By Sarah Katherine Mergel (auth.)
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Rockefeller and Reagan could not chip away at his hold on the delegates. On August 7, Nixon easily outpaced his rivals taking the nomination on the first ballot. The South held for Nixon and Wisconsin, a primary state, put him over the top. With the nomination in hand, he turned to picking a running mate. After reviewing his options, Nixon chose Spiro Agnew, the governor of Maryland. Agnew, a vocal advocate for the rule of law from a border state, appealed to conservatives and R IC H A R D N I XO N: A N E L E C TA B L E C O N S E RVAT I V E ?
17 Nixon had little faith that the negotiations in Paris would lead to peace. He thought that the United States needed to deal directly with the North Vietnamese and its Chinese and Soviet allies through secret negotiations. 18 Given the rate of American withdrawal, North Vietnam merely had to wait until the United States had pulled enough troops out that it could easily overrun the South. Nixon and Kissinger tried to compensate for this disadvantage by putting pressure on the USSR and China to limit the supplies they provided North Vietnam.
The editors reminded readers that leading a government was different from running a party; a president must make an effort to have the opposition represented in his government. Having acknowledged the possibility that Nixon would have to appoint some liberal-minded individuals to his administration, NR argued against appointing the opposition to key positions in the State Department. 69 Conservative foreign policy experts seeking a tougher stand against communism from the incoming Nixon administration met Henry Kissinger’s appointment as national security adviser with “cautious optimism,” according to Human Events.