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April 17, 1960 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1960-04-17
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F- .----- - w - t,

Hubert Humphrey-Contender for The Presidency

Lyndon Johnson: Mr. Demo
The Senate Majority Leader Acts as Focal Point of Policy C

W HEN Minnesota Senator Hu-
bert Humphrey first entered
the Senate in 1949, one writer de-
scribed his initial impact on the
Senate as follows:
"Here, intense, brilliant and
"Staccato. was a new voice, the
voice of an ideological liberal,
child of the depression and the
dust bowl, apostle of the New
Deal and millenium, scourge to.
"Here. said the veterans, right
here in the hallowed Senate
chamber, was what Roosevelt had
raised up for them."
People familiar with Humphrey
s e e m unanimously agreed that
Humphrey is not as bad as he
sounded then-or now.
This is fortunate, because Hum-
phrey sometimes sounds like a
spoiled brat throwing a tantrum.
The Wisconsin primary provides
a good example of this. Senator
William Proxmire and Gov. Gay-
lord Nelson, Wisconsin's two lead-
ing Democrats remained neutral
in the primary fight between
Humphrey and Sen. John Ken-
nedy of Massachusetts. A week
or so before the election Proxmire
and Nelson cautioned Humphrey
that his attacks on Kennedy were
so fierce that they might cause
an irreparable split in the party.
One presumably could expect
a calm, reasonable answer from a
man aspiring to the Presidency.
But by no stretch of the imagina-
tion could Humphrey's answer be
considered calm or reasonable: "I
don't believe in razzle-dazzle, friz-
zle-frazzle synthetic phoney pol-
itics. We're not in American poli-
tics trying to select a lead star
for Hollywood drama, but a presi-'
dential candidate."

The Senator from Mm


THIS is just one example of'
many instances when Humphrey
seems like a petulant, frustrated
child. One can't help wondering
if this man is seriously contending
for the Presidency. This fall
Humphrey gave another example
of his rather flamboyant speaking'
style at the Young Democrats
national convention in Toledo.
It was a fighting liberal speech
and strongly affected the very
liberal Young Dems, but the
speech left most of the reporters
-who were following the written
text of the speech--cold. He was
dismissed by one of the calmest
and most experienced reporters
there as a demagogue.
But there is another side to the
The same reporter also said
that Washington reporters say
he's doing a very good job in the
Senate. And, strangely, reading
over his speech a few months
later it seems intelligent and
"I n c i d e n t l y, you may have
heard a lot of talk about the anti-
intellectual atmosphere in Wash-
ington. But you shouldn't believe
everything you hear. It's no long-
er considered subversive to have
an idea in Washington-so long
as it doesn't cost any money.
"I am ashamed when I think

of the millions of people through-
out the world, barely staving off
starvation. while America com-
plains of the burden and cost of
storing huge surplusses of wheat
and corn and cotton.-
H UMPHREY'S aggressive liber-
alism--which sometimes seems
childishly quarrelsome - is un-
doubtedly a product of his back-
He first left his home town of
Doland, South Dakota to enter
the University of Minnesota in
September, 1929. At the end of
the school year Humphrey had to
quit school to aid the family's
shaky pharmacy operations. Itf
was 1937 before Humphrey could
return to Minnesota. He gradu-
ated in 1939 magna cum laude
and Phi Beta Kappa. He was
married and had a child. His
babysitter was Orville Freeman,
now Governor of Minnesota and
an active Humphrey supporter.
After his graduation Humphrey
went to Louisiana where he re-
ceived a master's degree. His
thesis subject was "The Philos-
ophy of the New Deal."
Following this he held a variety
of jobs: he was a teaching fellow
at Minnesota; he worked at var-
ious government jobs; and in 1943I
he became a professor at Macal-

