Theo Lippman Jr.

October 20, 1992|By Theo Lippman Jr.

This is the 52nd presidential election.

The 43rd in 1952 saw the end of 20 years of Democratic rule. The party was exhausted from its long run. The good will President Truman won with his gutsy campaign of 1948 quickly evaporated, as his administration became tarnished with an unwinnable war in Korea, with corruption involving Democratic influence peddlers, and with the difficult problem of charges that many government officials were communist-oriented; the Democrats were accused of allowing China to go communist.

Republicans, after they nominated World War II hero Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and California Sen. Richard Nixon -- a leading exposer of security risks -- attacked the Democrats as the party of ''Communism, Corruption and Korea.'' Democrats nominated a reluctant Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson, an intellectual who had a good record of reform governance in his state. But the public was tired of the Democrats. Eisenhower appealed to the public as an affable leader. He trounced Stevenson, with 55 percent of the popular vote and a 442-89 Electoral College landslide.

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