Robinson as Rockefeller's Aide

Jackie worked hard for Gov. Rockefeller's campaign, but to no avail.

In 1964, Jackie cleaned out his desk at Chock Full O'Nuts, and went to work for Nelson Rockefeller, the governor of New York. Rockefeller was running for the Republican nomination for president, against Barry Goldwater and Governor Wallace.

Robinson worked with as much enthusiasm for Rockefeller's campaign as he did for any project in which he believed. He was a hard hitter on the campaign trail, using his journalistic skills to speak severely of Rockefeller's rivals. Robinson said that "there is something very seriously wrong" with America if "a crazy man like Wallace can go into a Northern state and draw 25 percent of the vote." Robinson was also vehemently against Goldwater, believing him to be a bigot and an advocate of white supremacy.


However, despite Jackie's efforts to support a Republican pro-civil rights candidate, Goldwater won the Republican nomination. Even Jackie's plea to Democrats to switch allegiance to vote for Rockefeller was of little consequence. Jackie could not bring himself to support Goldwater at all, and also refused to promote Rockefeller when the governor decided to support the Republican nominee.

Sticking to his principles of civil rights as first priority, Jackie switched his allegiance to Hubert Humphrey. Robinson was impressed by Humphrey's record of support for civil rights, and Humphrey appreciated the support, saying that "Your understanding and support mean a great deal to me." For the sake of civil rights, Jackie was willing to support a Johnson-Humphrey ticket for the presidency.

While Jackie's efforts were not enough to elect his chosen candidate, his tenacity in advocating for civil rights kept the issue in an important place in the elections.

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