How We Got Here: William Warren Scranton and the Principled Timidity of Moderate Republicans

Like most politicians, William Warren Scranton disclaimed interest in politics. “I never intended to make public political life a career,” he said, shortly after stepping down as Governor of Pennsylvania in 1967. But Scranton was that rare politician whose reluctance was sincere. He considered public service a duty rather than ambition, concerned only with helping Pennsylvania and the Republican Party. It served Scranton well-enough for most of his life: he was an accomplished businessman, politician, diplomat and elder statesman.

Outside of his home state, Scranton is best-remembered as the hapless moderate who opposed Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign in 1964. In one sense, it’s not entirely fair to Scranton: the man had an accomplished career that most people would envy. Yet Scranton the Presidential candidate, a queer admixture of hesitation and hortatory jeremiads, is emblematic of a familiar breed: the Establishment Republican who, following throaty appeals to principle against an extremist outsider, fails to stop him, then falls in line.

Bill Scranton’s father, Worthington Scranton, was a businessman; his mother, Marion Margery Scranton, a leader of the Pennsylvania Republican Party and descendant of the Mayflower Warrens. The family had blended a profitable iron works with Republican politics since Abraham Lincoln’s day: Scranton, Pennsylvania is named after his family.  Scranton attended Yale, joining an extraordinary class nicknamed “Destiny’s Men”: Gerald Ford, future Supreme Court Justices Potter Stewart and Byron White, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Ambassador to France Sargent Shriver. World War II interrupted his education; Scranton became a Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps. He married Mary Chamberlain, a childhood friend and Army intelligence analyst, in July 1942.

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Bill and Mary Scranton

After graduation, Scranton declined business offers from Wall Street law firms. “Pennsylvania was home to me and here is where I wanted to spend the rest of my life,” he said. Scranton instead apprenticed under his father, who developed the Scranton Plan, where local entrepreneurs turned abandoned factories into new businesses. Through the ’50s he chaired the Scranton-Lackawanna Trust, rebuilding local industry and helping revive the dying coal town.

Scranton entered the Federal government under Dwight Eisenhower, who remained his lifelong friend and political mentor. He became a special assistant to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and handled sensitive diplomatic missions involving the United Nations, NATO and the Soviet Union. Scranton had little thought of politics until Eisenhower urged him into running for Congress in 1960.

“Scranton’s political life repeatedly demonstrates the importance of good timing,” writes his biographer, George D. Wolf. He won election to Congress in 1960 and served a single, highly-productive term pushing for liberal causes. Then Scranton was approached by the Pennsylvania GOP to run for Governor in 1962. He challenged Richardson Dilworth, the Mayor of Philadelphia and the epitome of a city machine politician. Against him, the patrician Scranton seemed a shoe-in.

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Scranton with Mamie Van Doren

Tall, wiry and handsome, with a soft, fatherly voice anticipating Fred Rogers and disarming, close-lipped grin, Scranton was a charismatic campaigner. But he suffered from asthma and easily exhausted himself on the campaign trail, lacking the stamina for long-term battles. Wolf calls him “reserved and somewhat aloof, [avoiding] the chummy, first-name relationship so characteristic of politicians.” Nonetheless, when Scranton committed himself to a race, he could be as tough as anyone.

And the 1962 campaign was brutal. Dilworth regularly peppered Scranton with insults, labeling him “Little Lord Fauntleroy” and “an Ivy League Dick Nixon” – not only a swell, the implication went, but a scoundrel. Scranton responded in kind, attacking Dilworth as a machine crook and “soft on Communism” for his support of labor unions and, in a foreign policy fillip, advocating recognition of Red China. Scranton bested Dilworth in a televised debate and pulled ahead; Dilworth demanded a rematch, labeling Scranton a coward when he refused. After some hesitation, Scranton obliged him in the most humiliating manner possible.

One evening, Scranton attended a Republican dinner in Harrisburg when he learned that Mayor Dilworth was being interviewed by the local television station. Seizing the moment, Scranton excused himself and drove to the studio, challenging Dilworth to an impromptu debate. After perfunctory sparring over policy, the stunned Dilworth devolved to insults, calling Scranton a “phony” and other childish epithets. Scranton smiled calmly, turned to the audience and announced: “This is a desperate man.” Thus did Bill Scranton, patrician rough-houser, become Governor of Pennsylvania.

