When Nelson Rockefeller arrived, he claimed he had almost twice as many firm delegates as Reagan. The standing ovation John Wayne had just received put that notion rather in doubt.
Over and over again, delegate Ronald Reagan had visited on his recent Southern tour told him they might switch their votes to him if he were a declared candidate. At 4 pm Reagan returned to Miami Beach and stepped up to the press conference microphones and announced that this was what he now was.
Harry Dent, Strom Thurmond’s man, said he’d never seen anything like what happened next. Reagan enthusiasts appeared out of nowhere. Reagan was queried for his reaction: “Gosh, I was suprised. It all came out of the blue.”…
… If one were willing to consider ‘four years of non-stop underground campaigning’ as “out of the blue”. I’ll admit I never knew how far back St. Ronnie had started to run for his eventual ascension; if we’re gonna talk about what-ifs: What if Nixon’s paranoia hadn’t been stoked by his “friends'” continual assaults on his right flank? (All we ever seem to hear about is the Original DFHs trying to garrote him with their love beads from the other side of the aisle, which is, after all, the purpose of a two-party system.)
What’s your take?