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Boom or Bust


"I'm too full of antibiotics," said the President a few hours before announcing his support for Leonard Hall as Governor of New York in 1959. Mr. Hall blushed demurely right up to the top of his horn-rimmed glasses, but declined to confirm his political aspirations.

And for good reason. Ike may like Len; Len may like Len; but Len isn't really sure whether anyone else does. This basic insecurity is, of course, highly unbecoming for a man of Mr. Hall's stature. After all, he is a former sheriff of Nassau County.

Yet Ike has announced that he is "one booster" for Hall, and even if he is the only one, he pulls a lot of weight. Moreover, it is a pretty rare thing when a President, and particularly President Eisenhower, puts on the pressure. Mr. Roosevelt, a former Governor of New York, learned how to do his pressuring sub rosa, and Mr. Hall has probably learned the same technique. But Ike, an affable fellow, hasn't. He has thrown himself right into the middle of a nice, friendly fight in the Empire State, and it seems unlikely that he will emerge unscathed. Without Mr. Hall, whom the President praised "for the mistakes he saved me from making," Ike has jumped into water over his head. If Hall loses the nomination, it will not look good for the boys in the White House, and if Hall wins, it will look worse for the boys in Albany.

All in all, it is a pretty sorry spectacle. We feel sorry for almost everyone concerned. For Mr. Eisenhower, because he has a cough and hearing trouble; for Lennie, because he has a basic lack of security; and for the Republicans, because they are just beginning to recover from a similar fiasco in Cambridge. Fortunately, there is a way out. Mr. Eisenhower, who intimated that he had not found a federal post suitable for Hall, might consider having the present sheriff of Nassau County promoted, so that Len could get his old job back. That way everybody would be happy, or almost everybody.

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