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In his inaugural address, Scranton asked his constituents to “stand tall as Pennsylvanians.” Over the next four years, he compiled an impressive record, working with the state legislature to rebuild Pennsylvania’s economy. He encouraged business growth and infrastructure, increased funding for education and personally mediated a transport strike in Philadelphia. With a balanced budget and rebuilt economy, he proved a remarkably effective chief of state.

Soon, the press rated Scranton as presidential timber. The New York Herald Tribune proclaimed Scranton “the one person who could unite the [Republican] party’s diverse and divergent factions.” Time Magazine featured Scranton on its cover; Newsweek proclaimed him “the first of the Kennedy Republicans.” (The Kennedy comparison wasn’t idle; Scranton had dated John F. Kennedy’s sister Kathleen in college, and remained close to the President, keeping an autographed photograph in his study.) It didn’t hurt that Scranton’s brother-in-law, James Linen, was President of Time, Inc., ensuring him a steady stream of positive publicity.

With Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater the Republican front-runner for 1964, moderates panicked. Goldwater’s small government conservatism was anathema to the party establishment, a moderate progressivism defined as “Modern Republicanism” by Dwight Eisenhower and a “dime store New Deal” by Goldwater. But his likely opponents faltered: New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s campaign flopped due to his remarriage; money and sheer will maintained it through June’s California primary. Henry Cabot Lodge, Ambassador to South Vietnam, won New Hampshire’s primary through a draft campaign, but never gained traction. Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith’s campaign flopped, with voters in 1964 unready for a woman president.

Scranton, Eisenhower and Goldwater

As early as the summer of 1963, Republicans started organizing Draft Scranton chapters. Scranton’s 27 year old aide, Bill Keisling, and State chairman Craig Truax began lobbying Republicans in and outside of Pennsylvania to support their boss. Compared to Goldwater aide F. Clifton White’s sophisticated, grassroots mobilization, wooing delegates and building support from the ground up, the Pennsylvanians’ efforts proved amateurish and unsuccessful. Especially without Scranton’s explicit backing.

Scranton and Goldwater were friends; they served together in the Air Force Reserve and dined regularly during Scranton’s time in Congress. In fact, Scranton told Goldwater that “I hope you decide to run” in December. Noting the emergence of a “Stop Goldwater” campaign, Scranton dismissed his involvement, claiming “I would not be part of a ‘Stop’ movement against anybody.” This much, at least, was disingenuous: Keisling moved to block Pennsylvania delegates from supporting Goldwater, and ousted several local chairmen who refused to tow the line, almost certainly on Scranton’s orders.

Privately, Scranton chided the overeager Keisling while playfully rebuffing supporters. Thomas McCabe, businessman and GOP leader, appealed to Scranton in November 1963. Noting his son’s Jim approval, McCabe commented: “When you can wow the youth, you’re on your way.” Scranton wryly replied “that I hope [Jim] makes it as president, not me.” McCabe acted anyway, contacting Republican big-shots, including aides to Eisenhower, in hopes that Ike might persuade his protege to run.

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Scranton with Dan Rather

Publicly, Scranton disarmed press inquiries with humor and expressions of disbelief. Late in 1963, journalists convened in Harrisburg, where Scranton fielded questions about his candidacy. “Can you tell me the reason why I would want to be President?” he asked. No one had an answer. Least of all Bill Scranton.

1964 dawned and Scranton still wouldn’t declare his candidacy. The press tired of his ambivalence: friendly coverage turned to ridicule. Newsweek claimed Scranton’s family dined on swan; the Wall Street Journal labeled him a two-faced Pollyanna who mixed Machiavellian scheming with childish expressions like “Jeepers cats!” Cartoonists caricatured him as a primped-up dandy too out-of-touch to understand politics.

Craig Truax, the Pennsylvania State Chairman, filed Scranton’s name for the New Hampshire primary. Scranton, embroiled in a state budget battle, ordered Keisling to withdraw his candidacy. On March 10th, Scranton received a mere 77 votes in New Hampshire. Which didn’t stop James Reston, with the pundit’s unshakable lust for centrism, from proclaiming Scranton the putative front runner in the New York Times. Scranton certainly acted like a candidate, giving speeches to party leaders and business moguls in New York, Cincinnati and elsewhere leading journalist Robert Novak to conclude he was playing coy.

