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Richard nixon 1968 presidential campaign

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The 1968 presidential campaign of Richard Nixon, the 36th Vice President of the United States, began when Nixon, the Republican nominee of 1960, formally announced his candidacy, following a year's preparation and five years' political reorganization after defeats in the 1960 presidential election and the 1962 California gubernatorial election.

En route to the Republican Party's presidential nomination, Nixon faced challenges from Governor George Romney of Michigan, Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York, Governor Ronald Reagan of California, and Senator Charles Percy of Illinois. Nixon won nine of the thirteen state primaries held that season, although due to the population of his state, Governor Reagan won the popular vote while carrying only California. These victories, along with pledged delegate support from states not holding primaries, secured Nixon the nomination on the first ballot of the Republican National Convention, where he named Governor Spiro Agnew of Maryland as his running mate.

In the general election, Nixon emphasized "law and order", positioning himself as the champion of what he called the "silent majority". Running well ahead of his opponent, incumbent Vice President Hubert Humphrey, his support slipped in the polls following his refusal to partake in presidential debates, and following an announcement from President Lyndon B. Johnson that a halt in the bombing of Vietnam had been negotiated.

Winning a close election on November 5, 1968, Nixon and Agnew were inaugurated as the 37th President of the United States and 39th Vice President of the United States, respectively, on January 20, 1969. He was the first vice president since Martin Van Buren in 1836 to be elected president without first having succeeded to that office through the death of his predecessor, and the first non-incumbent vice president to be elected president.[3]

Nixon was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1946, representing California's 12th congressional district from 1947 until his election to the Senate in 1950.[4] As a member of Congress, he gained a reputation as a firm anti-Communist.[5] In 1952, he was selected by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican nominee for president, as his vice presidential nominee. Elected together with Eisenhower, he served as Vice President during the height of the Cold War. In office, he traveled the world on "goodwill tours", promoting pro-American policies; he was re-elected with Eisenhower in 1956.[5] At the end of Eisenhower's second term in 1960, Nixon ran unopposed for the Republican nomination, which he received. He lost a close race to Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, which many credited in part to his unhealthy appearance during the first televised debate.[5]

Nixon ran for Governor of California against incumbent Pat Brown, and was defeated handily, leading the media to label him as a "loser".[6] This defeat was widely believed to be the end of his career;[7] in an impromptu concession speech the morning after the election, Nixon famously blamed the media for favoring his opponent, saying, "you won't have Nixon to kick around anymore because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference."[7] In September, the New York Post published an article claiming that campaign donors were buying influence with Nixon by providing him with a secret cash fund for his personal expenses.[7] He moved to New York, joining the Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon law firm,[8] and regrouped, considering (but deciding against) a run for president in 1964, and beginning to plan for a 1968 presidential campaign.[9]

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