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Wheeling News-Register
October 15, 1956

Adlai’s Victory Kennedy’s Goal

Assails GOP “Weakness” in Talk Here; Own Aspirations “Closed Book,” He Says.

By Sam Norton
New-Register Staff Writer

The personal political aspirations of the Democratic Party’s “man of the future”—Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts—“are closed matters.”

Following a speech at the Virginia Theatre yesterday afternoon, the 39-year-old Kennedy told the News-Register, “I’m campaigning for Stevenson, so the question of my personal aspirations for either the presidency of the vice presidency is closed.

“Anyway, I like the Senate,” he added.

Kennedy, with brilliant careers in the armed service and national government, electrified the August Democratic convention when he took a commanding first-ballot lead over Estes Kefauver for the vice presidential candidacy. He was defeated in the second-ballot vote switch to Kefauver.

As the political campaigns race into the last heated weeks, Kennedy asserted that the Eisenhower-Stevenson contest “will be close.”

However, as Kennedy left for a dinner in Pittsburgh and more campaigning after attending a Holy Name Society rally at Wheeling Park, he expressed confidence in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

In his speech yesterday, the young senator assailed the Republican administration for following “the pathway of weakness” toward world peace.

“The Republican administration has followed too often the pathway of weakness,” Kennedy declared to his large Virginia Theatre audience. “Weakness in our defensive strength . . . weakness in our diplomatic position . . . weakness in our Western Alliances . . . and finally a deplorable weakness, caused by our failure to speak up clearly on the great moral issues of the day such as colonialism, equality of nations and disarmament.”

To counteract this “weakness,” Kennedy promised a strong pathway to peace under Democratic leadership.

“We believe in the strength of moral leadership. It is here that I believe our nation and world desperately need the ability and courage and the compassion of that uniquely qualified statesman, Adlai E. Stevenson.”

Kennedy characterized the Democratic Party as one of “progress” in comparison to the Republican Party which Kennedy said, maintains a record of “opposition.”

“The people know what the record is—and the Republican record is not one of progress but of opposition—opposition to improvements in Social Security, minimum wages, public housing, atomic power, hospital construction, international trade and dozens of Democratic programs,” Kennedy declared.

Kennedy aimed a campaign thrust at Vice President Richard Nixon, of whom he said, “When Mr. Eisenhower talks about ‘the party of the future,’ he is talking about that party of Richard Nixon. And I believe that the American voters will settle Mr. Nixon’s future on Nov. 6.”

Kennedy challenged the description of the Republican party as “the party of the future,” as he asked:

“Where are the ‘Young Turks’ who were to sweep to power with President Eisenhower in 1952? Where are the young men who were going to reform the party once the Republicans gained control?”

Kennedy concluded that “the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party, is the party of the future. For the future belongs to the strong, not the weak.”

The Massachusetts senator was introduced by Ohio County Republican Executive Committee Chairman Carl Galbraith, who also introduced candidates for city, county, state and national offices sharing the Virginia stage with Kennedy.

First District Congressman Robert H. Mollohan, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate who was also expected to speak at the rally, forwarded last-minute regrets through Galbraith, saying travel complications prevented his being at the meeting.


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