• U.S.

U.S. At War: A Blow to Willkie

1 minute read

The U.S. got another GOPresidential candidate last week—a man who has little chance for the Republican nomination, and knows it. But he had a good reason for his candidacy.

The man was Everett McKinley Dirksen, 47, a big, tousled, thoughtful, farm-minded Representative from Pekin, Ill., a town of 19,000 population which lies on the east bank of the Illinois River, just south of Peoria. The Pride of Pekin told the Washington press that 36 fellow Congressmen from 13 States had signed a petition urging him to try for the Republican Presidential nomination. He insisted that he was a serious candidate. He scorned any idea of acting as a “favorite son,” which is the main strategy of the Pew-Hamilton “stop Willkie” campaign.

Colonel Bertie McCormick forthwith denounced Dirksen as a stalking-horse for Willkie. This seemed a little naive of the Colonel. True, Mr. Willkie called Mr. Dirksen “a fine fellow.” But 35 of the 36 Dirksen petitioners are anti-Willkie. And Dirksen is a leader of the Congressional farm bloc. In effect, all this meant that a new group had arisen—and from the all-important Middle West—to stop Wendell Willkie.

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