as a moderate alternative to the New

Deal.2



1 See James T. Patterson, Congressional Conservatism and the New Deal: The Growth of the
Conservative Coalition in Congress, 1933-1939 (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1967).

2 As mentioned in the introduction, there were very few differences between "liberal" and
"conservative" Republicans. However, for the sake of clarity in identifying the Dewey and Taft
factions, those labels will be used throughout the project.









The Republican Party has always been rife with factionalism. The GOP

originated in 1854 out of the remnants of the Whig and Know-Nothing parties who

united with disaffected northern Democrats in their opposition to slavery. After

Abraham Lincoln's election and the successful prosecution of the Civil War, the party

split between the Radical Republicans, a group of congressmen and senators who

advocated punitive measures for the rebellious states and the active promotion of

freedman's rights, and Presidential Republicans who sought a quick and painless

reunification of the nation and maintenance of the racial status quo. The dispute lasted

well into the administration of Ulysses S. Grant. By 1877, the GOP remained divided

over both the place of blacks in American society and the size of the federal

government, as well as the tariff and the banking system. The 1880s and 1890s saw

conflicts between the Stalwarts, led by New York Senator Roscoe Conkling, and the

Half-Breeds, championed by former Speaker of the House James G. Blaine, over

patronage dispensation and civil service reform. These Gilded Age Republican

skirmishes were fought mostly over narrow differences in policy and personality and

not radically different ideas about the essential nature or future prospects of American

society.3

The Stalwart/Half-Breed controversy kept the party from achieving a unity of

purpose until William McKinley's election in 1896. At the turn of the century the

Republicans wholeheartedly embraced a vision of economic and territorial expansion

that placed business interests over the needs of the common citizen. This stance gave


3 For a complete history of the Republican Party, see George H. Mayer, The Republican Party: 1954-
1966 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967); and Lewis L. Gould, Grand Old Party (New York:
Random House, 2003). For Republican activities during the Civil War and Reconstruction, see Heather
Cox Richardson, The Greatest Nation of the Earth: Republican Economic Policies during the Civil
War (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1997). The Blaine-Conkling controversy is
thoroughly discussed in H. Wayne Morgan, From Hayes to McKinley: National Party Politics, 1877-
1896 (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1969); and Robert W. Cherny, American Politics in
the GildedAge, 1868-1900 (Wheeling, Ill: Harlan Davidson, 1997).









the GOP a firm grip on the reigns of national power. A few years later, however,

progressive tendencies and calls for an activist government to improve the lives of the

working class and immigrants threatened this seemingly dominant ideology. In 1901,

Theodore Roosevelt, selected as Vice-Presidential nominee largely in order to remove

him from the New York GOP, where he had grown unpopular in party circles, took

office after McKinley's assassination and became a leading advocate for

progressivism. Roosevelt increased business regulation and his Justice Department

filed some forty-three anti-trust cases. Roosevelt's dissatisfaction with his own hand-

picked successor, William Howard Taft, led to open partisan warfare and a three-way

Presidential race in 1912, with Taft and Roosevelt splitting the Republican Party. The

eventual Democratic victor, Woodrow Wilson, co-opted a large part of Roosevelt's

platform and Republicans scrambled to refocus themselves once again as the party of

industrialism, big business, and free-market economics.4

While progressives such as Robert La Follette and George Norris remained in

the party during the Wilson Administration, they had little national influence. Pro-

business leaders such as Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge trumpeted a

platform that propelled the Republicans to three successive presidential victories in

the Roaring Twenties. Herbert Hoover, the champion of corporatism and self-reliance,

presided over the United States when the bubble of prosperity burst in 1929 and threw

the nation, and the world, into severe economic collapse. Hoover proposed increased

government intervention to regulate the economy, but soon came under fire from

business leaders who believed the depression simply was a temporary corrective in


4 Gould, Grand Old Party; Mayer, The Republican Party. The most recent work on the 1912 election is
James Chace, 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft and Debs The Election that ( /I,,I.-.. the Country (New
York: Simon and Schuster, 2004). Others include Francis L. Broderick, Progressivism at Risk: El.,. r ,,i
a President in 1912 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1989); and Lewis L. Gould, Reform and
F, ,i,,. ',, American Politics from Roosevelt to Wilson (Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press,
1996).









the economic cycle. Hoover's solutions also failed to ease the suffering of the

working class and halt the surging unemployment. By 1932, the Republican Party was

hopelessly linked with the Great Depression, allowing New York Governor Franklin

D. Roosevelt to defeat the incumbent Hoover handily.

Roosevelt's political savvy and his willingness to experiment with economic

and social policies further diminished the hopes of the Republicans. FDR forever

changed the rules of politics in the United States. His New Deal greatly expanded the

role of the federal government and increased its importance in the lives of every

American. Programs such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)

moved Washington into areas of direct assistance to the poor and the jobless, gave the

federal government supervision of a small number of state-owned utilities, and took

on the daunting task of managing the economy. The government became the nation's

largest employer as the WPA and the Civilian Conservation Corps hired thousands of

individuals to complete public works projects ranging from roads and stadiums to

murals and oral histories. The TVA constructed a system of dams and power

transmission lines that competed against established utility companies and sold cheap

electricity to thousands of rural southerners. Until 1935, the NRA, greatly expanded

governmental regulation of the private sector and increased economic planning in the

name of national recovery. While the Supreme Court eventually ruled the NRA

unconstitutional, some opponents of the New Deal believed that the Democratic







5 For the 1920s GOP, see John Earl Haynes, ed., Calvin Coolidge and the Coolidge Era (Washington,
D.C.: Library of Congress, 1998), and Martin L. Fausold, The Presidency ofHerbert C. Hoover
(Lawrence, Kan.: University of Kansas Press, 1985).









program jeopardized traditional American values. With a large number of Americans

benefiting from the Democratic Administration, these critics were in the minority.6

The early success of the administration restored American confidence in the

government and the economy. Roosevelt captivated the nation and led the Democrats

to even larger electoral gains in the 1934 Congressional elections. In the process, he

launched a new era of interest group politics. The business community, which had

never had difficulty in gaining an audience with politicians, became just one of many

constituent groups in an array that now included labor unions and minority groups.

African-Americans who had previously voted for the Republicans as the "Party of

Lincoln" switched their allegiance en masse. Organized labor, outcasts during the

decades of Republican dominance, found the national administration sympathetic to

its cause and threw its weight behind the New Deal. Conservative Southern

Democrats, generally friends to neither labor nor blacks, tolerated the presence of

these liberal groups and supported Roosevelt's ideas in the hopes of fostering an

economic recovery in their region. Roosevelt and the national Democratic Party made

direct appeals to these groups for support and included them in critical decisions in

order to make government more responsive, but also to gain their votes. Roosevelt

shifted the focus of the Federal government exclusively from large capital interests to

include the working class and minority groups.

The election of 1936 solidified this New Deal Coalition as an electoral force

when FDR defeated Kansas Governor Alfred Landon by 515 electoral votes.

Roosevelt believed that he had an indisputable mandate, but soon championed

6 Alan Brinkley, Voices ofProtest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin and the Great Depression (New York:
Vintage Books, 1983); Wayne S. Cole, Roosevelt and the Isolationists: 1932-45 (Lincoln, Neb.:
University of Nebraska Press, 1983).

7 Cole, Roosevelt and the Isolationists; Robert S. McElvaine, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Washington,
DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2002).









programs that Republicans saw as outright rejections of the constitution. The

President's plan to expand the size of the Supreme Court and fill it with sympathetic

justices met fierce opposition from conservative Republicans and Southern Democrats

alike. These legislators saw the Supreme Court scheme as a dictatorial move that

threatened the constitutional separation of powers. They resisted further efforts to

expand the bureaucracy and shift federal power in the executive branch, and their

obstinacy helped solidify a bi-partisan conservative coalition that would block further

New Deal legislation and prevent further Democratic experimentation.8

Capitalizing on this anti-FDR sentiment, the GOP made gains in the 1938 off

year elections. But the party was thwarted in the Presidential election of 1940 by a

split over the proper course of American foreign policy. That year, a relatively

unknown utility executive and former Democrat, Wendell Willkie, won the

nomination over more prominent, and regular, Republicans such as Taft and Dewey.

Party delegates selected Willkie because he eloquently spoke for free enterprise and

argued against the New Deal. Since 1938 he had made numerous appearances on

radio programs and the banquet circuit espousing the benefits of unrestricted

capitalism and had parlayed his oratory into a nationwide following. With Republican

leadership proving ineffective for the last decade, the party faithful sought a new

standard-bearer and embraced Willkie as a viable alternative to both the Democrats

and the Old Guard Republicans.9

At that time, the European war loomed. Many Republicans, including Taft and

North Dakota Senator Gerald Nye, strongly opposed involvement in the conflict. This

sentiment was shared by a number outside of the party, and Taft was a key behind-

8 See Patterson, Congressional Conservatism in the New Deal, 77-127.

9 Donald Bruce Johnson, The Republican Party and Wendell Willkie (Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois
Press, 1960).









the-scenes supporter of the prominent isolationist group America First.10 This

isolationist sentiment dominated party thinking. Willkie, who had joined the GOP in

1936, disagreed and argued even more strongly than FDR for involvement in the

European war. A small but influential group of businessmen with Republican ties

supported his candidacy and had interests in continued trade with European markets.

They also rejected the notion that German aggression had no impact on the United

States. These industrialists began organizing local "Willkie for President" clubs

throughout the country in order to cultivate grass-roots support for Willkie's

nomination. This managed mobilization paid off at the 1940 Republican National

Convention where Willkie emerged victorious after a near-deadlocked convention. As

the proceedings began, throngs of supporters filled the galleries and chanted Willkie's

name. The Republicans, not used to such an energetic display from their supporters,

took this highly-orchestrated event as a sign of strength and selected Willkie to head

their ticket. Although Willkie did have a degree of popularity, he did not have an

established political base and had to rely on his financial backers to establish

relationships with local GOP organizations quickly. While the party faithful supported

him loyally, he did not have the familiar relationship with his supporters that a Taft or

Dewey would have had and could not mobilize voters as effectively.11

Had the major campaign issue been the New Deal or Roosevelt's unprecedented

third-term candidacy, the Republicans might have won the election. When Axis

aggression dominated the discussion, however, Willkie found himself tied to the

Republican position of non-intervention. By September, he had embaced isolationism


10 Patterson, Mr. Republican, 242.

11 Herbert S. Parmet and Marie B. Hecht, Never Again: A President Runs for a Third Term (New York:
MacMillian Company, 1968); Warren Moscow, Roosevelt and Willkie (Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Prentice-Hall, 1968); Johnson, The Republican Party and Wendell Willkie.









to secure the party base. Although he had repudiated the legislative, isolationist wing

of his party initially, he now used the specter of war to gain significantly in the polls

since a majority of Americans feared direct involvement in the European war. The

campaign shifted completely to foreign policy and Roosevelt, ever the adroit

politician, defended his preparedness policies and promised that he would not lead

America into war unless the enemy attacked first. On election day, the American

public returned Roosevelt to the White House. Willkie won ten of forty-eight states,

making a better showing than either Hoover or Landon, but his campaign style and his

outsider status had sharply divided the party.12

The wounds had not completely healed four years later when Dewey won the

nomination. His choice of Ohio Governor John Bricker as his running mate helped to

bridge the emerging gap between the eastern and Midwestern wings of the party, but

this geographical balance still could not unseat a popular president in wartime. After

1940, however, the GOP was in disarray. Since tradition dictated that the presidential

nominee remained the figurehead, or titular leader, of the party through the next

convention, Willkie still stood as a deferential figure. Even though he had no office,

or any real power, the titular leader did exert some influence over the direction of the

party and held some sway over grassroots public opinion, especially since his choice

for Chairman of the RNC remained in place. For a former nominee to maintain his

importance in party circles between election cycles required an active effort to retain

favor among the membership and prevent any challengers from gaining control of the


12 George McJimsey, The Presidency ofFranklin Delano Roosevelt (Lawrence, Kan., University Press
of Kansas, 2000), 198-199; Parmet and Hecht, Never Again; Moscow, Roosevelt and Willkie; Johnson,
The Republican Party and Wendell Willkie. For more on the New Deal and its effects on American
politics, see Alan Dawley, Struggles for Justice: Social Responsibilities and the Liberal State
(Cambridge, Mass: The Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 1991); Alan Brinkley, Voices
ofProtest: Huey Long, Father ( hl,, I, Coughlin and The Great Depression (New York: Alfred A.
Knopf, 1982); William Leuchtenberg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal (New York: Harper and
Row, 1963); and Lizabeth Cohen, The Consumer's Republic (New York: Vintage Books, 2003).









party machinery. In these periods, rival partisans generally worked behind the scenes

to minimize the influence of the titular leader and advance their own political

fortunes, making regular party meetings hotbeds of infighting.

In 1944, Willkie contemplated another nomination but still differed with

congressional Republicans such as Taft and House Minority Leader Joseph Martin of

Massachusetts on foreign policy. In 1942, Willkie had taken an unabashed

internationalist outlook, going so far as to accept several wartime missions from

Roosevelt instead of campaigning for his party in the congressional elections. He also

published a book, One World, that espoused an increased American presence in the

postwar order and participation in an international organization. While Republicans

did their patriotic duty to support the war, the formation of a international

peacekeeping organization that could threaten the sovereignty of the United States

was farther than they were willing to go. Many top Republicans moved to ostracize

Willkie and free the party of his influence.

Party leaders, eager both to continue the momentum of 1942 and dethrone

Willkie, understood that a new campaign approach was necessary to challenge the

Democrats. In September 1943, RNC Chairman Harrison Spangler, an Iowan, Taft

supporter, and strident opponent of the New Deal, called together a special

Republican committee to craft a GOP program for the postwar period. He purposely

failed to invite Willkie. The group, known officially as the Republican Postwar

Advisory Council, met at Mackinac Island, Michigan. Here Dewey seized the

initiative. Not willing to support Willkie, whom he personally despised, or those who

would curtail American involvement in world affairs after the war, such as Taft,

Hoover, and Nye; Dewey worked with Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg to

establish a middle ground. During the conference, Dewey spoke to reporters and









advocated a postwar alliance with Great Britain and possibly Russia and China. The

publicity surrounding Dewey's proposal eclipsed the formal report of the group,

which also called for both worldwide disarmament and an international

organization.13 Some partisans saw Dewey's comments as a compromise of

principles. The Chicago Tribune, the major organ of the Old Guard, Taft Republicans,

went so far as to call Dewey's proposal "Anti-American." But for Republican

internationalists, Dewey provided a plausible alternative to Willkie.14

Dewey's statement and its reception in the press made him the frontrunner for

the 1944 Presidential nomination. Born and raised in Owosso, Michigan, Dewey was

forty years old when he was elected Governor of New York in 1942. He had relocated

from Michigan after his law school graduation. Raised by his father in the tradition of

progressive Republicanism, Dewey began his affiliation with Empire State

Republicans as part of a group of reformers working to remove the older, more

entrenched leaders and replace them with energetic individuals who would revitalize

the party and have more appeal to the common voter. By 1935 he had established

himself as an able partisan and was appointed assistant United States attorney. He

parlayed his successful prosecution of government corruption into election as the

county District Attorney. Dewey's time in the public spotlight gave him a reputation

for thoroughness and integrity. With a zealous desire for good government, Dewey

wasted little time in opening investigations into the corruption in Tammany Hall. He

eventually brought down some of the city's racketeering and organized crime rings

and his youthful exuberance and his spotless public image won him the adoration of


13 Although the GOP came out in favor of an international group, they did not elaborate on what
structure or membership would be acceptable.