Eleanor Roosevelt that he has "a
* spark of greatness."
eso/" ta!Y ires There is. of course, oine major
difference between Humphrey and
FDR: Roosevelt came from the
upper-class and Humphrey from
. the lower-middle class. In fact
io s hidHumphrey is mlaking a campa-ign
issue out of his lack of wealth.
James Reston. W a s h i ng t o n
Bureau chief of the New York
Times has labeled Humphrey's
ester College in St. Paul. There he cry of poverty as the "log-cabin"
taught political science to stu- approach to the White House.
dents in an Air Corps training de- Specifically, Hump h rey has
tachment. been arguing the "rich" candi-
He was not drafted for medical dates have an enormous built-in
reasons. He had a double hernia advantage in the fight for the
and some minor lung calcifica- nomination. There is some merit
tion. Today, however, he is appar- to his argument, but he seems to
ently in perfect health, be considerably exaggerating.
It is true that having the re-
HE entered politics in 1943, run- sources to continually run around
ning for mayor of Minne- the country lining up delegates is
apolis. The primary was wide- a great convience, but Humphrey
open and he finished second, but has managed to get around-even
lost the run-off. In 1944 he help- if, as he claims, he has sometimes
ed merge the Democratic and the had to use the "coach flights" of
Farm-Labor parties. commercial airlines.
He is supposed to have done an
excellent Job in his two terms as HE has been hitting particularly
mayor. His particular accomplish- hard at Kennedy, claiming he
ments were cleaning up vice and tried to "buy" the Wisconsin pri-
driving the Communists out of mary. But Kennedy claims both
Minneapolis politics, camps have spent approximately
Humphrey first gained national the same amount on the primary
attention in the 1948 Democratic and there has been no evidence
convention, where he was one of to the contrary,
the leaders of the successful fight Humphrey has specialized in
for a strong civil rights stand-- three areas: the farm problem,
which, incidently, led to the Dixie- disarmament and foreign affairs.
crat bolt. In 1948 he also ran for His domestic farm ideas are
the Senate. He beat the incumb- basically those of most Democrats
ant Republican Joseph H. Ball by -he is for high, rigid price-sup-
234.000 votes., ports and he is bitterly against
His record in the Senate seems Secretary of Agriculture Ezra
to the outsider to be unspectacu- Taft Benson.
lar. He appears to be simply a He has a. program called "Food
fiery-speaking, Northern big-city for Peace," which sounds original
liberal. and simple--but is neither. Es-
Yet people familiar with his sentially the program would send
performance say that he has been our food surpluses abroad to fight
a very effective Senator. He has starvation. This idea has been
worked hard and intellegently to brought up before, but has been
get his ideas into law and has had dropped because it would have a
some considerable success. He has disastrous effect on the world's
concentrated primarily on farm grain prices and perhaps destroy
aid-he has consistantly and nois- the economies of France and Can-
ily opposed the Administration's ada. Humphrey has not solved
flexible price-support program this problem.
and its foreign policy. Humphrey has been one of the
leading American advc'eate's of
JN addition to serving on the disarmament. He has consistently
Senate Foreign Relations Com- advocated in advance positions
mittee he has been a delegate to which the Admini t ration event-
the United Nations General As- ually adopted.

'HE LATE Senator Robert A.
Taft of Ohio enjoyed the title+
of "Mr. Republican," an accolade
unofficially granted him as the
recognized spokesman of the Re-
publican party.

are compounded by the identifi-
cation of Johnson as a Southerner
in the public eye.
Just as the public may have
feared for the safety of the eco-
nomic changes wrought by the

