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November 08, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-11-08

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Primarily Democrats: The vote
that made Milwaukee famous


"Milwaukee: The city that's a like a winner
week behind the world." Govern, that1
-Daily reporter Ted Stein, before from South Da
the Wisconsin primary. ing thousands
WE WERE walking down Mil- even more th
waukee's main drag, Wiscon- volunteers to
sin St., trying to sort it all out paign.
through a menacing haze of hang-
overs. and lack of sleep. We were No one rea
searching desperately for a copy seriously, at le
of the New York Times, to see if sumption was
they had been able to make more massacred in
out of the primary mess than we politely bow
could. Hell, they were making race to the pr
enough money; at least they ought The Hump wx
to be doing some work for it in- and everybody
stead of carousing every night and paigns, I susp
trying to make CBS's Michelle some sort of to
Clark. had taken a n
As we walked we were repeated- the Wisconsin1
ly stung by strong whiffs of cho- hoping to hold
colate and hops. Milwaukee has the eke out a victt
distinction of being the only city George was c
in the world blessed with two cho- Hubert was
colate factories, God knows how (emon, loggin
many breweries, and a strong wind over the stat
that blows both stenches directly and bitching
into the center of town. private about
The combination of the smells paign.
was instantly overcoming; our nos- Muskie atteik
trils clamped shut and refused to He looked ike
function until the wind died down. ready to give
Pollution we could deal with, but hole. Muskie ki
mocha beer on a hangover was hit; he was
much too much. the motions,r
We hit six or seven newsstands, efforts at ge
each carrying the Times, each with votes. McGov
its most current issue a day to a candidate with
week late. We were finally told face. He saw
that the Times never reaches Mil- and le liked i
waukee on the day of publication, a WALKING
fact which fits right in with the streets of
character of the city. It would be April afternoc
up to a week before Milwaukee drop in on th
knew as much about the results of - paign's central
the primary as Long Island did the tially out of jo
morning after. but mostly in
EVERYONE KNEW that Wiscon- from chocolat
sin would be a crucial pri- ed the dilapida
mary, but nobody could figure out building.
exactly why. It was so confus- The place w
ing, this jumble of candidates. maze of corri
Lindsay couldn't win; and neither campaigners.
could Jackson. Wallace might do central room,v
well. Humphrey and Muskie were Governites we
both claiming to be winners. But the now-famou
they looked like losers, despite canvass.
the polls that said one of them We talked f
would be victorious. Southwick, M
The race

andidate who looked
r was George Mc-
tall, strange man
akota who was draw-
at each rally and
housands of student
work on his cam-
ally took McGovern
east at first. The as-
that he would get
Wisconsin, and then
out and leave the
os. But Muskie and
rere in bad shape,
knew it. Their cam-
pect, had contracted
erminal disease, and
osedive right before
primary. They were
on long enough to
ory in Wisconsin, but
clearly gaining.
campaigning like a
g 18-hour days all
e, smiling in public
like a madman in
his sagging cam-
mpted no false front:
e a man defeated,
in and crawl into a
knew the crunch had
just going through
making perfunctory
tting a few token
ern was the only
a real smile on his
what was coming
Milwaukee on that
on, we decided to
.he McGovern cam-
I headquarters. Par-
ournalistic curiosity,
search of a haven
e and beer, we enter-
ated four-story office
was a madhouse, a
dors full of manic
We arrived at a
where dozens of Mc-
re busy conducting
us Wisconsin phone
or a while to Tom
cGovern's student

coordinator who had dropped out
of Harvard for a year to cam-
paign. Southwick was no dummy;
he laid on the line George's weak-
nesses and strengths, and predict-
ed a McGovern victory.
Few people who visited the Mc-
Govern camp could have disa-
greed. Everyone was working, ev-
eryone was excited, everyone was
optimistic. The question no longer
was "How could McGovern win?"
Now we asked how he could lose.
THAT NIGHT we spied Frank
Mankiewicz, McGovern's. dirty
old elf of a campaign manager, in
the bar of McGovern's hotel, the
Milwaukee Inn. He consented to an
interview, half because we were
student journalists and half be-
cause he was soused.
Mankiewicz explained .that de-
spite what the polls and the New
York Times were saying, his can-
didate would win. Mankiewicz is a
political pro, and as such rarely
tells the truth. But I got the feel-
ing that the figures he was giving
us were real* ones, and when I
talked to The Daily that night I
announced, much to the disbelief
of many that McGovern would
win Wisconsin.
We went back to the bar, laid
the groundwork for the next morn-
ing's hangovers, and went home
for the night.
LAST WEEK I dropped into Mc-
Govern HQ here in Ann Arbor.
Staffers sat at their desks and
worked quietly, pausing frequently
to bitch about some noisy machine
or why more canvassers had not
come in. The campaign was put-
ting along, with everyone doing
his job but only a few really ex-
cited about it.
I don't think the overwhelming
odds against McGovern were re-
sponsible for the lack of enthusi-
asm. McGovern's chances in April
were at least as slim as they were
last week, and in fact he stands a
bigger chance of cleaning up in
Ann Arbor that he ever did in
Milwaukee. To the campaign work-
ers, McGovern's still their candi-
date, and a damn good one. The
difference is that last week no
longer was he a saviour, no longer