14 Gould, Grand Old Party, 293-5; Richard Norton Smith, Thomas Dewey and His Times (New York:
Simon and Schuster, 1982), 384-7; Mayer, The Republican Party, 461-2.









thousands of New Yorkers and millions of attentive Republicans around the country.

His crime fighting record elevated his name to the top of the list of possible GOP

Presidential nominees for 1940, even before he had held a state office.

In 1938, Dewey won the New York gubernatorial nomination. He campaigned

on his outsider status, his activism and vigor, and his ideas for a new direction for the

Republican Party. His acceptance address, broadcast across the state, made his views

crystal clear. There, he declared that "It is the job of a majority party to build, not to

tear down; to go forward, not to obstruct. In a generation torn by strife between

extremists and fanatics, let us have the balance.""15 This call for moderation remained

a constant theme throughout his political career. The New York Republican

organization was in poor shape and Dewey and his associates had to scramble to find

strong candidates just to complete the state ticket. Going so far as calling himself a

"New Deal Republican," Dewey promised to rid New York of corrupt city machines

and to return government, and the services it provided, to the people. Democratic

incumbent Herbert Lehman, however, had a reputation of personal integrity, a popular

following, and the support of his close friend President Roosevelt. On November 8,

Dewey lost by roughly 64,000 votes out of 4.5 million cast. This small margin,

coupled with Dewey's success in winning every county outside of New York City,

gave the District Attorney a solid following and impetus to build his political base for

the future.

Four years later, the New York gubernatorial campaign took quite a different

direction. Dewey won nomination at a badly divided state convention after the

organization he and State Chairman Edwin Jaeckle had built since 1938 held firm.

Lehman refused to run again and the Democrats split between the regular Tammany


15 Thomas E. Dewey, Quoted in Richard Norton Smith, Thomas E. Dewey and his Times, 263-4.









candidates and a reform movement that embraced New Deal programs. Dewey ran a

good government campaign similar to the one he had waged in 1938, but also

expanded his focus to include other social issues. While speaking in Harlem, for

example, he made civil rights a prominent part of his talk. When the ballots were cast,

Dewey piled up an overwhelming majority of over 647,000 and carried the entire

GOP ticket on his coat tails, cementing Dewey's position in state and national

politics.16

In the governor's office, the meticulous attention to detail and inquisitive nature

Dewey had displayed as a prosecutor meshed well with the progressive Republican

principles of his youth. Dewey relied heavily on research and investigation and

appointed numerous fact-finding commissions to find solutions to the problems of the

state. These groups allowed Dewey a degree of political cover when he tackled tough

issues. They also revealed a genuine concern at finding at the best way to benefit the

state's interests. He moved to decrease the state budget by 20 million dollars,

reapportioned the state legislature, even though it would place upstate Republicans at

a disadvantage, and cleaned up corruption in the state Department of Labor. His first

two years in office gave him the reputation as a modernizer and a progressive-

thinking governor, willing to discard traditional Republican orthodoxy when it

benefited the people and his political fortunes. Halfway through his first term he had

his sights set on the White House.1

The 1944 Republican Convention took place under a facade of party unity. In

1940 the GOP had split between internationalists and isolationists. Four years later,

party leaders were determined to accommodate all points of view. Dewey, writing to


16 Smith, Thomas. E. Dewey and His Times, 345-51.

17 Smith, Thomas E. Dewey and his Times, 352-392.









an Oregon supporter in April 1944 said, "The Republican Party now has vitality and

unity. It must now become united. It must carry on in its great responsibility to lead

the nation." Dewey even went so far as to call the New Deal "an exhausted and

ineffective instrument of government;" a stark contrast with the candidate who had

referred to himself as a "New Deal Republican" in 1938.18 While ideological and

programmatic divisions remained under the surface, party leaders agreed on

statements of policy general enough to please all sides. The Taft-chaired platform

committee tried to draw a middle ground between the Old Guard and the progressives.

The group openly supported a postwar organization of nations and agreed to help

rebuild Allied countries, provided that American interests remained paramount. The

platform pledged to end the trend of centralizing power in Washington and to return

the states to their traditional role of welfare provider, albeit with some measure of

increased federal aid. Finally, the document called for an end to government

competition with private industry, price controls and rationing upon termination of

hostilities, and a return to a balanced budget.19 While the document did not

completely reject the increased statism of the New Deal, it did call for an overhaul of

the Federal Government.

Dewey and his New York organization arrived at the national convention as the

clear front-runners. They had executed a superb pre-convention campaign and had

commitments from delegates from every state of the union, making the convention

results a mere formality. A group of three influential New York Republicans, whose

interests in state politics coalesced behind Dewey's second gubernatorial run, led this


18 Thomas E Dewey, Letter to Maj. Luther Felker, 1 April 1944. Copy in Folder 2 (1944 Presidential
Campaign- Delegates), Box 15, Series II, Thomas E. Dewey Papers, University of Rochester Library
Department of Rare Books and Special Collections [Hereafter cited as Dewey Papers].

19 1944 Republican Platform, Quoted in George Thomas Kurian, The Encyclopedia of the Republican
Party (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe Reference, 1997).









national campaign. Edwin Jaeckle of Buffalo had backed Dewey in 1938 and used the

election results to win the State Chairmanship later that year. Jaeckle had become

disgusted with the stagnant leadership of the New York GOP and used his position to

recruit young, progressive candidates to rebuild the party from the ground up. Nassau

County boss J. Russell Sprague had served as New York's member of the Republican

National Committee since 1940 and supported Dewey partially for party unity, and

partially to maintain his own power within his Long Island fiefdom. The third

member of this triumvirate, attorney and former state legislator Herbert Brownell, was

the chief tactician of the group.20

Like Dewey, Brownell had joined the New York Young Republican Club in the

late 1920s just as it was challenging Tammany Hall. A transplant from Nebraska,

Brownell graduated from Yale Law School in 1927 and began a promising legal

career in Manhattan. He had a talent for political organization and quickly became

one of the top precinct men for the Young Republicans. In 1930, he had run for the

New York State Assembly on an anti-Tammany, pro-good government platform, but

came up short despite his efforts to revive the local Republican organization. Dewey

managed Brownell's campaign in that abortive effort. Two years later, Brownell won

his seat by a 307 vote majority amidst the national Democratic landslide. His

penchant for compromise made him a successful legislator in Albany and his ability

for grass-roots organization and campaign management allowed him to defend his

seat easily in 1934 and 1936.21




20 Dewey and his organization kept tabs on the delegations in every state and worked to gain the
support of Bricker supporters and fence sitters. See Paul Lockwood, Memo to Edwin Jaeckle, 21
January 1944. Copy in Folder 2 (1944 Presidential Campaign Delegates), Box 15, Series II, Dewey
Papers.
21 Smith, Thomas E. Dewey and his Times, 121-2.









Brownell's skill for partisan politics and his reformist credentials gave him

entry into Dewey's inner circle. In 1940, he had worked to gather delegate support for

Dewey in his native Nebraska; two years later he managed the Republican state

campaign in New York. In 1944, with Willkie's Republican stock falling fast, the

field of possible candidates was open to a few recognized party leaders, such as John

Bricker, Arthur Vandenberg, and Dewey, as well as a host of "favorite son"

candidates like California Governor Earl Warren and former Minnesota Governor

Harold Stassen. The latter two hoped to emerge as compromise candidates should the

convention become deadlocked. With no clear frontrunner emerging, Brownell,

Jaeckle, and Sprague worked at RNC meetings and on trips throughout the country to

build a majority bloc of delegates for the national convention. After Willkie made a

terrible showing in the Wisconsin primary, the Gallup polls showed Dewey to be the

favorite for the nomination, making Brownell's work much easier. While a majority

of the party agreed with the more conservative principles of Ohio Governor John

Bricker, including reduction of non-war government spending and diminished federal

control of the economy, most interested partisans believed that he was not electable.22

Even Taft, who had stepped aside to allow another Ohioan to run for the nomination,

conceded that Dewey was probably more able than Bricker.23

Well before the convention got underway, the New York team had made a

concerted effort to minimize any political conflicts. The resulting lack of partisan

infighting allowed Dewey to take the nomination on the first ballot. The Dewey camp


22 A Gallup Poll released in June 1944 asked Republican voters what they would like to see on their
party's platform for November. The top two answers were "Eliminate wasteful non-war spending" and
"stricter control of labor unions." "Cut down on federal control wherever possible" came in fourth.
Bricker made these issues central to his nomination bid, but in a poll taken in May 1944, Dewey was
the favored candidate of the GOP by a margin of 65% to 9% for Bricker. George H. Gallup. The Gallup
Poll: Public Opinion 1935-1971. Vol. I. (New York: Random House, 1972), 449-50.

23 Gould, Grand Old Party; Mayer, The Republican Party.









had outmaneuvered Bricker, who saw his support diminish rapidly as the convention

began. Ultimately, Bricker agreed to take the vice-presidential nomination and

provide ideological and geographic balance to the ticket. Dewey selected Brownell to

be Chairman of the Republican National Committee and to oversee the general

campaign from the newly-established GOP headquarters in Manhattan. His selection

reflected the concerns of many partisans such as Jouett Todd, an RNC member from

Kentucky, who thought that a young chairman was critical to re-energizing the

party.24

Despite the remarkable pre-convention drive and public unity, the Republican

campaign appeared to have little chance for success. Exactly as some people had

feared, Roosevelt controlled all of the issues and left little ground for criticism. The

economic hard times of the 1930s were gone and booming wartime industries had

ended high unemployment. The military effort was successful and criticism of the

President's ability to lead would be met with hearty guffaws. In short, Dewey could

not attack the President on any ground except for his suspected frail health and the

conspiratorial charge that FDR knew about Pearl Harbor beforehand. Dewey believed

that such accusations were out of bounds and wisely did not make them. Ultimately,

Dewey went down to defeat by a 3.6 million vote margin. He lost 432 to 99 in the

Electoral College but still scored the highest vote precentage of any Republican

candidate since Hoover's victory in 1928.25

The results of 1944 were critical because they shaped Dewey's campaign

strategy for the next two Presidential elections. A report from the Research Division


24 Jouett Todd, Letter to J. Russell Sprague, 24 May 1944. Copy in Folder 1 (Brownell, Herbert Feb.
1943-May1944), Box 6, Series X, Dewey Papers.

25 Herbert Brownell, interviewed by Harlan Phillips. Transcript in Folder 5 (Harlan Phillips Interview),
Box 6, Series XII, Dewey Papers.









of the RNC in early 1945 calculated that a 1.6 per cent shift from Roosevelt to Dewey

in 12 states with high urban populations, or a 1.8 per cent change in seven other

states, would have given the Republicans enough votes to carry the electoral college.

States such as Pennsylvania and New York, which had high Republican registration,

had polled well for Dewey, but Roosevelt had squeezed out victories in major cities.

The Dewey camp took these results to mean that a campaign formulated to appeal to

erstwhile Democratic voters, especially manual laborers and African Americans,

could tip the balance to the Republican's favor. Dewey also believed that a slight

rhetorical shift away from messages designed to woo the traditional business base of

the GOP, including calls for the aggressive repeal of the New Deal, could make the

party more inviting to independent voters. The Old Guard would not agree with this

assessment, but Dewey believed that a softer, more inclusive strategy would win more

votes than the harsh anti-New Deal rhetoric that the Old Guard preferred. Dewey saw

1944 as a repudiation of conservatism and believed moderation the key to regaining

the White House.26

For Dewey to test this theory in 1948, he had to maintain control of the GOP. In

1944, the Republican Party was a diffuse multi-layered and multi-faceted

organization. Positions of influence were scattered among a number of committees,

offices, and directorships which all had legitimate standing within the party. The RNC

was the most important and most visible of the levers of power. Established at the

party's founding in 1856, the RNC was initially created with the expressed purpose of

overseeing the quadrennial national convention. In 1944 this remained its most

important role, but over time it had also moved into such areas as fund raising,

publicity, and policy making.

26 Memo, Republican National Committee Research Division, undated. Copy in Folder 4, Box 41,
Series XIII, Dewey Papers.









The RNC originally consisted of one man per state and territory but, after the

passage of the 19th amendment was expanded to include one woman per state.27

Delegates served four year terms, elected at one national convention and serving

through the next, and represented their state parties at RNC meetings. These

gatherings were usually held once or twice per year to ratify decisions of the

Chairman and the more exclusive Executive Committee, which served as a sounding

board for the Chairman and gave specialized or sensitive advice on strategy and

policy decisions. Such an amalgamation of personalities and self interests, both on the

RNC and the Executive Committee, led to regular factional disputes that reflected

existing differences in agenda and perspective, or even petty personal conflicts,

between members. Meetings and workshops could often turn into heated discussions

between individuals, states, and even regions. Setting a clear direction in such a

politically tense environment challenged even the most skilled legislators and

politicians.28

The individual charged with creating order out of this seemingly chaotic system

was the party Chairman. Technically, the RNC membership elected the Chairman, but

was selected for a number of reasons. Prior to World War II, the Chairman was

chosen by the presidential candidate, and dutifully elected by the RNC, to oversee the

campaign.29 If the party won the White House, the Chairman remained on to manage

patronage distribution to the faithful. If the party lost, the defeated candidate was

27 Catherine Rymph, Republican Women: Feminism and Conservatism From .Suttrl'i'a ;i,. ,i,1i the Rise
of the New Right (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2006).

28 Two good, general works on the National Committees are Paul T. David, et. al., The Politics of
National Party Conventions (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1960); and Ralph M.
Goldman, The National Party Chairman and Committees: Factionalism at the Top (Armonk, N.Y.:
M.E. Sharpe, 1990).

