Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Address in Chicago at the 1960 Victory Fund Dinner Rally

September 29, 1960

Mr. Chairman, fellow Republicans, and all dedicated citizens everywhere:

For 8 years I have been introduced at party gatherings and many public affairs functions by a good friend of mine, the Vice President of the United States. Tonight, with your permission, I would like to have the privilege of reversing that order. But first, some brief remarks:

In this gathering, all of us are joined to make certain, through our own dedication and our sacrifice of time, effort, and pocketbooks, that we will assure victory on November 8th for Richard Nixon and Cabot Lodge, and with them the continuation of sound government.

The reason we work for their election is our confidence in their capacity to provide the Nation with the best possible leadership in the years immediately ahead. for my part, this confidence is based upon an intimate acquaintance with their talents, their experience, and their character.

I have known Cabot Lodge for many years.

During World War II, I knew him as a soldier.

He was the only man in the United States Senate since the Civil War to resign from his seat to fight in the Armed forces.

He served in the North African campaign, and continued to serve with distinction until the close of the war, after which the voters of Massachusetts gratefully returned him to the Senate.

His career in the Senate was in keeping with the brilliant record of his family. five of his ancestors served in that body. He began his own active political career in the Massachusetts Legislature.

There, Cabot Lodge quickly came to understand that good representative government requires a system under which certain responsibilities and powers are allocated to each level--local, State, and national government.

In his most recent role, as our representative to the United Nations the past 7 years, Ambassador Lodge has demonstrated, day by day, his superb qualities of leadership. He has stood firmly on a platform of truth to confound the delegates of the Soviet Union and its satellites who have falsely misrepresented the peaceful intentions of the United States. We salute him for his enviable record as a public servant, because he has been a stout and skillful representative of the United States, and because his performance in the United Nations has brought growing respect and admiration for that great international institution among our countrymen.

It is upon such a record that we acclaim Cabot Lodge as our vice presidential candidate.

Heading our ticket is Richard Nixon, the possessor of a vast richness of experience in domestic affairs, foreign relations, and person-to-person diplomacy. In important functions in executive work, he has served the Nation well. In some half-hundred countries around the world the Vice President has carried out assignments at my request--assignments requiring tact, sound judgment, and courage--in all of these he has been extraordinarily successful.

In the 171 years of this Republic, 34 men have occupied the high position of trust and responsibility of the American presidency. Today, possibly more than ever before, the office is the principal channel for the expression of our national purpose--of our hopes, beliefs, and aspirations for a world living in peace with justice.

In the years ahead your President must be a man capable of calm decision in the midst of frenzy--a man who is neither intimidated by selfish pressure groups at home nor tyrants abroad.

Richard Nixon is such a man.

Of late I have noted allegations that the Vice President has contributed little to the affairs of government. On this matter, let me set the record straight--and certainly no one is in a better position to do so.

For 8 years I have worked closely with him. During these years Dick Nixon has participated with me and high officials of your Government in hundreds of important deliberative proceedings of the Cabinet, the National Security Council, and other agencies. In these meetings he has proved himself time and again to be a man with a comprehensive understanding of both the problems of our age and the demands upon government.

His counsel has been invaluable. He is dedicated, decisive, persistent in pursuing new ways for improving government, and a man possessed of the character, patience, and sound judgment so essential for effective leadership in the troubled world of tomorrow.

Leadership is not proved by a mere whirling across the public stage in a burst of glib oratory. It is forged of experience in the many workshops of public affairs--at the council table, at the diplomatic conference; it is ripened in unlimited contacts with those who work at the summit and those who labor in the vineyard. It gains deeper insight as it explores into the ideas and problems that disturb world leaders and bewilder humankind the world over.

It is on this basis I make this unequivocable statement. As a man qualified to enter on the duties of the presidential office, Dick Nixon has the broadest and deepest preparation and experience of any man I know.

Alexander Hamilton once prophesied of a time to come when "every vital question of state will be merged in the question," he said, "Who will be the next President?'"

In this election such a time is at hand.

We want presidential leadership that rejects both irresponsible promises and deceptively simple solutions to national problems. We are against leadership that seeks to center all government in Washington. We want leadership that sees government as the willing partner, not the controller of human progress and achievement.

We do not want leadership that recklessly exhausts the rightful heritage of our grandchildren. We do want leadership that will fight against the debasement of the dollar at the grocery counter, and the erosion of our pensions and personal savings.

We do not want leadership that sees only dark continents of despair in American life--leadership that has a stultifying preoccupation with our faults. We do want leadership that gauges our problems with definitive care, and then produces a solution patterned carefully to the problem, regardless of the carping of the irresponsible.

I ask you: do we want leadership from a trained team, unmatched in experience in the affairs of modern diplomacy, to continue and enlarge upon what we have done to build peace with justice?

Of course we do--we want Nixon and Lodge.

The Nation needs this team. So, under the bracing influence of our philosophy of freedom and dignity of the individual, let us pledge ourselves to an all-out drive to assure victory for our national ticket. And let's back them up by giving them a big crew of Republican Congressmen in Washington and Governors in the Nation's statehouses.

So doing, we shall begin our second century of Republican leadership with a sound assurance that America's bright hopes for a better world will be steadily advanced.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege and honor to introduce Richard Nixon, the next President of the United States!

Note: The President spoke at 9:26 p.m. at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago. His opening words "Mr. Chairman" referred to U.S. Senator Thruston Morton of Kentucky, Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

The address was broadcast to similar dinner rallies in 35 cities joined by closed circuit television. The Vice President spoke in Boston; Senator Morton, who served as toastmaster, spoke in Philadelphia.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Address in Chicago at the 1960 Victory Fund Dinner Rally Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235418

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