History 4698

Foreign Policy and the 1964 Election

April 2, 2002


I. The Transition

1. Taking Charge (LBJ intentions?; disdain for foreign leaders and foreign policy; personnel shifts and desire for consensus; relationships with Bundy and Rusk, significance of McNamara; LBJ and lessons of the past—Munich, China; role of Russell; missing the forest for the trees?; sense of public opinion)

2. JFK’s Vietnam Legacy (legacy of Laos; bureaucratic shifts and confusion—Lodge, Harriman, Harkins, Hilsman, McNamara; deterioration 62-63—strategic hamlet program, Buddhist revolt and Nhu peace feelers; growing importance of advisors; rising dissent—Church Resolution, Gore, Gruening, and Morse in the Senate; Mansfield memos; coup and aftermath)

II. Vietnam and the 1964 Campaign

1. Henry Cabot Lodge and American Foreign Policy (the GOP at the dawn of 1964; weaknesses of Goldwater and Rockefeller; search for alternative; DDE announcement of support for HCL; the Lodge campaign; returning attention to Vietnam; LBJ goals?; rise and fall of Lodge; Lodge example as case study?)

2. The Changing Foreign Policy Context (the Goldwater phenomenon; Goldwater attacks on McNamara; Goldwater and Vietnam; LBJ response; desire to avoid discussion during campaign; anti-Goldwater effort—deception or ambivalence?; steps for escalation—OPLAN 34-A and carrying war to North; role of Congress: growing criticism—Morse, Gruening, Mansfield, Fulbright; Tonkin Gulf Resolution)

3. Denouement (LBJ and the image of moderation; strategy options; foreign policy and the origins of negative campaigning; the legacy of the daisy ad; aftermath—how much freedom of action did LBJ possess?)

Office Hours today, 2.30-4.00, Fayerweather 612

Anne Blair, Lodge in Vietnam

Robert Dallek, Flawed Giant

Edwin Moise, Tonkin Gulf

Rick Perlstein, Against the Storm

Randall Bennett Woods, Fulbright