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April 09, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-04-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

a
special
report

the

sundiay

daily

from
our
staff

Number 61 Night Editor: Chris Parks

Sunday, April 9, 1972

0i-

Wisconsin

and

the

long

campaign

trail

By GENE ROBINSON
A STATEMENT made by South Da-
kota Sen. George McGovern on the
Wisconsin campaign trail represents
the views of all the 1972 candidates, re-
gardless of their political philosophy:
"Td be hard pressed to come up with
a better system for choosing a presi-
dential candidate than our present,
one."
Their stands on busing, defense
spending and apple pie notwithstand-
ing, all the candidates heap praise on
America's unique collection of balloons,
parades and slogans known as pri-
mary campaigns.
There are a total of 23 primaries this
year, and while most of the candidates
will enter a majority of them, a strong
showing in the primaries does not ne-
cessarily guarantee the nomination.
The primaries are more a test of en-
durance than anything else: How
many hands can be shaked in one hour,
how many babies kissed, how many
votes recruited. How many hours can a
candidate zip non-stop across a state
without stopping before his once-
polished rhetoric turns into incoherent
drivel?
A primary candidate must be able to
bear hearing himself give the same
speech hundreds of times, to people
who look exactly like the people at the
last stop. And through it all, he has to
smile for the audience, and try to get
the photographers to shoot only his
good side.
The primaries are also an important
test of monetary resources. Each can-
didate in a state primary is likely to
spend nearly $250,000 for wooing voters
and pampering reporters. A poor fin-
ish in a primary can force a candidate
to withdraw, not because of a lack of
electoral votes, but because campaign
contributors are loath to back a! loser.
In each primary state, the candidate.
and his aides must acquaint themselves
with a new understaff. As soon as a
good working relationship is developed
between a contender and his organiza-
tion, the time has come to move on to
greener pastures and another poten-

The McGovern touch

0

Muskie at plant gate

tial lump of electoral votes.

Humphrey: But can
you- believe his line

By ROBERT BARKIN
F A HANDSHAKE could produce a
vote, or a hyperbole an election, the
odds-on favorite in the Presidential
election this November would be Sen.
Hubert Humphrey (D-Minn.).
If elected, Humphrey would be eligi-
ble for Social Secutity by the end of his
first term in office. Yet he is outpacing
his younger opponents in the grueling
primary campaigns.
During a press conference before last
week's Wisconsin primary, Humphrey
was asked to define "viable," a term
very "in" this year. Without hesitation
Humphrey pointed to himself. "Look at
ne," he said, "I'm viable." Pressed for
a definition of the word-he said, "alive
vigorous .. . with it."
Indeed, if this is the proper defini-
tion of the word, Humphrey fits it pre-
cisely. He can travel 600 miles a day,
make stops in several cities for an ap-
pearance or speech and not show a
sign of fatigue.
One day he began his activities at
8:00 a.m. shaking hands at a plant gate
and chiding newsmen for not being
there with him. That same day he
made numerous speeches, shook literal-'
ly thousands of hands, and made a few
television appearances in his spare
time.
To watch this man is to relive the
politics of the "old days" when. a hand-
shake meant a vote no matter what'
the candidate's position was. And to-

day, in the time when this type of
campaign is becoming somewhat of
an anachronism, there is a trace of
regret at the loss of '"art" from the
political scene.
Ask news photographers who their
favorite candidate is this year and the
consensus will probably be "Happy
Hubie," for the Senator knows a good
picture. When the train he was riding
in the Milwaukee zoo slowed while go-
ing uphill, H u m p h r e y immediately
leaped out and began to push. Snap-
snap went the cameras.
The flower show at the Milwaukee
Conservatory featured lillies in the
form of a cross on Easter Sunday
Without a moment's hesitation, Hum-
phrey walked to the perfect spot for
a picture and let the photographers
snap to their heart's content.
HUMPHREY admits to a sense of
politics, brushing off advice on
campaigning by saying he prefers to
just "follow his nose."
His speeches are filled with fervor
and exaggeration. He tells a packed
audience of labor supporters that he
has just received the greatest endorse-
ment a candidate for the presidency
can receive: the endorsement of their
union president. They go hysterical.
He never stops his chatter while he
f o r g e s his way through outreached
hands, always saying, "Hello, there" or

f
r
r
}
a

HOW CAN such an institution as the
primaries, so taxing on man, money
and machine, be universally acclaimed
as the world's best nomination proce-
dure?
The candidates will tell you that the
primaries are good because they give
contenders a chance to meet the peo-
ple and feel the land and all the nice
things- candidates do. Some of this is
probably true, but not even the hearti-
est of campaigners enjoys "meeting
the ueople" at 6:30 a.m. in the midst
of a Green Bay, Wisconsin snowstorm.
The real importance of the primar-
ies is that they deliver loud and clear
messages to the candidates on their
chances :for the nomination.
Primaries are the only means
through which a lesser-known candi-
date can make himself a household
word. A minor candidate, lacking the
resources and organization of the
frontrunners, can actively campaign in

