These vintage reproductions of Barry Goldwater's 1964 Au H2O tees are printed on our most popular ringspun cotton tee, and available in a wide variety of sizes and colors. They were recreated from authentic 1964 campaign artwork and part of our permanent collection of American political history reproductions.
LBJ certainly went all the way on Barry Goldwater in 1964. The great trouncing was the widest win margin of popular votes in American history. Johnson rocked Goldwater in the electoral college as well 10-to-1. It was the most significant electoral massacre in the GOP's history. Goldwater's more cerebral conservative approach inspired many within the Republican party with his message of limited government, low taxes, and peace-through-strength foreign policy, but he never roused the larger electorate.
1964 was the only Republican presidential ticket between 1952 and 1976 that did not include Richard Nixon. With Nixon deciding not to run after losing a close election to JFK in 1960, the Republicans were heavily fractured between the conservatives led by Senator Goldwater from Arizona, and the Northeastern Yankee Republicans led by Nelson Rockefeller. The two men faced off as primary rivals, representing the two most powerful factions. Nixon's most influential quality within the GOP was his capacity to bridge the fissure between the Midwest and Western conservatives and the Eastern establishment. With him out, the two factions were at each other's throats.
Being the savvier politician of all of them, Nixon had no interest in bridging the political divide, either. He knew that if he simply allowed either Rockefeller or Goldwater to dive into the LBJ buzzsaw in the Fall of `64, it would open things up for him in 1968. It would be him, a household name, against a fractured Democrat party with either an ailing LBJ or an open race. Plus he didn't like Goldwater personally.
To make it even more interesting, before the `64 primaries, Rockefeller was embroiled in a marital affair when he divorced his wife and married a patrician younger mother of 4 and future Second Lady, Happy Rockefeller, in something of a scand
al to conservatives and Republican women who called him a "wife stealer." Even amongst the cosmopolitan liberal Eastern Republicans, this became a problem. It also destroyed his sizable lead in the polls and even well-to-do Easter establishment Republicans such as the Bushs began openly calling the Senator a degenerate.
But as the primaries went on, Rockefeller and his big money network gained ground as the public's anger about his new young wife softened. Boy did that change fast. A few days before the California primaries Happy Rockefeller gave birth to Nelson Rockefeller Jr. All the controversy about the candidate being an adulterer came right back into the spotlight.
That was curtains for Rockefeller and the Northeastern establishment. Goldwater squeaked by and eventually took the nomination. As a result, many powerful Eastern Establishment Republicans like George Romney - Mitt Romney's father - sabotaged Goldwater in the general election. Even Nixon gave half-hearted support for Goldwater, publically disagreeing with his positions in the media, throwing a wet blanket on his campaign. It was sort of the GOP's first "Never Trump" movement of the post-war era.
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