John Moran Bailey

John Moran Bailey (1904 - 1975) was a U.S. political figure. He dominated Connecticut Democratic politics as a party boss for many years. He served as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1961 until 1968, the longest term of any chairman in history, and was generally seen as one of the main behind the scenes backers of John F. Kennedy within the Democratic Party.

Bailey's tenure as head of the Connecticut Democratic party was credited with turning the state from one politically dominated by WASP Republicans to one dominated by Democratic candidates of Roman Catholic and Jewish background, such as Abraham Ribicoff, Thomas Dodd, John Dempsey, and Ella T. Grasso.

Bailey's term as DNC Chairman was a roller coaster ride, with him overseeing the Party's moment of greatest political strength (following the 1964 electoral landslide) and greatest political weakness (the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago).

Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, Bailey with President Johnson oversaw the greatest electoral landslide in United States history, winning 486 electoral votes for LBJ, and supermajorities in both the US House and Senate. The 1966 U.S. House and U.S. Senate election saw Republican gains, but the Democrats retained their majority status in the Senate and House and the majority of Governorships.

In 1968, Republicans nominated Richard Nixon again to be their Presidential nominee, quickly rallying around him while the Democrats were more divided, particularly over the contentious issue of the war in Vietnam. Senator Eugene McCarthy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Senator George McGovern, Vice President Hubert Humphrey and others all sought the nomination, with Bailey co-presiding over the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In the end, it saw Richard Nixon elected but with a Democratic Majority in the congress.

Bailey's daughter, Barbara Bailey Kennelly served in the U.S. Congress representing Connecticut's first congressional district. She later left the House to run for governor in a race she lost to the incumbent, John G. Rowland. Bailey's son, also named John Bailey, was a career prosecutor in Connecticut, first serving as Hartford State's Attorney, then as Chief State's Attorney. Many of Bailey's grandsons continue his legacy of public and political service: John Moran Bailey II is currently the Director of Government and Community Affairs for a nonprofit, SINA Inc., working to stabilize one of Hartford's poorest and blighted communities; another grandson Justin Kronholm, is the current Executive Director of the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee. Another grandson, John B. Kennelly was previously elected to Hartford Court of Common Council.

Connecticut Democrats honor Bailey each year with their Jefferson-Jackson-Bailey Dinner. A biography of Bailey was written by Senator Joe Lieberman.

He was educated at the Catholic University of America and Harvard Law School.

Bailey died in 1975 and was interred at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford, Connecticut. [cite web |url=|title= The Political Graveyard: Hartford County, Conn.|accessdate=2008-04-29 |format= |work= Cedar Hill Cemetery ]


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