Nation: At the Half Mile

If Richard Nixon was upset by Nelson Rockefeller's candidacy—or the New Yorker's unexpected victory in Massachusetts—he had no trouble at all hiding his annoyance. Not only did he formally welcome Rockefeller's entry into the race—he even seemed genuinely pleased to have an open opponent at last. Choosing his words carefully, he jabbed at Rockefeller only indirectly for his refusal to enter the primaries: "I think the people ought to have something to say about the selection of a nominee. Others, of course, may have a different viewpoint and decide not to enter the primaries."

Though he was assured of victory in this...