The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK—The Republican convention of 1960 is history, and after watching it on television, I can certainly say it moved to its climax with smoothness.

I really enjoyed the opposition to the Nixon nomination put up by Sen. Barry Goldwater and his 10 faithful Louisiana delegates. Conservative that he is, Goldwater actually believes that his way is the only way in which to save the country, and this means the world! He does not realize that the world has moved ahead and that no matter how good one's principles are, they must be adapted to the changing pattern if they are to be successful.

The choice of Henry Cabot Lodge for second place on the ticket was, I think, a good one. Vice-President Richard Nixon evidently decided that foreign affairs would be of paramount importance in this campaign and that his chances would be enhanced by having as a running mate a man who has been conducting our negotiations in the United Nations.

From an outsider's point of view, the Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates seem similar in certain ways, yet very different.

One has generations of scholars behind him. Whatever else you may say of the Vice-Presidential nominee's grandfather, the old Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge, who kept us out of the League of Nations, he was a scholarly man. The nominee's family predecessors enjoyed the opportunities afforded by money and education while placing an importance on things of the mind.

Nixon, on the other hand, was praised in some of the convention speeches for being the product of an average American family. He is pictured as shunning "eggheads" and as one who considers books not of paramount importance. Newspaper reports of the people around Nixon indicate that the entourage is made up of professional politicians and friends.

Sen. John Kennedy has behind him many professional politicians. But while he cannot claim Lodge's blood ties with intellectuals, he has absorbed much of the intellectual atmosphere in which he grew up in his particular area of New England. So his advisers include not only practical politicians but some of those "terrible" intellectuals.

This attachment to intellectuals is supposed to be a drawback in politics, yet we live in a world in which advances are the products of these very people. Some of us wish that at times they would not progress so rapidly in their knowledge, for they confront us with a world with which we are not quite ready to deal.

We have not suggested, however, that intellectuals be wiped out. We find they bring us a more pleasant existence at times, even though at other times they create problems which we wish we would not be obliged to face.

I think Kennedy has an advantage in having this mixture in his surroundings, and as the campaign develops we should find a study of the Nixon-Lodge team versus the Kennedy-Johnson ticket extremely interesting. And from time to time I shall report to you my impressions of the nominees, both as people and as candidates.


(Copyright, 1960, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 30, 1960

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.