Republican party leaders who had favored Ohio Senator Robert Taft for the Republican presidential nomination, are now shocked and worried by Dwight Eisenhower's strong showing in the GOP presidential primaries. So they hatch a plan to prevent an Eisenhower victory. The Taft and undecided delegates will let it be known that if Taft fails to win on the first ballot he will withdraw and retired General of the Army Douglas MacArthur will challenge Eisenhower. Taft knew very little of this but had said he would consider such an arrangement provided he (Taft) would be allowed to choose MacArthur's running mate.
July 7-July 11
As the Republicans gather in Chicago, Taft and Eisenhower seem to be in a dead-heat. However after several dozen Taft delegates are denied seating in becomes clear that Taft is in trouble. The Draft-MacArthur movement is gaining ground and it all comes down to the keynote address which will be delivered by MacArthur. At the last minute MacArthur makes some changes to his speech adding more partisan remarks and hard anti-Communist remarks.
After receiving a standing ovation, MacArthur gives perhaps the greatest speech of his career which brings the delegates to their feet 29 times and sways the convention his way.
On the first ballot MacArthur finished second behind Eisenhower and on the second ballot MacArthur secured Taft endorsement finishing first ahead of Ike and winning the nomination on the third ballot.
On the advice of Taft, MacArthur picked California Governor Earl Warren as his running mate.
MacArthur and Warren hit campaign trail hard campaigning on a platform of victory in Korea and fiscal conservative policy at home. MacArthur's opponent Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson tried to paint MacArthur with the brush of Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression, MacArthur charged back that Stevenson would lead to surrender in Korea and weakness around the world as well as raise taxes and grow the size of the federal government.
In response to questions from the Stevenson campaign about his age and positions in the past, MacArthur challenged Stevenson to a debate and Stevenson accepted.
The candidates debated five times around the country while VP candidates Earl Warren and John Sparkman debated once. The highlights of the debates was MacArthur's one-liner response to a question about his age, Question: Do you believe that at age 72, you will be capable to fill all the duties of the presidency---Answer: Yes, and I would also like to tell you that in this campaign, I do not intend to make age an issue by exploiting my opponent's youth and inexperience.
MacArthur's debate performance was well received and he remains ahead in the polls doing into election day.
On election night, the MacArthur/Warren ticket soundly defeats the Stevenson/Sparkman ticket by winning strong victories in the mid-west, west, and upper south. MacArthur wins 56% of the popular vote and the Republicans take back Congress. MacArthur now prepares to set a new course and guide America out of the Roosevelt-Truman years.