The people we sent to Pennsylvania to petition finally came back. We
have to go to New York this coming weekend. I agreed to go up early
with logistics, but today Mark said there was no money; any check he'd
write me would bounce. I reported this to Jerry Goldfedder, thinking
absorb the cost and be reimbursed later as he had pressured me to come
early on grounds of absolute necessity. But all he said was sorry.
Mark gave me his American Express card number and said to see if I could
get a train ticket over the phone with it. I found out Amtrak doesn't
give tickets by credit card over the phone, but our travel agent
Of course they were closed by the time I discovered this, but some 800
number I called said I could pick up the ticket at a DC office tomorrow
However, women may be the only group for which an absolute quota is feasible.
Having quotas for blacks and Indians could penalize underfunded, darkhorse
campaigns. We don't have a staff member in South Dakota looking for Indian
delegates; we have to rely on word of mouth and so far that hasn't worked.
We don't have front runner status or anything else to offer. We probably
could do OK among blacks in Georgia if it were not for Jesse Jackson, who
siphons most of them off. This implies that it may not be appropriate to
require a quota from a group which is potentially mobilizable around a particular
candidate, unless one discourages those candidates from emerging. Since
there is no woman running, this is not currently a problem. Although NOW's
endorsement of Mondale has siphoned off a lot of feminist support, there
are a lot of women who are not active feminists, and some feminists, even
NOW members such as myself, are recruitable to other campaigns. I think
that being half of the population and politically diverse, a delegate quota
for women could be filled even if a strong woman was running, but we will
not test that proposition this year.
2/9/84 I got back from New York on Tuesday and went right to the office to call the South Dakota State Party and find out what happened in the Senate caucuses. They had few results. They only had Darcy's delegate form which she mailed in as she hadn't gone to a caucus, and a report that Don Stevens of Custer had been elected a state convention delegate. I found out more by calling my own people. Don still hasn't filed his delegate form but will and his wife said she might file also. Jay and Kathy have yet to file. Keith Adair just received his. Jason Cheevers, a student at Yale who's registered in Brookings where his father is a political science professor, said he sent his in. George Perkins attended the Brookings caucus by proxy, though how he did that I don't know. He hasn't filed yet, but will and said he has a friend who might also. He got the caucus chair to hold off sending in the results until he decides whether or not to be a State Convention delegate. He wanted to know if I really needed him and I said probably not. I had my minimum necessary; my concern now was making the 40 percent quota. What I didn't want was someone filing as a State delegate and not going to Pierre on March 3, as that would affect the quorum. George probably won't file to be a State delegate.
The big surprise was Vermillion, home of the University of South Dakota. Seven people came to the caucus! Ina, Dave Bergin, a friend of Jay's whom Ina recruited, Dave's girlfriend, and four others I wasn't expecting. The other man Ina recruited filed uncommitted, but his wife, Kathy Mahood, filed for us. Susan and Lee Snyder, and Robert Prentice also came and filed. I spoke to Susan after getting her name from Ina and discovered that she, or more specifically her husband had received my infamous South Dakota letter. His name was on Jay's list; why hadn't he given me her's as well? I can't find Prentice's name on any list and haven't been able to reach him by phone to find out where he comes from. That district was entitled to send 5 delegates and 2 alternates to the State Convention. All seven filed to go to Pierre as well as to the National Convention. Although of the seven only three were men, needless to say they are all delegates, and the alternates are both women. However, if all seven come, they with Don and Jay will make a nice little caucus in Pierre.
As of today I have my 14 people. Nine forms are in the State Party's office and the rest are supposed to be in the mail. The State Party has received reports from 20 of the 32 districts so there probably won't be any more surprises for me. If Don's wife Jane files I'll have eight women. Before I knew this I had asked Jay to find my last necessary women and he said he would try to find some farmers so we could balance the slate. He also gave me the name of a friend whom he has been talking to about recruiting Indians to our slate and said I should call. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get hold of him. I have had trouble getting anyone in South or North Dakota after 5:30 for a couple weeks. After numerous complaints to our office manager, Sara Jane finally wrote me a note saying MCI, our long distance service, doesn't have any lines into those states. It seems they use lines from someone else and they are usually clogged with personal calls during the evening. She said I should make my calls before 4:00 pm or after 10:00 pm. That's a totally useless piece of advice, as anyone I could reach before 4:00 pm, I've reached, and 10:00 is too late for a rural area. It's also too late for me as 10:00 in South Dakota is 11:00 pm or midnight here depending on the time zone. However, we recently acquired another type of phone service which can be accessed by dialing about 20 numbers (some phones have a dialer, but mine doesn't) so I used that.
I lost my desk while I was gone, though I kept my phone. It seems Alex Thurber has also been coveting another desk--for his assistant. Sharon agreed to give Alex her desk if she could have mine so as soon as I left for New York, Sara Jane effected the switch, leaving political with one less desk and me with nothing. Sharon told me in New York that I had been moved to the narrow desk behind the pillar political was using as a typing area and I would eventually get a phone. When Sara Jane showed up I hit the ceiling. By the time I returned, my phone had been moved to my new "desk", along with all my stuff. I spent two hours straightening out the mess they created in moving me and trying to get my things in the drawers. The files wouldn't fit as that desk's file drawer won't hold legal files. I expropriated a drawer in an adjacent file cabinet, and then talked Bruce into letting me move his two-drawer cabinet next to my desk so I could use a drawer there instead. Jose helped me trade the four-drawer for the two-drawer so I'd have some more surface space. But it's not very good. The desk isn't wide enough to spread out the computer print-out. I can't reach the file drawer without getting out of the chair and moving. And the pillar gives me little maneuvering room behind the desk. I'm fuming.
Sara Jane's on a real power trip which is probably normal when someone that young gets managerial responsibility. We no longer have a postage meter. She buys stamps and doles them out. Those political staffers who can afford to just buy their own stamps and skip Sara's operation. We can't get stamps unless she's there to give them to us and record who has taken what. But she won't put them on. I have to stand there until she gets off the phone or finishes whatever else she is doing, and gives me the stamps. I left a package on her desk last night after she had gone, which I had weighed to ascertain the correct amount of postage, and found it on my desk, sans stamps, this morning. In reply to my query Sara Jane said she returned it to me because she wouldn't put the stamps on and didn't want anything left on her desk when she wasn't there. It was inconvenient. I said I no longer had a desk big enough to store packages while awaiting her return.
