Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks Before the National Convention Upon Recommending the Nomination of Hubert Humphrey as Vice President

August 26, 1964

Mr. Chairman, my fellow Americans, my fellow Democrats, columnists and commentators:

It is wonderful to be here with you tonight, but do we really need all of these lights on?

I thank the convention for the honor it has done me. I will be with you tomorrow to begin the march toward an overwhelming victory for our party and for our Nation.

Four years ago one of our greatest Americans stood before this Democratic Convention, John F. Kennedy of the State of Massachusetts. We grieved at his loss, but we carried on, and we have fulfilled his program without flinching for one moment.

In the last 3 days, the noble Democrats who are delegates to this convention have made a great start toward a great Democratic victory. You have built a platform on which I am proud to stand, a platform built on solid performance and framed for a future of prosperity and peace.

In your settlement of the problems of credentials, you have found a fair answer to honest differences among honorable men. You have struck a magnificent keynote through the eloquence of the gifted Senator from Rhode Island, John Pastore. You have reaffirmed our enduring values through your wise and beloved permanent Chairman, Mr. Rayburn's friend and his worthy successor, Speaker John McCormack of the State of Massachusetts.

No chairman of any Platform Committee ever guided a committee better or a party better than the Honorable Carl Albert of the State of Oklahoma.

Well, I, too, have been working to carry out my obligations under a very old American tradition, for it is the traditional task of your Presidential nominee to recommend for your deliberation a candidate for Vice President of the United States.

I have such a recommendation. I have reached it after consultations with the leaders of the Democratic Party in every section of this Nation, and at every level of our Government. I have reached it after discussions with outstanding Americans in every area of our national life. I have reached it after long and prayerful private thought, consulting my own experience of that office, and the burdens that it brings.

All of this has had a single guide--to find a man best qualified to assume the office of President of the United States should that day come. I have found such a man.

He has been tested and proven in our Democratic process of political campaign and election. He has had long and distinguished experience in public life as an executive and as a legislator. And every step has been marked by excellence and achievement.

He knows the problems of all of our people in every part of our Nation. He knows the world and he knows its problems, and he has shown understanding and a deep concern for the strength of our country and for the peace of the world. He matches energy in the right with compassion for the needs of others. He matches strong convictions with understanding of the convictions of others.

If you select him, you can proudly say to the American people, "This is not a sectional choice." This is not just merely the way to balance the ticket. This is simply the best man in America for this job.

The qualities that he brings to office will help make the Vice Presidency an important instrument of the executive branch. From that office he can help connect Congress to the White House, and he can help carry America around the world.

I want to say to you that I will feel strengthened knowing that he is at my side at all times in the great work of your country and your Government.

Nothing has given me greater support in the past 9 months than my knowledge of President Kennedy's confidence that I could continue the task that he began. I have found a man that I can trust in the same way. This confidence and this recommendation are not mine alone. They represent the enthusiastic conviction of the great majority of the Democratic Party in the United States.

They will, I believe--they will, I am sure, receive the overwhelming support of the American people. I hope that you will choose as the next Vice President of the United States my close, my longtime, my trusted colleague, Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota.

Note: The President spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Convention Hall at Atlantic City, N.J. In his opening words he referred to Speaker of the House John W. McCormack of Massachusetts, permanent chairman of the Convention. Later he referred to Senator John O. Pastore of Rhode Island, keynote speaker at the Convention, and House Majority Leader Carl Albert of Oklahoma, platform chairman.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks Before the National Convention Upon Recommending the Nomination of Hubert Humphrey as Vice President Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




New Jersey

Simple Search of Our Archives