Scranton with his daughter Susan

Overzealous supporters helped that impression. In March, Truax created Draft Scranton offices in Kansas City and Connecticut; Congressman Richard Schweiker circulated a Draft petition to Pennsylvania Republicans. Truax went too far in ordering a million Scranton bumper stickers on April 1st. Scranton, vacationing in Florida, found out and gave his aide a furious dressing down. Enough was enough.

On April 9th, Scranton held a press conference in Harrisburg. “It seems to be part of our American folklore… that every politician wants to be President,” he tearfully chided. But Scranton “was not a candidate, did not wish to become one and would do nothing to encourage moves to make me one.” Yet a concession that he’d accept “an honest draft” left the door maddeningly open.

Some newspapers finally took the hint; the Washington Post headlined “Scranton All But Quits Race.” But Los Angeles Times scribe Richard Wilson insisted that he was still “an active candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.” The situation resembled Lewis Carroll: “The more [Scranton] tried to undo his candidacy,” Rick Perlstein writes, “the more pundits suspected he was a candidate.”

On April 23rd, Scranton won the Pennsylvania primary with just 58 percent of the vote, barely beating Henry Cabot Lodge through a write-in ballot. Scranton vainly protested efforts to place him on Oregon’s May 15th primary ballot; Rockefeller won, briefly reviving his chances. Then Goldwater won California on June 2nd. Rockefeller and Lodge were finished; George Romney, the popular Governor of Michigan, refused repeated entreaties to enter a doomed cause.

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Scranton with Nelson Rockefeller and George Romney

Enter, finally, General Eisenhower. So far, Ike refused to back any candidate, despite his distaste for Goldwater. On June 5th, he summoned Scranton to his Gettysburg ranch, discussing the Governor’s presidential prospects. The National Governor’s Conference was scheduled for June 6-10 in Cleveland; Scranton had scheduled an appearance on CBS’s Meet the Press for the 7th. Eisenhower told Scranton that he’d be watching CBS that day, seemingly giving Scranton the green light.

Meanwhile, the 16 Republican governors in Cleveland bickered. In a pompous, empty peroration, Romney demanded that Goldwater account for his positions: “If his views deviated as indicated from the heritage of our party, I will do everything within my power to keep him from becoming the Party’s presidential candidate.” (Goldwater enjoyed a joke at Romney’s expense, sending an aide to distribute campaign to the assembled governors.) Oregon Governor Mark Hatfield, vexed by his colleague’s eleventh hour courage, snapped: “George, you’re six months too late.” Some wanted to support Rockefeller, who found their ambivalence profoundly irritating; others, noting Goldwater had too many delegates to overcome, urged capitulation.

All eyes turned to Scranton; his aides typed up a formal announcement. Bill Keisling excitedly assured reporters that “I’ve got a candidate now!” and advised them to watch CBS. Then, literally as Scranton prepared to leave for his interview, he fielded a phone call from Eisenhower. “I’m afraid you misunderstood me,” the General said, insisting he hadn’t, and wouldn’t, endorse Scranton. Scranton found the bedrock of his decision, Eisenhower’s support, undercut. Dumbfounded, he drove to the station, no longer sure of what to say.

The result was disastrous. CBS’s Paul Niven asked: “Are you a candidate?” “No, I’m not a candidate,” Scranton replied. Nervously looking at his notes, fidgeting in his seat, Scranton became vague and elusive. Asked if he opposed Goldwater, he commented “I think you are putting words in my mouth.” On Goldwater’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act, Scranton insisted that “I don’t think one bill makes the difference between how a man stands on a whole issue.”

Scranton TV

The press savaged Scranton. Once “the Republican Kennedy,” he became the “Hamlet of Harrisburg” and “Gutless Bill.” One cruel journalist called Scranton “half the man his mother was.” Fellow Republicans, especially those piled on. Watching the interview, Romney screamed “Where are his principles?” to everyone within earshot. Asked afterwards if he backed Scranton, an incredulous Rockefeller replied: “Did you see him on television?” The Republican Party’s savior, it seemed was now a joke.

Scranton appeared on NBC’s Today show the next day, muddying things further. Sander Vanocur dismissed claims that Goldwater might turn moderate: “Aren’t you suggesting the greatest conversion since Biblical times?” Scranton fuzzily replied “It is much more difficult to characterize [Goldwater] than some people think.”

