Harry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

In 1960 Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. ran as the vice-presidential candidate on the Republican ticket with Richard Nixon. Lodge served in the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts for one term from 1947 to 1953 and was appointed to represent the United States at the United Nations. Drawing on his experience in foreign affairs and his conviction that the Cold War was the central issue facing Americans, Lodge characterized the 1960 presidential contest not as a traditional party rivalry between Democrats and Republicans but instead as a piece of a larger struggle between freedom and communism. In a speech in Norfolk, Virginia, in October 1960, Lodge criticized the Democratic Party and Kennedy as weak and vacillating in the face of the communist threat, accusing the party and the State Department of sending signals of U.S. ambivalence about defending South Korea. Lodge in essence faulted the Democrats for inviting a North Korean attack. "We should never telegraph our punches to our opponents," he roared. Lodge also accused Kennedy of failing to take a strong stand to defend the tiny islands of Quemoy and Matsu when Communist China threatened them. Kennedy's position in the first televised debate with Nixon and after was that the islands were militarily worthless and indefensible. In this Virginia speech Lodge called this "rash and imprudent" arguing that it sent the wrong message, one of American weakness. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, October 14, 1960) Lodge's tough stand on communism was not enough to win the election for the Republican ticket in 1960. In 1963 President Kennedy appointed Lodge ambassador to South Vietnam. Lodge recommended that the the U.S. curb its support for the Diem regime in South Vietnam and stood by as it was overthrown in a coup. Although Lodge's popularity in the Republican Party was so strong that he won the New Hampshire primary in 1964 as a write-in candidate, beating both Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater, he did not run for the presidency. Instead, he continued to serve as ambassador to South Vietnam under the Johnson administration. Lodge supported Johnson's escalation of the war and the increasing commitment of U.S. forces in 1965. Logde resigned his post in 1967, and later was the chief U.S. representative at the Paris Peace Talks. He accepted an appointment as ambassador to West Germany as his final diplomatic post.