ACTUALLY, I did once cross some words with Mr. Fred Ecker, but the occasion had nothing to do with proxies. It came about like this.
By 1950, you'll recall, Ohio's Senator Robert Taft had become a kind of swear word to organized labor. Well, in casting about for a likely candidate to run against him, both the AFL and CIO lit on me. I was approached by the national chairman of the CIO's political action committee and asked to run, and the state representatives of both unions kept the pressure on me for quite a while. I hesitated for several reasons. For one thing, Perry Green, an unreconstructed Republican, was unalterably opposed to my running and he never stopped reminding me that most of the Farm Bureau membership agreed with him. For another, I felt I was accomplishing a lot more for the good of democracy right where I was than I possibly could as a junior senator from Ohio. Still, the pressure was mounting and, in addition to labor, a lot of young people and faculty members from the university were urging me to run, and I have to confess that the idea tickled me. I finally admitted to this much--that if Joe Ferguson, a popular old-time Democrat and already an avowed candidate, would not force me into a primary fight (which I didn't believe I could win) I would consent to run against Taft. I must admit that I was deeply and secretly relieved when Joe Ferguson refused to get out of the road to let me make the race.