European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Aug 9 1968, Page 9

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - August 9, 1968, Darmstadt, HesseThursday August 8, 1968 the stars and stripes Page 9 constitutional quirk could bring Surprise As the Republican Conven Tion closes an unmentioned quirk could Lurk in the possibility Henry j. Taylor i of third party candidate George c. Wallace throwing the election into the House of rep in a year of sur Prises presi Dent Johnson s Power potential remains in this. The unmentioned Factor does t arise from the quirks in the electoral College typified by the fact that in 1960 Richard m. Nixon won 49.55 per cent of the popular vote but lost 303 to 219, in the electoral College. The quirk comes in the Constitution. Congress has made More than 100 attempts to abolish the elec toral College especially after the candidate who received the largest popular vote did not win an electoral College majority As in the 1824, 1876 and 1888 elections. On presidential election Day each state chooses As Many elec tors As it has senators and representatives in Congress. In 1964 for the first time As provided by the 23rd amendment to the Constitution the District of Columbia voted for three electors. The Constitution leaves the manner of selecting the electors to state Law. Political parties customarily nominate their lists of electors at their state conventions. No elector however can be a member of Congress or any person holding Federal office. The electoral College proce Dure Calls for the certified and sealed lists of the votes of the electors in each state to be mailed to the president of the Senate. He opens them in the presence of the members of the Senate and House in a joint ses Sion and the electoral votes Are counted. True the Constitution provides that when no presidential Candi Date receives a majority in the electoral College the election is thrown into the House of representatives. The 12th Amend ment provides for this. It also states that the representatives those the president from among the three highest candidates and that All representatives from each state Combine to cast one vote for that state. This unit requirement each stau one vote is a very vital difference. Moreover it differs from the Way the vice president chosen. The vice president will president of the Senate. If no presidential candidate has a Jai Sriry the Senate not the Nousio chooses from the top two candidate. And each senator to As an individual. Now comes the unmentioned to l amendment states Lou of representatives Sno Cootie immediately by to president. But of immediately mean. " event of a deadlock it widely assumed and continual j ported it would be the new a Ala to. J u -7 need House of represent it. That would Chott 0 next Jaent. In fact measuring the to third party threat the toucans have emphasized 15 or featuring the importance of Republican congressional Vic tories this november. But in truth the supreme court has never ruled on that word and the potential is that the word immediately apparently allows president Johnson a Choice. The 20th amendment to the Constitution provides that the terms of senator and representatives in the previous Congress shall end on the 3rd Day of january. Unless they the Congress shall by Law appoint a different of course presi Dent Johnson s democratic party controls both houses of the 1967 68 Congress. Traditionally the electoral col lege meets on the first monday after the second wednesday in december of a presidential year. This year that would be Decem Ber 16. With the word immediately undefined and the 1968 possibility so extraordinary As a result of the Wallace third party strength the quirk which emerges is that if he wished president Johnson could apparently choose to Call the 1967-68 Congress into Spe Cial session with both houses still under control of the demo cratic party. Wallace in turn assuming he won at least the five deep South states of Alabama Georgia Louisiana Mississippi and South Carolina and perhaps others in the 13-state Southern Region could request the congressional delegations before the Roll Call to vote the Wallace preference for the presidency. Under these conditions this would have surprising leverage in an embroiled House of representatives where each state has Only one vote. With an unmentioned ques Tion existing about the meaning of the word immediate the Long Shadow of lbs carries even More potent potential Powers than the Public supposes or than this Republican convention May realize. C United feature Syndicate i s Vou Hove no Faith i n some aides reported distressed w Flora Lewis there is a mood of deep de pression among some of the top administration people dealing with Vietnam policy. They feel that president Johnson has switched his Basic attitude on the War. When he restricted bombing Over most of North Vietnam and withdrew As a candidate for reelection they Felt his deep est desire was to bring the end of the War in sight before he left the White House. He did t want to go Down in history As the president who got America into a full scale War and could t get it out. Now these people sense a completely different Outlook in the White House. Johnson s approach is that he wants to go Down in history As the president who held onto Vietnam the one before the president who gave up the War. He does t seem to be fooling himself on the chances of Victory either on the Battle Field or at the conference table. Rather it is As though he saw himself As the Man who held off catastrophe and could t be blamed for what came after him. Vice president Humphrey has been getting an intense new bar rage of advice urging him to speak out clearly to Call for an end of the bombing so negotiations can really Start. But he probably won t because As one insider put it the situation has been made much tougher for him. It in t a question any longer of just breaking with Johnson it is a question of making him an irrevocable lbs still has enough Power in the democratic party for that kind of hostility to be More than his ostensible candidate wants to provoke. Differently � president Johnson. Backward step key republicans Are aware of the likelihood that Vietnam will be revived As a primary election Issue. Richard Nixon has been putting his position with the utmost care in fact so carefully that he has kept open the option of making the Challenge to John son which Humphrey has so far avoided. The possibility that Johnson will make some move to escalate the War is now being taken More seriously although the likelihood is for Small rather than dramatic Steps. An example which makes the question immediate is the Campaign now going on deep in the Mekong Delta. Reports make the Battle sound like a new Viet Cong action but in fact it is an Allied offensive As the map and careful Reading of the Saigon the opinions expressed to Tho columns and cartoons on tins Page represent Tho a of the authors and Are in no Way to be. Considered a representing the View of the Star and strip itself of Oluia United states. Hubert Humphrey. Challenge avoided communiques make Clear. A new York times dispatch pointed out that South vietnamese and american units have made an incursion deep into territory Long held by the Viet along with last week s Airlift of 4,500 troops from Colorado this action tends to belie official declarations that the . Would rather talk than fight. Critics in Side the administration fear it can trigger a Hanoi decision to go ahead with the big offensive which has been prepared but seems to have been held off for a clearer Reading of washing ton s intentions. And nobody really knows what Johnson has promised South Vietnam s president Thieu. During their Honolulu meeting last month the two presidents walked together along the Beach for some three hours absolutely alone. There was t even an interpreter though Thieu s English is Little More than rudimentary. It was after those talks tha Richard Nixon. Keeps his option Johnson s attitude to the Paris negotiations changed. After the Cabinet meeting Fol lowing the Honolulu talks one person who attended said privately it s stiffer than Ever. And one Man one volatile Man has done he meant Johnson. The reason for the change is a mystery. It does t seem to have anything to do with politics Al though it is bound to affect the Campaign and possibly the democratic convention. In terms of politics it will Hurt Humphrey most As the Public comes to realize How far backward the White House has moved. And in terms of politics it should serve to focus Public awareness on the tremendous importance of the inner charac Ter of men who might become president of the United states. At moments of crisis it in t policies but the kind of Man who is president that can decide the Fate of the world a 196."-. , in

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