only one relatively small area (such as
a state) at a time.
If he succeeds in wooing enough
state voters and does well in the pri-
mary, he stands to rake in much more
in campaign contributions, thus being
able to expand his campaign. Primar-
ies have a snowballing effect: The
candidate who wins one major race
can virtually assure himself of a good
finish in the others.
PRIMARIES also deliver strong me '
sages about the issues. If the anti-
war candidate wins a primary, all the
rest will spend much of his time up to
the next race convincing voters (and
himself) that he was the first to op-
pose the war. If the Populist candidate
wins, suddenly a Populist epidemic is
loosed.
Voters in primary states are the only
element sure to emerge from a primary
race ahead. A primary gives them their
big chance to stun political pundits by
unpredictable voting. Seasoned pri-

mary voters like those in New Hamp-
shire like to be tagged "independent;"
and they love to watch the candidates
squirm.
Though primaries can do a great
deal to help or hurt a candidate, they
do not necessarily make him or break
him. Sen. Hubert Humphrey did not
win a single primary in 1968, yet he
still walked away with the Democratic
mantle. He may well stage a repeat
performance this year.
Wiscohsin voters Tuesday established
McGovern and Humphrey as the major
contenders for the Democratic nomin-
ation and virtually killed Maine Sen.
Edmund Muskie's chances. But politi-
cal candidates all have a touch of Laz-
arus in them, and Pennsylvania and
Massachusetts votes may well resur-
rect the craggy, windswept New Eng-
lander's craggy, windswept campaign.
It's up and down and all around on
the primary-go-round; and it's still too
early to tell who will grab the magic
ring in Miami.

ld

photos by
Rolfe Tessem

*

"Help me on election day." Children are
his specialty because the parent is al-
ways nearby. "Kids," he says, "I want
you to help your 'ol Uncle Humphrey."
He goes to a Boys' Club in the ghetto
area of Milwaukee and plays pool with
a couple of kids. He walks to the gym-
nasium and throws the ball a few times
at the basket and finally one goes in.
He walks to the arts and crafts area
and starts conversing to the kids work-
ing on their woodworks. But by this
time the reporters have, dwindled to
a bare minimum, having gone to drink
a cup of coffee before the press cara-
van takes off again.
But a strange thing happens in the
arts and crafts room in the Boys' Club.
A black youth asks Humphrey if he
will build more of these clubs if he is
elected President. Humphrey is struck.
With true sincerity he tells the few
around him that "we don't need poli-
ticians to tell people what they want.
All we need is to give them a chance."
THE POINT OF the incident is that
one can never tell if Humphrey is
sincere. His record shows that he is,
but when he speaks there is a certain
falseness, a facade, about him.
An incident where his statements are
believable is overshadowed a hundred-
fold by the incidents where he is not.
The trouble becomes one of sorting out
the bullshit from the truth.
Perhaps this is the great tragedy of
Hubert H u mp h r e y. Without much
doubt he has the best and most con-
sistent record of the candidates on the
issues that are most spoken of.
He was a leader in civil rights, labor,
and tax reform legislation. He had his
troubles with Vietnam, but as a Vice-
President under a man like Lyndon
T .--- ; -"A +-. -- _ _ -

Just appeal to
By TED STEIN
AFTER ONLY A few minutes at Ed Muskie's primary night
bash last week, it became abundantly clear to me that it
wasn't the best place to be. "Let's take in Wallace," I said to
the photographer with me. "Anything must be better than
this."
Indeed, the clean-cut, Republican-looking crowd that had
gathered to hear Muskie was anything but lively. They perk-
ed up for a moment when CBS broadcast its projection
of the Wisconsin primary results-10 per cent for the Maine
Senator. But then they returned to their limbo, giving the
impression that they weren't that interested after all.
Meanwhile, the Great Craggy Face was huddled with his
top brass in a hotel suite waiting for an opportune moment
to take his lumps before the television cameras - there was
no telling when that would be.
While CBS newsman Bruce Morton explained to a Muskie
aide that his network's predictions were rarely wrong, I scur-
ried about soliciting reactions from those staff members pre-
sent. The early network projections meant we could file
our dispatches with the results. The Muskie people, however,
were tight-lipped and unaccommodating.
Se we left the gaiety and set out to view first-hand the
much talked about George Wallace Experience.
W ALLACE HAD stationed himself just six blocks away -
like Muskie, at a Holiday Inn. Campers plastered with Wal-
lace stickers graced the entrance. No limousines for the little
person's advocate.
Security was tight, with Wallace devotees supplementing
Secret Service guards. At the check-in desk, a smartly dressed
woman in red (many people would be dressed in red that
evening) examined our identification and issued us press tags.
Our first taste of the Wallace Guard, however, came
when we walked down a narrow corridor, under the careful
scrutiny of George's supporters. They lined up on two sides,
barely allowing us to pass. I think the Guard was looking for
more of "them" - all the bureaucrats, politicians and riff-
raff Wallace was attacking in his "Send Them a' 4essage"
slogan.
The crowded reception was a real "rah-rah" affair. Every-
one seemed to be wearing Wallace's and Alabama's colors-
both men and women were decked out in red, and some were
wearing American flag ties. This brought to mind the castiga-
tion that had been directed at Abbie Hoffman for showing up
at a HISC investigation in a flag shirt. But I guess the Wallace

common man'

9

Wallace on election night

*

than we thought." Someone yelled through the din, "You're
in Wallace Country." "I, think all of us knew we were a
serious candidate," the candidate continued, using the imper-
ial "we." "This victory is for the press," he smirked.

%X " .. j, : : i ' : .% **F

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