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US Presidential Elections and Foreign PolicyCandidates, Campaigns, and Global Politics from FDR to Bill Clinton$
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Andrew Johnstone and Andrew Priest

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813169057

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813169057.001.0001

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When Public Opinion Does Not Shape Foreign Policy

When Public Opinion Does Not Shape Foreign Policy

Suez, Hungary, and Eisenhower in the 1956 Presidential Election

(p.105) 5 When Public Opinion Does Not Shape Foreign Policy
US Presidential Elections and Foreign Policy

Scott Lucas

University Press of Kentucky

President Eisenhower easily swept to victory in 1956, defeating Adlai Stevenson, whom he had also beaten in 1952, despite crises and wars that had suddenly flared in Hungary and Egypt. When the events of 1956 are examined through public and private records, the president’s response to these crises appears to confirm his claim that he would not allow policy making to be hostage to the wishes of the public. Instead, he made clear time and again that he would proceed with what he thought was the “right” course for US interests, irrespective of the American public’s reaction to the policy or to his reelection campaign. At the same time, he was ready to invoke public opinion in the United States and throughout the world to try and bend other statesmen to his will.

Keywords:   1956 election, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Adlai Stevenson, Suez crisis, Hungarian crisis

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