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February 17, 1980 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-02-17
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Page 4-Sunday, February 17, 1980-The Michigan Daily

7

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The Michigan Daily-Sunday, Febri

They're off and running in New Hampshi

ire

MMMM9

New Hampshire is the nation's
political graveyard, where the highest
aspirations of public men lie buried
beneath the expectations of pollsters
and political pundits. L.B.J. lies buried
there, even though he won the nation's
first primary state in 1968. There too is
Ed Muskie, once the Democratic front-
runner, now resting in state beneath the
great expectations he could never meet
nor match.

Some of New Hampshire's importan-
ce as the nation's first primary state
has been eclipsed this election year.
The Maine caucuses just last week, and
Iowa's caucuses three weeks earlier,
both have commanded the massive
media influx usually reserved for New
Hampshire.
But those states were caucuses,
where political organization counts
more in the long-haul than personal
popularity. New Hampshire still is the

first official primary, and thus the first
test of popular strength and voter-draw
among the contenders now considered
still viable.
True political analysts will be looking
more closely at New Hampshire than
ever this election year, even in light of
the state's somewhat diminished media
attention. The voters who will be going
to the polls this Feb. 26 are not the same
as the traditional New Hampshirites,
whose decisions once made or broke
many presidential candidates.

Since the last election year, New
Hampshire has experienced a
population boom, largest of any state
except Florida. The new Nev Ham-
pshirites have spilled over from
crowded Boston, and are bringing
younger, more liberal values to a state
once called conservative. Whether this
influx of new values will translate into
voting patterns remains to be seen,
although the answer will impact the
presidential primaries of both political
parties.

By Mike Arkush
LYING HIGH above the political
obstacles made for mere mortals,
the polls, he symbolized America's
elder statesman: the age-old veteran of
electoral battlefields, somewhat scarred but
also-strangely enough-strengthened.
Buried in past combat were his tough
defeats to Richard Nixon in 1968, and Gerald
Ford in 1976. Absent rcm the Republican
arena during these last three years of
opposition rule has been the presence of a
viable alternative, a man capable of
dethroning the new king of Abraham
Lincoln's party.
Yes, Ronald Reagan was perceived as a
god, myth, a leader, a man above everyone
else. After more than a decade of inter-party
squabbles between the moderate Rockefeller
branch and the conservative Goldwater wing,
Reagan had seized the space on the party
mantle and been universally crowned as the
party's new frontrunner. The coronation came
soon after the 1976 election, and lasted
through the majority of Jimmy Carter's first
term. As time went on, his power
accumulated, and spread across the nation.
But one unscheduled roadblock in Reagan's
third quest for the presidency not only
shattered his myth of invincibility, it also put
his claim as frontrunner into the questionable
category.

The tragedy was Iowa, an accident that
Reagan and his staff never anticipated. It was
an accident that they will not soon forget.
Iowa was, of course, the scene of the
startling emergence of another Republican
candidate, a man bold enough to take on the
party's patriarch. Iowa created George
Bush. The 55-year-old former everything
(congressman, CIA chief, Republican Party
chairman, U.S. delegate to the United
Nations, liasion officer in -Peking) upset
Reagan by winning the Iowa caucuses almost
four weeks ago.
And like Jimmy Carter four years ago,
Bush did it with a powerful organization, and
an uncanny perseverance. Overcoming days
of near-isolation and disappointing crowds,
the Bush machine rolled on through the towns
and cornfields of Iowa. The candidate himself
never stopped pushing and running as he
spent more than a month campaigning in a
state with only 35 delegates. Yet, he knew a
victory there would propel him into national
prominence. After all, Iowa was what made
Jimmy Carter what he is today.
Bush was right. The week after Iowa, he
was featured on the cover of Newsweek
magazine, and later was granted the same
honor in the widely-read New York Times
Sunday magazine. -Stories appeared
everywhere labeling this self-made
millionaire as a viable threat for the
presidential prize. Some have even labelled
him the new Republican frontrunner.

AND THOUGH it was only Iowa-just
100,000 Republicans-the Bush vic-
tory was an unmistakable sign that
this race has developed into a two-man duel.
The battleground has now moved to New
Hampshire, and that state's primary will be
Feb. 26. Both camps have been campaigning
there for weeks, sensing the state's
disproportionate significance in the contest.
One indisputable change in the primary
strategy of the candidates has been the new
aggressiveness evident in Ronald Reagan's
campaign. Though Bush's organization
certainly deserves much of the credit for the
win in Iowa, it was Reagan's forces that made
costly blunders, which severely hurt their
candidate's prospects. Those errors-now
being traced back to campaign manager John
Sears-reflected a basic philosophy in
Reagan's entourage that the candidate need
not campaign publicly because his support was
so solid, and his name recognition so high.
Those three off-election years in which
Reagan dominated every Republican
preference poll across America apparently
anesthetized his staff. They thought they had
the nomination all but locked up.
With the shocking Iowa results, all that has

changed. In the days just before the Jan. 21
caucuses there, Reagan received hints that a
Bush avalanche was a strong possibility. With
the support of his top backers, he resisted
increased campaigning and spent only 40.
hours in the state-compared to Bush's 37
days. His earlier mistake was to reject
participation in the Republican debate a few
weeks before, an absence that bothered many
Iowa Republicans.
With New Hampshire only a week away,
Reagan, shrewd and flexible politican that he
is, has adopted a more aggressive style.
"Maybe more presence on my part would
have stimulated our workers, and I'm not
willing to make myself a martyr to a cause
forever. I'm going to have to think in-terms of
self-survival," Reagan said recently.
Since that announcement, he has criss-
crossed New Hampshire with drive and
enthusiasm that many thought he lost years
ago. In a single day two weeks ago Reagan
made a total of nine campaign stops, a radical
shift from his three-stop days in 1976. Part of
this'new energy is designed to show the voters
Ronald Reagan is still around, and his
determination to solve America's global and
domestic crises has not dissolved.
See GOP, Page 8