We had one brief staff meeting to announce Sergio's departure for Iowa. Tom Pazzi has already gone to New Hampshire. Sergio said things are looking good in Iowa; half the time the phone polls show us ahead of Glenn. Even in New Hampshire, where we are only running 5th, morale is high and people think things are looking up. I hope this wasn't just a pep talk. Mark sounded a little less optimistic when he had a political staff meeting later. He said we were no longer running commercials in either state because we didn't have the money. We have also decided not to file delegate slates in Hawaii and Arkansas because we don't have the filing fees of $1,500 and $5,000. Mark said Hawaii is fixed for Mondale but didn't explain what that means. That makes four states we aren't filing in; the other two are Puerto Rico and South Carolina. The latter was scratched early because it is Holling's home state. I don't know about Puerto Rico. For all practical purposes we also don't have a campaign in North Dakota but there are no slates to file as it is a caucus state. I don't know how many others we are in similar situations in, although Bruce has said we are "dead in the water in Texas." However, Mark was happy to announce that we had slated South Dakota a week before the deadline. I suggested we do a phone blitz of contributors in our states the three days after Iowa if the press reports are as positive as we expect them to be. I think I could raise a couple thousand dollars in my states by catching people at the right moment.
The press people have started a little staff newsletter which has put out three one-page issues. Although I like getting the information tidbits I wonder who has the time to do this. It said that Good Morning America is planning to cover the top three finishers in Iowa and New Hampshire and contacted us. Of course it didn't say that no other second tier candidates were contacted. It also said that 50 percent of our field staff is female. It didn't say that only 20 percent of the state co-ordinators in those states where we have full time staff are female.
Everyone seems to be thrilled with Cranston's trip to Minnesota last Monday. The Washington Post had a good page 4 story headlined "Cranston Invades Minnesota". Sally's sending me the local clips, which she said were favorable. The campaign was happy with the advancing, and Sally said the turnouts were good. However, she was unhappy with Monica's trying to change the agenda at the last minute after the scheduler and everyone else had approved it. She bitched to Earl about this, but wanted me to complain to Mark. I won't, since my differences with Monica are well known and thus any complaints will be taken with a grain of salt. There was one good laugh out of this. Although the weather reports were "clear but cold" Monica asked Sally what she would do if there were a blizzard. Sally replied that she was the one person in the campaign prepared to cope with that problem. She breeds sled dogs and if necessary would have a 20 dog team at the airport prepared to mush Cranston around.
I did make a complaint to Monica, but about Georgia, not Minnesota. It seems Yvonne Burke will be making a Southern tour and a Senate staffer is trying to set up events for her on our behalf. She called Steve Beisher on Monica's suggestion. Steve told me about it before returning the call and was surprised that I knew nothing, not even the name of the person calling him. I asked Monica to let me know anytime someone was calling people or making plans for my states. She said Mark knew and should have told me. I said Mark's very busy, with a lot of states, and I sat only a few yards from her. Surely it wasn't too much trouble to tell me. After all, Sergio himself had given me advance warning about Minnesota, and Earl didn't call anyone there until I had the preliminary conversation.
2/13/84 I returned from New York about 2:00 am, parked illegally since there were no other spaces at that hour in my neighborhood, slept fitfully for a couple hours, got up and returned the rental car at 8:30 and went home to sleep again. By the time I woke up it was late in the day, it was raining, and I was still exhausted, so I stayed home. Two days on my feet and a five hour drive through the fog late at night is more than I am cut out for anymore. We (i.e. the 400 club and anyone else who could be shanghaied into going) were all sent to New York for the last two weekends to do petitioning. There are two petitions in New York. To get AC on the ballot we have to have 10,000 signatures, including 100 from half of New York's 34 CDs. In addition, each individual delegate slate must get 1,000 signatures from their own CD. The rule of thumb is that if you get twice as many signatures as are required, the petitions will not be challenged. That means we need 20,000 signatures for AC. The delegate slates aren't a real worry, except to those on them. New York election law provides for post primary delegate selection in any district where we are entitled to delegates for which no one qualified. Consequently, no one is going to challenge any delegate petitions (and thus only 1,000 are really necessary). More importantly, failing to file will not cost us votes at the convention. Indeed post primary selection might be a benefit; then we can select people we really know are supporters and not merely available to fill holes when no one was much interested in Cranston's candidacy.
the delegates do not have to live in the CD they are running from, anyone
carrying a delegate petition must be a registered Democrat in that CD. Actually,
anyone can carry; but a local registered Democrat must witness the signature
and sign the petition so stating. That is interpreted as meaning that ineligible
people can carry petitions as long as they are accompanied by an appropriate
registered Democrat to witness the petition. That increases the output in
a high volume area but probably not in door to door canvassing. If a CD
crosses county lines, it is filed in Albany, and can carry the Presidential
candidate's name as those petitions are also filed in Albany. If a CD is
totally within a county, it is filed locally, and thus cannot carry AC's
name. In New York City that generally means that the delegate and AC petitions
are separate. To carry or witness an AC petition, one only has to be registered
voter in the State of New York.
I had wanted to file as delegate from Brooklyn, preferably in the 10th CD where I am registered to vote, but was told I couldn't because I wouldn't be available to petition. Thus I was a little less than thrilled to discover that I had to spend several days in New York doing the petitioning that the local people weren't getting done. The first weekend I came to New York earlier than the other staff to co-ordinate and immediately began calling Brooklyn delegates. I needed them to pair off with the out of staters to witness their petitions. It was very discouraging. I reached half and of those, about half weren't available to do anything. They were going out of town, or had family or other obligations or would simply tell me to call Lyle Silversmith who, it turned out, had recruited them to be on the slate. I'd never met Lyle Silversmith, although he was the one who supposedly vetoed my being a delegate. Bernie Hirschorn gave me the impression he was supposed to be a mover and shaker among reform Democrats in Brooklyn. Nedda Allbray also told me he was a key person. I finally reached him by phone and he said he had everything under control. His people were carrying, he said, though not all the delegates were. I told him that virtually none of the people I had talked to even had AC petitions; they only had those for their own delegate slates, but he scoffed. Only in the 12th CD were his petitioners not carrying AC petitions, he said, because they were Regulars, and the regular Democrats had to support Mondale. Everything was under control, he said. Don't worry, he said.
Dan Perry was very surprised to hear my report. He thought everyone had sufficient AC petitions, and he didn't know that the delegate petitions were not being carried by all the delegates. After several calls, I came up with a few people willing to work with our staff over the weekend. Jerry had told me that he was having a meeting of petitioners Friday at 6:00 pm and I had overheard Susan Granville in the D.C. office telling someone there would be another orientation meeting Saturday morning at 9:00, so I told all but a couple of the people I located to come to one of those meetings. That was a mistake. The New York office wasn't well enough organized to hold meetings or do virtually anything else.
