In 1952, on this day Senator Robert Alphonso Taft of Cincinnati was declared the winner of the U.S. presidential election.
President TaftHe had campaigned on an isolationist platform, correctly calculating the shift in national sentiment that had been brought about by the Korean War.
America was no longer a nation in uniform. And so his Democratic opponent General Dwight Eisenhower was seen as a man likely to keep America entangled in world affairs, an anachronistic throwback to his glory days of Second World War.
But more worrying still was his choice of running mate, the fervent anti-communist Richard Milhous Nixon. The possibility that Ike might threaten to bring nuclear weapons into the conflict was a real concern. A much larger concern was that prospect that the inexperienced Nixon might do so should Ike's faltering health collapse unexpectedly. Ironically, within eighteen months Taft himself was dead and Joseph McCarthy entered the White House.