All across the U.S., Republican organization leaders lived in a state of hopeful suspense. They were sure that Ike would run—but what if? —oh, they were sure that he would run. Asked what his organization was doing in this tense period, Michigan's Republican State Chairman John Feikens spoke for the brethren everywhere: "We're praying—that's the first thing we're doing."

Amid the prayers there was some rustling in the church. In Manhattan Vice President Richard Nixon was the honor guest and principal speaker at the black-tie Lincoln Day Dinner of the National Republican Club....

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