If that amount of heckling could shake his statesmanlike calm, it would be interesting to see what a session like those directed at Humphrey would do. On the other hand, maybe opposition gains both of them sympathy. Or maybe protesters are thought of as Humphrey’s people now, since the convention. That was a new line Nixon’s advisors had suggested: vote for Humphrey, and you’ll be seeing a lot more protesters like these. Some of the press had gone over to today’s peace group, after all, and reported back that things around the sign-carriers were getting pretty ugly.
After the rally, the crowd jammed into the lobby of Nixon’s hotel headquarters. (“We saw her,” one Nixonette was saying to another. “We saw Mrs. Nixon, and she patted us on the arm and said, 'I think you’re great!”) I asked one of the protesters, a neatly dressed young man in khakis and a jacket, if there would have been more shouting against Humphrey. “I guess so,” he said. “Humphrey’s more a symbol of the war. But besides, there’s hope there. We yell harder because he might change; he might listen. There’s no point trying to get through to this guy. He doesn’t know what it’s all about.”
In the press room, one group was discussing Nixon’s fuzziness on the powers of the Supreme Court, school desegregation, and other issues. Another was speculating on who the protesters were. (There had been a convention of 10,000 hippies in Seattle a few weeks before, but these kids seemed too neat and too political for that.) “Stop analyzing, why don’t you?” said one of the poker-playing camera men. “All this bastard has to do is stand up and say ‘I’m not Lyndon Johnson.’ And that’s enough.”
To Seattle’s Lockheed Shipyards by picturesque Hydrofoil at 10:30 this morning, to Denver for a rally this afternoon, and all evening free. Never has a campaign left so much time for reading and asking questions.
Money: Nixon’s fund-raisers have a list of 100 names from whom they can’t accept money—supposedly John Birch, Klan supporters, and the like, but nobody’s telling—so that the public won’t be rudely surprised if contributions are revealed.
Still, there are times when the campaign seems like one big industrial tie-in. The family of the late Walt Disney, who gave money to Goldwater, now contributes to Nixon; so says a staff member. Ron Ziegler, a Nixon press officer, is the Disney account executive at J. Walter Thompson in real life; the Nixon party stays at Disneyland Hotel even when Disneyland isn’t open; and, campaign literature features the Nixon family enjoying Disneyland.
Before this morning’s trip to Lockheed Shipyards, Nixon released a campaign white paper—in keeping with his policy of sending special-interest messages to special-interest groups, while keeping the rest of us lobotomized with The Speech—that deplored this Administration allowing us to slip behind Russia in merchant marine construction, and promised a change. Is that promising government contracts?
Then there’s the matter of Greek-American millionaire Tom Pappas, who was an important backer of Nixon’s campaign against Kennedy, and of Spiro Agnew’s campaign to become Governor of Maryland. (Nixon has said Pappas was one of those who “influenced” him in the choice of Agnew.) An avowed supporter of the Greek Junta whose interests include steel, chemical, and Esso oil refineries in Greece, Pappas and his brother also established the Pappas Foundation which has been named as one of the CIA-backed groups transferring money to Greece, presumably to strengthen the Junta. Meanwhile, the Greek regime has cancelled plans to spend a quarter of a million dollars on public relations in the United States. Does that mean the Junta views Nixon-Agnew in the White House as the best public relations of all?
There’s little doubt that Nixon learned a great deal from his 1952 fund scandal, and is making every effort to be honest and/or circumspect; 100-name Black List and all. Humphrey’s staff doing “negative research” (the political euphemism for digging up scandal) hasn’t turned up anything unusual about financing: and Presidents, even front-running candidates, rarely need to be dishonest anyway. They get the use of everything from private jets to vacation islands without signing ownership papers, and the simple presence of power is usually enough to attract cash. (At the $5 million dinner last week, Nixon said he would enter the Presidency “free” because “not one of the people at those dinners has asked for a single thing,” and the donors sat there and took it.)
The IBM Machine: There is an Ideas Department in charge of “packaging and merchandising the candidate.” There is a Production Department to raise money, make campaign schedules, handle press, and take care of all the other elements involved in producing a “quota” of votes in each state.