April 2
Foreign Policy and the 1964 Election

Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., on the cover of Life in March 1964. Throughout the spring, the ambassador was at the center of politics in two countries, as his improbable bid for the Republican presidential nomination worried Lyndon Johnson and his political allies.
As we saw in the last class, political concerns were never far from President Lyndon Johnson's mind when he addressed foreign policy matters. But the situation became much more complicated as the 1964 campaign season heated up. From the right, Arizona senator Barry Goldwater attacked the President for allowing US strategic defenses to deteriorate. More problematic, however, Johnson's own ambassador to Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge, launched a surprise bid for the GOP nomination that had him running first in Republican national polls for much of the spring. These twin threats forced the President to ponder in more detail the relationship between domestic politics and foreign policy.


bullet Logevall, Choosing War, pp. 108-251.



FRUS memoranda, Vietnam


"Daisy" ad

bullet transcripts, LBJ phone conversations. (Please print out for class.)

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