29 During and after World War II and the advent of the direct primary, candidates began to use their
own campaign staffs to run the national contest, diminishing the importance of both national
committees during election season. See chapter 2 below.









typically regarded as the titular leader of the party and often his choice for Chairman

remained in position. On occasion, a factional split could occur and the RNC might

vote to oust a sitting Chairman and replace him with someone more sympathetic to a

rival interest.

Although the chairmanship necessitated a good bit of neutrality, one group

could gain an advantage over another since the Chairman made appointments to the

Executive Committee, the Convention Committee, and any number of other minor

positions. These small groups had a great deal of power within the larger organization

and could tilt the political playing field for or against a candidate or group. The

executive also had a free hand at staffing the headquarters' bureaucracy and allocating

funds for various programs. The Chairman, therefore, played a critical role in steering

the party in a particular direction and keeping the RNC and their supporters energized

and committed to their cause.

The RNC and its Chairman had a great deal of leeway in their roles and duties.

In the early post-war period there were few Federal regulations governing the

operation of a political party. The most important, the Hatch Act, limited campaign

contributions to and spending by the national committees.30 The RNC had no written

internal bylaws and operated mainly through precedent and tradition. The Chairman

could expand or contract the scope of committee activities, appoint special

committees to study a given issue, or hire and fire paid staff members at will. Prior to

1936, most of the bureaucratic staff positions were temporary. Publicity directors, for

example, came in to produce campaign literature and manage press relations during

the summer and fall leading up to the election and were unemployed by December. In

the 1930s, as mass media grew and the political system became geared toward narrow

30 See Alexander Heard, The Costs of Democracy (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press,
1960) 347-8.









issue-based groups, the RNC enlarged its functions from convention oversight to

become more of a "sales" organization designed to promote the Republican cause to

both internal and external audiences. Holding the chairmanship meant that a faction

could tailor the party to suit its needs.

Although the Chairman had nearly unrestricted bureaucratic freedom over the

committee staff, the RNC had several important limitations that prevented it from

operating smoothly. The first was the federal nature of the party. The RNC existed as

a national organization but each state also had its own individual party that dealt with

local politics. In many instances the state representatives to the RNC were not high-

ranking members of the state parties but rather successful fund-raisers or elder state

leaders who were given the position as a retirement incentive or a political plum.

Since they were elected every four years, it was easy to maintain their positions with

little input from the state groups. RNC personnel represented their states nationally,

but were rarely involved in high-level decision making locally.31

The makeup of the RNC had two major consequences. First, it encouraged a

gaping chasm between the state and national parties. Instead of functioning as a direct

link to the state organizations, the national structure created an extra layer of

bureaucracy that had to be overcome. If the RNC Chairman wanted to send a worker

to assist with fundraising in a state, for example, the process would need approval

from the National Committeeman and Committeewoman as well as the State Party

Chairman. Second, the multi-faceted leadership made conditions ripe for both

interstate and intrastate rivalries. A faction within a state could lose control of the

party to a rival group but still maintain its place on the RNC and finish its four-year

term. In extreme cases, this led to contested delegations at the national conventions,

31 Cornelius P. Cotter and Bernard C. Hennessy, Politics Without Power: The National Party
Committees (New York: Atherton Press, 1964), 55-60.









but more often it put state parties out of touch with their constituents and the state

leadership. The RNC provided a crucial bridge between national and local politics

when the leaders had good relations. When they did not, the party structure provided

added stress to the National Chairman and his efforts to promote unity.

The federal nature of the GOP was also critically important for the presidential

nominating procedure. Delegates from each state were sent to the quadrennial national

convention to nominate the president and vice-president. In the decades before the

establishment of binding preferential primaries, which required delegates elected by

the people to vote for a specific candidate, the selection process for delegates varied

from state to state. A handful, most notably those from Oregon, Wisconsin, and Ohio,

were elected via popular referendum, but not all primary states bound delegates to a

particular candidate. More commonly in this period, the state committees appointed

the convention delegates, meaning that state leaders could stack their slates with

individuals who favored a certain candidate.

For an individual to win the party's endorsement, they needed to control a

majority of these delegates and maintain their loyalty throughout the convention. To

achieve a victory, then, a candidate and his organization had to seek out and establish

close ties with potential delegates and state leaders from around the nation who were

favorable to them. Because the president appointed people to local patronage jobs, the

state leaders traded delegate support for future considerations and, if one local group

aligned with one potential nominee, another would back their competition in hopes of

gaining favor and bargaining chips to expand their local prestige. These local

divisions meant that a potential candidate had to step into a proverbial minefield and

risk inciting factional conflict in every state in order to have a chance at the

nomination. Although the Chairman usually chose to remain publicly neutral in the









name of party unity, National Committeemen and Committeewomen were free to

support the prospective nominee of their choice and could withhold clearance for a

personal appearance or visit from a field worker in their state to stifle their opponents.

Ultimately, the decentralized structure of the RNC created numerous pitfalls for an

aspiring national candidate.

The RNC occupied the most public position in the Republican hierarchy, but

contemporary observers and scholars regarded it as the weakest organization in the

party structure. The major sources of policy-making and party direction were publicly

elected officials, whether the President, the members of the Congressional and Senate

Policy Committees, or the state parties. Power either flowed downward from the

White House, or upward from the several states, into the national committees, which

were generally prevented from taking a clear stand on an issue or moving in a certain

direction due to their diverse and self-interested memberships. The lack of a clear

authority, the need to keep the party broad and inclusive, and the competition among

potential presidential candidates routinely prevented RNC chairmen from emerging as

the most prominent voice of the party.32

When the Republicans were out of power, as was the case from 1932 through

1952, the RNC took on more institutional importance. As the formal head of the

party's most public governing body, the chairman had regular access to the national

press. Since he did not hold elective office, his relationship with the opposition party

did not impact his political future. Because the position was national in scope, large

interest groups that generally supported the party worked through the national

committees to advance their own agendas. An out-party chairman who utilized these

advantages and took an active role in molding the party to fit the programmatic goals


32 Cotter and Hennessy, Politics without Power, 94-103.









of his faction could build the party apparatus and craft its political identity within the

limits set by the larger national committee. If these changes were in-step with public

opinion and the electoral base, the chairman could enhance the image of the party and

make adjustments in order to win during the next election cycle.33

Brownell understood his situation and, in the aftermath of the 1944 election,

Dewey and his supporters moved to maintain control of the GOP. By virtue of his

presidential nomination, the Governor was the titular leader of the party, but his

distance from Washington and legislative politics hampered his efforts to remain in

the forefront of the national organization. Dewey, as governor of the nation's most

populous state, had a better opportunity to retain party leadership than Willkie had

four years earlier, but the Republican Party had never re-nominated a defeated

candidate. Privately, Dewey hoped to privately draft a new charter designed as a

constructive alternative to the New Deal and to align the party's agenda with his

political vision and philosophy. He wanted the GOP to advocate progressive measures

to appeal to African-Americans and organized workers, including a permanent Fair

Employment Practices Commission (FEPC), extension of Social Security to cover 20

million more workers, state-controlled unemployment insurance, and a two-term limit

for the Presidency.

In late 1944, Dewey asked Taft, the leader of the Congressional Republicans to

coordinate a meeting between the Governor and the Congressional leadership in order

to gain cooperation for this agenda and secure his position as head of the party. Taft,

while agreeable to a programmatic discussion with Dewey, stated that he was "not

certain whether the publication of a formal legislative program is possible or

desirable." The Ohioan had sent Dewey a fourteen point counter-proposal that


33 Ibid.









included plans for substitute measures that significantly weakened the Works Progress

Administration, housing legislation, and Federal aid for medical care. While both men

agreed on several key issues, Taft believed that limiting the growth of the Federal

bureaucracy and implementing tax reductions should be the party's top priorities,

whereas Dewey viewed the FEPC and a more accommodating labor program as the

central issues. To some degree, this reflected different political philosophies, but

mostly it centered on competing campaign strategies. Dewey thought these programs

would attract more voters than the traditional Republican program, whereas Taft

believed the Party needed to reaffirm its principles to win the next election.34

On 21 December, Taft, Vandenberg, Martin, Maine Senator Wallace White, and

Nebraska Senator Kenneth Wherry, met with Dewey at the Governor's suite in the

Roosevelt Hotel. Initially, both sides were fairly close on policy goals, but the

discussion soon turned to control of the RNC and the party organization. Dewey had

not maintained strong relations with Capitol Hill Republicans during the election, and

Taft was not willing to defer to Dewey on policy or publicity matters. Dewey

contended that he would not seek the nomination in 1948. His only purpose for the

conference, he claimed, was to unite the party behind a plausible, positive program

that would attract voters. Taft, Wherry, and Vandenberg balked at his assertions and

asked for Brownell's resignation so that they could appoint a chairman who shared

their policy aims. Both sides refused to budge, so the meeting ended in failure. While

they reached accords on a number of points, the stubbornness of both groups marked

the opening round in the latest GOP factional controversy. Both party leaders wanted

to call the shots to enhance their chances for the 1948 nomination.35


34 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Thomas E. Dewey, 13 December 1944. Copy in Box 34, Taft Papers.

35 Smith, Thomas E. Dewey and His Times, 438-441.









Taft and Dewey remained in contact for the next few months and continued to

discuss the Republican program. In February 1945, Dewey privately came out in

favor of the proposal Taft had made before their December meeting, saying to Taft

that "It seems to me that with the twelve points you mention, a real party program is

being developed which ought to be pretty satisfactory to the public generally, subject

to argument about details and also depending largely upon the manner in which it is

presented." Dewey showed a willingness to work with Taft, but was reluctant to let

the Congressional wing set the policy agenda without his input. He also wanted to

GOP to avoid any abrasive campaign programs and present a moderate platform to

attract voters.36

Old Guard Republicans, however, did not see the merits in such an arrangement

and moved to challenge Dewey's leadership. On 22 January 1945, the RNC met at

Indianapolis. Brownell opened the proceedings with a report outlining an eight point

plan to modernize the party machinery. Taft partisans, led by Clarence Kelland of

Arizona and Guy Gabrielson of New Jersey, openly challenged Brownell's leadership

and moved to include the RNC Executive Committee in the planning of the new

organizational structure. These men wanted to have more input in the process and not

allow Brownell to dictate party direction freely. Their motions were withdrawn,

however, after it became apparent that Brownell had the support of a majority or the

RNC.

Before the meeting, Brownell had turned his attention to strengthening the

national party as a campaign and policy-making entity to prepare the party for a

second Dewey campaign in 1948. With the Congressional GOP firmly in control of

the legislative program and unwilling to work with Dewey, Brownell announced his


36 Thomas E. Dewey, Letter to Robert A. Taft, 26 February 1945. Copy in Box 34, Taft Papers.









plans to modernize the RNC headquarters and redefine its mission in the hopes of

making it the arbiter of partisan identity. Prior to 1944, the RNC did not employ a

full-time staff and only hired professional publicity and field workers for the

presidential election period. Organizing hastily every four years on the national level

and relying on local organizations to do most of the work reduced operational

efficiency and left the party essentially without a public face in the period between

campaigns. Brownell conducted efficiency surveys during the early part of his

chairmanship and the results showed that a more reliable, fixed organization would

help the GOP to promote its message and attract voters. His continued leadership

meant the Albany group could dictate that message on their own terms without any

interference from Capitol Hill.37

At Indianapolis, Brownell called for the establishment of a full-time

professional staff to operate RNC headquarters, including an expanded publicity and

campaign departments, as well as a permanent research division to give the party a

unified and constant voice in the national media. Brownell assured the Old Guard that

the new staff would cooperate closely with Republican senators, congressmen,

governors, and state party chairs, and specifically called for the RNC to be more

involved in creating the national platform. He also pledged an active and

comprehensive two-year campaign leading to the Congressional elections of 1946.

The RNC endorsed Brownell's plan unanimously and, aside from the rumblings of

Kelland and Gabrielson, gave him free reign to implement his changes. Dewey, no

doubt advised of Brownell's plans, sent a telegram of congratulations to the





37 Hugh A Bone, Party Committees and National Politics (Seattle, University of Washington Press,
1958), 39.









Committee thanking it for taking "the most vital step possible for maintaining national

unity."38

Mississippi National Committeeman Perry Howard, one of two African-

Americans on the RNC, made the other important motion at the Indianapolis meeting.

He asked the committee to appropriate 100,000 dollars for publicity to target the

African-American press, the hiring of African-American field men as part of

Brownell's headquarters staff, and the formation of a committee of prominent black

leaders to craft a strategy to bring African-American voters back to the Republican

Party. He asked the RNC to advocate a reduction in the legislative representation of

the South in response to black voting rights restrictions and called for all Republican

governors to create state Fair Employment Practice Commissions. Howard, an RNC

member since the 1920s, was not usually this forthright in his advocacy of civil rights.

He had, however, brought up an issue that the RNC was unprepared to discuss.

Howard represented a small segment of the Taft faction that saw merit of working for

the African-American vote. The Dewey faction, which had planned to make civil

rights one of the cornerstones of its new campaign strategy for the GOP to break up

the New Deal Coalition and grow their urban vote, was unwilling to let a Taft partisan

take the lead on this issue. They moved that the Howard motion be referred to the

Executive Committee. The motion carried by a unanimous vote and Howard's

proposal never returned to the floor. The Dewey faction supported civil rights only

when it was politically beneficial to do so.39




38 Herbert Brownell, Telegram to Thomas E. Dewey, 22 January 1945. Folder 2, Box 6, Series X,
Dewey Papers.

39 Minutes of the Meeting of the Republican National Committee, 22 January 1945. Copy in Folder
(RNC Meeting, Indianapolis, Ind., Jan. 22 1945), Box 122, Herbert Brownell Papers, Dwight D.
Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas [Hereafter cited as Brownell Papers].









With carte blanche to reshape the RNC headquarters as he saw fit, Brownell

wasted little time in creating posts and filling them with Dewey supporters. Brownell

appointed Edward Bacher as Executive Director and charged him with overseeing the

day to day operations of headquarters. Thomas Pheiffer, a former Congressman from

New York's 16th district and Dewey associate became Executive Assistant to the

Chairman and worked closely with Brownell on publicity and policy matters. Another

Dewey partisan, New York City attorney Thomas Stephens, headed the Campaign

division. Former Connecticut Senator John Danaher came on board as legislative

liaison and oversaw relations between the RNC and Capitol Hill.

