JULY 27, 1960
NEW YORK—The excitement at the Republican National Convention in Chicago seems to center chiefly on the human rights plank in the platform, and there appears to be as much Republican opposition in the South to a strong plank as there was among the Democrats.
Gov. Nelson Rockefeller has been in the forefront for a strong civil rights plank, and the Republicans generally are trying to do better on this question than the Democrats. This, of course, is a bid by both parties for the Negro vote, which is becoming an important factor in the big cities.
At this writing, however, it seems that everything in Chicago will move according to plan and there will be no difficulty in running the convention absolutely according to the rules laid down before the convention opened.
With the great public interest generated in the two conventions by television, there now may develop a public demand for new procedures in selection of Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees. I came across a number of people in Missouri, where I was this past weekend, who felt, as I do, that the people should have a greater voice in the nomination of their candidates. Perhaps someone will come up with some new ideas on this when the conventions are over.
It was interesting that Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona would allow his name to be placed in nomination for President on the Republican ticket just to test the strength of the conservatives in the party. This is an acknowledgement that the Republican party is divided, just as the Democrats are, between the so-called liberals or progressives and the conservatives or reactionaries.
Vice-President Richard Nixon's statement that he would be willing to debate with Sen. John Kennedy the campaign issues on television raises an interesting point. Such a debate probably could happen only on TV, for without it the debate would reach only a fraction of our people.
After this week and the nominees are selected, interest will focus on the session of Congress, with everybody watching both the Democrats and Republicans to see if they make a start in carrying out planks in their platforms.
After the arrival by boat of my daughter and her husband, Dr. and Mrs. James Halsted, our large family group made a rather hurried trip to Hyde Park, but on Tuesday morning the Halsteds went to their own home in Syracuse and I returned to New York.
My family has a strange way of not letting me know where they are, so when I went to greet my daughter at the boat I really did not know which of her children would be there with me to meet her.