"Unknown to the public or the anti-war movement at large, its leaders were already talking to Dr. King as their candidate for president against Johnson in 1968. On January 5, former National Students Association leader — and future New York congressman — Allard Lowenstein, Yale chaplain William Sloane Coffin and four-time Socialist presidential nominee Norman Thomas held a discussion with King and his friend, New York attorney Harry H. Wachtel. They suggested that the clergyman run for president. Writing in "The American Melodrama," British authors Godfrey Hodgson, Lewis Chester, and Bruce Page noted, 'In March 1967, during the first discussions of liberal strategy for 1968, Lowenstein and his hero Norman Thomas inclined toward the idea of putting up Martin Luther King as a third-party peace candidate'. King certainly let his admirers on the left encourage his candidacy, and the talks went on for months... On August 31 1967, more than 3,000 liberals, Vietnam War opponents, and civil rights and community activists met in Chicago for a five-day National Conference for a New Politics. The theme of the conclave was electoral strategy. The 'wish list' of many of the participants was a third party ticket with King for president and pediatrician and anti-war leader Benjamin Spock for vice president."