Thursday, March 08, 2012

Miller Center Blog

The Miller Center is doing a blog that relates the 2012 election to historical pieces:
Riding the Tiger looks at contemporary events through the lens of history. It frames the 2012 race by providing scholarly insight into policy and politics and featuring historical resources from the Miller Center’s digital archive.

For instance, this entry relates the TN primary back to Johnson's 1968 election and some of his audio recordings:
Listen to this telephone conversation (embedded above) from 1964 as President Lyndon Johnson declares that he “can’t afford to lose Tennessee.”

On October 9, 1964, President Johnson calls Frank Ahlgren, the editor of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee, and stresses the importance of winning the state. He asks Ahlgren for his ideas on how to carry Tennessee and talks about coming down for rally. Tennessee was more politically moderate than the rest of the Deep South and tended to vote Republican in presidential contests. It supported Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956 and Richard Nixon in 1960.

Johnson refers to U.S. Representative Joseph Elvins who is with him in Nashville and suggested getting Ahlgren’s ideas. Ahlgren states that he is worried about Senator Albert Gore, Sr., and Ross Bass, who is running for the U.S. Senate, and says that he thinks they are in trouble and need a visit from President Johnson to win their elections. At the end of the call, Johnson pulls out some football metaphors to let Ahlgren know how important it is to win Tennessee.
President Johnson won Tennessee with 55 percent of the vote, the only Democratic presidential candidate to win the state between 1952 and 1976.

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