My first two days in the New York office were dismaying. Although I had been very impressed with Dan Perry at the NDC endorsement, and had heard very good things about Jerry from Bernie, at the New York office they acted like they couldn't organize their way out of a paper bag. Dan had located a decent office in a good location on Times Square. It consisted of one very large room with five or six desks and phones, and another smaller one with two desks for him and Jerry. But it was devoid of activity. There was only one volunteer working while I was there, and a couple others who acted like staff but I don't think were paid. A couple others drifted in for a couple hours but it was not clear to me what they were doing there. Dan was depressed; he couldn't understand why there were no volunteers; it was unlike any campaign he'd ever worked on. He said this campaign was being run by "two nuts and a granny." I knew who the "granny" was (the volunteer) but whether the reference to nuts was to him and Jerry or the others was unclear.
This lack of activity may indicate that the support for AC simply isn't there; or that apathy is overwhelming. One can't organize if there is nothing to organize. But I doubt this is the case. If that were true, Dan wouldn't have been so successful at the NDC. There are an awful lot of NDC people on our slate; they are political people, who've spent their lives in campaigns and other political activity, why aren't they working? My guess is they haven't been motivated and mobilized to work. That may be because Dan and Jerry don't know how; or it may be that they are too exhausted. They were clearly fatigued and the consequences showed in the operation. Decisions took forever to make; many weren't made at all; others were changed repeatedly. The scheduled 6:00 pm orientation meeting never really occurred. About 15 workers were in from D.C. by then and several local people were available to go with them. But instead of a meeting Dan, Jerry and a couple others talked to groups of four or five about how to petition, with many not hearing at all. After an hour or so the volunteers were shepherded to movie lines to petition with at best one or two New York voters to witness the petitions. In the meantime the local people who were supposed to be paired off sat around wondering what they were doing there. While the others were filing out one of my key workers from New Jersey, Craig Rupp, came to petition and I discovered that one of the locals sitting around was one of the people I had phoned in Brooklyn. So I sent them out together with minimal hassle, and they came back two hours later with 59 signatures.
I found this crazy incapacity to organize frustrating and demoralizing yet I felt I couldn't say anything about it to Dan. I wanted to tell him to let me take responsibility for the entire petitioning effort so I could organize it but I didn't think he'd be receptive to the implication that he and Jerry hadn't done their homework. The original plan had been for me to help coordinate the entire weekend but trying to "help" was like wading through mud. As a registered voter, eligible to sign New York petitions, I felt I could do more good petitioning than holding their hands while pretending to coordinate, so I made it clear that Friday night I was going to go to Brooklyn and stay there.
Even organizing myself into Brooklyn wasn't easy. We spent all day Friday trying to decide how to allocate the volunteers available that weekend, and at least five hours trying to settle Brooklyn. Between 3:00 and 4:00 pm a car of three people arrived from Washington and Dan wanted to send a couple of them with me to petition at Penn Station. But Jerry said I shouldn't go until we'd agreed on who would be working with me in Brooklyn over the weekend. Fine. But five hours later nothing had been settled. Six of us sat in the back office trying to decide what to do with the people expected to arrive. One person was in from Long Island looking to take four back with him. Another was in from someplace else. The sixth was Assemblyman Jerry Nadler, one of our few supporters who is a public official. There were constant interruptions. When one of us who wasn't fatigued would make a suggestion, it took forever for Dan and Jerry to even comprehend what was being said; they were so tired it just wouldn't penetrate. Possible allocations of people were debated and redebated. No one seemed to know how many were coming, though Washington was phoned several times. When another car showed up about 7:00 they were asked who should go where, even though most people had already been allocated.
My impression was that neither Dan nor Jerry wanted to make a decision, even though the decisions were fairly simple. They acted as though what was important was to have a consensus from everyone in the room on what ought to be done. Thus the decisions varied with whom was in the room. That style of consensus building may be appropriate in many political situations, but this was not one of them. This situation required a decision maker. Almost any decision was better than no decision and certainly better than wasting time making a decision.
Finally at 9:00 I put on my coat and said I was leaving; call me when they had made a decision. Dan begged me to stay, saying we'd settle Brooklyn right now. I stayed. It took another 40 minutes to reach a decision. I would get the five people I asked for; they would not include certain people I didn't think would be effective in Brooklyn. A car with all five would pick me up sometime before 9:00 am. I would drive two to Brooklyn Heights where they would meet a local person and do street corner petitioning with him. I'd take two to Kings Plaza, after picking up another local person on the way to petition with them, and the fifth would go with me to the Pathmark, a major supermarket in Brooklyn. At 2:00 pm I'd pick up the first two and take them to Park Slope to meet Milt Gouldner, a superpetitioner who said he could use all the volunteers he could get.
Needless to say this isn't the way things worked out. Around 9:00 am someone phoned and said the car was on the way. Four people picked me up an hour later including two of the ones I said I didn't want to go with me. I got two of them to Brooklyn Heights, and then returned to Park Slope to pick up the local person who was running as delegate from the 10th. We went to Kings Plaza shopping center where the petitioning was excellent. The two volunteers with us, a high school kid whose father was a friend of AC's and his New York girlfriend, disappeared after telling me they were calling local friends to meet them. I don't know who signed their petitions. I didn't. Since John was registered to vote in the 10th, and thus could sign his own petitions, I left him at Kings Plaza when I returned to Brooklyn Heights to pick up the others. I left them at the West Brooklyn Independent Democrats club, even though Milt wasn't there. He was on his way. I got caught in traffic returning to Kings Plaza, and couldn't find John. So I came back for the guys, dropped myself off at the World Trade Center, and let them go on to the office to report. With all that schlepping I didn't get too many petitions filled out.
