News for the week ending April 8, 1951 - Korea, the upcoming Presidiential election of 1952, Eisenhower, General MacArthur, Gen. Matthew Ridgeway, politics as usual. Like you thought it would be different?
April 8, 2011

Gen. Matthew Ridgeway - portrait of a man about the enter the shark tank.

The week ending April 8, 1951 was something of a calm before the storm. Three days after this broadcast (Voices and Events from NBC Radio), President Truman would make the stunning announcement that he was firing General Douglas MacArthur from his command of the Far East and replacing him with Gen. Matthew Ridgeway. There is mention of what would be the last straw in the broadcast as MacArthur is quoted as favoring the Nationalist Chinese opening up a second front in the Korean conflict during an overseas visit. But for all the controversy there was still a war going on with no real end in sight.

Other news that week had a lot to do with the upcoming Presidential election for 1952. Speculation was rife that the hands-down candidate would be General Eisenhower, but it was unclear as to which party ticket he would run under. No one, it seems asked him what his party affiliation was. Meanwhile, the playing field was pretty much open as it appeared there were no candidates willing to take on the grueling campaign and the overwhelming responsibility. Senator Paul Douglas probably said it best that week:

Sen. Paul Douglas: “The job is really an impossible job. And it calls for the brooding qualities of Lincoln, the philosophic depth of Jefferson, the sturdiness of Cleveland, the daring of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the popular leadership qualities of Theodore Roosevelt. In addition he must be a spiritual leader. He needs the patience of Job. And must have the physique of either a Sandow, a Samson or a Charles Atlas. Any man who wants to be President of the United States needs to have his head examined.”

No doubt sage words of advice, even sixty years later.

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