THE PRESIDENCY: Political Timing

Republicans could hardly sleep at night for worrying about the latest rumor buzzing around Washington. The rumor: that the President would go on the air just before the elections to lay down the law on U.S. mobilization. The speech, so the story went, would go far beyond the "work harder" generalities of Harry Truman's recent Korean war pep talks and spell out the specific controls and sacrifices necessary to put the U.S. on an adequate defense footing.

What worried the Republicans was the timing, if it happened that way. If the White House gauged the public mood aright, a...

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