As the presidential election of 1968 approached, it was clear that the growing debate over Vietnam would reach a critical stage. Four years earlier, Lyndon Johnson had assured the electorate that “I have not thought we were ready for American boys to do the fighting for Asian boys.” By July 1965, he had reversed himself and committed American troops to combat. He hadn’t exactly promised a short or easy war, but he had rejected suggestions that Vietnam could reach Korea-like proportions.