Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

As I Walk, I Remember Campaigns of Years Past

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

As I Walk, I Remember Campaigns of Years Past

Article excerpt

Why is it that, while I'm out walking on a sunny October day, my thoughts float back to those many fall days years ago when I was out with presidential candidates on the campaign trail?

So often I see myself on the edge of a big crowd assembled out in the open somewhere, and I'm taking notes while listening to someone speaking - Eisenhower? Kennedy? Stevenson? More than anything, I'm enjoying the moment - the oratory, the excitement, the outdoors, drinking in the sunshine of a beautiful day.

The Kennedy days On this day, the memories flood in. Memories like these: A letter I received from Senator Kennedy in 1959, in which he took issue with me on my assessment of how he would fare if he entered the Wisconsin presidential primary the next year. He said I was "dead wrong" in writing that Sen. Hubert Humphrey would beat him. I had written that Humphrey, coming from an adjoining state, Minnesota, was well known to the Wisconsin voters and well liked by them. I also said Wisconsin's governor, Gaylord Nelson, would be working for his friend, Humphrey. I concluded by saying Kennedy would be making a mistake if he got into that contest. Kennedy argued, amiably, that my piece hadn't given him a "fair shake" and that he would prove me wrong. Later that year, I rode with Kennedy on his private plane back to Washington after he had formally entered the Wisconsin primary. He told me he wasn't at all sure he could win. He said he knew Humphrey would be the favorite. But he said he simply "had to" get into that race to "show all those Democratic leaders" that, despite being a Roman Catholic, he could win in a state that was largely Protestant and where his opponent was so popular. By his fine showing in Wisconsin, he went on to demonstrate to me, and to everyone, that he had the stuff to go on and win the nomination. …

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