St. George.
So the McGovernites were in
somewhat less than good spirits.
They explained how McGovern
would take eight out of every ten
votes in the city, and how his ma-
jor hope lay in his slim chances of
victory through the Electoral 'Col-
lege, and how they had been can-
vassing for weeks in outlying areas
trying to cut into Nixon's do-
But nobody told me what I ex-
pected to hear: How McGovern,
faced with impossible odds, would
surely win the Big One. The only
real consistency in the senator's
entire campaign had been blind,
almost unwise, optimism. Without
it, the whole thing seemed hollow.

The campaign workers realiz-
ed that the American public will
get what it has paid for, what it
deserves They had tried too long to
enlighten a nation, and they were
butter because the American peo-
ple refused edification.
They, like me, sat transfixed
last night, beer in hand, waiting
for the shit to hit the fan. They
feared even more intensely what it
makes us all cringe to think about.
Four More Years.
Daily staff writer Eugene Rob-
inson, his tight-lipped eerie smile
incongruous with his loose-fitting
skin, stalked Democrats across the
face of Wisconsin.

taily Photo by ROLFE TESSEM
Nixonettes and Nix onites:

On the Beach

BEACH hotels are all the same.


for the candidate's face

lywood set. The buildings were immense
and gaudy and they made me sick.
THE NEXT DAY I hit the campaign
trail, determined to enjoy myself.
My most pleasurable experience w a s
following Hubert Humphrey to San Fran-
cisco. Happy Hubie's campaign was notor-
ious for running hours behind schedule. His
incompetent staff routinely allowed twen-
ty minutes for plane trips that were esti-
mated at an hour by the airlines.
Moreover at each campaign stop he
would always stop to shake a few hands-
like a thousand - and his staff would des-
perately drag him away yet another thir-
ty minutes late.
It was in this setting that I, along
with the rest of the press corps, journeyed
from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The
previous day, Humphrey was so late that
newsmen never got a chance to eat. They
vowed not to let it happen again.
The newsmen could not eat because at all
times they have to be with the candidate
- especially the network camramen. It
would be more than a tactical error if a
cameraman was munching on a hotdog
and some loony decided to blow a candi-
date's head off. So: no stop, no eat.
As we arrived in San Francisco, Hum-
phrey announced to the delighted news-
men that we would not miss lunch - even
if all campaign appearances had to be can-
celled. And that is exactly what happened.
In San Francisco, the caravan drove di-
rectly to a Chinese restaurant. The report-
ers and candidate sat down to lunch. Forty-
five minutes later, we finished. Humphrey
walked outside, shook about a dozen hands,
climber into his car, and we left. Twenty
minutes later we were in an airplane fly-
ing back to Los Angeles - just about in
time for dinner.
THE DAILY wanted me to salvage some-
thing useful out of the trip - if only
a picture with me and a candidate for a
promotional ad. But how to arrange it?
I asked McGovern's press aide for a
thirty second appointment. To my shock
and dismay, he refused, saying that the
candidate was too busy. But I was not to
be stopped.
For the next twelve hours I personally
shadowed George McGovern, hoping that
our photographer would capture a picture
of the two of us.
Everywhere he turned, there was my
smiling face looking into his. Once, while
climbing into his car, he turned around
and asked me where his wife, Eleanor

Garish hostels for hyped-up convention-
eers. Rococo palaces of bawdyness and
ballyhoo. Fun-in-the-sun freedom for $50
a night.
But the Doral Hotel is different. Or rather,
the Doral Hotel, July 10, 1972, was different
from the Doral Hotel, August 21, 1972.
And the difference was George McGov-
()NE OF' my jobs during the convention
was to search out "brights"-the un-
the unintentional pun in a campaign poster.
usual delegate, the humorous anecdote,
They went into a column we called "Un-
conventionals" for the Dems; "Elephant
Tales" for the Nixon convention.
The D~oral offered the best buy of
"brights" per $1.50 parking fee. Plenty of
space to go elevator riding, celebrity trail-
ing, wastebasket searching.
That's what I was doing the morning of
July 10 - looking through wastebaskets
and following a maid around on the 12th
"Are Democratic delegates' rooms dir-
tier than most hotel guests?"
"Have you found anything unusual in any
of the rooms you've cleaned this morn-
"No comprende," she replied apologet-
"'Mind if I watch you clean up a room?"
I said, following her into a run-of-the-Doral
"Say, you're not supposed to be wan-
dering around up here," an official-look-
ing woman delegate said, poking her head
into the room.
Realizing I wasn't getting anywhere on
my "trash" story, I smiled, popped out of
the room, down the firestairs to a 11th
floor garbage can.
But the only thing I found there was a
pair of pantyhose.
IX WEEKS later, I didn't even make it
to the elevator, much less to the 12th
I did, however, manage to get to the
Mvy editor wanted me to find out why
3,000 Nixon freaks would pay their own way
just to cheer "We Want Pat" in the Con-
vention Hall one night. What were they
like? Where were they coming from? What
were they doing here?
So I was sent over to the volunteer of-
fices of the Committee to Re-elect the Pre,-

