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tv   The Contenders Adlai E. Stevenson II  CSPAN  October 16, 2020 6:42am-8:46am EDT

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>> ladies and gentlemen of the
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convention, my fellow citizens, i accept your nomination and your program. [applause] now that you've made your decision, i will fight to win that office with all of my heart and soul. with your help, i have no doubt that we will win. help me to do the job of conflict and of campaign. we will justify our glorious
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task and the loyalty of millions who look to us for compassion, for understanding, and for honesty. we will serve our great tradition greatly. i ask of you all you have. i will give you all i have. >> that was our contender this week, adlai stevenson, excepting the democratic nominationation
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in 1952? >> he is the last candidate to be drafted. he is the last candidate to require one more balanced at the convention. he did not want the nomination is the short answer. there was a vacuum in the democrght.
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live from libertyville, we will work our way it over to the barn on the family farm. we are currently in the study. next to it is a barn. this is a working farm at some point. we will work our way over there where there is a new display one of them was felt right here
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in this study. >> i am sitting right here in my own library. thanks to television, i can talk to millions of people that i could not reach any other way. i am not going to let this spoil me. i am not going to stop traveling in this campaign. i can talk to you, but i cannot listen to you. i cannot hear about your problems, about your hopes and your affairs. to do that, i have to go out and see you in person. that is what i have been doing. for the past several years, i've traveled all over this country. i have been in every state. i have met thousands of you and millions of you have seen me in. ♪
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♪ stevenson! ♪ i would rather have a man with a hole in his shoes and a man with a hole in everything he says. i would rather have a man that knows what to do when it gets to be the prez. i know the gov will bring the peace and joy ♪ adlai, love you madly but you did for your own great state you are going to do for the rest of the 48 ♪
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>> old macdonald had a farm back in the 31 conditions filled him with alarm back in 31 ♪ to vote for adlai stevenson a vote vote there of vote for stevenson everywhere all the america loves that farm
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>> if you should allow it to be your president, next november, i should be the better for having done it, i am sure. because i know that the strength and wisdom that i need must be drawn from you and the people. finally, i hope the next time we meet, it will be a person to person and face to face. >> i am adlai stevenson. you and i have been hearing from our republican friends that things are so good, they could not be better. do you think that things cannot be better for the small-business man, like this one? small business profits are down 52%. that they cannot be better for our farmers? like these? farm income is down 25%. our year schools good enough for the richest nation in history?
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a third -- they need a third of a million more classrooms. what about you? are you out of that? you have a comfortable bank role in the bank? are you paying less for the things that you buy? or more? do you really think things cannot be better? of course they can. working together, we will make them better. >> vote democratic. >> rising cost of farming. lower farm income. caught in a squeeze. a vote democratic, the party for you, not just the few. vote for adlai
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national convention in chicago in 1962 -- in 1962, was he considered a candidate? >> he was not that well known. i remember the first time he appeared on national television. he was on "meet the press." he was never any good on television.
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he was a lot of fun and a great personality and you always went away feeling better about yourself. when you watched him on television, he was either nervous, but he was never himself. the country did not know him. >> he gets the welcoming address and he gets drafted, went on the second or third ballot. is a little bit more of
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adlai stevenson at the 1952 convention. >> what does concern me is not just winning this election. but how it is one. how we can take advantage of this great opportunity to debate issues sensibly and soberly. i hope and pray that we democrats will win or lose, can campaign, not as a crusade to exterminate the opposing party, as our pundit seem to prefer, but as a great opportunity to educate and elevate a people whose destiny is leadership. peopleell the american campaign forere are no gameins
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president. he claimed he spent too much time attacking nixon. it was a blemish on a very stellar career. the think that the campaign was a low point of stevenson's political career?