Brownell also set up special divisions to work with various interest groups in an

effort to tailor the GOP program to them. Joseph Baker, a Philadelphia newspaperman

and Pennsylvania GOP official took charge of the "Negro Activities" group. While

not as extensive as the position Howard had proposed, Baker's post allowed the

Republicans to try to return African-Americans back to the party on a consistent basis.

Don Louden, a former labor journalist and publicity man for the National War Labor

Board, headed the Labor Division. He planned to work with sympathetic union

leaders in order to draw organized labor away from the Democratic Party and counter

the propaganda of the Political Action Committee of the Congress of Industrial

Organizations (CIO-PAC). Organizations were also established for Foreign Affairs,

Women, and Young Republicans. Floyd McCaffree, a political scientist who had

handled research duties for the GOP during each election since 1938, was appointed

Research Director on a full-time basis.40


40 Pamphlet, "Your Staff at Headquarters," Republican National Committee. Copy in Folder 13, Box
47, Series II, Dewey Papers. Hamilton's efforts at boosting the party were short lived. Brownell's were
much more successful, although some political scientists see the changes made to the party in the 1960s
by Chairman Ray Bliss as the true creation of the modern party apparatus. See John C. Green, ed.,
Politics, Professionalism, and Power: Modern Party O, i,,i, i:,I.,, and the Legacy ofRay C. Bliss
(Lanham, MD., University Press of American, 1994), 21.









The increased activity moved the RNC one step closer to becoming the

architect of Republican policy. Moreover, the appointment of pro-Dewey staffers

meant that, despite all claims of neutrality, the RNC would follow the tone and tenor

set in Albany. In March 1945 Brownell announced two new endeavors. First, he

reported that two new publications, The Republican News and The Chairman's Letter,

would start up in the coming months. Brownell hoped that regular and steady print

material would allow him to define a seemingly official position for the party on

critical issues. The GOP had an official organ, the Republican magazine, but it was

contracted out to a professional publicity firm in Chicago. Controlling the message

directly from headquarters allowed the Republicans to respond to sudden changes in

the political climate and ensured that the statements would be consistent with other

rhetoric coming from headquarters. It also allowed the RNC to issue official policy

declarations on a national basis and compete with Congressional Republicans for

media attention.

Second, the Chairman laid out a plan for the creation of six regional advisory

groups of RNC members and state chairmen to report on specifically local concerns

and the political situation in their areas. The formation of the regional groups made

the RNC much more responsive to state and local issues. In theory, the National

Committeeman and Committeewoman from each state had the responsibility to bring

these issues to the RNC, but inclusion of the state chairmen added the traditionally

more active party leaders to the group and reduced the risk that an issue would be

overlooked of downplayed for political reasons. Brownell's maneuvers were designed

to sidestep the policy-making role of the Congress and introduce a two-way method

of communication that allowed regional issues to be brought to the attention of the

party. It also gave state chairs a reliable way to get the attention of the chairman. The










additional links to the state parties put Brownell and the Dewey faction in a much

stronger position to set policy and maintain their control of the GOP.41

The new publicity programs were critical to increasing the visibility and policy-

making role of the RNC. The tabloid-style Republican News was targeted to the

general public, had an initial monthly circulation of 200,000 and was distributed to all

registered party workers down to the precinct level. The bi-weekly Chairman's Letter,

however, was more important for dictating the positions and policies of the party.

First published on June 1 1945, the Chairman's Letter had a limited press run of

1,500 copies and was distributed to RNC members, Republican Senators,

Congressmen, and Governors, state party officials, and large contributors. Although

its operation subsequently expanded, the publication began as a small, exclusive

newsletter designed to communicate the thinking of the RNC head to party opinion

leaders, who were then asked to use the material in speeches and in state party

publications.42 Written ostensibly by the Chairman, the four-page Chairman's Letter

ran every two weeks and its bland, text-only appearance reinforced the seriousness of

the material. Its publication gave Brownell a reliable instrument to instruct the party

leaders on current topics and allowed him to control the debate and the presentation of

viewpoints.43




41 Regina Hay, Letter to Membership of the RNC. Copy in Folder (RNC Meeting Executive
Committee March 26-27, 1945), Box 122, Brownell Papers.

42 Regina Hay, Letter to Membership of the RNC. Copy in Folder (RNC Meeting Executive
Committee March 26-27, 1945, Box 122, Brownell Papers.

43 The postscript to the 15 November 1945 Chairman's Letter Brownell specifically stated that use of
the paper at speaking engagements would allow leaders to "provide a fresh viewpoint upon timely
items at repeated and frequent intervals. A common effort along this line, systematically pursued, will
assuredly build a solid backlog of Republican thinking and, we hope, will prove of material assistance
to our speaking leadership." Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 1, no. 12, 15
November 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC Publications The Chairman's Letter 1945 (2)), Box 122,
Brownell Papers.









Over the first twelve issues of the Chairman's Letter, Brownell echoed several

themes that had colored Republican thinking since the 1930s and laid out the Dewey

interpretation on these matters. The first edition cast the upcoming 1946 elections as a

clash of political theories. Brownell claimed that the Democrats were a "curious

conglomeration of economic and social reactionaries" held together only by benefits

they received from the Federal government. He contended that a Republican victory

in 1946 was the only way to "end the control exercised for the past twelve years and

more by the combination of pressure groups heretofore mentioned," even though

Dewey hoped to bring back part of these groups to the GOP. The Chairman cited

examples of Federal money being used to publicize Democratic programs, in order to

rally public support and pressure Congress into approving these measures. This tactic

was "the same as trying to bribe a man with his own money."44

Federal propaganda that favored New Deal programs remained a constant theme

in Brownell's writing. On 15 June, he quoted House member Charles Halleck of

Indiana as saying "The Truman administration seems to be adhering closely to the

standard New Deal policy of trying to influence elections with the expenditure of

public money, or promising to spend public money." The 15 August edition claimed

that Democratic Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley used WPA funds to "buy the

Kentucky primary in 1938." It also contended that New Deal supporters spent money

on federal relief programs more frequently in an election year and more readily in

close districts. The theme of the "bought vote" was a staple of Republican rhetoric

under Brownell.45 Fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets played a critical role in


44 This idea of the "bought vote" was prevalent in Republican thought after the New Deal. Robert
Mason, "Republican Responses to the New Deal realignment, 1929-1940," A paper given at the 30th
Annual Meeting of the Social Science Historical Association, Portland, OR, 5 November 2005.

45 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 1, no. 2, 15 June 1945. Copy in Folder
(RNC Publications The Chairman's Letter 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers; Republican










Dewey's agenda as governor of New York, and Brownell cast the Democrats as

irresponsible spenders obsessed with federal control of the economy. The President's

effort to set the tariff rates struck Brownell as another attempt by the executive branch

to reduce revenue and make the nation more dependent on deficit spending. This line

of attack rallied Republicans, regardless of their factional allegiance.46 On foreign

policy, Brownell complained mostly of secret diplomatic agreements while pledging

Republican support for a reasoned and constructive foreign policy designed to

47
facilitate world peace.4

Brownell's writing echoed the Dewey faction's tacit acceptance of New Deal

objectives but did attack the Democratic administration as inefficient and corrupt. The

rejection of the planned economy concept was the most prominent criticism and

appeared in a majority of the issues. In the 1 July edition, Brownell contended that

extension of the Office of Price Administration and its price control measures equated

to bureaucratic control of the production process.48 Initially, he argued that the "New

Deal plan is to keep the producer operating at a loss and then (not always but

frequently) make up that loss through federal subsidies."49 Ultimately, in what can


National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 1, no. 6, 15 August 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC
Publications The Chairman's Letter 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers.

46 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 1, no. 1, 1 June 1945. Copy in Folder
(RNC Publications The Chairman's Letter 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers.

47 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 1, no. 10, 15 October 1945. Copy in
Folder (RNC Publications The Chairman's Letter 1945 (2)), Box 122, Brownell Papers; Republican
National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 1, no. 5, 1 August 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC
Publications The Chairman's Letter 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers.

48 The Office of Price Administration was the wartime agency that oversaw rationing and regulated the
markets in order to meet wartime demands for critical goods like meat, rubber, and silk. For more on
the OPA and its role in American politics, see Lizabeth Cohen, The Consumer's Republic. For a
different, but equally well-argued view, see Meg Jacobs, "'How About Some Meat?': The Office of
Price Administration, Consumption Politics, and State Building from the Bottom Up, 1941-1946,"
Journal ofAmerican History 84, no. 3 (Dec, 1997), 910-941.

49 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 1, no. 3, 1 July 1945. Copy in Folder
(RNC Publications The Chairman's Letter 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers.









best be described as a stretch of the imagination, he contended that the OPA and the

Federal government could potentially extend its power to cover the entire aspect of

production and decide what type of goods a company produced. He claimed that, if

OPA is extended, "Not you not your employees not both of you together will run

your business. That will be attended to by some starry-eyed cosmic planner in

Washington. And if you don't appreciate the ineffable advantages... you are just one

of those people who are 'too damn dumb' to understand.""50 The importance of

centralized planning stressed by some New Deal supporters was anathema to

Brownell and most Republicans.

The controversy over the OPA grew larger as the economy shifted from

wartime to peacetime, and Brownell made the Truman demobilization program a

frequent target of criticism. Brownell criticized the pace of the demobilization effort

and the looming possibility of inflation. The problem, as the Chairman saw it, came

when consumers had plenty of liquid capital, but an inadequate supply of domestic

goods. "The nation now has huge surplus supplies of bombers, of guns, of shells, of

fighter planes, of tanks, of bombs and of warships," Brownell wrote in completely

logical fashion. "But few American consumers want to buy tanks or warships." He

asserted that increased federal spending to create public works jobs, under the WPA

formula, led to an increased circulation of capital and made inflation a painful

certainty. Price controls, he reasoned, worsened the situation, as they stifled

production and profits, both of which were necessary to reconvert successfully to a

peacetime footing. After a strong rebuke of Democratic deficit spending and

Truman's proposed sixty-six billion dollar budget for fiscal year 1946, Brownell


50 Ibid.









proclaimed that these could lead to a devaluation of the dollar and could potentially

wreck the economy.

Brownell used the control issue to tie the Democratic Party to Communist

infiltration. Brownell claimed that "Republicans, as a minority party... have a public

duty to do everything within their power to prevent the subversive left-wing element

in the New Deal from dominating the reconversion program." Rather than adopt a

steady right-wing position, however, Brownell also called for "a positive, constructive

blue-print of party policy for the guidance of Party members in the national

legislature." This rhetorical line reflected Dewey's vision for a more progressive

Republican Party and Brownell hoped to establish himself as its most prominent and

effective spokesperson. His combination of anti-communism and progressivism

reflected his desire to campaign towards the center and craft a platform that attracted

moderate voters. Although Brownell conceded that House Republicans had taken a

part in designing the postwar Republican program, his central focus remained on the

RNC and the Chairman's office. On 1 September, Brownell had pledged that a

"constructive, affirmative program" would win the 1946 election, but only if it was

supported by Capitol Hill Republicans. Here, the Chairman attempted to place the

RNC, not Congressional leaders, as the voice of policy for the national party.51

Occasionally, Brownell criticized the Southern Democratic stance on civil

rights. Although this was not as prominent a concern as halting the expansive federal

bureaucracy or diplomatic secrecy, it was indicative of the favorable outlook on civil

rights legislation of the Dewey wing of the party. Thus, in the 1 July edition, Brownell

devoted two small paragraphs to the anti-poll tax bill and its likely defeat at the hands

51 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 1, no.. 9, 1 October 1945. Copy in Folder
(RNC Publications The Chairman's Letter 1945 (2)), Box 122, Brownell Papers; Republican
National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 1, no. 7, 1 September 1945. Copy in Folder (RNC
Publications The Chairman's Letter 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers.









of a Southern filibuster in the Senate. He noted that 131 Republicans had voted for the

measure in the House, as opposed to 19 who voted against it, and pointed out that the

1944 GOP platform had called for an anti-poll tax amendment to the Constitution.

General remarks about the role of Southern Democrats in the New Deal coalition

were actually very rare and suggest that, in 1945, Republican support for civil rights

legislation was not a priority. With issues such as reconversion, the postwar strike

wave, and American diplomacy so prominent, the RNC did not move decisively to

appeal to black voters through advocacy of racial justice.52

Brownell successfully used the The Chairman's Letter and the expanded RNC

publicity department as tools to set the tone for the national GOP. His treatment of

issues was consistent with Dewey's call for a constructive, forward-looking program

that relied on methodology that differed from the New Deal, but embraced its overall

objectives. The Chairman's Letter also moved to bridge the gap between the Albany-

controlled RNC headquarters and the Congressional Republicans, as more often than

not Taft, Halleck, and other Hill Republicans were cited as authorities or praised for

their suggestions or remarks in their respective chambers. The direct communication

with the party faithful allowed Brownell and the headquarters staff to take leadership

positions on critical issues and publicize their views just as fast, if not faster, than

congressmen or senators. The enhanced RNC now gave the Chairman a more stable,

nationally recognized position and enabled him to craft policy for the Republican

Party as the Dewey wing saw fit.

Unwilling to allow Albany any more power, Taft and the Congressional

Republicans hastily issued a statement of policy to counter Brownell's attempts to

make the RNC a major campaign force. Released on December 5 as a supplement to

52 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 1, no. 3, 1 July 1945. Copy in Folder
(RNC Publications The Chairman's Letter 1945 (1)), Box 122, Brownell Papers.









the 1944 Republican Platform, the brief document took a very conservative position.

The preamble cast the differences between the two parties in much starker contrast

than Brownell had and claimed that the Democrats espoused a policy of "radicalism,

regimentation, all-powerful bureaucracy, class exploitation, deficit spending and

machine politics." The GOP program, on the other hand, was one that promoted

individualism, a balanced budget, "preservation of local home rule," and a strong

defense against totalitarianism. Casting off their isolationist past, the authors

advocated support for the United Nations and humanitarian relief, but only if the

programs "were consistent with intelligent American self-interest."53

On the domestic front, the statement demanded a reduction of the size and scale

of the Federal government, saying "Government alone cannot feed the people, nor

employ them, nor make the profits from which new enterprises and new jobs are

born." The proposed Republican alternative was immediate debt and tax reduction, an

end to price controls, a guarantee of equality for all, and a more equal level of

cooperation between labor and management in collective bargaining. Most

importantly, the statement asked for a new system of Federal aid to states based on

need but managed at the local and state level. Medical care, unemployment, and

subsistence aid could come from Washington, but centralized control should be

removed. The call for a needs-based system sought to provide a balance between

addressing the plight of the poor and downtrodden and protecting the tax-base of the

middle and upper classes.

