Photograph by Russell Lee Senator. Yarborough, Senator Humphrey, and President Johnson in a quiet moment on their return to Bergstrom Air Force Base, Austin, from Atlantic City last weekend. IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN that a national political convention is a combination of a circus and a revival meeting. The convention at Atlantic City never approached a circus \(although it might qualit became a true revival meeting. The third session began appropriately. Mahalia Jackson, sovereign among Gospel singers, transformed the singing of the national anthem from routine into a patriotic proem. At the beginning the audience began to sing-along, but quickly hushed before the knowing of the Negro matriarch of song. Notunlike the moments of conversion at a revival, when the throng gives testimony in its excitement and purges itself of evil, Wednesday night the Democrats released themselves from their uncertainties and gave witness that they knew in their hearts that the President would prevail in November. The presence of Lyndon Johnson was the appearance on the third day for this convention ; his sudden decision to go to Atlantic City on Wednesday was masterful, and characteristic of his political judgment. For the remainder of the convention, the Democrats’ conduct was lively and aggressive. And Johnson was assured of an essential personal control at the conventionthe power of his personality, necessary to restrain within proper limits the great sentimental appeal of President Kennedy and his heirs, and to imprint clearly the LBJ brand on the annals of the Democracy. Governor Connally’s nominating speech, if not outstanding, was noteworthy: not so much for his words, but for the sense of democratic continuity which he represented. He approached the speaker’s platform as the man who was wounded beside John Kennedy. The delegates greeted him with a spontaneous, emotional responsewhich overwhelmed the planned banner-waving of the Texas delegation. Then Governor Connally spoke for the President’s nomination and the maintenance of the, national Democratic program under Lyndon Johnson.* The President was the subject of two enthusiastic demonstrations, one after his nomination, the second upon his appearance to nominate Senator Humphrey. The convention gave Humphrey a prolonged, jubilant welcome. The Democrats clearly revealed that they had wanted his nomination, which was, as the President pointed out, the realization of an American dream. “Middle America,” the Midwest, has long *Gov. Connally was in the middle of the Mississippi and Alabama disputes in Atlantic City. He called the Negroes’ delegate sit-in “a sorry spectacle,” personally saw to it that floor security was tightened, and earned kind words from Alabama’s Bull Connor of Birmingham, whom the AP quoted saying to him after their private 20-minute conference: “Wish you were handling this situation.” Connally stated that since the civil rights bill was law, there was no need for a strong civil rights plank. His nomination speech for Johnson stressed Johnson’s role as a unifier. The governor was quoted by reporters that Johnson will lose votes, net, in the U.S. over the civil rights issue, but will win anyway.Ed. 4 The Texas Observer been a vital spring for renewing the growth of American democracy; and the rise to prominence by Hubert Humphreyat long last, both for him and the United States may revitalize our moribund contemporary liberalism and resurrect the democratic faith, a bloodless shade today, patronized like a dead ancestor at “the vital center.” An event in any Democratic convention is the presentation and celebration of the city boss, a dying but hardly bloodless element in the history of the party.. The last of an old line, Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago, jauntily strode onto the convention platform to deliver the initial seconding speech for the President as congeries of delegates lustily cheered, and the band for the one time in this conventionreally swung, into “Chicago, that toddlin’ town.” The assemblage rejoiced before his “florid entry.” THE FINAL DAY of the convention began with an afternoon youth rally of the “Young Citizens for Johnson.” There, Senator Humphrey matched and expanded the enthusiasm of the Young Democrats with vigor and humor; Peter, Paul, and Mary sang with rare zeal, and the YCJ’s applauded in kind; and Joan Kennedy, Senator Edward Kennedy’s wife, received an overwhelming ovation which presaged the honor to be given Robert Kennedy that night. The final session Friday night honored John F. Kennedy, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, and Sam Rayburn. At nine o’clock Senator Henry Jackson of Washington introduced Robert Kennedy. For thirteen minutes the Democratic Party ignored the pressures of the political moment ; and, speaking in the language of a political conventioncheering, as a party and as individuals, the Democrats paid homage to John F. Kennedy, honoring his brother with his honor. Never has the pathos which is the lot of Robert Kennedy been etched so poignantly. Senator Humphrey’s speech this night was the blueprint for Democratic election strategy: conciliation with the moderate Republicans by a Democratic occupation of the center, jocular ridicule of the Goldwater position, and the theme, relevant to foreign and domestic affairs, “But Not Senator Goldwater.” President Johnson appeared for his acceptance speech with a complete assurance of power. When the roaring Democrats refused to quieten before the wave of Johnson’s hand, the President began to pound the gavel furiously, seeking the silence he expected to be given him at his indication. With the aid of Speaker McCormack, order was quickly restored, and Johnson proceeded to defendagainst Goldwater conservatismthe entire American political consensus since 1945. He seeks a unity within the consensus for the November election, a unity which had enclosed both parties until the nomination of Goldwater. President Johnson’s party occupies the left, the center, and even a space to the right of center in American politics; the most conservative Democratic candidate for the nomination in 1960 and the most liberal candidate for that nomination are united on the same ticket in 1964. An overwhelming Johnson victory would substantially strengthen the President’s control in the affairs of the nation, as his political victory within his party has given him an absolute control of it.