Agnew on best behavior for Bush campaign Austin; Lubbock, Amarillo The best thing George Bush has going for him in the senatorial race is the enthusiastic support he is receiving from his friends Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew. The next best thing Bush has going for him is the unhappy liberal element ‘which is inclined to vote Republican because Lloyd Bentsen beat Sen. Ralph Yarborough in the May primary. An indication of Bush’s campaign expertise is the fact .that so far he has managed to get considerable political mileage out of a visit from Agnew while at the same time keeping peace with the liberals. The Bush campaign staff was none too happy when an Observer reporter decided to accompany the Agnew-Bush-Eggers entourage to West Texas. However, the Republicans’ fears of adverse publicity in the liberal camp were unfounded. The unique situation in Texas \(i.e., the Republican’s need for liberal votes on Nov. 3 and the chummy relationship between the G.O.P. and the Democratic Rebuilding vice-president, and a word to the political wizard was sufficient. Spiro’s speeches were uncommonly mild. Save for an Unfortunate attack on Preston Smith in the governor’s home town of Lubbock, Agnew made nary a faux pas during his two-day swing through Texas. In Lubbock, Agnew vowed that “there is no Senate race in the nation where [the president’s] hopes for victory are higher or the senatorial candidate more praiseworthy than right here’ in the Lone Star State.” And he had kind words for gubernatorial candidate Paul Eggers as well. THE CLOSEST the veep came to one of his hackle-raising attacks on “radiclibs” was his repeated assertion that Bush’s could well be the deciding Senate vote “to retire J. William Fulbright from the chairmanship of the Foreign Relations Committee . What will happen if George Bush’s opponent is elected?” Agnew asked. “He will go up to Washington and in January, when the Senate is organized, he will vote down the line with the radical liberals to give William Fulbright two more years as chairman . . . when Mr. Fulbright’s performance does not entitle him to two more minutes in that position of power and influence,” Agnew answered. Ironically, Democrat Lloyd Bentsen’s supporters are using the opposite argument 6 The Texas Observer to convince conservatives to elect a conservative Democrat to the Senate. Bentsen’s close friend, former Gov. John Connally, insists that a vote for Bentsen is a vote to retain conservative Democrats such as James Eastland, L. Mendel Rivers, and John Stennis as committee chairmen. The big do of this Agnew trip was a $100-a-plate dinner in the Amarillo Civic Center. Approximately 800 persons ate tough steaks while close to 1,000 more paid $10 a head for the privilege of sitting in the gallery to view the goings-on. The dinner itself could not compare to the plush, $500-a-plate Agnew dinner in Houston earlier this year. \(At the Houston dinner the security was so tight that the secret service would not let the New York Times reporter out of the press section to Republicans had a good time. They were served bubbly in gold-flecked plastic champagne glasses and given for their memory books paper napkins embossed with the legend: An Evening with Spiro Agnew. Republican Cong. Bob Price introduced Paul Eggers who introduced George Bush who introduced Agnew. Everybody got a hearty welcome, including Democratic State Sen. Grady Hazlewood who sat at one of the head tables. \(Hazlewood is a maverick in the conservative Democratic tradition. In 1968, he went to the Republican National Convention and supported Ronald Reagan, switching his AGNEW’S SUBJECT for the evening was youthful dissent. He explained that “an age of indulgence has characterized the past generation, leaving many of our young people misguided or unguided Spock-marked, if you will.” Probably to the disappointment of his audience, the vice-president did not give the younger generation the anticipated what-for. Instead, he waxed philosophical, explaining, “It is a good and healthy thing for young people to decry what they believe to be an undue emphasis on the material at the expense of the spiritual.” He said much of the unrest today is due to “the success of the American system. . . . Having been handed the material things on a silver platter, they think they can afford to be contemptuous of them. As Shakespeare pointed out, ‘He jests as scars who never felt a wound.’ ” Agnew left the state with the hint of a possible return engagement before the election. And the day after the vice-president flew back to Washington, Bush announced that Nixon would make a campaign visit to Dallas on Oct. 28. Making noises like true sons of the Republic \(Preston Smith and Lloyd Bentsen are native Texans; Eggers and Bush’ came close to labeling the president and vice-president “outside agitators.” Smith welcomed Agnew to the state while warning that his visit should be viewed as “a partisan political mission.” Connally welcomed Agnew and added, “We’ll decide for ourselves who we’re going to send to the Senate.” And Bentsen said the Republicans “apparently regard Texas as nothing more than a pawn in a big power play” to gain control of the Senate. Some Democrats privately expressed the hope that voters would resent an influx of Republican officials right before the election. Bush, however, said he thought the president and vice-president could hardly be considered interlopers. THE NATIONAL administration left little doubt as to the importance it places on Bush’s election. Texas Sen. John
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