The federal bureaucracy had already assumed the role of economic boogeyman

for the Republicans, but the 1945 Statement of Policy took this rhetoric to a new

level. The authors derided the government for its "thirst for power and self-

53 Republican National Committee, Pamphlet, "Aims and Purposes." Copy in Folder (RNC
Publications), Box 122, Brownell Papers.









perpetuation," and argued that the government payroll should be cut to the minimum

necessary for efficient operation. The document also lambasted organized labor and

its unwillingness to respect contracts negotiated in good faith with their employers.

While stressing the need for fair and equitable collective bargaining, it called for

stronger regulation of unions and an end to the supposed pro-labor bias of the Wagner

Act. 54

The policy statement of the congressional Republicans challenged both the

Democratic Party and the Dewey faction of the GOP. In the opening paragraphs, the

authors stated that they "believe that genuine social and economic progress can be

achieved only on these American constitutional principles and it is our purpose to

give our citizens this clean-cut choice." Stressing small degrees of difference, as had

the Albany group, struck most Hill Republicans as an ineffective campaign method

and a betrayal of Republican principles. This disagreement over rhetoric and election

strategy was more divisive than policy goals, as the Republican anxiety with their lack

of power grew with every election cycle. The statement of policy, then, was an effort

to reassert the primacy of Hill Republicans and to create a political identity more in

line with the views of Taft and the Old Guard Republicans. The statement was a direct

challenge to Dewey's leadership and signaled the intentions of Midwestern

Republicans to retake the party from the Albany group. In the minds of the Taftites,

the GOP was a conservative party and should oppose the New Deal boldly, rather

than working to maintain is overall goals and instruments with slight modifications.

On 6 December, the RNC met in Chicago. Taft supporters, generally the more

conservative members of the RNC, applauded the congressional Statement of Policy.

Kelland, speaking for a number of RNC members, claimed that "If that doesn't state


54 Ibid.









that we are the conservative party of America in opposition to the radical, then I can't

understand the meaning of it."55 Such praise carried weight, and a number of RNC

moderates supported the aggressive and forthrightness of the congressional

declaration. Brownell and Dewey clearly had been outflanked by the legislative wing

which had refused to allow Albany to control partisan identity and make policy. The

congressional statement presented an alternative to the proposals endorsed by

Brownell, and this found favor with the RNC.

The Dewey faction had little choice but to support the Congressional position or

further intensify the split in the national organization and jeopardize their own

position. In a speech following the RNC meeting, Brownell endorsed the document

but toned down the rhetoric when he summarized it to the press. Instead of making

direct attacks on the New Deal and the Democratic administration, he restated the

document in generalizations of a contest between individual liberty and a planned

economic state, condensing the statement into a ten point platform. Brownell

highlighted cooperation with the United Nations and stopped short of decrying FDR's

actions at Yalta. The organized labor section was transformed from an attack on labor

leaders to an affirmative that "We believe in the right of labor to organize and bargain

collectively." Brownell's speech also made no mention of a pro-union bias under the

Wagner Act, a very important distinction. Brownell changed the call for a system of

state-controlled federal aid to "We favor necessary Federal aid to enable the States to

make provision for those of their citizens who are unable to care for themselves."

Brownell and the Dewey gave tacit approval to the congressional declaration, but

modified it to make it less confrontational and to continue their efforts to control


55 Minutes of the Meeting, of the Republican National Committee (6-7 December, 1945), 60. Copy in
Paul L. Kesaris, ed., Papers of the Republican Party (Frederick, MD: University Publications of
America, 1987) [Hereafter cited as Republican Party Papers] Reel 6.









Republican policy from RNC headquarters and promote an inoffensive platform that

attracted centrist voters.56

In the 1 January 1946 Chairman's Letter, Brownell spent roughly a paragraph

and a half discussing the congressional statement of policy, and the remaining three

pages to promoting a new Republican National Policy Committee, which Brownell

had recently created, as an alternative. He noted that the Chicago meeting had

unanimously endorsed the congressional statement, but he wanted a more flexible

policy-making apparatus, since "Party policy must be a continuously growing thing to

meet new issues and changed situations." Finally, he pledged the full support of the

headquarters staff in implementing Republican policy after their forecasted 1946

Congressional victory. Brownell's rhetoric was meant to squelch the Congressional

statement of principles and reassert the authority of the RNC.5

After Chicago, the differences between the strident anti-New Deal position of

the Taftite congressional Republicans and the tacit acceptance of Democratic

objectives by the Dewey-controlled RNC continued to be reflected in the pages of the

Party's major publications. Brownell utilized the Chairman's Letter to coach the GOP

leadership in moderation and made only very general attacks on the Truman

Administration. Here, as in the 1945 editions, the Chairman consistently portrayed the

Republican program as a "positive, forward-looking set of basic principles." His most

driving criticism of the Democrats focused not on policy, but on Truman's perceived

inability to lead.




56 "The People Must Choose, Speech of Herbert Brownell, Jr.," Pamphlet, Copy in Folder (RNC
Meeting, December 7-8, 1945), Box 122, Brownell Papers.

57 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 2, no. 1, 1 January 1946. Copy in Folder
(RNC Publications The Chairman's Letter 1946 (1)), Box 123, Brownell Papers.









The Chairman's Letter was ahead of the curve in criticizing the 1946 postwar

strike wave. The January 15 edition blamed the Democrats for the labor unrest.

According to Brownell, the opposition was "reaping the harvest of its long-standing

practice of putting politics ahead of justice in the handling of industrial problems,"

and linked the Democrats with the leftist CIO-PAC. Brownell criticized Truman's

price and wage control policy, attacking the role of appointed bureaucrats, rather then

elected legislators, in deciding the levels of wage and price hikes. Brownell noted

rather fearfully that the New Deal bureaucracy held the nation's economic recovery in

its hands and would continue to do so unless a Republican Congress was elected in

1946.58

When Brownell discussed Republican alternatives, he mostly spoke in broad

sweeping generalizations. This was consistent with his desire to cast a wide net and

attract centrist voters. The one exception, the March 15 issue, was the only time he

revisited the Statement of Principles of the Congressional Republicans. He listed the

legislators' specific proposals and highlighted the efforts of the Republican caucus to

implement them. These included unsuccessful attempts by Representative John Taber

of New York to reduce the government payroll by ten percent, as well as Republican

support for the United Nations and the party's calls for a "common-sense" approach

to foreign aid. Brownell's final Chairman's Letter of his tenure, published on 1 April

1946, described the Truman administration as one of corruption and incompetence,

and argued that the only hope for the return of the "American way of life" was the

election of a Republican Congress in 1946. Although Brownell did not agree with the





58 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 2, no. 5, 1 March 1946. Copy in Folder
(RNC Publications The Chairman's Letter 1946 (1)), Box 123, Brownell Papers.









conservative principles of a number of the congressional leaders, Dewey's 1948

presidential prospects would look brighter with a Republican Congress.59

Brownell's campaign stance for the mid-term elections was in line with the

1944 presidential campaign and the corresponding Republican platform. In the labor

section of the platform, the GOP pledged to support Social Security, the Wagner Act,

and other laws designed to help working class Americans. At no point in his rhetoric

did Brownell ever argue against these measures. Instead, he echoed the language that

called for a fair administration of the Wagner Act, rather than the harsher rhetoric of

the Congressional Republicans who argued for stronger regulation of union activities.

The 1944 plank calling for tax reductions and an end to deficit spending was

agreeable to both Congressional and Presidential Republicans, but Brownell chose not

to emphasize the demands for state-funded welfare and infrastructure building

programs that were in the platform and in the Congressional Declaration of

Principles.60

The Congressional and Presidential wings of the party entered 1946 separated

only by a few degrees in methodology, but more so in campaign goals. The

congressional statement of policy laid out absolute guidelines for a legislative

program that the RNC approved with only slight rhetorical modification. Although

Dewey had tried to work closely with Hill Republicans and have a voice in the

programmatic goals of the party, the senators and congressmen jealously guarded

their role as policymakers in a party out of power and resisted any encroachment from



59 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 2, no. 6, 15 March 1946. Copy in Folder
(RNC Publications The Chairman's Letter 1946 (1)), Box 123, Brownell Papers;

Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 2, no. 7, 1 April 1946. Copy in Folder (RNC
Publications The Chairman's Letter 1946 (1)). Box 123, Brownell Papers.
60 1944 Republican Platform, Quoted in Kurian, The Encyclopedia of the Republican Party.









Albany. Dewey, unwilling to run on a legislative program he viewed as too harsh and

divisive, used Brownell and the RNC to formulate an alternative proposal in the hopes

of supplanting the congressional Republicans as arbiters of party policy and making

the national organization reflective of his campaign goals. Fundamentally, the Dewey

and Taft factions agreed on a number of issues. They both regarded the growth of the

Federal bureaucracy under Roosevelt and Truman as a legitimate threat to the

American way of life. They thought that interest-group politics had created a divisive

atmosphere and that key decisions, such as the administration of the labor policy,

were calculated for political expediency rather than for the nation's best interests. The

Dewey group, more so than the Taftites, was willing to adopt an all-inclusive,

accomodationist style of politics.

On matters of policy, the gulf separating the two factions was minor. The

congressional Republicans emphasized reducing taxation and federal spending, and

called for the burden of social services to be placed on the states rather than a

centralized bureaucracy. The Dewey group highlighted economy in spending, but

minimized the calls for a system of welfare and worker's benefits controlled by the

states. On civil rights and labor policy, the two factions claimed different aims, but

most of their proposed programs were very similar. Brownell's calls for a "positive,

forward-looking set of basic principles" constituted an attempt to move past the

party's 1920s conservative stance and minimize the strident opposition to the New

Deal. The Old Guard preferred to run on a more-traditional GOP platform.

Dewey's moderate approach to politics caused many Republicans to scoff at the

rhetoric coming out of headquarters. Brownell's control of the party structure,

especially the new publicity apparatus, enabled the Dewey faction to dictate political

positions and allowed it to work to squelch the voices of Old Guard Republicans and






64


others in Congress who disagreed with its moderate approach. Senators and

Congressmen fought with the Deweyites over the proper partisan identity, dividing

the Republicans into two strategic camps. The Congressional Declaration and

Brownell's formation of a policy committee, designed to be more important than the

legislators themselves, were the opening moves in a political chess match that would

ultimately shape the Republican Party for a generation.














CHAPTER 3
POWER WITHOUT CONTROL: CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS AND THE
80TH CONGRESS, 1946-1948

The Congressional statement of policy marked the start of a concerted effort

from the Old Guard wing of the Republican Party to regain the Chairmanship of the

RNC and construct the party's political identity. Although Dewey and Taft had

reached an understanding in private correspondence, their followers continued to

differ publicly on a number of policy measures and the overall agenda of the

Republican Party. Party control was pivotal because, with the Congressional elections

of 1946 looming, a successful campaign could solidify a faction's dominance heading

into 1948. In the pages of the Chairman's Letter, RNC Chairman Herbert Brownell

argued for a progressive, forward-looking platform just as Capitol Hill Republicans

sought a tougher line opposing Democratic legislation. In April 1946, the Taft group

capitalized on a bit of good fortune and Republican discontent with both the New

Deal and the Dewey faction to seize the leadership of the RNC. In the months that

followed, the national organization oversaw an aggressive campaign strategy that led

to the first Republican congressional majority since the Great Depression. The Old

Guard Republicans had succeeded in keeping the policy making functions of the party

away from the RNC, and oversaw a legislative session that contested many of the

staples of the New Deal. This chapter will detail the Taftite takeover of the GOP and

outline their campaign strategy and oppositional rhetoric. It will also show how the

Old Guard governed as the majority in Congress. Their legislative program

underscored the fact that the two factions had visions for their party and their country

that were moving ever wider apart.









Through December 1945 and January 1946, the open split over the tone and

content of the Statement of Policy settled into a stalemate. Then, in late February,

Republican headquarters reported that Brownell would step down by April.

Ostensibly, Brownell needed to return to his full-time law practice for financial

reasons, as his Chairmanship was a non-salaried position. The New York Times also

reported that, with Dewey up for re-election in 1946, the Albany group needed him to

manage the GOP's New York campaign. Dewey issued a statement thanking

Brownell for his service and noted that the RNC had grown in stature since his

appointment in 1944.1 The press hailed Brownell as a competent Chairman, and

papers sympathetic to the Republican cause lamented his rumored departure.2

Taft supporters disagreed. They believed that the 1944 campaign and platform

had not presented a stark enough contrast between the two parties and, since the

election, had called for increased attacks on their Democratic opponents. Taft and his

followers believed that Brownell's ineffective rhetoric had caused Dewey's defeat.

The Ohioan believed that "our weak point is publicity. We ought to have a continuous

conservative propaganda going on, but although there are many plans for it, none has

really been successfully worked out."3 In Taft's view, the Republicans had failed to

position themselves as an alternative to the New Deal and their campaign lacked

vigor. Brownell's pending resignation energized right-leaning Republicans and gave

them ample time to agree on a successor and convince moderates to support Taft and

his bid for the nomination in 1948.


1 New York Times, 26 February 1946. This is likely the reason Brownell resigned, as he did serve as
Dewey's campaign manager during the fall election cycle.

2 Newspaper Clipping, undated, Copy in Folder (RNC Miscellaneous 1945-1946 (2)), Box 122,
Brownell Papers.

3 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Kellogg Patterson, 21 February 1946. Copy in Folder (Political Republican
- 1946), Box 878, Taft Papers.









On April 1 1946, the RNC met in Chicago. Brownell opened the proceedings

with a farewell address that trumpeted his own accomplishments. Despite the 1944

Republican defeat, Brownell had built a fairly sophisticated campaign organization to

raise funds and promote the party year round. The RNC now had eleven permanent

departments overseeing critical aspects of electioneering. Some, such as the radio and

the research departments, coordinated the message of the GOP and broadcast it

through national and local media outlets. Others, such as the Young Republicans and

the Women's Division, targeted special interest groups and tailored the Republican

message to appeal to specific blocs of voters. Efforts to attract African-American and

organized labor voters were combined in the Special Activities Department, now

headed by Val Washington, a Dewey supporter and former state official from

Illinois.4 Brownell's efforts at revitalizing the national apparatus had paid dividends in

fund-raising and public presence, just not in electoral votes.