I went to the World Trade Center to crash the $125 a plate annual NDC dinner. Actually I was invited to crash, but only the pre-dinner cocktails. One of the Brooklyn delegates I called, Barry Starkman, turned out to be the treasurer of NDC and asked if I were coming to the dinner. Not for $125, I said. He suggested I come to the preliminary party to meet people. Since he was monitoring the door, there would be no problem getting in. He did ask me to discuss this suggestion with Jerry Goldfeder, who was paying to come, but I never had a chance. When I arrived at the World Trade Center I was wearing my petitioning clothes; jeans, my dilapidated trench coat with rips in all seams and a pocket hanging by a thread and uncombed hair. My cocktail clothes were in my red knapsack. The door of the World Trade Center on the Westside Highway (sic) through which I entered led me into an elegant hotel where I was distinctly out of place. Undeterred, I queried a hotel clerk on how to get to the "Windows on the World" restaurant where Barry had told me the dinner was being held. Once properly instructed, I asked if there were a restroom in which I could change my clothes. The only restroom accessible to the hotel is closed, I was told. But there's another one in the bar, perhaps I could use it if I acted like a hotel guest. Since I don't drink I'm not too familiar with bars, but I managed to saunter in as though I knew what I was doing and find the restroom without asking any more questions.
It took me about ten minutes to effect an appropriate transformation of my external identity and stuff the real one into my knapsack. Midway through this process a bar employee stuck her head in the door and stared at me, but said nothing. My lengthy disappearance must have aroused someone's suspicions. On the way out, I slipped on the waxed wooden floor and almost fell. So much for remaining inconspicuous. I joined the crowd at the elevator to the restaurant and was relieved to discover that my business suit was not completely out of place; only my red knapsack set me apart. I let it dangle from my hand in hopes it wouldn't be noticed.
At the entrance to the bash Barry was quickly located and escorted me through the ticket lines. I deposited my coat and knapsack in the checkroom. I may not drink, at least not alcohol, but I do eat, and the hors d'oeuvres were superb. Lamb and date shish kebabs. Melon wrapped in prosciutto. Among other delicacies. I spent more time eating than talking until I was adequately stuffed. I still did a fair amount of talking. The major liberal politicians in New York City were there. They included States Attorney Bobbie Abrams, Brooklyn D.A. Liz Holtzman, City Council President Carol Bellamy, City Councilmember Ruth Messenger, Congressman Ted Weiss, Assemblymen Jerry Nadler Frank Barbaro and Joe Ferris and one friend, former Assemblyman Sy Posner. I knew a couple of the people there and Barry introduced me to others. Many there were Cranston delegates, as Barry was. I was the "lady from Washington with the Cranston campaign," which conveyed on me more status among that group than anything else I've done in the ten years since I moved to New York.
The attention that derived from that status was unexpected, and might have
gone to my head, had I not remembered the basis on which status systems
operate in New York. The three cities I've lived in as an adult have very
different status systems. Chicago's is based on friend and kinship networks.
Who talks to whom at parties, indeed, who is invited at all, is determined
by who one is related to, the neighborhood one comes from, the schools one
went to and how long one has lived there. Newcomers are not incorporated
into the networks easily, unless they are related to oldtimers. Washington's
status system is based on where you work. People are constantly on the lookout
for good contacts who might be useful to them in their jobs. If you are
a potentially useful contact, even strangers will be friendly; if not you
will be ignored. When I lived in D.C. five years ago I carefully told no
one that I was moving back to New York to go to law school until right before
I left. I knew that general knowledge of my impending departure would lower
my value as a contact and my remaining months in D.C. would be very lonely.
Washington "wives" who accompany spouses with political appointments
often comment on the spurious nature of the friendships in that city. They
realize, and feel uncomfortable with, the fact that people like them only
because they are married to an important person. They don't realize that
most friendships from where they come are no doubt similarly spurious. They
are just based on a different type of status system; usually the friend
and kinship type. Personally, I like Washington because the contact game
is one I can play. I've never lived anyplace long enough to fit into friend
and kinship networks, so I find those kind of cultures lonely.
New York's status system is less well defined than that of Chicago or D.C. It is based on celebrity, but what that means is not universal. One can be a celebrity in one group but not in another. Thus at one party, everyone will want to talk to you; at another, no one will. In the political world, celebrity is conveyed by one's political positions, past as well as present. I remember going to one Democratic club's gathering in 1976 to speak for the Carter campaign in which this was rubbed in. I was used to attending feminist and academic functions were my status was fairly high. But among the Democrats I was nothing, except the speaker sent from the Carter campaign. That would have been sufficient for the evening had not someone else in the club independently solicited and secured the presence of Gillian Sorenson. As the wife of Ted she had far more status than I did, even though she had done little for the Democrats and I had done much on a local level. Once she appeared, I was told I didn't even need to stay. But I did stay (I had driven through the rain for an hour to get there), and Gillian graciously made sure that I was introduced to everyone and was able to make my little speech. Once I entered law school my status in all arenas plummeted, so I was quite used to playing a peon at the few parties I went to, and had to readjust to being mildly important at the NDC dinner. I was only mildly important because, despite NDC's near endorsement of Cranston, most of the people there were Mondale supporters, including all but two of the public officials.
One slightly funny incident occurred while I was talking to Bobbie Abrams. Sy Posner had introduced us, after Sy had told him about me out of my earshot. As part of the chitchat, I told him that I was up from Washington to do petitioning for Cranston. I knew that he knew that I was a local. Unbeknownst to me Jerry Goldfeder was standing nearby, waiting his turn to speak. On hearing me say this, he interrupted excitedly to tell Abrams that I was a registered voter in Brooklyn. Jerry obviously thought I was telling New York's chief law enforcement officer that I was committing an illegal act.
Although not part of the original plan, I did stay for dinner. Barry noticed that many people who had bought tickets were leaving after cocktails; the evening was just dragging on too long for them. He said if there was a free spot, there was no reason why I shouldn't eat. I suggested to him that I take Carol Bellamy's place, since I knew she had left and didn't intend to return. Why hers? Barry asked. Well, I said, "in my career as a public speaker, I've been stand-in for some very well-known people. I've stood in for Betty Friedan, Jesse Jackson, and others. It's only appropriate that I be a sit-in for Carol Bellamy!" I stayed, sitting next to Barry, which was probably not Carol's seat. It was the first real meal I had had since Christmas.
The next day only Paul Leonard was in the car which came to pick me up. But there was a second car with two New Jersey volunteers Craig Rupp had recruited in it. They had wanted to go home from Brooklyn after the petitioning, and Paul hadn't wanted to take the subway back, so both cars were brought. We met a local, Larry Alexander, at Kings Plaza, about the time the security guards told us we had to leave. They hadn't bothered us yesterday. The chief guard and I argued constitutional law for a while, but the upshot was that we had to get a permit--which could not be obtained over the weekend. We decided to split up, with Larry taking the Mayers to a housing block he said he had access to and Paul and I going to the Pathmark.