By Keith Richburg
HERE ARE THREE tried political
catch-phrases that best define the
Democratic party's current intra-
party fight for the presidential nomination.
The first concerns Jimmy Carter who, ac-
cording to the cliche, is "a mile wide and an
inch deep." That political truth of 1976 still
holds four years later, and perhaps best
describes the president's current popularity
surge. His base of support is wide, especially
now after the taking of hostages in Iran and
the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The
Ayatollah Khomeini and Leonid Brezhnev did
what Gerald Rafshoon couldn't-turn the
president's sagging fortunes completely
around, and make a sure one-termer into the
at-odds favorite for renomination and reelec-
tion.
But while the president's newfound
popularity extends from the industrial cen-
ters of Iowa to the small New England towns
of Maine, there is something about the
president's widespread national support that
is unreal, unnatural, artificial. Many people
are supporting Jimmy Carter-Chicago
liberals,, big-city mayors, rural farmers and
blue-collar ethnics. But no one loves Jimmy
Carter. His widespread support is lukewarm
at best, and his current coalition is as fragile
as a house of cards, and likely to collapse at
the slightest breeze of discontent.
Jimmy Carter realizes that, as do his
political advisores Robert Strauss, Tim
Kraft, and Jody Powell. After all, just six
months ago the president was being called the
"Rodney Dangerfield of American politics"
for his definite lack of respect among the
people, among the political pundits, and even
Keith Richburg is one, too. (see Michael
A rkush, Page 4).

among his own party. So now the strategy is
to keep that fragile coalition together, to keep
the house of cards from collapsing, at least
before the nomination is assured. And the
best way to do that is by keeping the can-
didate inside the White House,~ immune from
the close scrutiny and potential verbal gaffes
of the stump.
Then there is the second of the applicable
catch-phrases, the one that best defines Car-
ter's main competitor for the Democratic
nomination, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. As old
Kennedy hands rightfully admit, when it
comes to Teddy, "you either love him or you
hate him." The John -Kennedy White House
and brother Robert's short 1968 campaign
created a politically effective "Kennedy net-
work" across the country, from the precinct
halls of the midwest to the academic enclaves
of Harvard. There has been, since 1965, a
government in exile, so to speak-consisting
of the Arthur Schlesingers and Ted Soren-
sons-waiting for a restoration of Camelot
and their chance to complete the unfinished
business of 1963.
But just as there are Kennedy operatives in
waiting there are an equal number of Ken-
nedy political enemies-those who despise not
just this youngest Kennedy, but everything
his family represents. The Kennedy network
is notorious for bearing long grudges against
political adversaries, and the Kennedy clan
has made a vertible laundry list of enemies
over two decades. Those who were not with
brother Jack before the West Virginia
primary, and those who deserted Bobby for
Eugene McCarthy in 1968 all were, in effect,
blacklisted in the network. Kennedys, it is
said, have long memories. The adage holds
true on the popular level as well. There is a
Kennedy-mania among old-time liberals,
young people, blacks, and intellectuals,
mostly in remembrance of Jack and Bobby,
back when 1960s liberalism was chic.

THOSE WHO DO not love Teddy Ken-
nedy hate him; and for various rea-
sons. They hate him because he comes
from wealth and prominence, practically
inheriting his current Senate seat. That sen-
timent makes Kennedy haters particularly
incensed over Chappaquiddick, where the
common dictum is "If it were me, I'd still be
in jail." Aside from the hard-core conser-
vatives, they hate Ted Kennedy not for where
he stands on the political spectrum, but for who
he is. There is an innate disgust for the
"spoiled rich kid," who cheated at Harvard
and killed a woman at Chappaquiddick and
yet still enjoys a widespread national political
base all by virtue of his last name. These
Kennedy-haters enjoy seeing the candidate
become tongue-twisted on the stump, since it
fuels their charges that Ted Kennedy is an
imbecile, who got where he is because of his
wealth and his family name.
Which brings us to the last of the old
cliches-"I don't belong to any organized
political party, I'm a Democrat." The
Democratic party, as that popular saying im-
plies, is a constant tug-of-war with itself. On
the one side, the Jimmy Carter side, there is
the pull towards a new realism, to an asser-
tion that the old-New Deal liberalism is
dead, and that fiscal responsibility must
replace expensive social programs for the
Democratic party to remain viable. There is,
in essence, an outright rejection of the tenets
of the New Deal, and the Great Society-that
the way to solve the nation's social ills is to
throw money at them.
Pulling the party in the opposite direction is
the traditional, liberal, George McGovern-Mo
Udall wing of the party. The feeling is that the
social consciousness embodied in the party's
platform has been abandoned by Democrats
more concerned with balancing the budget.
They see the New Deal as largely unfinished,
since it was eclipsed by the expensive Viet-
nam war in the 1960s. It is Ted Kennedy's turn
to pick up the fallen mantle of old-style
liberalism.
No one doubts Kennedy's liberal creden-
tials, since after almsot two decades in the
Senate his liberal voting record is impec-
cable. And if he wavered during the opening
months of his campaign, afraid of alienating
the right in this era of new conservatism, the
Georgetown speech dispelled the image of a
Kennedy drifting rightward.

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