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did he spend too much time attacking nixon? should she have focused1956 cam. >> 1956 campaign, in my opinion, was not as stellar as it was the 1952 campaign. the reason for the emphasis on nixon in 1956 was the fact that president eisenhower had suffered a bad heart attack and had some bad health problems. there was great concern in the country of what would happen if present eisenhower -- president eisenhower was at the 1956
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convention. >> i come here on a solid mission. -- solemn mission. i accept your nomination and your program. [applause] i pledged to every resource of mind and strength that i possess to make a good win for our
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country and our party. four years ago, i stood in this same place and under those same words to you. four years ago, i did not seek the honor that you bestowed upon me. this time, as he may have noticed, it was not entirely unsolicited. [laughter] [applause] there is another big difference. that time, we lost. this time, we will win. [applause]
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thunder about the 1956 convention and jack kennedy. one of my favorite comments was
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something that harry truman said about adlai stevenson, that is spent more time thinking about what he was going to do rather than doing it. he spent a lot more time talking to college presidents that he did to cabdrivers. anyway, 1956, richard norton smith made a comment to adlai stevenson doing something unprecedented in, opening the conviction -- the convention to picking a vice presidential nominee. very few people realtle bit
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of adlai stevenson talking about the democratic platform. >> to the threshold of a new america. in the america of the great ideals and noble vision. i knew america where poverty is abolished and our abundance is
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used to enrich the lives of every family. [applause] i mean a new america where freedom is made real for all, without regard to race or belief or economic conditions. [applause] i mean a new america with the ancient ideas -- these are the things i believe then. these are the things i will work
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was a marine in 1952. >> he takes time out from this campaign to attend the graduation of his son from the marine officer candidate school in quantico, virginia. it is a proud father and an equally proud son on occasion important to both.
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the home that -- in libertyville. we are in what used to be the barn and it is right next door. it is now set up with an exhibit. what is going on here? is now the home of the adlai
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stevenson center for democracy. we try to bring people together from all parts of the world to addressgible to
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vote. i went door to door and did whatever i could. i was crushed that he did not win. i thought he would contribute so much more on the world stage. i will never forget how disappointed we were qualified s
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that he could find. it was a sacrifice to serve. they were reforming state government. he wanted to finish the job. he was also reluctant because eisen -- eisenhower would be veryhe called it the foundationr
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the do frontier and the great society. in fact, i heard the lake and famous historian who was very close to do 10 always call
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attack attack. john f. kennedy, the executor of the stevenson revolution. those campaigns were substantive. he used half hour blocks of time.prosperity and growth. eisenhower was popular. the war ended and -- that would
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come later in korea. what happened -- one of the things that happened, i would have never gotten reelected anyway. with the uprising in hungary and the invasion of suez by france, britain, and israel, these international crises that rallied the country as they always do behind the president.
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had changed in that eight years if adlai stevenson had been president rather than pork eisenhower? >> senator stevenson. let's start with you. >> dwight eisenhower has been quoted and recently by a member of his family as saying
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forever. i remember there was a disappointment at the convention because there was not a contest that there had been in 1952. i was wondering if you could elaborate on how the decision was made to throw it open to the convention whether it was for everybody to have a good time or whether it was at least in part to be able to dodge the animosity of all of the candidates who did not get it. >> if you could start and then senator stevenson, we want to hear about your role. >> i think adlainged as to his n
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nomination. he decided to open it up. i think it turned out to be as he predicted. it turned out to be an exciting contest. it introduced jack kennedy to the country. there were a lot of big things for it. >>there was a circle or very
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protective circle around john f. kennedy, which is always fearful and resentful. in this case, concern that stevenson was a threat. people were pouring in from across the country.
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they were literally hint -- at the 1960
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convention. adlai stevenson at the podium. >> i wanted to tell you how grateful i am. for this he moving well, of the 1960 democratic convention. [applause] i have an observation. after getting in and out of the hotel and at this hall, i decided i know you will nominate. it will be the last survivor. [applause] >> the details of my participation have not been worked out, but i would drive the campaign were i -- or he
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wanted me to. i suspect that will be in the west and the east and everywhere in between. i hope so. >> what would you do about it? how would you go about it? >> i hope by the participation in the campaign i have not had much doubt that they would support the ticket. i hope they will supported vigorously in the same manner that i did. >> i hope it will fall you as vigorously as you did in los angeles.