The Pathmark is a suburban shopping center in Brooklyn. Paul stood just inside the first of two double doors, catching potential signatories as they entered, and I stood outside getting them as they left. It was cold that day and I had planned on spending it in the indoor mall of Kings Plaza, not outside in the snow. But the petitioning was good; we could get from 15 to 20 signatures an hour. I kept expecting the security guard to ask Paul to leave as he was technically inside the store, but he didn't. I tried to trade with him for a while so I could warm up, but he wouldn't go outside and there wasn't much value in both of us being in the same spot. I wasn't sorry when Paul said he had to return to the office.
The next day I called the manager of King's Plaza to find out how to get a permit. He wanted me to come there to pick up the form. "Why didn't the security chief give it to me yesterday while I was there," I asked. I wanted him to read me the conditions on the form, as I was returning to D.C. shortly, but the manager said he couldn't, because there were too many. So I described what I wanted to do: put four people in the Mall the following weekend, two on each floor. Would there be any problem with this I asked. I don't think so, he said.
When I returned the following Friday things were much better organized than they had been the week before. I was given an assignment (Brooklyn), one of the cars (which I could park on the street) and told to be back Sunday evening. I attributed this new-found efficiency to the fact that we had left three staff organizers there for the week. I had felt that what the office needed was some Indians who would do the work rather than so many Chiefs, who sat around and tried to figure out why the work wasn't getting done. Jerry gave me the permit for Kings Plaza he had obtained and a copy of the form with several pages of conditions. The permit restricted us to an "exhibit area." I had seen no area marked that way in the Mall, and neither the manager nor the security chief had said our access would be so limited.
Although I had the car I had no D.C. volunteers so I arranged to meet Barry and Craig at the Mall. We were there barely ten minutes before the security guards stopped us. They did acknowledge our permit, but said "exhibit area" referred to the main entrance area only, where they had even set up a table for us. We don't need the table, I said. We need to walk around. The entrance space is too small for four of us to make good use of our time. Most people enter from the parking lot which is on the other side of the Mall. We don't go into the stores, and we certainly aren't going to bother people. The people that are easiest for us to reach are the ones sitting down on the benches in the Mall halls, not those rushing in or out of the store. Most importantly, I said, I had described what I wanted to do to the manager and he had not raised any objections. The security chief demurred on the grounds that he could not reach the manager over the weekend to check out my version of our agreement. He threatened to arrest me if we strayed. I said it will make a good test case. After a few more polite exchanges, I left.
However, I couldn't ask Craig and his friend to risk any problems, and I couldn't separate myself from them because I had to witness their petitions. Barry hadn't shown yet, so until he did, I decided to stay in the restricted area. When he showed, Craig left, and I began to wander more widely. I guessed, correctly, that the security guards wouldn't bother me. They didn't want an incident any more than I did. But with only two of us there, there were enough people to keep us busy without my wandering too far. Two McGovern petitioners showed up, but failed to leave even after I told them they had to have a permit. They stayed in our space, creaming off some of our potential signatories. I thought about reporting them to the security guards, who obviously didn't know they weren't with us, but my conscience wouldn't let me do this. If we hadn't been so confined, it wouldn't have mattered.
The next morning I went with a friend recently immigrated from California to the Pathmark. The petitioning was so good we stayed all afternoon. I filled five sheets (75 names) within two hours. The day before getting signatures had sometimes been like pulling teeth; today it was like picking cherries. The basic strategy in petitioning is to look for people who are not too busy (lines are best) and keep hustling. Generally, people will either sign or they won't so always take no for an answer and move on. Few really care who the candidate is once you explain that you just need their names to get the person on the ballot, they are not obligated to support him or her in any way. Every now and then someone wants more information, or to be persuaded. Most who do don't sign, they haven't made up their minds yet. Sometimes it's worth trying to persuade someone. Usually it takes more time than saying thank-you and asking someone else. For delegate petitioning, one usually explains that these are local people, friends perhaps, whom you are helping get on the ballot. For Presidential petitioning, you sometimes have to tell them who the candidate is; not everyone had heard of Alan Cranston. But many are impressed that you are asking them to sign for someone who is running for President. Of those few who wanted to know why Cranston was the best person to support, virtually no one was interested in his positions on issues or in his peace and jobs platform. The single best response that got their attention was my assertion that he was the only candidate who could beat Reagan, because he was the only one running who could take the state of California, which has 18 percent of the electoral college votes, away from Reagan in November. Every now and then I'd run into someone who was a Cranston supporter; usually an ex-Californian. A few gave me their names saying they'd like to help. That was nice. I ran into one woman who's maiden name was Cranston. She said she'd like to work, and her brother, also named Cranston, would too. I even ran into Lyle Silversmith, whom I had not previously met. He said his eyes were giving him problems, so he wasn't able to do anything, but he really thanked me for my efforts. By the third thank you (in one minute) I wanted to tell him that I was the local he wouldn't let be a delegate because I wouldn't be available to petition! But I kept my mouth shut.
Since many people at the Pathmark only spoke Spanish I had suggested that one of our Spanish speaking staffers be placed here, guessing that he could clean up on that basis alone. That idea was pooh-poohed on the grounds that anyone who couldn't speak English probably couldn't vote. They were wrong. During lulls in the petitioning, when I could afford the time, I tried out my pidgin Spanish on the non-English-speaking Hispanics, or got a child to translate. Many were citizens; all who were were very proud of being registered to vote. When I told them that they had to be a registered voter (Democrat) in order to sign my petition they practically demanded to sign as a demonstration of their citizenship. Whole families would line up to sign on that basis alone. The right person at that spot could have cleaned up. I got a total of 345 signatures that weekend compared to only about 150 the previous one.
2/16/84 Seventeen people have filed in South Dakota, not including Keith Adair. I can't reach him by phone, but since I am three over my threshold, may not try any longer. He wasn't going to go to Pierre, and since the people who go will probably not slate him very high, and may not slate him at all, it's sort of silly to push him to file. As of right now 9 people will go to the State Convention for us; 7 delegates and 2 alternates; 7 from Vermillion, 1 from Custer and 1 from Aberdeen. I only need 3 to make the 40 percent quorum so barring a catastrophe, we should make it. I sent literature to those delegates with whom I have not previously been in contact and a couple issue leaflets to the couple respondents to my letter. I should have enclosed a letter, but it's so hard to get access to a typewriter, and so difficult for me to produce relative error-free copy. I finally decided promptness of response is more important than formality.
