In this WSB newsfilm clip from September 29, 1967, New York senator Robert F. Kennedy greets passersby in an Atlanta airport while he fields questions from reporters about President Lyndon Johnson, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and his own plans for national office.
The clip begins with Kennedy shaking hands with bystanders as he makes his way through an Atlanta airport. Next, a reporter poses a question to Kennedy; he notes that recent Harris polls show that Kennedy would make a better vice presidential candidate than the incumbent Hubert Humphrey. He then asks Kennedy if he would accept a draft movement at the convention (presumably the 1968 Democratic convention); Kennedy responds that he has no plans to do so. Next, another reporter asks Kennedy if he thinks that the "Dump LBJ" movement could work in 1968, referring to the national "Dump Johnson" movement organized by political activist Allard Lowenstein and anti-Vietnam War members of the Democratic party. Kennedy replies that he does not think so. When asked to elaborate upon his answer, Kennedy says that he believes that if Johnson runs, Johnson will receive the presidential nomination.
On September 29, 1967, Robert Kennedy visited Atlanta to address the World Trade Conference of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. In a forty-five minute speech, Kennedy sought support for low income housing, private sector investment in ghetto neighborhoods, and trade expansion in undeveloped countries. Upon his arrival to Atlanta, Kennedy was greeted by crowds, and during his visit, he was prompted by reporters to respond to questions about seeking higher office. As American involvement in the Vietnam war intensified, many Democrats sought Senator Kennedy's leadership of the party as an anti-war candidate. Early on, Kennedy turned down these appeals. Although he had become increasingly critical of the war, he still supported President Johnson's domestic policies, and saw little to be gained from causing a split in the Democratic Party by challenging Johnson's leadership. This changed after the Tet Offensive, in February of 1968, however, when it became clear that the war would not be winding down as Johnson had previously insisted. Anti-war sentiment intensified, and Johnson was nearly beaten in the New Hampshire Democratic primary by anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy. With evidence that Johnson could be unseated, Kennedy announced his candidacy for president in March of 1968.
Title supplied by cataloger.
The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.
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Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of an interview with Robert Kennedy as he arrives in Atlanta, Georgia, 1967 September 29, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1407, 9:45/10:28, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.