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that it was almost stevenson's moment and he threw it away. he was in a position with the right to remarks to have taken the convention a way. is that unrealistic?
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was that convention jack kennedy's no matter what happened? can you see jackie kennedy talkg
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about adlai stevenson and jfk. >> telling you he had to have
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the un. i could remember jack telling me about that. >> did that give him a lot of difficulty? >> it was unpleasant. he did not like it. he was not going to give him the state department. at the earliest times a we spoke of it, you new governor stevenson would get the un -- not state which he wanted. it is unpleasant to tell somebody that. stevens said he did not have anything to say or something funny. >> why do you think he decided not to have stevenson for state? >> it was not just bitterness. look at all the people jack took who had been a against him and for someone else. they knew he felt that man had a real disease of being done able
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to make up his mind. stevenson irritated him. i don't think he could have him cominghave irrefutable evidencet
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the soviets are in fact installing offensive nuclear missiles on castro's cuba. what transpires is a great paradox. i cannot think of a less sound bite political figure it then adlai stevenson. if you go on youtube to that he
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is immortalized by a glut of the great sound bites of the 20th century. >> we will listen to it right now. >> let me ask you one simple question. do you the night that the u.s.s.r. has placed and is placing medium and intermediate range sites and missiles in cuba? yes or no. don't wait for the translation, yes or no? >> mr. stephenson, will you continue your statement please. he will receive the answer in due course, do not worry.
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embarrass khrushchev. he wanted to give them an opportunity to retreat. that did not happen. khrushchev was embarrassed just as my father feared. he fell. he was succeeded by a group from democratic party.
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here he is in 1952 talking about the democratic party kurt >> i have been hardened by the conduct of this convention. you have argued and disagreed because as democrats to care and do care deeply. but you have disagreed and argued without calling each other liars and thieves, without spoiling our best traditions. [applause] you have not support our best traditions and any struggles for power. you have written as a platform that neither contradicts nor even aids. you have restated our party's record. its principles and its purposes and languages that none can mistake. nor am i afraid that the democratic party is old and fat.
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after 150 years, it has been old for a long time. it will never be indolent as long as it looks forward and not back. as long as it commands the young and the hopeful during the dreams and xi the visions of a better america and a better world. you will see many people express concern about the continuation of one party in power for 20 years. i don't to be little this attitude. but change for the sake of change has no absolute merit in itself. the people are wise -- wiser than the republicans think. the democratic party is the people's party. not the labor party. not the employers party. it is the party of nobody because it is the party of everybody. deal and]
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the new frontier. he holds the banner of liberalism in the 1950's -- a difficult era. it is an interesting brand of liberalism. he believes in american exceptional was on every bit as many of the right to do today. it was an exceptional was some debt was about ideas and ideals. it was leading by example. it was not an exception allows some enforced by military force. he brought a whole generation of young people who were inspired by his words, his example, his approach, his very unorthodox approach
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alone a franklin roosevelt. that is why we have created the stevenson center to try to
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address these systemic weaknesses that might make an adlai stevenson possible. we try as i do in my book to recall all of these lawyers and history that created this country and contrast them with our politics today.
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much, i have been exposed to his speeches, his rhetoric, and a lot of things he said. i am of the opinion that he is one of the last really great political speechmakers in our age. we were speaking a moment ago about jingles and things like that. i saw him making the speech, he was taking some of it from his notes in the pre teleprompter days. it was not coming off of the paper. he knew what he was saying. it was coming from his heart. i always admired his speechmaking abilities. i just don't see that in our political process today. he had something to say.
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he took a little time to say it at times.
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this has been "the contenders." >> their decency, their fortitude, their faith. trust them with great decisions. i say it is time to take this government away from them who only know how to count and turn
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