As a final insult, Richard Nixon arrived in Cleveland. Still seething over his 1960 loss to Kennedy and humiliating gubernatorial defeat in 1962, Nixon declined to openly campaign that year. Nonetheless, he presented himself as an honest broker, hoping either to play kingmaker…or, failing that, to become the candidate himself. After Scranton’s debacle, Nixon urged Romney to run. “It would be a tragedy if Senator Goldwater’s views… were not challenged – and repudiated,” Nixon commented.

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Barry Goldwater

The moderates continued dithering until June 10th, when the Senate passed a cloture vote for Lyndon Johnson’s Civil Rights Act, languishing under a filibuster engineered by Southern Democrats and conservative Republicans. The centerpiece of Johnson’s Great Society, it promised to undo a century of discrimination against African-Americans. Goldwater, citing small government principles rather than racism, voted against cloture; it passed anyway. But now, the putative Republican candidate was on record opposing civil rights, which was too much for Scranton; he declared his friend’s vote made him “sick.”

Even now, the “Hamlet of Harrisburg” lived up to his nickname. “How can you be against civil rights in the year 1964?” he demanded, unable to fathom Goldwater’s decision. He spent all day pondering the decision, debating it with his family, staff, and himself. Finally, he gathered his supporters in the Governor’s mansion and quietly announced: “All right, we’ve got a lot to do. I’m going to run.” With few delegates, little obvious support and a skeletal organization, Bill Scranton had 32 days until the convention to stop Barry Goldwater.

Scranton formally announced his candidacy in Baltimore on June 12th, and party moderates quickly fell in line. Rockefeller exited the race on June 15th, offering Scranton his campaign staff (though not his own pledged delegates). Henry Cabot Lodge made an even grander gesture, resigning his Ambassadorship to join Scranton’s campaign and pledging his own delegates. Pennsylvania Senator Hugh Scott formed a Congressmen for Scranton Committee, fearing that a Goldwater victory would swamp Republican Congressmen.

Scranton Campaigns

All but Eisenhower, who still refused to endorse Scranton or offer his support. So Scranton turned to Thomas Dewey, the former New York Governor and Republican candidate in 1944 and 1948. Dewey put his Wall Street and RNC contacts at Scranton’s proposal, but achieved little in the face of Clifton White’s sophisticated maneuvering. “It was as if the Goldwater people had rewired the switchboard of the Party,” one Dewey aide complained, unable to rouse the Party into line.

Scranton hoped to barnstorm the country, rousing popular support and peeling delegates away from Goldwater. Polls showed Scranton running closer against Lyndon Johnson than Goldwater, polling better nationally among Republicans. Johnson himself feared Scranton’s chances, calling him “a character assassin [who] does it in Brooks Brothers style.” He remembered Richardson Dilman, and so did the press.

An invigorated Scranton hit the stump. With his wife Mary and teenage children, he appeared in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Des Moines, Topeka, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Denver, Louisville, Boston and Harrisburg within a week. He shook hands with crowds, gave forceful speeches, showed uncharacteristic energy. He appeared on Face the Nation and Meet the Press, no longer vacillating but assured and forceful. “Send to the White House a man who thinks deeply, who is not impulsive,” Scranton urged Republicans. He defined his platform as “reasoned conservatism… responsible conservatism,” which would “take the best there is of the past, and then apply those principles to the problems of today.”

Scranton and Rockefeller

At first, it worked. Enthusiastic crowds met him everywhere: invigorated old-time Republicans, young activists chanting “We want Scranton!” Students for Scranton chapters and the moderate Ripon Society provided volunteers; establishment donors, much-needed funds. Thirty thousand letters and telegrams flooded his campaign offices. Press coverage was positive: the Washington Post claimed that Scranton was “calling the GOP from the land of make-believe.”

Less commendably, Scranton turned to rough tactics. He assailed Goldwater as a reckless madman, “wreaking chaos and uproar” through his platform. “The Republican Party wonders how it will make clear… that it does not oppose Social Security, the United Nations, human rights and a sane nuclear policy,” he warned. He complained that Goldwater “made our party sound naïve, irresponsible, reactionary and heartless. Goldwater fumed, complaining that “the Republican establishment is desperate to defeat me,” he said. Journalists, too, tired of Scranton’s verbal stilettos; the Cincinnati Enquirer attacked him as “faceless… gutless… devoid of a good sense of history and judgment.”

