Newspaper Articles

Charleston Gazette
July 15, 1960


We Pledge Our Support To Help Kennedy Win

Sen. John Fitzgerald Kennedy is the Democratic nominee for President and we at The Gazette congratulate him and offer him our unqualified endorsement.

It is no secret that the respect and affection of this newspaper have belonged to Adlai Stevenson for the last eight years.

Our action today does not mean that we like Adlai less or Kennedy more. For, whatever his fault as a candidate, Stevenson possesses rare qualities of intellect, integrity and ideas.

Yet, in Kennedy, there is an aura of youthful vigor, or receptiveness to new ideas, that we find strangely exciting. He has a magnetic presence, an indefinable spark of leadership that enables a man to lift up a people and make them follow. It is a quality the United States desperately needs.

There has been a tradition, in an election year, to describe conditions as momentous. The description certainly applies to many of them. But those times, grave as they were, do not compare with these.

Our existence as a nation was threatened then; our existence as a people is threatened now. Never in our history have events been so unsettled and danger so great.

The response to these challenges must come from the President. His is an authority that cannot successfully be delegated. When it is not used, it creates a void that cannot be filled. We have watched this authority being dissipated for eight years. Unless the drift is stopped, there may not be another eight years.

Sen. Kennedy has demonstrated, by his record and by his speeches, that he is aware of this. He also has demonstrated that he has the courage and the ability to act.

We have found proof of this in his attraction to intellectuals, politicians and just plain people. Men like Chester Bowles, Mennen Williams, and John Galbraith have not participated in his campaign because they admire his manners or his tailor. They've joined him because they believe he has the qualities this country needs in its President.

Sen. Kennedy's convention victory over other highly regarded men is another reflection of this. He has met every test; he has surmounted every obstacle.

Sen. Kennedy is fortunate because he is not the spokesman of a region and because he is not identified with a particular group. He is a national candidate who can rally his party behind him. He does not have to ignore the ability of a Stevenson or a Humphrey. He can work with a Johnson or a Reuther.

He is doubly fortunate because the convention gave him a platform that emphasized the differences between the Democratic and Republican parties. It is an admirable program, we think, that recognizes the rights, the duties and the privileges of individuals. Its civil rights plank is in the great libertarian tradition.

Citizens of West Virginia had a unique opportunity to see Kennedy and judge him. When he came here, he was little more than a name to most of us. His appeal was verified by his victory.

During his primary campaign, he said a map of the state was indelibly written on him. He promised, if he becomes President, to help West Virginia with its many problems. It is a promise we believe he will keep.

No one has worked harder, or more intelligently, for the great prize which is now Kennedy's. We think the same appeal and ability will bring him an even greater prize in November. We pledge our help in attaining it.

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