Taft personified the attitudes of New Deal if Senator Taft were
Republicans in Congress, but he elected, so do the Northern Demo-
was unable to win his party's nom- crats feel that the current noble
ination for the Presidency. The cause of the liberals, raising the
party maniagers felt the voting American Negro to the standards
public could never be persuaded of first-class citizenship, cannot be
that those qualities required for entrusted to a Southern President.
legislative leadership were also Lyndon Johnson in fact is not
needed in the White House. laced in the straitjacket of racial
Lyndon Johnson, leader of the attitudes worn - often with pride
Democratic majority in the pres- -by politicians of the Old South.,
ent Senate, has claims for the His ancestors were not plantation
leadership of the entire Demo- owners who sipped their juleps and
cratic party that are more valid allowed their Negroes to be
than were those of Taft for the whipped.
Republican leadership. If anyone The Johnsons were pioneers on
deserves the title of "Mr. Demo- the Texas frontier who depended
crat," it is Lyndon Baines John- on the strength of their own mus-
son. Iles to wrest a living from the dry,
Whereas Senator Taft was re- unproductive soil. Johnson's en-
garded as the favorite of the more vironment was closer to that of
conservative wing of the Republi- the rancher of New Mexico or Ari-
can party, Johnson is the focal zona than to the planter of Geor-
point of the conflicts over policy gia or Mississippi.
and rivalries among sections that Oppression of the Negro is not
divide the Democrats. At least in the basis of white society in west
the Senate, he is the leader recog- Texas; Houston is neither Atlanta,
nized by all factions in the party. Georgia, nor Birmingham. Ala-
It is Lyndon Johnson who at- bama.
tempts to build a bridge of under-I
standing between Democrats of 1YNDON JOHNSON'S arrival on
the North and Democrats of the the public scene was presided
South. It is Lyndon Johnson who over by the most famous liberal
has borne the responsibility of midwife of the time -Franklin D.
erecting a Democratic record in Roosevelt. Johnson had served as
Congress which will give the party the Texas head of the National
a valid claim to the White House Youth Administration, a New Deal
in 1960. agency, and he was elected to the
If he continues to build that House ofnRepresentatives at the
record successfully, his supporters age of twenty-nine on a platform
feel that Johnson himself will be supporting Roosevelt's 1937 plan
the most logical person to receive to "pack" the Supreme Court. ButI
the Presidential nomination of the Johnson has been credited with a
Democratic party. Numbered major hand in defeating the at-
among such supporters are the tempts of Southerners and con-"
State Legislature of Texas and servatives to curb today's morej
Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the liberal Court.
House of Representatives. There is every reason to believe
that Johnson's New Deal convic-
UT TEXANS wield much less tions continue at full strength and
power in the national Demo- that his desire to aid the Southern
cratic party than they do in Con- Negro through piecemeal additions
gress. Unless there is a deadlock in to civil rights legislation is both
the National Convention, and the sincere and realistic. He may prove
contending forces can agree on to have been a greater friend of
nobody else, Lyndon Johnson will the Negro than any halfaidozen
not be nominated. The influences Northern legislators whose dra-
working against Johnson's nomi- matic plans for a massive assault
nation are the same as those which on racial barriers win headlines
defeated Senator Taft; but they but would, if adopted, bring a

as 1
Of ti
j immr
as a
y At
x f in t
x prim
- path
x - men
4 - Lynd
generation of bloodshed to the Laws cannot eliminate racial urbs
deep South. prejudice; laws can only influ- son'
In ten years in the House and ence the actions of men so that Bu
almost twelve in the Senate, John- their relations will gradually make wha
son has bent his energies to the racial tolerance a possibility. neit
perfection of his political skills, Pressure must be placed upon has
which have won the admiration of the South to which it can yield in V
professional politicians regardless with something akin to dignity.
of their political convictions. Com- Lesser pressure will be ineffective; bY
promise and the moulding of a greater pressure will arouse an :
consensus through persuasion are embittered resistance that could ever
the techniques which bring re- set back the cause for a genera- of
sults in a legislature. Contrary to tion. wou
public mythology, the exercise of The Democratic party has long ing
these talents does not necessarily claimed to be the only truly na- tend
include the abandonment of prin- tional party and, therefore, the the
cipe o th grwt ofhypcriy, only vehicle through which theI nece:
Two hard facts of Texas political conflicts dividing the nation can peal
life mar the picture of Johnson as be healed. Most Southerners have mar
the enemy of what F. D. R. called ceased acting as though they still bury:
the "economic royalists." He had want to use the party as a means aspir
no choice but to support the so- of compromise, and Northerners o
called "giveaway" of rights to off- are all too eager to read the South- the
shore oil and the depletion tax ern segregationists out of the batt
allowance that favors Texas oil party. son's
millionaires. Just as a Colorado If Lyndon Johnson can bind to- a il
Senator must represent the dub- gether the warring factions of the M
ous claims to special economic party in Congress, he will render ture
favor of silver mining and sugar his party and his nation an in- son
beet growing, a Senator from Kan- valuable service.