Although Brownell had had a successful tenure as an organizer, the 1944 results

and the Congressional Statement of Policy had shifted momentum to the Taft

supporters. The National Policy Subcommittee, the group Brownell had created to

rival congressional Republicans for policy formation, had authored a statement of

principles that advocated a number of moderate positions, but argued for more

dramatic opposition to the New Deal. The program, drawn from a survey of local and

state party leaders, charged that "the controlling leadership in the Democratic Party by

word and act has espoused a cause and a course, radical and un-American, and we say

the American people are entitled to a clear choice between political philosophy of this

Administration and our tried and true Americanism. Let the line of battle be clearly



4
SProceedings of Meeting of the Republican National Committee, Washington, D.C. 1 April 1946,
Republican Party Papers, Roll 7









drawn thus."5 The Dewey faction's efforts to choose non-controversial issues and

espouse a number of New Deal ideas clearly did not excite a majority of the party

elites.

Rather than allow the Taft supporters to assume the chairmanship, the Dewey

group hoped to replace Brownell with one of their own and continue to implement

their vision for the party. As Brownell submitted his resignation, the business on the

meeting shifted immediately to the election of a successor. Alabama National

Committeeman Lonnie Noojin, a real-estate broker and ardent Taft supporter, had

first voice by virtue of alphabetical order and yielded to Ohio. On cue, Ohio

Congressman and RNC Executive Committeeman Clarence Brown submitted the

name of Tennessee Representative and RNC member B. Carroll Reece. Thirteen

others rose in support of the nomination and praised Reece for his record in congress

and his party leadership in the Volunteer State. Each speaker regarded Reece as a

strong organizer and claimed that he would be another forward-thinking chairman in

the mold of Brownell. Mississippi Committeeman Perry Howard, one of two African-

American members of the committee, argued that Reece's voting record on civil

rights measures was spotless. He claimed that "if the word goes out that the

honorable, fair-minded Carroll Reece, who lives up to all the traditions of the better

and the significant race but who is broad enough to sympathize with mine -- if the

word goes out that he is elected, there will be a general homecoming of that black

Republican in the fall of this year."6 Howard, who had previously called for the RNC




5 Proceedings of Meeting of the Republican National Committee, Washington, D.C. 1 April 1946, RNC
Papers, Roll 7
6 Proceedings of Meeting of the Republican National Committee, 1 April 1946, RNC Papers, Roll 7.
The other African-American member of the committee, Mary Boone, also from Mississippi, either
voted with Howard 100% of the time, or gave her proxy to Howard and did not attend the meetings.









to allocate 100,000 dollars for a special campaign division to target African

Americans, hid any feelings of racial pride in order to help elect Reece.

Reece's vocal support came mostly from the South and the Midwest, the areas

of Taft's support. Reece had a political philosophy acceptable to Taft, but was not his

first choice. In the month before the meeting, Taft and his supporters carefully vetted

a list of possible chairmen. In March, Reece and Clarence Brown had emerged as

their top choices. Taft obviously concerned, told an associate that "both of them seem

to want it very badly. We feel that they ought to work it out between themselves and

then perhaps we could get unanimous Washington support for the one chosen."7 Two

weeks later, on March 18, the dispute appeared resolved, as Taft wrote letters to his

friends on the RNC on behalf of Reece. Falsely claiming that Reece was not his

candidate, Taft urged Illinois National Committeeman Kellogg Patterson to support

the Tennessean in order to prevent the Albany group from retaining control of the

party.8

After Reece's nomination had been seconded, the Dewey faction nominated

former Connecticut Senator and current RNC staffer John Danaher. A third faction,

mostly made up of old Wendell Willkie supporters now allied with ex-Minnesota

Governor Harold Stassen, nominated John Hanes, a relative newcomer to the GOP.

This third group hoped Hanes would emerge as a compromise candidate between the

Taft and Dewey groups, but their nominee's recent switch from the Democratic Party

alienated many on the committee. On the first ballot, Reece received 47 votes to


7 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Henry Fletcher, 7 March 1946. Copy in Taft Papers, Folder (Political -
Republican 1946), Box 878, Taft Papers.

8 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Kellogg Patterson, 18 March 1946. Copy in Taft Papers, Folder (Political -
Republican 1946), Box 878, Taft Papers. Throughout his career, Taft remained careful of appearing
too power-hungry or too concerned with seeking the Presidency or control of the GOP. He tried to keep
a healthy distance between himself and his supporters. Here, he wanted to avoid claims that he was
installing Reece in preparation of his own presidential run in 1948.









Danaher's 31. Hanes received 21 and Nebraska Senator Kenneth Wherry, nominated

as a favorite son by his home state delegation, received two. The second ballot

produced similar results and no candidate received a majority. After a fifteen minute

recess and tense negotiations between the Taft and Dewey groups, a third roll-call was

conducted. Several leading members of the Dewey faction, including Missouri

Committeeman Barak Mattingly, New York Committeeman J. Russell Sprague, and

Vermont Committeewoman Consuelo Northrop Bailey switched their votes to Reece.

Although the negotiations were off the record, it appears that the Dewey group traded

their votes for a continued voice in RNC affairs.9

Reece's appointment gave the Taft wing control of the RNC and later, through

astute appointments, command of the policy and campaign committees. Human

Events, a conservative journal of opinion, saw the election of Reece as a sign that the

party's Midwestern base believed[] that the Party does not need to make concessions

to New Dealish sentiment and that Truman will prove so weak a candidate and the

Democratic Party will be so divided that the Republicans will be carried in on the

tide."10 The Nation, writing from the opposite end of the political spectrum, claimed

that the GOP was now "essentially primitive despite the prodding of its Western

liberals."1 The Old Guard had regained control of the party machinery and the 1946

elections were theirs to lose. The Dewey faction, although still a prominent voice in

Republican affairs, now occupied a minority position.




9 Proceedings of the Meeting of the Republican National Committee, Washington D.C. RNC Papers,
Roll 7. Illinois National Committeewoman Bertha Baur quipped just before the first ballot that
everyone "knows how everyone else is going to vote, so let us proceed." The Taft group had clearly
been politicking on behalf of Reece leading up to the meeting.

10 Human Events 3, no. 15, 10 April 1946.

1 The Nation 162, no. 15, 13 April 1946, 13.









Reece was a curious choice for RNC Chairman simply because he hailed from

the South. Although each state had two seats on the committee, most of the Southern

delegates presided over very small organizations that were used more for dispensing

patronage than for winning elections.12 In 1920, Reece was elected to Congress from

Tennessee's staunchly Republican First District, located in the upper eastern portion

of the state, and was re-elected for 24 of the next 26 years.13 Reece's voting record

stayed consistently conservative throughout his career. He voted against many pieces

of New Deal legislation and espoused isolationism prior to World War II. Reece had

been a member of the RNC since 1940 and had always voted with the Taft supporters

at party meetings, but actively supported the candidacy of Willkie and Dewey in the

name of party unity. This partisan loyalty made him an acceptable choice for RNC

members outside the Taft camp.

Although Reece had benefited from the acquiescence of the Dewey wing, he did

not have the same freedom to reshape the committee that Brownell had enjoyed. A

chairman appointed by a presidential nominee, such as Brownell, had a unique

opportunity to remake the party into the candidate's image with a mandate from the

national convention. In 1944, Brownell dictated party publicity from headquarters

and, while the congressional Republicans rejected his activities, he caused little

controversy within the RNC itself. Reece did not have such clearly defined authority.

He had been elected as a result of a factional dispute that had taken three ballots to

resolve. While he had garnered the eventual acceptance of Dewey's closest allies, a

number of RNC members had consistently voted against him. Reece, therefore, had to


12 V.O. Key, Southern Politics in State and Nation (New York: Vintage Books, 1962).

13 For more on Reece's military and early political career, see Michael Bowen, "A Politician of
Principle: Three Events in the Congressional Career of B. Carroll Reece," (Master's Thesis: East
Tennessee State University, 1999).









maintain a moderate position, as a series of unpopular decisions or publicity programs

could result in another split and a new election for the chairmanship. He also had to

keep the party actively working for victory in the off-year elections. Reece, therefore,

could not undo Brownell's recent changes to RNC Headquarters without raising the

ire of the eastern wing of the GOP. He could make some limited modifications, but

could not accomplish wholesale transformations without causing another fight.

Shortly after his election, Reece reshuffled the RNC Executive Committee, but

was unable to completely purge the Dewey influence at headquarters. At the April

meeting, Reece appointed Hallanan, a staunch Taft supporter and longtime RNC

member, to take his old seat on the Executive Committee. Four months later, Reece

had completely reshuffled the group. Dewey supporters Mattingly, Todd, and Sprague

remained, but the Executive Committee was now dominated by Taftites such as

Clarence Brown, Ohio Committeewoman Katherine Kennedy Brown, Texas

Committeeman R.B. Creager, Spangler, and Hallanan. Reece, however, retained most

of the staff at headquarters. Bacher, Washington, and Louden all remained in place

despite their allegiance to Governor Dewey. The lone exception was Campaign

Director Tom Stephens, who returned to New York with Brownell and was replaced

by Clarence Brown.

Reece's early staffing moves indicate that the Taftite dissatisfaction with the

GOP was the direction from the top, not the publicity apparatus or Brownell's

organizational work. Reece and his fellow Congressional Republicans believed that

the party needed to attack the Democratic Party on a number of issues and policies.

They contended that Brownell had limited the discourse to a small list of topics that

all GOP members agreed on. It was fine to be "forward-looking," but Reece and the

Old Guard believed that the New Deal had angered a number of Americans and









jeopardized the future of the nation. While electoral results disproved this in 1944,

Reece, Taft, and their allies held this notion as a non-debatable truth. This partially

reflects a disjuncture between Republican elites and the grassroots immediately after

World War II and also affirms their belief in the Republican policies of the 1920s.

Rather than clear out all of Brownell's staff and reshape the party completely, Reece

moved to change the message from headquarters using the same organization that

Brownell had built. Dewey remained the titular party leader but conservatives gained

a louder voice in the party organization and hoped to reconstruct the political identity

as oppositional and conservative.14

With Taft influencing the policy decisions of the RNC, Reece became the

public face of the national party apparatus and the most vocal proponent of its agenda

during the 1946 election cycle. The Republicans had not controlled Congress since

1932 and now faced the daunting opposition of a majority party that had kept public

support for over a decade and had prosecuted a successful war effort. Reece's first

duty as chairman was the creation and promotion of a nationwide platform. Calling

upon his conservative beliefs and the rhetoric of anti-Communism, Reece crafted a

strategy based primarily on fear of communism, but one that also included a viable

and consistent legislative agenda. In his first nationwide speech as Chairman, Reece

invoked the red specter by saying, "It seems to me that the pink puppets in control of

the federal bureaucracy have determined to prevent American productive capacity

from supplying the needs of the people." Some members of the press expressed alarm

while others, including the editors of the Miami Daily News, saw this as more of the

same poorly designed propaganda that brought Republican defeats in the previous



14 Minutes of Meeting of the Republican National Executive Committee, 12 June 1946, Republican
Party Papers, Roll 8.









three elections.15 In the process, Reece effectively recast the domestic and foreign

agenda of the GOP into the phrase "Communism vs. Republicanism."

Fortunately for Reece, several recent events had made Communism a more

prominent topic than in 1944. On February 28 1945, the Office of Strategic Services

stumbled upon a classified document printed in Amerasia magazine, a publication

linked to several Communist front groups. In February 1946, J. Edgar Hoover

informed Truman of a group of Communist subversives operating inside the federal

government, including Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Harry Dexter White. In

June 1946 a report indicated the presence of a well-organized espionage ring

operating in both the United States and Canada. These circumstances created an anti-

Communist tension that gripped the nation shortly after Reece took over as

chairman.16

These first moments of the Second Red Scare gave Reece and the Republican

Party a favorable issue to exploit, but they had other advantages as well. In 1946, the

GOP was blessed with a healthy, vibrant organization. Reece took advantage of the

recently-expanded publicity department and used RNC publications to communicate

his vision of the party to the voters. Reece boosted the circulation of the Republican

News to two hundred thousand and wrote an editorial for each issue.17 For example,

his June 1946 column, entitled "Bear in Donkey's Clothing," divided the Democratic

Party into three groups: "the racist Southern delegates", the urban machine politicians,

and the socialist-controlled Democrats. Although Brownell had used very similar


15 Miami Daily News, 21 April 1946.

16 Francis H. Thompson, The Frustration ofPolitics: Truman, Congress, and the Loyalty Issue, 1945-
1953 (Rutherford, New Jersey: Farleigh-Dickinson Press, 1979), 18-19.

17 B. Carroll Reece, Letter to Charles Heitman, 13 December 1947. B. Carroll Reece Papers, Archives
of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee [Hereafter cited as Reece
Papers].









rhetoric, Reece accented the supposed Communist influence while downplaying the

role of the other groups. The editorial cartoon echoed this sentiment, showing

Democratic National Chairman John Hannegan presenting a Russian bear complete

with hammer-and-sickle armband and donkey ears to John Q. Voter.18

This issue of the News encapsulated Reece's entire program, but his most

important and detailed messages came in the biweekly Chairman's Letter. Under

Brownell, the Letter had been sent to Republican senators, congressmen, and large

party contributors, but Reece expanded its circulation from twenty-five hundred in

1945 to twenty thousand in 1947. The new recipients included all district and county

party chairmen and a number of other concerned citizens. The Chairman's Letter

continued as a source to inform local organizations and was extremely well received.

Several district offices and party organizations used the letter to recruit new members

and provide campaign information, and innumerable officials drew speech material

from the pieces.19

A survey of the Chairman's Letter from April to November 1946 provides an

in-depth analysis of Reece's campaign against the Democratic Party. It also shows the

core philosophies and programs of the Taft wing of the party immediately after World

War II. When contrasted with Brownell's rhetoric, the strategic difference between

the two factions becomes apparent. Reece's first Letter, published on April 15 1946,

laid out the RNC's role in the upcoming campaign. He hoped the committee would be

more unified than in the past and tried to downplay the factionalism prevalent since



18 Republican News, May 1946. Copy in Reece Papers; Republican News, June 1946. Copy in Reece
Papers.

19 B. Carroll Reece, Letter to Robert Bricham, 21 November 1947. Reece Papers; T.E. Coleman, Letter
to B. Carroll Reece, 4 February 1947. Reece Papers; Charles C. Brown, Letter to B. Carroll Reece, 11
August 1947. Reece Papers; B. Carroll Reece, Letter to Charles C. Brown, 16 August 1947. Reece
Papers.









1944. This was wishful thinking on the Chairman's part, but Reece did pledge

neutrality in state and local contests as a show of good faith. He contended that the

RNC would not to select the individual candidates but would back individuals that

state and local organizations had chosen. This edition of the Letter reaffirmed the

RNC's role as the "sales and service organization" of the party and introduced Reece

to the party faithful. It was one of only two Letters during the campaign that did not

mention communism, totalitarianism, or radicalism. The other, published in mid-

August, dealt with the history of the Republican Party and predicted a sweeping

victory without mentioning any campaign issues.20

Reece's second Letter, issued on 1 May, set the tone for the rest of the year.