ident, on the mezzanine of the Doral. But
the guy there wouldn't speak to me until
I'd been "checked out" by Powell Moore,
down in the Mediterranean Room East.
Moore, ' a bespectacled, short-haired,
black-suited Nixon man, was the flak in
charge of press relations for the commit-
tee. He's gained a bit of fame since the
convention as the man who issues "no-
comment" comments on the Watergate ca-
Back then Moore was just another Nixon
gnome in the bureaucracy that filled up the
Doral Hotel-even without the Nixon' and
Agnew clans. So I was annoyed when he
pointedly pretended not to see me, sitting
across the desk from him.
- It was sort of sad, though, sitting across
the desk from Moore in the Mediterranean
Room East. Six weeks earlier the high-
ceilinged room with the green carpet and
the paper mache waves on the ceiling
had been the room for press covering Mc-
Govern, not the room for the dedicated
underlings who keep the press from Nixon.
There had been a high-speed UPI ma-
chine, an open bar, Pepsi girls, typewrit-
ers and TV sets. I'd been there to watch
as the Illinois delegation said, "Illinois
casts . . ." and to watch Eleanor McGovern
lean back and kiss her daughters when her
husband won.
We'd also sat and watched McGovern
come downstairs and talk to the demonstra-
tors camped in the lobby of the Doral. He
was only 50 feet away, but the bodies were
so thick the pencil press had to resort to
watching it on NBC.
SIX WEEKS later, the only young people
you could find at the Doral were the
"Nixonettes", young girls dressed in red,
white and blue with a touch of silver and
"Nixon" emblazoned in banners across
their chests. They were there, according to
a recruitment letter, to "provide much
needed glamour to the Nixon campaign.
And to usher wandering reporters into the
Mediterranean Room West.
That room was for press conferences-
filled with chairs, dirty coffee cups and
the "eternal light" of the television kleigs.
There Frank Mankiewicz had announced
what the UPI had speculated minutes be-
fore: that a semi-obscure senator from
Missouri would be McGovern's choice for
the vice presidency.
The newspapermen had scurried to the
telephones, forgetting that the networks had
already beat them on it - forgetting that
you could really cover the convention by
sitting in front of a television set.
But then why should they have
known? For the "new politics" of
McGovern had at least and at last
provided an "old-style" conven-
tion. You know, delegate fights, ho-
tel room caucuses, convention ses-
sions that lasted until all hours
of the night, oblivious to the mass
audience that only watches from
7 to 11.
SIX WEEKS after Mankiewicz
b had stood at the podium in the
Mediterranean Room West, it was
Clark MacGregor's turn. He was
affable, genial, obviously in con-
Someone asked him about a new
development in the Watergate af-
MacGregor pools-poohed it, said
ha n c-n't ,eallyno mment he-


THE TIE IS mussy, the focus a mite fuz zy, but Bob Barkin got his man.

Coming in from A2, into the coast
Flying in a big airliner
Hor d'oeuvres passed along the aisle
Couil we ever be much finer?
Coming Into Los Angeles
Breathing hard, beginning to wheeze
Get me out of here please, Mr. Daily man
--sung to Coming into Los Angeles
TWENTY-FOUR HOURS earlier, I had
little expectation of viewing the ugly
Mississippi River from 10,000 feet in the air.
But here I was, gazing down at that wind-
ing mudhole trying to comprehend why I
was flying to L.A. on a Wednesday after-
My saga began three weeks earlier when

portunity to visit the Golden Coast at
the Daily's expense. I did too, but since I
had gone on a lesser junket to Wisconsin
my chances were slim.
But events turned my way. One by one
the others dropped out because they could
not afford to take the trip. But I had my
ace-in-the-hole: my relatives. Those neces-
sary beings that you rarely see, but come
in handy when you need them. Conven-
iently stationed around the country, I could
depend on them when I needed them -
and I needed them now.
True to form they invited me out to the
coast with open arms, only too anxious
to see their darling nephew. I was all set.
Two nhotouranhers -(thev were snlitting

watering and my chest was lurching spas-
modically, gasping for air. My God, I
thought, am I having heart failure at
the tender age of 20?
In a panic I gazed out the window.
We were enveloped in a blanket of yellow
air and I knew. "Welcome to Los Angeles,"
said the flight attendant.
IT WAS A wonder of technology that got
me to California in four hours. But it
was technology gone wild that greeted
me in L.A.
Hurrying out of the airport, we left for
my relatives' house. Los Angeles literally
left me breathless - both from pollution



-. )~'A ~t~i :~v'~' i5~ - - -

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