As the 1968 presidential candidates left their conventions and moved into the general election, the nation was watching to see what would happen. Would Richard Nixon, the Republican, hold onto his lead and become the 37th president? Could Hubert Humphrey, the Democrat, unite the party in time to give himself a chance to win? And what role would George Wallace, the candidate of the American Independent Party, have? Could he get enough votes to throw the election into the House?
This week we take the third of three looks at the iconic year of 1968, focusing on the three-way race for president, featuring interviews with:
Ken Khachigian, back then a young Nixon staffer, on what the Republican candidate needed to do to hold on to victory.
Ted Van Dyk, Humphrey’s top adviser, on how Humphrey’s break from President Johnson on the war, as well as LBJ’s late-minute decision to stop the bombing, almost put the Democrat on top.
Charles Snider, a key adviser to Wallace, on the battle to get the third-party candidate on all 50-state ballots.
George Wallace Jr., hoping to refute the argument that his father ran a racist campaign.
Bob Packwood, a young Oregon Republican taking on Democratic Senate legend Wayne Morse, on the 1968 political outlook.
Elizabeth Drew, the longtime political journalist, with her thoughts on the campaign.
And Michael Flamm, a professor of history at Ohio Wesleyan University, summing up the role “law and order” played in the race.
Music used in this podcast: