Pho to by Alic ia Dan ie l states at once. So it gives people like Mondale and Glenn a tremendous advantage with all the money they’ve raised. “Frankly, Mondale has a big lead over everybody else among the committed voters. But what that can’t measure is that great 8-out-10 mass of Democrats who aren’t committed to anybody.” On we. rode, now approaching Lexington. Sancho-like, I asked, “Isn’t this a quixotic adventure?” The Senator came as close to bristling as his courtly manner would permit. “At first the press reported it that way,” he answered. That lasted only a week, however, until a poll appeared showing McGovern in third place, favored by 10% of the Democrats questioned. “What people forget,” he explained, “Is that at this point in 1971 I had about a 3 or 4% recognition factor. Glenn and Mondale are no further ahead than Muskie and Humphrey were.” But this time around McGovern has neither the time nor the money to organize from the bottom up in the precincts, county by county. “The one thing I was not prepared for,” he said, “was to see the enormous amounts of money that are flowing into these campaigns before we ever get to the election. We have seen a dramatic introduction of the power of money into American politics since 1972. It was bad enough then.” McGovern then considered his opponents. He believes there is a possibility that Reagan will not run in 1984. “I didn’t think that a year ago,” he said. “But it’s a possibility. These reports of health difficulties on the part of his wife and the fact that he’s going to be getting hit increasingly hard now as we get more information about Grenada and Lebanon. You get the irfipression that he’s enjoying the job less. I don’t feel strongly about it, but it would not surprise me if he pulls out late this year. I would think that would make it easy for George Bush to move in and be the nominee. Bush is a little more moderate than Reagan, but not much. And I don’t think he’s as appealing a speaker on television as Reagan is. The groups that are going to give Reagan the most trouble are the women. If they really continue on this present course, I think Reagan will be beaten by the women, the unemployed, blacks, browns.” This is the coalition invoked by Jesse Jackson. McGovern welcomes Jackson’s entrance in the presidential race. “I campaigned with Jesse Jackson for one day in Mississippi last summer. He wanted me to come down to see what he was doing on voter registration. I think the Mondale people worry about his taking the southern blacks away from them in such a way that they might lose some of those southern states to Glenn. But that’s sort of game-playing. We really don’t know. What is clear is that he can reach a lot of the black voters. If he can do that, whether he is the nominee or not, he’s going to help whoever is.” Before considering his other Democratic rivals, McGovern emphasizes that he would have no difficulty supporting any of them ‘against Ronald Reagan. He grudgingly admits that he thinks Glenn is the “least informed” of the seven contenders. Cranston, he says, “has been very much sympathetic to the defense industries in Southern California. I think it explains 100% his vote on the B-1 bomber and his continued support for the B-1. Hart, particularly, is against big public works programs, and I am not. I think the New Deal was the most brilliant chapter in American domestic history. I believe in a full-employment approach with the help of substantial public works projects. Mondale would go along with part of that but not on a large scale. Hart wants nothing built.” Riding through the east central Texas countryside beside a decent man talking common sense, you can sense the thousands of minor indignities he must have suffered for having tried to buck the political machines. How had this man been painted such a fire-breathing revolutionary bent on the subversion of the democratic process? He opens doors for you. If he wore a hat, he’d tip it. An old school attention to the moral life. He is nothing more dangerous than a Methodist minister riding a nationwide circuit. But there are those who would make him a symbol of defeat, try to dissociate him from the Democratic Party, use him as the scapegoat for their own impoverishment. “Think of the relief that would be felt around the world if McGovern were elected President,” my wife had said the night before. “Why is it that a decent man cannot be elected?” my father asked one week later. 4 NOVEMBER 25, 1983 6111101111101111101WAIMOMISIMMINMOmmestiramissiouirioies00061100001000004 1 _ .1,N Air -111-41`
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