I've called several of our delegates outside Atlanta to get them to start
campaigning, and sent them literature (what little there is). Mark gave
me about 200 blue brochures to distribute, I have 200 yellow leaflets with
the Sorum article in the Minnesota Daily that the MCC sent me, and the three
leaflets with reprints from U.S. News and a couple other publications. I
don't like these three pieces very much, and can't understand why we have
so many copies of them and nothing else that's decent. I'm told we can't
reprint the blue brochure because it's dated (how is not obvious) and was
produced by the Kamber group with whom we have split. But it's not copyrighted
so I don't see why we can't.
Steve is extremely busy with his advertising business, so not as much is being done in Atlanta as I had hoped. He says he tried to interest the radio and TV stations in Jock Smith without much success. No name identification or fancy titles. The TV networks won't talk to anyone but the candidate. However, a couple radio stations would accept Yvonne Burke so he is escorting her to a couple functions today. He also spoke to the Young Dems with other candidate representatives at Georgia State University. Jock was going to do that, but it didn't seem worthwhile to have him travel from Tuskegee just for that occasion. Steve, or more specifically his 13 year old son, did get out the solicitation letter to delegates and other prime supporters. A phone blitz after Iowa will reinforce this nicely, I hope. Steve said 150 letters were mailed, including one to me. Mine came addressed to "Mrs." Freeman which drives me up a wall. Should I tell him that "Ms." is the preferable title for all women? I'm having a hard enough time getting him to use the word woman instead of girl in referring to adult females. Won't men ever learn?
I spoke to Mark about a phone blitz when I returned from New York and he liked the idea. However, I found out that Fundraising was conducting their own blitz with phone calls to contributors of over $100 and letters and telegrams to the others. Mark said I could go ahead with one to contributors under $100. I've told the MCC to do this and am trying to organize it in Georgia and New Jersey. My agreement is that half the money raised this way will be used in the state, even though we will tell people it is to make a media buy in New Hampshire. However, there is a major flaw in all this. Most contributors have been swamped with letters in the last few weeks; all containing business reply envelopes to our P.O. Box. They will get another one next week. If they send a check in the postage paid envelope we won't get credit for it, nor half the take. Thus I could be urging my people to spend their time futilely; they may not raise anything for their own states. Furthermore, I've told everyone I've called on this that any phone bills will be paid out of the proceeds. If there are no proceeds, I will be in the hole. So they not only have to urge people to contribute, but get them to send a check in their own envelope to our HQ address, preferably to my attention. This may backfire.
I'm not all that sure we will get a phone blitz going in Georgia. I asked Steve to phone his local supporters to set it up for next week and he said he'd try, but no promises. Five calls, I said, just make five calls to recruit people to make other calls. We can determine who calls whom on the master list over the weekend. I'll take the ones outside of Atlanta; just do the ones in your area. We'll see.
Most of this week I've been trying to set up the phone blitz in New Jersey. Our New Jersey contributor's list contains about 700 names. Craig Rupp says he will set up a phone bank but doesn't know exactly whom he will recruit for it. He's peeved that the contributor's list doesn't contain phone numbers. New Jersey has lots of small phone books, not one big one for a single big city. He largely draws on his contacts in the Nuclear Freeze movement and wanted to have people only call in their own area. Through phoning I identified four other people willing to make calls. In addition, Bob Stone, a lawyer in New York who is municipal chair of East Brunswick, has recruited some of his local party workers to call 60 names. Virginia Foley will call 50 in her area. Enid Keljik said she'd make a few dozen calls to people in area code 201, but preferred "others" to contributors. The contributors list I have doesn't have phone numbers on it so I don't know who is in what area code. I finally decided to send her a copy of the political master list. There are phone numbers for most people, and about 90 supporters. I explained to Enid the coding system, so she would only call "As" and "Bs". These are the people who have at some point expressed their support for AC. There are also lots of "Cs" and a few "Ds"; these are people who have simply requested information or are on the list because of their position (e.g. party official, interest group leader).
Unfortunately, the political list is not up to date. We have a clerk doing data entry of written inquiries, old and new, but they go onto a master data file on the computer, and don't appear on the state print-outs. I didn't realize this until I began comparing the cards for New Jersey that had been stamped "computer entry" with a recent date and the print-out Sharon gave me. Finally she explained that when we switched computer systems last December Alex had not written a program for transferring the master files to the accessible files. She didn't know when he was going to do this, but judging from past performance my guess is it won't be before June 5. Mark says there is no use speaking to him. He concentrates on direct mail and voter contact and considers anything else to be of a low priority. Thus we have a paid clerk doing work which is not of immediate value to anyone while immediate needs go unfulfilled.
I've had a similar problem trying to get the New Jersey print-out in zip code order so people can concentrate on their own regions. Virtually all calls in New Jersey are long-distance. Without phone numbers, the only way to localize them is through zip codes. Organizing 700 names on a computer print-out by zip code by hand is a monumental task. (In the old days with only card files it would have been a lot easier) Alex tells me a zip-code order print-out is possible; he doesn't have to write a program for it. He's even promised to do it, but he hasn't produced. Since it took about two months to get my South Dakota letter printed (admittedly a bigger project) I'm not optimistic. However, I delayed sending Craig the print-out in hope that I would get it. Now I will have to send it Special Delivery, which is a lot more expensive. Monday is a Federal Holiday; there will be no mail delivery. Tuesday is too late for the list to arrive. It's Special Delivery or not at all. Sharon offered to let her clerk phone Directory Assistance for phone numbers for me late in the day. She did over 100 names, which will save Craig some work. But it delayed the mailing until tomorrow. Furthermore, we're out of stamps and have no envelopes big enough to mail it in. So I took it home tonight to use my own envelopes and stamps and will mail it tomorrow. The delay was almost fatal. When I went to xerox the print-out before leaving we were down to half a ream of paper. I would hate to have to have chosen between parting with my sole copy of the contributor's list (especially an annotated one) and sending Craig the list to divide.
However, things could be worst. Barry tells me we got kicked off the ballot in Ohio. It seems we used the wrong form for our delegates' petitions and they were rejected. I don't know the details and do know we are fighting it but it doesn't look good.