Behind the scenes, things weren’t so rosy. Scranton’s staff remained poorly organized, unprepared for a national campaign. The influx of Rockefeller staffers hurt, rather than helped; Rockefeller aides George Hinman and Jack Wells bullied Bill Keisling and Walter Alessandroni, trying to dictate the candidate’s strategy and speeches. But Scranton’s biggest failure came in the meat and potatoes of politics; specifically, securing delegates.

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Scranton with Everett Dirksen and Charles Percy

Illinois was key to Scranton’s ambitions. The state had 58 delegates, 40 in Goldwater’s pocket. Scranton nonetheless banked on Illinois’s leading Republicans, moderate gubernatorial candidate Charles Percy and Senator Everett Dirksen, who had denounced Goldwater’s “extreme opinions” on the floor of the Senate. Scranton overestimated their reluctance to accept political reality, while underestimating the years of groundwork prepared by Cliff White and his agents.

Scranton arrived in Chicago on June 30th, his arrival picketed by Goldwater supporters and, strangely, civil rights activists. He decamped at O’Hare Inn, finding Goldwater and Harold Stassen, the hapless perennial candidate from Minnesota (whose close second in the Indiana primary briefly made his candidacy seem viable), already present. The delegates listened to all three candidates, then rendered their verdict: 48 delegates for Goldwater, 10 abstentions, 0 for Scranton. Afterwards, a chagrined Dirksen asked Percy, “What do they think I am, a rookie or a patsy?”

Scranton received ovations in Atlanta as he called for a post-racial South. He headed west, scouring California, Oregon, Utah and Washington for votes. Supporters cheered him like a rock star; delegates pledged to Goldwater refused to budge. Not everyone was so friendly: in Harrisburg, someone slapped a Goldwater bumper sticker on Scranton’s car. During a swing through Kankakee, Illinois, conservatives egged his train. He made another swing through the Midwest without success; a trip to North Carolina yielded big crowds and no votes. He attended the North Dakota State Fair in early July, riding a hot air balloon. “It runs on hot air, just like my campaign!” he joked.

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Even humor couldn’t save Scranton. When the votes were tallied, his month-long campaign only peeled two delegates away from Goldwater, leaving him barely 200. Goldwater already exceeded the 655 needed for the nomination; with favorite sons releasing their delegates, his number threatened to swell. As Republicans converged on San Francisco, only a miracle could stop Goldwater now.

Scranton arrived in San Francisco on July 8th. He bolted aboard a trolley, ate corn and barbecue, shook hands and joked with supporters. This last-minute schmoozing made good press, but didn’t convince anyone. A month’s campaigning had achieved very little, and Scranton knew it. No longer was he the GOP’s savior: comedian Dick Gregory compared him to “the guy who runs to John Wayne for help.”

If Scranton stood any chance before now, no longer. Ohio Governor James Rhodes released his delegates on July 9th; they flocked to Goldwater. Wisconsin soon followed. San Francisco swarmed with tens of thousands of Goldwater supporters, eager to see conservatism’s triumph. One historian called San Francisco “the conservative Woodstock,” a primal memory for conservatives everywhere. Both for their triumph, and the bitterness it engendered.

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Scranton in San Francisco

Still, Cliff White feared the worst. He outfitted his staffers with special lapel pins to avoid spies infiltrating his delegations, warned them to avoid friendly journalists or attentive women. Conservatives remembered 1952, when Eisenhower snatched the Republican nomination from Ohio Senator Robert Taft. Eisenhower’s engineer, Henry Cabot Lodge, was present on Scranton’s behalf. No matter how lopsided the odds, White wasn’t taking any chances.

Scranton’s last-second efforts added only a handful of votes to his total, mostly Lodge delegates, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Eleventh hour appeals to Dirksen and Rhodes achieved nothing. His greatest triumph came with Florida; through forceful argument, he pried a single delegate from Goldwater. With Rockefeller stubbornly clinging to his own delegates, Scranton’s dreams of an upset vanished.