sembly, the World Health Organi-
zation. UNESCO, and has been an IN line with this, Humphrey lias
official observer at the Geneva been one of the foremost advo-
disarmament talks. He has also cates of looking for areas of con-
gone abroad to talk with United ciliation with Russia.
Arab Republic President Gamil, As long as "the spirit of Camp
Nasser and Israeli Prime Minister David" persists, Humphrey will
David Ben-Gurion. remain one of the leading Demo-
He also had a rather well-pub- cratic spokesmen in the areas of
lized talk with Nikita Khrushchev. disarmament and foreign policy,
In fact, he talked with Khrushch- If the international s i t u a t i o n
ev for eight hours. This gave changes, however. Humphrey's
Humphrey a tremendous amount reputation in this area will be
of publicity and he exploited this seriously hurt.
attention successfully. However, Inspite of Humphrey's clear lib-
he also irritated many people by eral stand and the testimonials to
this incident: some' believed he his ability, there is a great temp-
was causing an enormous stir tation to dismiss Humphrey as a
over something essentially irrel- bright, precocious child of the
evant. Depression-who never grew up.
.Sinsp. his visit with Khrushchev ~ ~-~~~~

he has been actively running for
the Presidency. It would be a
considerable understatement to


say that Humphrey is projecting Continued from Pa
himself as a liberal. He is veryo
nearly running on FDR's coat- atorial primary whether
tails. wins a place on the natio
"If victory is to come to the He is practically assureC
Democratic party, the plain returned to the Senate b3
people of this country must find ers of Texas. Since the
in the Democratic standard-bear- cans cannot win a major:
er a man they sense to be their Senate, even if they si
true friend, their spokesman," he every Northern seat at
has said. 1960, Lyndon Johnson wi
the majority leader of th
HE points out that 19 per cent He will retain this positio
of the population are still in er a Republican or a Del
the "low-income group," which elected President.
he defines as less than $2,500 for Johnson is therefore1
a family of four. He is concerned cellent position to watch
with helping these people. viewing from the Senate
In addition, his most frequently tlements the clash of the
used testimonial is a statement by rey and Kennedy armie
plain below as well as thi
a Seder is a jniori vers of the Symington b
James dIf the moment comes
the literary college and a can assure the outcome,
former member of The Daily will commit his forces.c
staff. he risks nothing. "Mr. r
probably prefers it this w

sas must represent wheat, or one
from Iowa represent corn, Lyndon
Johnson must spend part of his
time furthering the interests of
BUT THE divisive issue in the
Democratic partyand in the
nation is not oil. It is civil rights.
Lyndon Johnson must guide civil
rights legislation past the barriers
erected by the Southerners who
dominate Congress if he is to win
any support from the North for
the nomination. At the same time,
he risks losing his base of South-
ern support if the emerging legis-
lation has real teeth in it. Lyndon
Johnson's chance at the Presi-
dential nomination depends on the
skill with which he performs this
balancing act,
Not only is Johnson's political
future at stake. A considerable
measure of the national welfare
also depends on his abilities. Leg-
islation imposed upon one segment
of society by another will be self-
defeating, for the effectiveness of
any law depends upon its accept-
ance by most of those whose ac-
tions it affects. The career of the
Prohibition amendment demon-
strated this fact. No further ex-
periment is necessary.
Karl Lamb is a University
instructor in the political sci.
ence department.

Riding FDR'S Coattails

way. The Johnson Family

Johnson in New

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