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The Conventions in Miami Beach
Democratic National Convention - mid July, 1972
Republican National Convention - August 20 - 23, 1972

Excerpts from the book entitled
"The Wound Within" America in the Vietnam Years 1945-1974
by Alexander Kendrick

Chapter 11 "Peace with Honor" (page 361)

Both party conventions were to be held in Miami Beach, protected by its drawbridges from the mainland. The Florida resort city was where Nixon had been nominated in 1968 but it was not his first choice for 1972. That was San Diego, in his own homeland of California conservatism, and convenient to the San Clemente White House. The place where all good admirals go when they retire was proud of its thriving tourist trade, but also not eager for political charivari bound to attract malcontents, Yippies, marijuana fiends, blacks and Chicanos. A glimpse into the Nixon administration's workings through what came to be known as the "ITT affair" helped to clinch San Diego reluctance. The International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, one of the nation's great conglomerates, had among other acquisitions taken over the Hartford Fire Insurance Company in the biggest merger in American financial history. A Senate committee, in the midst of the primary campaign, having learned of an ITT offer to contribute $400,000 to bring the Republican convention to San Diego - where one of its subsidiaries was opening a new hotel - raised the question whether this connected with a subsequent antitrust settlement by the Justice Department, including approval of the insurance merger.The site of the convention was moved to Miami Beach. And three weeks before the Democratic convention more campaign material was provided, when five men with burglar tools, surgical gloves, a camera, electronic equipment and a walkie-talkie transmitter were discovered in the Watergate Building offices of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, and arrested at gunpoint. ...........

(page 363)

McGovern's preconvention speeches and interviews raised questions about the ITT affair and the Watergate "caper," but stirred no particular concern. His Democratic rivals, still hoping to prevent his nomination, pressed him into fumbling explanations of his economic policies and his plans for reducing defense spending. His own chief interest, as he moved toward Miami Beach, was still Vietnam, though his staff complained that it was making him a "one-issue" candidate.
That issue, moreover, was being blunted by the continuing American withdrawal. Two weeks before the Democratic convention, with the troop level down to 49,000, President Nixon announced a further reduction of 10,000 by September 1, and at the same time revealed that draftees would no longer be sent to Vietnam, whatever residual force remained, unless they volunteered. The intensive bombing went on, with new records being set daily, but it did not seem to trouble too many Americans.

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