Nixon concedes victory to Senator Kennedy
Vice President Richard M Nixon today conceded victory to Senator John F Kennedy on the basis of returns from his home state of California.
The losing candidate was up early “sizing up the situation” after virtually conceding the presidential election to Kennedy shortly after midnight.
President Eisenhower announced earlier in Washington that he was preparing to send his congratulations to Kennedy.
Nixon’s statement was read by his press secretary, Herbert Klein.
“I want to repeat through this wire congratulations and best wishes I extended to you on television last night. I know that you have united support of all Americans as you lead this nation in the cause of peace and freedom during the next four years. Signed, Richard Nixon.”
To Washington today
Klein also said Nixon would leave the hotel at noon to catch a chartered airliner for Washington.
Two things that pleased the vice president about the election, Klein said, he won a tremendous popular vote and the margin of victory is less than 1 per cent.
“This is a great satisfaction to him,” Klein added. He said Nixon also was pleased about returns from Illinois and other states that see-sawed back and forth.
Another thing was the fact that he ran far ahead of the party, Klein said. Klein said he believed the vice president’s personal popularity had helped carry some GOP candidates to victory.
The vice president went to bed briefly this morning after making his near-concession statement at the Ambassador Hotel. At that time, Nixon was in smiles while his wife, Pat fought back, tears as she stood by his side.
Photo: Pat Nixon and Richard Nixon. Photograph by Lawrence Schiller