Next came platform battles. Scranton’s supporters insisted upon a moderate civil rights plank, a denunciation of the John Birch Society. Goldwater’s staffers refused. Wisconsin Congressman Melvin Laird, the Convention chairman, sided with Goldwater. At this point, neither side cared to compromise. Scranton’s staffers Keisling and Alessandroni undertook one last, desperate act. Drawing on an interview Goldwater gave to the German magazine Der Spiegel, advocating the use of tactical nuclear weapons, they typed a letter on July 12th, once again airing Goldwater’s extremism. It was bitter, venomous and wholly defiant:

Goldwaterism has come to stand for nuclear irresponsibility… Goldwaterism has come to stand for being afraid to forthrightly condemn right-wing extremists. Goldwaterism has come to stand for law and order in maintaining racial peace. In short, Goldwaterism has come to stand for a whole crazy-quilt collection of absurd and dangerous positions that would be soundly repudiated by the American people in November.

The letter infuriated Goldwater, who felt betrayed by his friend’s venom. “I consider it an insult to every Republican in San Francisco,” he fumed. He sent the letter back without comment, distributing copies to other Republicans. Scranton disavowed its contents while taking responsibility; in reality, it wasn’t worse than anything he’d said on the campaign trail.

Balloting at the Cow Palace on June 13th was a foregone conclusion. Goldwater won on the first ballot with 883 votes; Scranton, a distant second with 214; Rockefeller, stubbornly clinging to 114. Other delegates clung to favorite sons (and daughters) like Margaret Chase Smith, Hawaii’s Hiram Fong, and two votes for Henry Cabot Lodge. In the end, Scranton couldn’t even unite moderates. Gracefully accepting defeat, Scranton moved to make Goldwater’s nomination unanimous, despite the cheers of die-hard supporters. “Let it be clearly understood that this great Republican party is our historic home,” he told them:

We have no intention of deserting it. We are still Republicans – and not very still ones, either. And let the Democratic Party find no comfort in the spirited campaign we have just waged within our party.

Stirring words, but too late. Afterwards, Nelson Rockefeller mounted the dais and received boos in angry, defiant speech repudiating extremism; his aide, former athlete Jackie Robinson, commented that “I had a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler’s Germany” Goldwater championed “extremism in the defense of liberty” and nominated Congressman William Miller as his running mate. Rockefeller and Romney refused to campaign for Goldwater; Scranton proved an exception, joining his old friend on the stump. It mattered little: a divided GOP stood no chance against the Johnson juggernaut.

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Scranton at the UN

Defeated but unbowed, Scranton returned to Pennsylvania, finishing his term in 1967. He refused to run for the Senate and several offers to serve in Richard Nixon’s cabinet. He did chair the Committee on Campus Unrest, investigating the Kent State shootings of 1970 (and issuing a moderate report which the President promptly ignored); setting Wage and Price Controls for Nixon’s administration; serving as Gerald Ford’s UN Ambassador and a labor adviser to Jimmy Carter. But he refused calls for elective office until his death in July 2013. His son William followed him into politics, becoming Lieutenant Governor and launching two failed gubernatorial candidacies of his own.

Historians and pundits treat Rockefeller and Scranton’s efforts as the last stand of principled men, moderates standing athwart the reactionary tide. Yet their very intransigence burned deep scars into the conservative psyche. In subsequent decades, conservative Republicans acted to purge their party of liberals and moderates. One can blame the dogma of ideological purity; but the self-serving intransigence of moderates in San Francisco played its part, too. Conservatives defied pronouncements of their death, nominating Richard Nixon (who, unlike many moderates, campaigned for Goldwater) and driving the party hard to the right.

For that matter, however, the moderates’ injuries were more prosaic. Their inability to unify against an extremist threat or articulate clear principles; and their acceptance, however reluctant, of the ultimate outcome. Once conservatives gained dominance, they saw little reason to appease moderate, establishment Republicans and every reason to treat hold them in contempt, marginalizing them more with each passing generation. For William Scranton, his dream of “responsible conservatism” foundered against a party committed to ideology and power.

Scranton Mainstream

Sources and Further Reading

Biographical information about Scranton comes from George D. Wolf, William Warren Scranton: Pennsylvania Statesman (1981). The only full-length biography of Scranton, it was written by Scranton’s friend and gubernatorial aide. The 2004 PBS documentary William Warren Scranton: In a Clear Light includes interviews with Scranton, his family and colleagues.

For the 1964 campaign, see: Robert David Johnson, All the Way With LBJ (2009); Geoffrey Kabservice, Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party (2011); Robert Novak, The Agony of the GOP, 1964 (1965); Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (2001); and Theodore White, The Making of the President, 1964 (1965).