Page 14-Wednesddy, July 30, 1980-The Michigan Daily
appeals to Dems
for confab help
From UPland AP
WASHINGTON - President Carter's
campaign lieutenants made an im-
passioned appeal to congressional
Democrats yesterday to support the
president in the face of threatened
defections at the party's national con-
vention next month.
As rebellious Democrats in Congress
pursued their drive to enlist backers for
an open convention that might produce
an alternative to Carter as the
Democratic presidential nominee,
Republicans said the biggest
beneficiary of the "dump Carter"
movement was clearly their candidate,
BUT PAUL KIRK, national political
director for Sen. Edward Kennedy, told
reporters it was unrealistic to expect
the Democratic nominee would be
anyone other than Kennedy or Carter.
He predicted there would be an open
convention, and that Kennedy would
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Ed-
mund Muskie, mentioned as a possible
alternative to Carter, said yesterday he
supports his boss "all the way."
Muskie, a former senator from Maine
who unsuccessfully sought the
Democratic presidential nomination in
1972, issued a statement in response to
reports that some party members
would like to see him instead of Carter
at the head of the presidential ticket
"I ACCEPTED the appointment as
secretary of state to serve the country
and to serve the president," he said. "I
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will supporthim all the way."
The last five words of the statement
were underlined. But Muskie, who
became secretary of state in May when
Cyrus Vance resigned, said nothing
about what he would do if there was a
move to nominate him.
Vice President Walter Mondale
issued a statement on thesubject Mon-
day, disavowing outright any interest in
becoming the Democratic nominee.
BUT A GROUP of Democratic
congressmen who want Carter to free
his delegtes from the obligation to vote
for him on the first convention ballot
met again yesterday to map strategy
and count their latest converts.
Muskie and Mondale are two of the
men most prominently mentioned by
the rebel Democrats as alternatives to
Carter or Sen. Edward Kennedy. Two
others are Rep. Morris Udall of Arizona
and Sen. Henry Jackson of Washington.
Jackson talked with Connecticut Gov.
Ella Grasso yesterday morning and she
later told a news conference in Har-
tford, Conn., she favors an open con-
Grasso, who has long been a Carter
supporter, said she remains confident
the president would win renominationogt
even if he freed the more than 1,900
delegates pledged to him, and that such Republican presidential candidate P
a move would forestall "great questions as he walks in Los Angeles.
acrimony, bitterness and difficulty" at leaders of the "Committee on the PreE
the convention s a major buildup of U.S. defense forces,
Continued from Page 3) really have time to do what they want to
the convention. He cited the depar- do."
tures of anti-Carter lobbyists by stating All three University sources cited the
the ageless poker axiom, "The winner lack of a strong alternative to Carter as
asks what time it is and the losers say another problem with an open conven-
'deal."' tion. Besides, they concurred, Carter is
Grassmuok expressed fears that con- not out of the November race yet - all
tinued "tinkering" with the nominating see him narrowing the gap between
process of the Democratic Party would himself and Reagan from now until
be dangerous. "More of this would be election day.
an added shock to the institution," he
said. He said that such "tinkering" While Cover, Grassmuck, and
may affect the fund-raising ability of Traugott managed to express their
the party, especially after such groups, views in a relatively detached, objec-
including many labor unions, have tive manner, Democratic Represen-
already "geared up for the Carter tative Robert Carr of Michigan's Sixth
presidency. They're pretty well locked District (between Ann Arbor, Jackson,
in," he said. and Lansing) was far less reserved in
Mike Traugott, the study director for his opinion of the open convention
the University's Center for Political movement.
Studies since 1973, calls the open- "IT'S A FLASHY, noisy, limited
convention proponents' fears that a group of people," he said. "Their
Carter defeat would mean Democratic motivation is temporary and self-
losses in Congress "genuine, but serving." Carr calls the whole thing a
misguided." He said in some cases, "media event," and is convinced it is
"where the media is most important," doomed.
there might be some effects of a Carter "I talked to the President last Thur-
drubbing. But overall, he sees little ef- sday, and Monday," Carr said. "He
feet. said he had thought it over, and his an-
IN Aswer is 'No.' Period. All the high-
IN ADDITION, Traugott sees the minded arguments you're hearing are a
timing hbunch of baloney. The winners will be
reason for its futility. "The movement those who stick to the rules."
is starting very late," he said. "They ! } . , But what- about the argument that
(open convention supporters) don't . Carterwills emerge a stronger can-
Ronald Reagan considers reporters'
Monday. Reagan met yesterday with
sent Danger," a group that advocates
didate if given a chance to re-establish
his support? "Bogus," Carr replied.
"That's nothing but a bogus tease. Why
should he have to act against his self-
interest to prove his purity? I don't
think he should leave anything up to
While the Democratic represen-
itatives were busy on Capitol Hill
yesterday arranging the strategy for
gaining an open convention, their aides
spent the day on the phone defending
the effort. Spokesmen for Represen-
tatives James Oberstar (D-Minn.),
Michael Barnes (D-Md.), and Jerome
Ambro (D-N.Y.), all agreed it is the
prospect of a Reagan White House,
above all else, that sparks the drive for
'an open convention.
"The Reagan platform is the
motivating fear," said Barnes' press
secretary Bill Bronrott. "The good of
the nation is what is at stake, not
congressional political fortunes."
According to Dan Driscoll, a
spokesman for Ambro, there is no
direct link between the president's suc-
cess and the congressman's. "We can't
run behind anybody else," he said. "We
can't tug on any coattails. The fact is
that many congressmen are extremely
appalled by the prospect of a Reagan
presidency - that has precipitated this