Somewhat ironically, Reece predicted that the Democrats would run a "campaign of

fear [with] attempts to terrorize the American people with dire predictions of what

will happen if the present impotent Democratic majorities in House and Senate are

wiped out." He presented the liberalism of Henry Wallace ("the whirling dervish of

totalitarianism") and the CIO-PAC as proof that communist subversives had

infiltrated the Democratic administration. Labor unions, along with the big city

machines, supposedly set the policy for the Democratic Party and bore the

responsibility for rising inflation and the housing shortage. Continuing Brownell's

metaphor of the "bought vote," Reece's appeal for support ended with the declaration

that "the American electorate is not for sale."21

Reece consistently attacked organized and rhetorically moved beyond anything

Brownell wrote during his tenure. Reece claimed that the current coal strike, unlike

20 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 2, no. 22, 15 April 1946. Copy in Reece
Papers; Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 2, no. 6, 15 August 1946. Copy in
Reece Papers.
21 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter," 1, no. 23, 1 May 1946. Copy in Reece
Papers.









labor problems of the previous years, stemmed from foreign subversives not in the

union itself, but within the Truman administration. He claimed that the economic

policies of the New Deal had weakened the economy and forced workers to strike.

Reece wrote, "If lack of effective legislation is the cause of the disastrous condition in

which the nation finds itself today, the responsibility for such lack is that of the

Democrat party [sic]... Such has been the policy pursued so consistently that it could

not have been other than designed." He also claimed that the administration's policies

caused a loss of industrial profits, worker's wages, and had adverse effects on

22
consumers.

Reece and many of his RNC colleagues believed that workers had a

fundamental right to organize, but thought that union leaders were exploiting the

demands of the worker in order to disrupt the economic system. In the 15 June issue

of the Chairman's Letter, Reece went further and equated labor unions with "Nazism,

Fascism, and Communism."23 This logic facilitated the Republican attack on the CIO-

PAC. In 1946, the political wing of the CIO boasted a six million-dollar campaign

fund. Reece charged that Socialists dominated the organization and used their

resources to elect sympathetic candidates. Truman had interfered in the selection of

several local candidates in favor of CIO-PAC supported ones, and Reece saw this as a

sure sign that the CIO-PAC had a strong foothold in the Democratic Party. "Every

Democrat candidate," he claimed, "is a potential, if not an actual, ally of this radical

group which has conducted an open alliance with the official leader of the Democrat





22 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 1, no. 24, 15 May 1946. Copy in Reece
Papers;

23 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 2, no. 2, 15 June 1946. Copy in Reece
Papers.









Party, namely Mr. Truman." In Reece's eyes, only a Republican Congress could keep

the unions from taking over the country.

To Reece, the unions were but one vehicle of subversion. While he used a

number of specific examples in his writing, Reece also promoted Communism as a

general threat to American society. The Communist issue occupied the entire 1 June

issue, by far the most venomous of the fourteen pieces written before the November

elections. "Today's major domestic issue," Reece wrote, "is between Radicalism,

regimentation, all-powerful bureaucracy, class-exploitation, deficit spending and

machine politics, as against our belief in American freedom." He claimed that

Communist infiltrators had destroyed any semblance of the Democratic Party that

existed before Roosevelt took office in 1933. The idea of the evil triumvirate

composed of racist Southerners, machine politicians, and communists arose again.

Reece argued that the subversive element had duped many Democrats, who he

regarded as good and loyal Americans. He claimed, however, that the party leaders

had become "saboteurs of the American system of government," and were so

entrenched in Washington that only a Republican victory could ensure American

freedom.24 Reece believed that the housing crisis, which affected many returning

veterans, was therefore the result of a Communist "divide and conquer tactic," that

prevented the government from adequately addressing the situation. Reece concluded

that "at least some of the confusion now prevailing in Washington may not be entirely

accidental." To Reece, the postwar crisis could not have happened without planning

from communists and a complicit Democratic Party.25


24 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 2, no. 1, 1 June 1946. Copy in Reece
Papers; Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter"2 no. 3, 1 July 1946. Copy in Reece
Papers.
25 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 2, no. 8, 15 September 1946. Copy in
Reece Papers; Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 2, no. 9, 1 October 1946.









In previous election cycles, the words of the party chairman would have only

moderate impact. In 1946, however, Reece took advantage of the expanded campaign

organization that Brownell created, and there is evidence to indicate that his message

affected public opinion. With a heavily funded campaign apparatus, multiple

publications, and his position as chairman of an out-of-power political party, Reece's

message was transmitted authoritatively and effectively. He made numerous public

addresses to Republican groups and two national radio addresses over the National

and Columbia Broadcasting Systems. These speeches echoed the Chairman's Letter

and often used similar rhetoric.26 His national audience responded with letters,

comments, and editorials, mostly in favor of the Republican stand against

communism. A Midwestern GOP official told journalist Eric Sevareid that "Two

years ago the National Committee used to send us speeches and platters about the Red

menace; but there wasn't much interest; we had to throw them away. This year we

used them and we think they are having an effect."27 Democratic Representative

Adolph Sabath of Illinois referred to the Communist-in-government issue as the

"gospel of B. Carroll Reece." He emphasized that any opponent of conservative

Republicans bore the label of Bolshevism and jokingly claimed that "a Communist is

a man who does not regard Herbert Hoover as the greatest living American."28

Numerous Republican candidates, including Wisconsin's Joseph McCarthy, adopted

Reece's anticommunist rhetoric in their campaigns. Concerned citizens also

Copy in Reece Papers; Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 2, no. 10, 15 October
1946. Copy in Reece Papers.

26 For example, the "evil triumvirate" idea of racist Southern delegates, machine politicians and
Communist sympathizers was used in a speech before the National Press Club. B. Carroll Reece,
Address to the National Press Club, 17 April 1946. Reece papers.
27 Unknown, Quoted in James R. Boylan, The New Deal Coalition and the Election of 1946 (New
York: Garland Publishing, 1981), 135.

28 Congress, House, 80th Cong., 2nd sess., Congressional Record, (Add Specific Date 1947): 8943.









responded with letters of encouragement, with one supporter calling Reece the

greatest political leader of the day. The strong rhetoric of Reece's campaign, and the

more general slogan "Had Enough?" resonated with the American voting public.29

The RNC also augmented Reece's efforts with an effective voter mobilization

campaign to bring the conservative, anticommunist message directly to the people.

Clarence Brown expanded the campaign division of the RNC and allocated resources

and manpower to organize marginally Republican districts throughout the country,

rather than focusing on Democratic urban areas. Brown directed twelve field men

who toured the nation, acted as troubleshooters in local campaigns, and had strict

instructions to coordinate with the various departments at headquarters to take full

advantage of the RNC's resources. Brown encouraged his staff to launch voter drives

only in heavily Republican precincts, and to form as many special interest committees

as possible. Brown sought to bring in Democrats and independents that would not

normally support a Republican through their occupational network.30

Between Brown's organizing and Reece's publicity, the Republicans executed

an effective national campaign. Where Brownell had called for Republican program

that limited the excesses of the New Deal but still retained a number of its programs,

Reece and Brown cast the Democratic philosophy as oppositional to the Republican

principle of limited government. Brownell routinely criticized the sprawling

bureaucracy and government deficits that the New Deal created, but aside from a few

invectives against the Office of Price Administration and economic planning, he did

not question the interventionist nature of the New Deal. Reece argued that the


29 Robert Griffith, The Politics of Fear (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1987), 11;
William J. Goodwin, Letter to B. Carroll Reece, 18 December 1947, Reece papers; E. Wallace
Chadwick, Letter to B. Carroll Reece, 24 April 1947, Reece Papers.

30 Memo, undated, Copy in Folder (HB National Chairman), Box 38, Series II, Dewey Papers.









increased reliance on the federal government had made the nation dependent on

Washington. This had led to incompetent management of the labor situation and the

housing shortage and could lead to future disaster for the United States. Reece's

campaign rhetoric was essentially a call to arms against the New Deal system,

whereas Brownell had simply questioned some of the more glaring weaknesses in the

Democratic administration. Above all, Brownell called for a "forward-looking"

program to modernize the party while Reece believed that the pre-New Deal system

of government should be resurrected.

Before the election, numerous media outlets predicated a Republican victory.

The October 28 issue of Time magazine, for example, reported that "Republicanism

was insurgent all across the United States." On November 5, the Republicans won a

majority in both the House and the Senate for the first time since 1932, winning a six-

seat majority in the Senate and a 55-seat majority in the House. The press attributed

the Democratic defeat to Republican efforts to break the urban machines of the

northeast. Newsweek magazine also reported that 42 of the 78 incumbent

Congressmen given the highest endorsement by the CIO-PAC were defeated and 108

of 132 rejected by the labor federation were returned.

Anti-union sentiment certainly seemed to be a factor in the Republican victory.

One analysis revealed that areas with the sharpest turn from Democrat to Republican

were suburban areas of the Northeast and Midwest. The districts surrounding

Philadelphia had the largest swing to the GOP, with Chicago, Detroit and New York

City showing similar trends. These areas had less union membership than the urban

cores, which had remained Democratic. Rural areas with large union populations,

such as coal-mining areas in West Virginia and Kentucky, remained strongly

Democratic. Another traditionally Democratic constituency, African Americans









wavered somewhat as areas such as Harlem and majority African-American wards in

St. Louis and Detroit posted gains for the Republicans but maintained their

Democratic majorities.31 Conservative Republicans appealed to suburban voters

twenty-five years before historians had previously thought.

Communist subversion made an effective campaign issue for the GOP and

served as the launching point for a number of attacks on Democratic policies. This

rhetorical device, however, would not remain the theme of the Republican Party for

long. After the election, Reece touted the victory as a mandate against a centralized

government and the Democratic Party, but downplayed communism. After November

1 1946, a majority of the Chairman's Letters publicized the Republican legislative

program and administration shortcomings in areas such as economics and labor but

did not mention subversion. The August 1 1947 Chairman's Letter, for example,

listed the communism issue as the fourth most important concern for the Republican

Congress behind the budget, tax reduction and labor policy.32 Reece's comments on

the Communist-in-government issue were included as part of a broader legislative

platform, but did not dominate the 80th Congress. The Communist issue gave the Old

Guard a political weapon and indicated their calls for an oppositional campaign

program, but did not serve as their guiding philosophy.

Reece was not completely obsessed with red-baiting, as McCarthy and others

would become a few years later, but had simply exploited American fears to win an

electoral victory.33 With the election of a Republican Congress and Senate, the onus



31 See Boylan, The New Deal Coalition and the Election of 1946.
32 Republican National Committee, "The Chairman's Letter" 2, no. 5, 1 August 1947. Copy in Reece
Papers.

33 Historians have studied the McCarthy period intensely since the 1960s. For more, see Earl Latham,
The Communist Conspiracy in Washington: From the New Deal to McCarthy (Cambridge, Mass:
Harvard University Press, 1966); Michael Paul Rogin, The Intellectuals and McCarthy: The Radical









of making the GOP a viable opposition to the Truman administration moved from the

RNC to the Republicans on Capitol Hill. Reece maintained his position of authority

and routinely attacked the Truman White House in the press, but majority status in

both houses allowed Hill Republicans to set the party's agenda. Taft chaired a

Republican transitional steering committee, which allowed him to set the party's

legislative program.34 The steering committee was important to conservative

Republicans because their caucus on Capitol Hill, like the RNC, was divided. In

Washington the split was over specific politic initiatives and not simply rhetoric and

political identity. Senate Republicans included legislators who could easily be

classified as conservative or liberal, but the leadership was firmly on the right. In the

Senate, Nebraska Senator Kenneth Wherry became Majority Leader, and Taft took

over the newly formed Republican Senate Policy Committee, a group designed to

guide the party on major issues and promote a unified front on the Senate floor. In the

House, Massachusetts Representative Joseph Martin assumed the Speaker's position

and Indiana's Charles Halleck took over as Majority Leader. More ideologically

liberal Republicans such as Senate Majority Whip Leveret Saltonstall of

Massachusetts held minor leadership positions but the conservative faction clearly

dictated the legislative mission of the party.

The congressional Republicans opened the 80th Congress with a good deal of

political capital and a ten-point legislative program authored by the steering


Specter (Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1967); Robert Griffith, The Politics of Fear (Amherst:
University of Massachusetts Press, 1970); Athan Theoharris, Seeds ofRepression: Harry S. Truman
and the Origins ofMcCarthyism (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1971); Richard Freeland, The Truman
Doctrine and the Origins ofMcCarthyism (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1972); Ellen Schrecker, Many
are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998); Richard
Gid Powers, Not Without Honor: the History ofAmerican Anticommunism (New York: Free Press,
1995).

34 Robert A. Taft, Letter to Wallace White, 22 October 1946. Copy in Folder (Steering Committee -
1946), Box 881, Taft Papers.









committee to oppose the New Deal and what it termed a bureaucratic style of

government. One point called for "Economy and Fiscal Stability instead of

extravagance and high taxes," while another demanded an end to deficit spending and

a return to integrity in government. During the 80th Congress, this platform governed

most Republican legislative proposals. The first bill introduced in the House, for

example, substantially decreased in the individual income tax level. Republicans had

agreed on the measure in order to stimulate initiative and spurn economic growth, the

tax bill was a symbolic first step in ending Democratic dominance, limiting the

federal government, and reducing the tax burden of the American public. In June

1947 both Houses passed the measure and over Truman's veto.35

Although the Republicans had a broad legislative agenda, five specific topics

are critical to understand both their opposition to the Democratic Party and the

factional disputes that plagued the GOP. These areas -- labor, housing, civil rights,

federal aid to education, and the tidelands oil controversy -- were central to the

conservative program and are important for a number of reasons. First, they show

clear opposition between the conservative idea of limited government and state-

controlled social aid, and the New Deal style of centralized administration of many

aspects of public life. While a number Democratic initiatives were administered

through local or state groups, the Republicans continually feared that dependence on a

central funding source would lead to standard regulations that would quash local

autonomy. Second, these areas were also points of contention within the Republican

Party. The Taft and Dewey factions, for example, could not have been further apart on

the proper method of dealing with postwar strikes and maintaining the collective

bargaining system. These differences became fundamental points of conflict in the


35 Congress, House, House Report 180, 80t Cong., 1st Sess. 24 March 1947.









next four election cycles and drove a wedge further between the competing factions.

Finally, these areas illustrate the tensions between political rhetoric and the demands

of governance, as well as the differences between policy and ideology, that a

successful party must negotiate in order to maintain power.