Two people arrived from New York. They said we filed 27,000 signatures for AC and qualified our delegate slates in 12 CDs. Jesse Jackson filed 69,000 signatures; we don't know how many delegate slates. Hart filed 15,000 and McGovern 11 or 12,000. Mondale and Glenn will qualify of course. The big question mark is whether anyone will challenge Hart. He's our real competition because he's leading us in New Hampshire and his supporters tend to like AC as well. McGovern also has some of our potential supporters, but no one takes him seriously so that's not a worry. If Hart fails to qualify for the New York primary, we can argue in New Hampshire that there is no way he can win the Democratic nomination. This might persuade some people to switch to us. An article in the Boston Globe says Hart "forfeited 67 percent of 317 convention delegates in Florida, Pennsylvania and Illinois because his campaign filed incomplete slates." He also filled "only 52 percent of the 366 delegate spots in Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, all contests held March 13. In contrast, Mondale and Glenn filed complete slates; Cranston filed slates that are 90 percent complete; former Sen. George S. Mcgovern 51 percent; Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, 71 percent; Sen. Ernest F. Hollings, 45 percent and former Gov. Reubin O. Askew, 68 percent." However the same article also quoted the director of the DNC Compliance Review Committee as saying that Party rules "by implication" would allow Hart to select delegates after the primaries in those states if he qualifies through popular votes. Mark said we would join with the Mondale and Glenn campaigns in opposing such an interpretation.
The latest national poll on the TV news shows Jackson and Glenn fighting it out for second place with 12 and 13 percent respectively. Mondale still has a whopping lead. We only had 3 percent. A Field poll taken around February 1 that was passed on to us showed Glenn with 18 percent and Jackson third with 6 percent. AC, McGovern and Hart all had 3 percent. Mondale had 50 and the rest one percent. However, the margin of error was 3 percent and the undecideds weren't included. More importantly, a question testing name recognition showed us fourth with 24 percent of all voters and 23 percent of the Democrats able to name Cranston as a contender. Mondale was named by 74 percent, Glenn by 54 percent, Jackson by 55 percent, Hart by 15, Mcgovern by 13, Askew by 10 and Hollings by 9 percent. However, a chart cryptically labeled "Acceptability" showed only Mondale and Glenn with over a 50 percent positive response among Democrats. Cranston trailed both Jackson (35) and McGovern (43).
Susan told us Mark will take his staff out to lunch tomorrow. Damn, I wanted to go to Brookings and hear them discuss the Russian succession. And, since I broke my tooth yesterday, eating isn't much fun.
2/17/84 Finally got the MCC check from Mark but he told me not to
mail it until tomorrow. We have a bit of a problem with this. The MCC has
an unusual arrangement in that when they send us checks we are supposed
to mail one right back to them, rather than just pay expenses. This agreement
was worked out between Sally and Sergio when she was here. I told Mark but
don't know if anyone else was informed. Sally submitted $657 worth of checks
from the Cranston visit and their fundraising letter. Sergio was in Iowa.
Mark told Paul Donaldson, the assistant Treasurer, we had these checks but
couldn't pass them on until Treasury had written the return check. Paul
said he'd talk to Mike Novelli, the Finance chair whom Sergio had left in
charge of running the day-to-day campaign. Mike wasn't in. I saw him later
when he passed my desk and asked if Paul had spoken to him about the MCC
check. He said no and asked what it was about. When I told him he got very
angry. "No one holds checks back on me," he said. Obviously Sergio
hadn't informed him of the special arrangements. Mark later told me I had
been out of line. "Don't talk money to Mike Novelli." Sally was
very upset when I told her this. She tends to overreact. I asked her to
be patient, Mark would work it out. So she was delighted when I told her
I had the check. She asked me to send it Special Delivery, but I told her
we didn't have sufficient postage to do that.
I also said she shouldn't want it special delivery. It might bounce. The pay checks the staff had received last week had all bounced and had to be replaced. We just hoped those wouldn't bounce. I also told her about the phones being shut off for several hours last Friday because we hadn't paid a $17,000 bill. Mike was down at the phone company with letters of credit for the bill at the time some assistant decided to cut them off. I'm not too sure what happened but as far as I can tell, a vendor was trying to attach our bank account, so we closed it and opened another one. Thus the checks written on the old one all bounced. But we supposedly pay all our bills--eventually. And I got a reimbursement check for my expenses of going to New York today as well. I wasn't expecting it for months, given what the other staff had told me.
2/19/84 Mark went to Iowa this evening to coordinate the exodus. We're sending our staff to the other states on Tuesday. He said he might send as many as three people to Minnesota, but none to Georgia. We are writing off the South to concentrate on Maine, Massachusetts and other states where the chances are better. Dropping Georgia I can understand even though I'm sorry about it (especially since I told Beisher we'd probably send him a full time staffer). And Florida is Askew's home territory; I was never too sure why it was a targeted state in the first place expect for the size of the delegation. But Alabama? We've had staff in there all along. We did well in the straw poll. Why Alabama? Equally puzzling, he told Bruce and Barry not to order any more buttons until after Tuesday. They've ordered bumper stickers, 50 of which I've bought for Minnesota, and they were going to order buttons. I want some of those for my states (except Minnesota which did its own) and it takes ten days to two weeks to get them. Will they arrive in time for Super Tuesday?
Speaking of Georgia, Beisher told me he did not call our key supporters and split the fundraising list with them. He says it's "only 90 names" and he can call it himself--in the evenings because he's busy with his business during the day. He says he doesn't trust anyone to do the calling except himself. I tried to explain that it was important to involve other people in the campaign, but to no avail. He did admit that Sylvia Scapa was hot to do something, since she had written him a letter to that effect after receiving his mass mailing. But he still didn't want to call her; he said she had her own list of friends to call. I called her instead and discovered that she didn't want to ask her friends for money. What she wanted was more blue brochures to send to them. She was willing to pay for the mailing herself. I told her it was important to follow up such mailings with personal phone calls, and she assented. I told her about the phone blitz. She was quite mad at Steve's letter; thought it impertinent. I didn't tell her I approved the language before it was sent; but I didn't agree with her either. I did ask her to call Steve and ask him for half the list. Ninety names is too many for one person to call and if she wants to work, I want to use her. She readily agreed, even though she said she had no experience at fundraising and people might not like her accent.
Mark wasn't the only one to leave. Late Saturday everyone was told they were getting on a bus early Monday morning for New Hampshire. I was greeted with this revelation when I arrived today, having left before it was announced yesterday. However, it turned out that Mark didn't want me to go. Bruce is driving 15 people up in a van and returning with it (the rental is cheaper than "one-way"). He, Barry and I are to stay to hold down the fort. Barry will be the Acting Political Director. I had wanted to go to New Hampshire, but Mark told me that those sent there probably wouldn't be back for weeks; they'd be sent on to other states. I can't do that.
