JUNE 10, 1960
NEW YORK—Governor Nelson Rockefeller is bringing a little excitement into the Republican party campaign. This, of course, would be quite normal in the Democratic party, but it is evidently creating some consternation in the Republican party.
From my point of view, the Governor is entirely justified in saying, "I find it unreasonable—in these times—that the leading Republican candidate for the Presidential nomination has firmly insisted upon making known his program and his policies not before, but only after, nomination by his party."
His statement also included the remark that neither the nation nor the Republican party can "march to meet the future with a banner aloft whose only emblem is a question mark."
These are quite devastating remarks and I am not surprised that they have caused some consternation. Mr. Rockefeller apparently first broke the news of what he was going to do to the President, and, if the President is as warmly for Mr. Nixon as Mr. Nixon has led us to believe, it is surprising that President Eisenhower was not able to dissuade Mr. Rockefeller from his action.
Possibly the President thinks what Mr. Rockefeller said is good for the party and adds to its interest to have a discussion of this kind arise. He may even not be so firmly for Mr. Nixon as has been stated.
I must say I enjoyed very much getting telegrams of congratulation on the victories of the Reform Democrats in New York's primaries on Tuesday. And I am aware of the fact that Mayor Robert Wagner's absolute confidence in Tammany leader Carmine De Sapio has been shaken. At his news conference on Wednesday Mr. Wagner remarked that Mr. De Sapio has "suffered a setback in the primary election," but continued that as a Democratic national committeeman the gentleman was not committed to anyone.
Mr. Wagner has not taken a stand for the reelection of Mr. De Sapio as a national committeeman, however, and the primary defeats for his candidates might make it much more difficult for Mr. DeSapio in Los Angeles next month.
I hope, of course, that the gains the young Reform Democrats have made will give all of New York State's delegates to the convention something to think about. They may begin to realize that it is worthwhile to be independent, to make up their own minds as to what they want to do, to work for it, and to ask the public to vote for it.