The problem with Humphrey was that he was too closely linked with Johnson as he continued to support Johnsons Vietnam policies and other aspects of his presidency. Then there was the antiwar candidate, Eugene McCarthy. McCarthy appealed almost exclusively to liberals and college students as many campus activists sported buttons with the motto Clean for Gene. The third, and most promising candidate for the Democratic party, was Robert Kennedy. Kennedy generated all of the passion that neither of the other candidates seemed to muster. His compassion for the poor and down trodden appealed to blue-collar workers and the Kennedy name still had its mystique that appealed to many of the nations voters.
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest reasons for Richard Nixons nomination as President was the tragic assassination of Robert Kennedy. After storming in to win the California primary, it seemed that Kennedy had all the momentum he needed to rally the divided Democrats and make a run at the presidency. But as Kennedy left a reception in Los Angeles he was shot and killed and with his death, the chances of a Democrat becoming president died as well. Kennedys death would start a chain reaction of events that would soon cripple the Democratic party and seal the win for Richard Nixon. After Kennedys death, the popularity for Eugene McCarthy rose substantially but McCarthy lost his zeal to become president. This came as a huge surprise because it was well-documented how much McCarthy disliked Kennedy. The Democrats, who once had three strong candidates for the presidency, now rested their hopes on the shoulders of Hubert Humphrey.
Hubert Humphrey made a valiant effort to regain votes in the race. He told the American public that he would stop the bombing in Vietnam and try to shift the onus of the war onto the South Vietnamese so American troops could start coming home. Lyndon Johnson then announced that a bombing halt had been settle View More »