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|Former U.S. Senator: Political Conventions Are Different These Days
|Political conventions these days are different from how they used to be, an old-timer of Illinois politics says.
This year, $1 billion will be raised and spent on the presidential campaign, which began almost two years before the Nov. 4 Election Day. Former U.S. Sen. Adlai Stevenson III says when his father, Gov. Adlai Stevenson, ran for president, it was different.
He entered the 1948 Democratic convention in Chicago scheduled only to give the introductory address, having entered no primaries, accumulated no pledged delegates and raised or spent no money. When the other contenders for president - U.S. Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-Tenn.), U.S. Sen. Richard Russell (D-Ga.), and Commerce Secretary Averell Harriman of New York - could gain a majority, Stevenson agreed to be considered, and on the third ballot, he was selected.
"That was the process the produced all of America's great presidents," Stevenson III said. "The old political conventions."
Ultimately, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican, was elected in a landslide, with Stevenson winning only eight Southern states plus West Virginia . Eisenhower's victory ended 20 years of Democratic control of the White House under presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Governor Stevenson died in 1965.
Sen. Stevenson, now 77, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1970-81, and who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1982 and 1986, is now the chairman of the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy, named for his father, which makes its grand opening Sunday in Libertyville. It's designed to allow practitioners and scholars from around the world to address challenges to democracy.
Stevenson was interviewed for this week's "Eye on Illinois" program. You can hear it Sunday at 5am on WGIL.
|08 09 08 by Newsroom
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