Bob Stone sent me a list of names of 1976 Udall delegates he thinks are prime supporters. I'm dubious, but you never know. I've got one of our volunteers calling Directory Assistance for the phone numbers. I need to find someone local to do the calling as it's silly to pay for the phone calls from D.C. I've located 14 people in the 201 area code to participate in the phone blitz and given their names to Craig. As usual he's pessimistic about their doing so. I kept telling him that I had already spoken to them and they assented. They include a Democratic Party County Committeeman, a young lawyer with political ambitions (who won't call in Newark where he lives because the Mayor is a Jackson supporter), two or three students, a disabled person who had worked on several campaigns, an engineer who's a political novice but scared of Reagan, a YD leader, and many others. One woman in particular was anxious to work for Cranston, and said she had lots of free time.
The latest polls are very encouraging in Iowa, but not in New Hampshire. The Des Moines Register poll of potential caucus attendees showed Mondale with 53 percent; Glenn 12; Cranston 9; Hart 8; McGovern 5; and Jackson 3. Among Democrats certain to attend the caucus, the poll found Mondale with 44 percent, Cranston 17; Hart 14; and Glenn 11. But the sample size of this subgroup was only about 150 people so it has a margin of error of 12 percent. Not very reliable, but very encouraging. I told everyone I called about it.
Mark had figures for two New Hampshire polls, one done by the Manchester Union Leader and one by the Boston Globe. Mondale had 26 percent in one and 36 percent in the other. The former showed Glenn with 15 percent; Hart 9; Jackson 8; Cranston 4; Hollings 3; McGovern 2; Askew 2. Thirty-two percent were undecided. The latter had Glenn with 14 percent; Hart 13; Jackson 10; McGovern 6; Cranston 5; Hollings 5; Askew 3. Figures for undecided weren't supplied. Not good for us, except that we, along with Hollings, McGovern and Hart have gone up in the last two months. Mondale, Glenn and Jackson have gone down. But all these numbers are within the probable margin of error so don't mean too much.
2/20/84 This place seems weird it is so deserted. We've gone from being overcrowded to understaffed. Only Treasury, Fundraising and Press remain and the latter was decimated earlier. Issues, Headquarters and Political have mostly gone to New Hampshire. They are going to miss the party. All week several staffers have been planning an Iowa watch party tonight. It's a shame they couldn't have shipped them out a day later; but Cranston is due to arrive in New Hampshire Tuesday and they didn't want him upstaged in the press by his own staff.
Enid told me her list has arrived, but Craig and Bob Stone don't have theirs as of yet. I sent all three packages out Special Delivery; Enid's Thursday night and the other two Friday at noon. They were delayed because a volunteer looked up four pages of phone numbers for Craig, he complained so much about having to do so. Enid says she has a friend living upstairs from her who has all the phone books for New Jersey leftover from her former business (whatever that was). Enid is going to see if she can recruit her to help look up the numbers. I gave her the number of the woman who was so eager to help; but told her not to take her away from Craig's phone bank.
Barry told me to call several of our primary state contacts to find out where they would be about 10:00 pm EST so we can phone them with the official response before any local press do. A couple of the people I called had had their phone numbers changed from that on my list; one to an unlisted number. Others were office phones and the parties weren't there because it is a holiday. This makes me wonder how often these people have been called. I didn't call my own people because I know their home phones and everyone had already told me they'd be home watching. What suspense.
2/21/84 I skipped the party to watch in peace at home but returned later after hearing the early returns, thinking we still had to phone our state contacts even though the results were dismal. Cranston got the predicted 9 percent; but Hart got 15 and McGovern got 13! Glenn got 5; lower than uncommitted at 7.5! Not all the returns were in but it was a depressing evening. Around 1 am Barry and I called people outside the EST time zone; woke a couple up. The official response had taken a while to be prepared. It was essentially that Glenn was out of the race and New Hampshire was a whole new ball game. The choice was no longer between Mondale and Glenn but Mondale and someone else. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishers were bunched too close to say one had won. We would continue.
This masked real despair. Reportedly, the campaign had considered folding to avoid incurring any more expenses. We didn't get any good publicity out of this, though the press didn't smash us either. However, we were counting on lots of good press to get the money for the next stage. That all went to Hart and McGovern. I watched all three morning shows but didn't catch Cranston on the Today Show. I may have missed it in my flipping. He didn't get much time or acknowledgement on the others.
I got in late as I went back to sleep after the shows. When I arrived I learned that all staff would be paid as of February 15, and be reimbursed for expenses as of today. Now we were all volunteers, and urged not to spend any money. The Iowa people were not sent to other states; they were told to go home and await further word. About 15 decided to go anyway, though it is not clear to me whether the campaign will send them or they will go on their own. It's all very dismal; though I learned that morale in New Hampshire is high.
Barry asked me to call New York to find out if Jerry had talked with Mark since the results became in and if they filed the objections to Hart's and McGovern's petitions as they were scheduled to do. Either today or tomorrow is the deadline for the general objections, and Monday is the deadline for the specific ones. We asked Mondale to join us, but they declined. They want as many people on the ballot as possible to fragment the opposition to keep any from getting the 20 percent necessary for a delegate in any a CD. We can't afford to have Hart and McGovern on the ballot as they steal votes from us. However, in light of our impending demise, why alienate them? I was told that Jerry Goldfeder had talked with Mark that morning, and the objections would be filed.
I also called a couple of my people in response to their collect calls, but couldn't tell them much. They all had suggestions on what Cranston should say to improve his chances in New Hampshire. Jay Davis said he needed a tax issue. I said what could Cranston say besides lower taxes, which was unrealistic in light of the deficit, or raise them, which wouldn't win him any friends? He said Cranston should recommend that we "soak the rich". In conservative New Hampshire? Someone else, I don't remember who, said more diversity was needed. Being a one issue candidate clearly hadn't worked. I pointed out that now everyone was for peace and disarmament, so something had worked, but Cranston is not getting credit for moving the others; he wasn't identified with his own issue sufficiently.
I attribute McGovern's showing to the farmers. He went around saying he
was for 90 percent of parity, which is what they wanted to hear. Sally
told me many Minnesota farmers had switched from Cranston to McGovern
after Cranston's faux pas of saying parity was an anachronism. Obviously
they didn't hear his subsequent backpedeling support for "cost of
production plus a fair return." The farmers are deeply in debt and
going bankrupt, Sally had told me. It looks like they are using McGovern
to send a message. McGovern's appeal to "don't throw away your conscience"
at the last debate didn't hurt this urge.