The 80th Congress opened with a dramatic civil rights controversy and gave

Republican observers false hope that their party would work in unison on Capitol Hill.

Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo, a political demagogue of the first caliber, had

won re-election amidst charges of voter fraud and political corruption. With

compelling evidence in the record, the Senate Republicans prevented Bilbo from

being sworn in and, in the process, strike a blow to politics-as-usual in the South and

in Congress. Their tactics marked a departure from the previous decade in which

Republicans were forced to work with southern Democrats to block New Deal

legislation. Under the leadership of Taft, who had been an active participant in this

coalition, the GOP put the Democrats on notice that they now led the conservative

forces in the Senate.36

The fight over Bilbo's credentials was extremely important for a number of

reasons. First, it showed limits to the alliance between northern Republicans and

Southern Democrats. Although the conservative Republicans viewed the overall

situation as a local matter and were unwilling to intervene in the segregated system of

the South, they were also unprepared to allow open disenfranchisement of any citizen

regardless of the implications. In the 1930s, the Republicans and the southern

Democrats had worked together regularly to defeat New Deal legislation, and Bilbo

would have been a likely ally in the upcoming session. Taft and the GOP, took steps

to punish the Mississippian's gross misconduct, but did not jeopardize the

36 Congress, House, 80h Cong. 1st Sess. Congressional Record (3 January 1947), 7-22. For more on the
conservative coalition, see James T. Patterson, Congressional Conservatism and the New Deal.









conservative coalition. For the Republicans to work with the Southern Democrats in

the 80th Congress, the GOP would have to compromise their standing as the "party of

Lincoln" in order to prevent the passage of administration measures and override

Truman's veto on a number of occasions. The Bilbo matter, though, was a case where

principles outweighed pragmatic politics.

Second, Taft, as head of the Republican steering committee, played a key role in

blocking Bilbo and had laid out the procedural strategy followed on the floor. This

was a sign of things to come in the 80th Congress, as Taft used the steering committee

and its newly-created successor, the Republican Senate Policy Committee (RSPC), to

create party strategy and reach consensus on controversial bills before they reached

the Senate floor. Taft hoped to use the new RSPC to formulate new bills on education,

health and social welfare, and to create unified support for a tax reduction. While

Republican Senators often disagreed on key measures, Taft hoped that and his

colleagues would hash out their disagreements behind closed doors and speak as a

unified party on most critical legislation. In many cases, they did. But in the five

critical policy areas listed above, the RSPC could not overcome the ideological

division among Republican Senators and between Republicans in the Senate and the

House.37

The Bilbo incident was the first of several decisions the Taft-led Republicans

made on civil rights. In the 80th Congress there were three major categories of civil

rights legislation: anti-poll tax, anti-lynching, and the Fair Employment Practices

Committee. For a number of years, the Senate had considered these measures but the

conservative coalition had prevented their passage. While not as strong as some


37 For more on the creation of the RSPC and Taft's leadership, see Donald A. Ritchie, A History of the
United States Senate Republican Policy Committee, 1947-1997 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government
Printing Office, 1997).









preferred, these three proposals formed a fairly comprehensive program to protect the

political, civil, and economic rights of African Americans. For southerners, the

maintenance of the segregationist system was of paramount importance. Republicans

did not have the personal stake in the civil rights programs that their southern

counterparts did and their individual support of the civil rights program depended

largely on their idea of states' rights and federalism.

Most agreed that anti-lynching was an area of legislative concern. During the

first session of the 80th Congress, Democrats and Republicans introduced eleven

separate anti-lynching bills in the House. Each bill went to the judiciary committee

and remained there through the end of the session. Judiciary Chairman Earl Michener,

believed that law enforcement and jury selection were local matters and refused to

report bills that he believed expanded the federal bureaucracy further. In the Senate,

Republicans Albert Hawkes of New Jersey, Wayne Morse of Oregon, William

Knowland of California, and Democrat Robert Wagner of New York introduced three

anti-lynching measures.38 Publicly, Taft favored anti-lynching legislation and in

earlier sessions of Congress had cast votes in favor of similar bills. In 1947, he did not

exercise the leadership necessary to bring the legislation to the floor. In fact, during

the first session very few Republican Congressmen or Senators advocated an active

stance on anti-lynching. In the House, only liberal Republicans Clifford Case,

Kenneth Keating, and Robert Twyman lobbied for anti-lynching legislation, but the

Judiciary Committee quashed their efforts.39




38 For Taft's action on the Knowland Bill, see Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional
Record (30 June 1947), 7880; For the other bills that were buried in committee, see Congress, Senate,
80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record, (Multiple Dates), 42, 43, 46, 125, 263, 817, 5397, 5815,
5818,7116,7186,8758, 10882.

39 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record (20 November 1947), A4264-5.









In the second session, the political situation changed. President Truman made

civil rights a primary part of his agenda with the release of the Report of the

President's Commission on Civil Rights, "To Secure These Rights." The report listed

several laws as necessary to promote equality of the races, including an anti-lynching

law.40 On February 2, the President transmitted a report to Capitol Hill calling for

Congress to quickly implement the findings of "To Secure These Rights." Truman

specifically called for the anti-lynching law, saying "So long as one person walks in

fear of lynching, we shall not have achieved equal justice under the law."41 On March

2 1948, Judiciary favorably reported a new anti-lynching bill that included strict

punishment for offenders. The Case bill was reported out of committee with a

favorable vote of 18 to 8, with southern Democrats and some conservative

Republicans voting against it, ostensibly because it provided federal interference in

matters of local law enforcement.42 On March 2, the Washington Post editorialized

against the bill, claiming that the problem of lynching had already been solved. The

Post specifically argued that the punitive measures for law enforcement officials was

a "resort to the despicable doctrine of mass guilt" and "so repugnant to the democratic

principles as to make the bill unpalatable to thousands who are devoted to civil rights

in the North as well as the South."43 The GOP obviously agreed, but Martin and

Halleck did not make it a top priority.44


40 Berman, Politics of Civil Rights in the Truman Administration, 67-75. A recent interpretation over-
romanticizes Truman's role and motives in creating the committee, but still delivers a solid analysis of
its proposals. Michael R. Gardner, Harry Truman and Civil Rights: Moral Courage and Political Risks
(Carbondale, Ill: Southern Illinois University Press, 2002), 14-27.

41 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Pt 1, CongressionalRecord (2 February 1947), 928.

42 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Pt.1, Congressional Record (12 February 1948), 1294-97.

43 Washington Post, 2 March 1948.

44 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Pt. 1 Judiciary Committee Report, p. 9-20.









In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee resumed discussion of the Hawkes anti-

lynching bill. After conducting six days of hearings in January and February 1948 and

four months of internal debate, the Judiciary Committee voted 10-3 to report the

Hawkes bill favorably to the floor. Although the committee report was not as strident

in its support of the bill as its House counterpart, it affirmed the need for protective

legislation and encouraged its passage. Here, as in the House, the measure was not

pushed to the top of the agenda. In a last ditch effort to get the bill heard, North

Dakota Senator William Langer attached the bill to a measure calling for the repeal of

a tax on oleomargarine. Attaching the anti-lynching to such an obviously vital issue of

national importance was still not enough to save it, as neither topic was taken up again

by the Senate before the session expired.

The controversy over lynching was sectional in nature and the Republican

leadership performed weakly. With the exception of Hawkes, Illinois Republican

Everett Dirksen, who authored a bill in the House, and the last ditch efforts of the

occasionally conservative Langer, liberal Republicans such as Case, Lodge, and

Saltonstall took the lead on anti-lynching. While the Judiciary Committees of both

Houses reported their respective bills favorably by wide margins, the majority leaders

failed to make the issue a priority. While the conservative Republicans did not

actively oppose the bill like their Southern Democratic counterparts, they did not

aggressively drive the legislation as their liberal colleagues did, viewing the subject

mostly as a local matter outside the jurisdiction of the federal government. Their strict

interpretation of the constitution and belief in federalism prevented decisive action on

anti-lynching.

Some Senators and Representatives also opposed the poll taxes that Southern

states imposed on African American voters. Here, the conservatives took a more









forthright stand. The leadership came primarily from George Bender, a Taft ally who

served Ohio as Representative-At-Large. At the start of the first session, Bender

submitted a bill prohibiting poll taxes as a requirement for voting. The proposed

legislation was one of five bills on the subject, with others coming from such

luminaries as New York Representative Vito Marcantonio, a member of the American

Labor Party, and California Democrat Helen Gaghan Douglas.45 While the bill

remained buried in committee, sympathetic Representatives sought to suspend the

rules of the House and bring the bill to the floor, sidestepping Judiciary. Rumors of

such a tactic prompted Southern Democrats to claim that such a move "is nothing in

the world but an attempt to harass a few of the Southern States," and was "inspired by

crackpots who are trying to stir up race trouble all over the country."46 On July 21, the

House voted 204 to 47 to suspend the rules and consider the Bender bill. The

Republicans used their numerical advantage to the fullest. A number of Southerners

made motions to adjourn, but Speaker of the House Martin refused to hear them.

After debate had ended, the measure passed 290 to 112, with 28 not voting. A

mere twelve Republicans, most notably archconservatives Daniel Reed and John

Taber, both of New York, crossed party lines and voted with the Southern

Democrats.47 John Byrnes, a Wisconsin Republican, cast his ballot against the bill on

the grounds that it encroached on the Constitutional powers granted to the States to

conduct elections. While Byrnes was opposed to the poll tax in principle, he

contended that only the States, not Congress, could address the issue


45 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Pt 1, CongressionalRecord (3 Jan 1947), 42.

46 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record (18 July 1947), 9293-4.

47 The others were John Byrnes (WI), Frank Fellows (ME, Robert Hale (ME), Edward Jensen (IL),
Clarence Kelham (NY), Robert Rich (PA), Ross Rizley (OK), George Schube (OK), Dewey Short
(MO), and James Wadsworth (NY). Congress, House, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record (21
July 1947), 9522-52.









constitutionally.48 The New York Herald opined that the anti-poll tax measure had

passed thanks to the leadership of Martin, Bender and other Republicans whose

"determined steering...has been real."49 This determination had been absent during

proceedings on the anti-lynching bill and illustrated that the Republicans had the

power to prevent southern obstruction and pass civil rights legislation if they deemed

it necessary, but matters of racial equality still carried little weight in Republican

circles.

Things did not go as well in the Senate. On January 8, Florida Democratic

Senator Claude Pepper introduced an anti-poll tax measure, which was referred to the

Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and remained there for the duration of

the first session.50 After the House passed the Bender bill, the Senate had no choice

but to address anti-poll tax legislation. At the end of April, the Rules Committee

favorably reported the bill to the Senate floor. The Republicans, faced with warnings

of a Southern filibuster, placed the issue at the bottom of the calendar in order to

accomplish more of their legislative program. Finally, on July 29, the Senate took up

the anti-poll tax legislation after Majority Leader Wherry determined it was the only

major issue remaining on the legislative calendar. Over the next five days, until the

Senate adjourned, the Democrats filibustered the bill despite the efforts of Wherry and

Taft to bring cloture. In this case, unlike the anti-lynching situation, the conservatives

made a concerted effort to help African-Americans in the South, but racially-







48 Congress, House, 80h Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record (22 July 1947) A3706.

49 New York Herald and Tribune, 22 July 1947.

50 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., Pt 1. CongressionalRecord (8 January 1947), 166.









motivated Democrats stood in the way. The conservative coalition divided over the

poll-tax, despite the best efforts of the GOP.51

The Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) was the final civil rights

measure before the 80th Congress. During World War II, the Roosevelt administration,

under pressure from black activists and A. Philip Randolph's March on Washington

Movement, established the FEPC to prevent discrimination in employment at wartime

industries. This made it illegal to discriminate in all phases of employment based on

race, religion, or national origin and established an investigating commission to

enforce the law and punish violators. As the war drew to a close, several states, most

notably New York, adopted permanent FEPCs and civil rights groups such as the

NAACP called for the Federal government to make the emergency commission

permanent.

Since 1945, though, the federal FEPC had been in jeopardy. That year, members

of the House Appropriations Committee successfully removed all funding for the

body in the Wartime Agencies Appropriations bill, and a series of compromises

between the House and Senate resulted in a small allocation of 250,000 dollars, half

the amount given during the previous year. Nevertheless, as the war was drawing to a

close, Truman continued to push for creation of a new, permanent FEPC. Opponents

of the measure believed that any legislation that interfered with the employer-

employee relationship and forced businesses to hire certain workers violated the spirit







51 Congress, Senate, 80th Cong., 2nd Sess., Daily Digest Pp. 121, 158 192, 197, 201, 204, 296, 303, 521-
526; Congress, Senate, 80"' Cong., 2nd Sess., Congressional Record, 9480-9738.









of the free enterprise system.52 During the second session of the 79th Congress,

Southern Democrats filibustered and prevented passage of another FEPC bill.53

In the 80th Congress New York Republican Irving Ives emerged as the Senate's

most vocal proponent of the FEPC. A banker and insurance man by trade, Ives had

first gained election to the New York State Assembly in 1930 and had served as

Speaker in 1936 and Majority leader from 1937 through his election to the United

States Senate in 1946. During his time in the Assembly, Ives took a special interest in,

and chaired a special investigation committee on, labor relations. Most importantly,

he served in the Dewey Administration as the Chairman of the New York State

Temporary Commission against Discrimination in 1944 and 1945 and, as a result,

authored the Ives-Quinn Bill. Ives-Quinn established the first state FEPC law in the

nation, barring discrimination according to race, religion, age, or national ancestry in

all aspects of employment, including hiring, promotion, and termination. It also

established an enforcement and fact-finding commission to ensure compliance. In

1946, Ives was elected as part of the national Republican landslide and became an

important member of the liberal caucus forming on the right side of the aisle. Rightly

or wrongly, he was regarded as Thomas Dewey's man in the Senate.

On March 27, Ives submitted a bill calling for a national FEPC based on the

New York law. The measure had seven co-sponsors: three Republicans: Leveret

Saltonstall of Massachusetts, Alexander Smith of New Jersey, Wayne Morse of

Oregon; and four Democrats: Dennis Chavez of New Mexico, Sheridan Downey of

California, James Murray of Montana, and Francis Myers of Pennsylvania. The


52 House Report 187, 79"t Cong., 2nd Sess. 20 February 1945. See Minority Report issued by Clare
Hoffman, R-MI, p. 10.

53 William C. Berman, The Politics of Civil Rights in the Truman Administration (Columbus, OH: Ohio
State University Press, 1970). For a brief summary of the early FEPC, see 24-35.