During the mid-1960s, the Paulings developed a new focus for their peace work: Vietnam. After the 1964 election -- in which
Pauling received more than twenty-five-hundred write-in votes for governor of California -- President Lyndon Johnson’s policy
of increasing involvement in the war-torn Asian nation generated an antiwar reaction that the Paulings joined with enthusiasm.
Pauling deplored the war both as unconstitutional -- Johnson was waging war, he said, without the necessary declaration from
Congress -- and unnecessary. The aging activist made speeches, signed protest letters, and even tried to play peacemaker by
communicating personally with North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, and passing on the lengthy written response he received
to Johnson. His efforts were ignored by the White House. By the time Pauling celebrated his sixty-fifth birthday in February
1966, he was without a research group, without a big scientific problem to work on, and, increasingly, without a platform
for his peace ideas. Other activists, younger, more radical, would lead the fight against the Vietnam War. A new generation
would march, petition, and make attention-grabbing statements to the press -- employing many of the techniques Pauling had
used to critique the government.