This chapter focuses on the Peale meeting, a gathering of Protestant ministers at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., which was designed to put a public face on Protestant opposition to Kennedy's candidacy. The Peale meeting sent a shock wave through the Kennedy camp. Over the previous summer, anxiety had been growing within the campaign that the West Virginia primary results had not put the religion issue to rest at all. But between the revelation from an informant that Nixon had an operative in the field organizing conservative Protestants against Kennedy and the realization that the Peale group and POAU represented a huge swath of the Protestant world, a renewed sense of urgency struck the Kennedy campaign advisors. While the press reaction had been thorny for the Peale group, the meeting had succeeded in raising the religion issue, and it was not abundantly clear that the negative press had actually changed any voters' minds for Kennedy.
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