Connecticut history

Face the State Flashback: Dodd Weighs in on RFK Presidential Run

Fifty years ago this month Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” topped the charts on radio, the Andy Griffith Show was number one on television and Robert F. Kennedy entered the 1968 presidential race. The nation was mired in the Vietnam War and President Lyndon Johnson was becoming increasingly unpopular, so much so that he barely beat Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy in the New Hampshire primary.

On March 24, 1968 Connecticut Senator Thomas Dodd was a guest on Channel 3’s Sunday political show “Congressional Report,” a precursor to “Face the State.” Our moderator Tom Eaton asked Dodd about his reaction to RFK entering the race. Dodd was going with his president, despite his friendship with the Kennedy family.

Watch Dodd’s explanation for choosing LBJ over RFK right here in some old film from the WFSB archives: http://www.wfsb.com/clip/14203697/bobby-kennedy-jumped-into-race-for-president-50-years-ago

One week after our interview with Senator Dodd, President Johnson went on to stun the world by dropping out of the presidential race.    72 days later Senator Kennedy was assassinated in California.   Dodd, badly damaged by his censure in the senate in 1967, lost re-election in 1970 and died six months after being rejected by voters.

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Categories: Connecticut history

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