The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Nine

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Nine

By Ray Hill Tennessee’s Estes Kefauver had won more primaries and votes than any other contender for the 1952 Democratic presidential nomination, yet he journeyed to Chicago uncertain of the outcome. One thing was certainly clear: he was bitterly opposed by President Harry Truman and most of the party professionals. Senator Richard Russell of Georgia […]

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Eight

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Eight

  By Ray Hill   The publicity generated by the Kefauver Committee investigating crime had elevated Tennessee’s Senator Estes Kefauver into the limelight. It was one of the first Congressional hearings to be broadcast live over television and some twenty or thirty million Americans had been glued to their screens to watch a literal rogue’s […]

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Seven

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Seven

  By Ray Hill Aside from the dislike he endured from his senior colleague, K. D. McKellar, Estes Kefauver’s first few years in the United States Senate were reasonably pleasant. Kefauver, like McKellar, tended to constituent service and attending committee meetings. The two Tennessee senators frequently disagreed over patronage, with McKellar coming out ahead to […]

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Six

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Six

Estes Kefauver had quite nearly managed the impossible by getting himself elected to the United States Senate in 1948.  Kefauver took advantage of E. H. Crump’s mistake in refusing to back Senator Tom Stewart for reelection. The state of the national Democratic Party that year was divided beyond all hope.  President Harry Truman had been […]

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Five

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Five

By Ray Hill   Congressman Estes Kefauver had seriously contemplated challenging Senator Kenneth D. McKellar in 1946.  After exploring the possibility of running against McKellar, Kefauver decided the seventy-seven year old incumbent was still too strong to beat.  Kefauver turned his sights on the seat held by Tennessee’s other senator, Tom Stewart. Stewart had first […]

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Four

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Four

By Ray Hill By 1946 Estes Kefauver had been in Congress for seven years and was contemplating a race against Tennessee’s most powerful political figure, United States Senator Kenneth D. McKellar.  Although little known outside his own Congressional district, Kefauver was relatively young and energetic while Senator McKellar was seventy-seven years old and slowing down.  […]

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Three

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Three

By Ray Hill Estes Kefauver had started out his political life allied to the ruling faction in Tennessee politics; that of senior Senator Kenneth D. McKellar and E. H. Crump, leader of the Shelby County political machine.  With his election to Congress in 1939, Kefauver began to drift away from his political moorings.  When the […]

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Two

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Two

By Ray Hill Congressman Sam D. McReynolds had first been elected in 1922 and had been reelected consistently ever since.  McReynolds had been highly popular in Tennessee’s Third Congressional district and he had routinely easily turned back every challenger inside the Democratic primary and the general election as well. When Senator Nathan L. Bachman died […]

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