Friday, 23 December 2011



1968 was a year of turmoil in America as a result of the backlash against Kennedy’s Vietnam policies. It was not going to be easy electing a Democrat to the Presidency, and at least one Democrat, a hawkish wimpy Senator from Minnesota by the name of Eugene McCarthy exploited the dissatisfaction of the nation’s youth.
McCarthy was fortunate to have a determined campaign manager in Abbie Hoffman.

Organizing brigades of volunteer students, Hoffman literally knocked on every door in New Hampshire on behalf of his candidate. He struck a chord with the citizens of this tiny conservative backwoods state, considered by many an island of ignorance in a sea of enlightenment. They, too, despised what they called the retreat from Asia or the Vietnam sellout.
McCarthy argued that since we sacrificed so much in Vietnam, the only true victory would be for us to stay there, or as the President called it, to colonize the place. McCarthy was only puppeting the cries of an empty youth movement that five years later was a dying force.

When the President announced his complete troop withdrawal from Vietnam, ROTC members on campuses throughout the country began teach-ins against the decision. These evolved into full-scale riots and takeovers of buildings throughout the nation. The hotbed of this radicalism was the University of Minnesota, but even more staid institutions such as Columbia and the Berkeley campus of the University of California joined in the nonsense. By the end of the school year American higher education was virtually at a standstill.

Then came the Summer of Hate, and the whole political equation of America turned topsy-turvy.
I suppose America first became aware of the extent of this new youth movement that weekend in June when half a million self-styled survivalists crowded into a cow pasture in Watkins Glen, near Woodstock, New York, to hear their movement’s spokeswoman, Diana Ross. Between the music, crowd agitators twenty years older than the average age of the audience offered one vindictive speech after another against the President’s Vietnam policy. A Jewish soul group called Hy and Family Cohen went so far as to burn our noble flag.

This counterculture movement determined that America must stay physically fit to greet any attack from the Asians or the Commies, and while the music blared they fiendishly swallowed diet pills and Metrical cookies. Overdoses were common, and fake cookies laced with high doses of sugar were pawned off as the real thing to the gullible youngsters. Cookie dealers preyed on the innocence of youth and fortunes were made in a weekend.

Then that awful Friday night in California when Charles Manson’s gang, after gorging on the deadly amphetamine/metrical cocktail and singing the revolutionary verses of the Four Seasons burst into director Clint Eastwood’s Beverly Hills home only to find him not there. I need only capsulize the rest of this gruesome history. Clint’s pregnant wife, Annette Funicello, was brutally stabbed along with dinner guests Shecky Greene and Nipsey Russell. Written in blood smeared on the wall above her were the ominous words, “Rag Doll,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”

Attacks on Kennedy came from all quarters, even literature, as a scathing satirical denunciation of his Vietnam policy appeared in a widely read volume called “MacJack.”
It was against this background that we had to elect a Democrat to the Presidency. The President realized our dilemma and sought the first show of toughness he could find.
Evidence came to us that the Soviet Union, against all the peace accords, was still filtering weapons to the few remaining insurgents in the South. Kennedy retaliated by supplying arms to Czech and Polish underground terrorist groups. Many saw this policy as too little, too late.

I tried a couple of PR moves to boost the President’s image and give his party a shot at the upcoming election. First I arranged a cameo appearance on the irreverent TV show, “Laugh-In”. He had a pail of water thrown at him and replied, “Sock it to me”. Many thought he was a good sport after that, but the stunt made merely a dent in his Gallup approval rating: from 25 percent to 25.5 percent, the lowest since Truman left office.

Next I tried for the women’s vote by having him appear as a judge at the show that has become the greatest source of pride to American Womanhood, the “Miss America Pageant” held that year in Houston. Bert Parks introduced him, but applause was mixed with boos. In fact, the boos dominated. And the final winner, a luscious, leggy blonde named Gloria Steinhem, refused to accept the crown from him as an embarrassing political gesture on behalf of our brave boys in Vietnam.

On the Republican side, there was some good news for us. Governor Romney, up till then the Party’s frontrunner, had eliminated himself in a blaze of controversy. He was returning to his summer home on Mackinac Island with a devoted, young female campaign worker, when his car overturned into a pond, and she was drowned. Finding no one up at that hour on the island, he claimed he swam Mackinac Straits and part of Lake Michigan and arrived at a motel in Marquette where, dripping wet, he phoned the police after complaining to the switchboard of a noisy party in the room below him. Needless-to-say, no one believed a word of this hogwash, and his career nationally was wrecked.

But that still left Rockefeller, Nixon or Reagan, and polls showed all of them would have swamped any Democratic candidate if the election were held today. Only McCarthy put up a reasonable opposition, and that is one man I opposed if only because of his wretched poetry.
More worrying was our second most popular contender, George Wallace. The former governor of Alabama split the white vote with McCarthy but won the Labor vote hands down. Only Bobby and Humphrey represented the liberal wing of the Party, and they were buried in the polls. Nixon was part of the reason. He called Bobby a member of the Kennedy Clan, which created an administration of the worst and the dumbest. He called Humphrey, Hubert Horatio Hornblower, which aptly described his blabbermouth tendencies, and that image stuck with the poor man.

A dark horse in the figure of Jimmy Carter, Governor of Georgia, appeared, but the President dismissed his chances after reading an FBI report that claimed his family was mostly insane. One sister was a “holy-roller”, and his younger brother, Billy, was fond of urinating into public drinking fountains.
So who could be built up into a winner for the party? For many weeks we worked on the most natural choice, Vice-President Johnson. But the task was thankless. His actions made him more of a public liability than anything else. In a one-week span he held two of his kittens up by their tails for the cameras and showed off his hemorrhoids to the press.

But while I undertook the job of turning him into a true Presidential candidate, two crises erupted around his daughter, Lynda Bird. Lynda Bird was engaged to marry a very peculiar actor named George Hamilton. As the wedding neared, a perfect PR event, an old promise came to haunt Lyndon at the Johnson Ranch. While on a goodwill mission to Pakistan, the Vice-President invited a camel driver to come visit him at his ranch. One day the camel driver showed up, camel and all, to the mixed delight of the press. A major human political story took shape nationwide.

It wouldn’t have been so bad had he been a polite guest, but if anyone thought Johnson had boorish tendencies, they’ve never met Ahmat Teware. Okay, so he refused to eat with cutlery and thought belching after a meal was a compliment. But when he explained why he couldn’t shake hands with his right hand, even the usually stoic Lady Bird Johnson was moved to revulsion.
And to add to the PR difficulties, he had fallen in love with Lynda Bird, and Lynda Bird was showing no public disapproval, to my great chagrin.

I spoke to her privately and asked her why she was playing with his affections in public.
“I want to break the wedding with George,” she answered.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because,” she said, and burst out sobbing, “because,” she tried again. On the third attempt she blurted it out. “Because he’s a vampire.”
“I mean it. A vampire. He has a disease called ‘porphyria.’ A vital heme is missing in the blood, and it causes all kinds of strange reactions to the sun. If he’s out in daylight for five minutes he starts growing hair all over his body that falls out at night. The only way he can go outside is if he gets a small transfusion of blood with the heme. Like mine, for instance. You think these are hickeys?” she said as she pulled down her collar. Her neck was ghastly. “You notice that half the mirrors on the ranch are cracked? Figure it out. My mother hasn’t been able to.”

“Did you tell her you were marrying a vampire?”
“She said she understood the problem, but we were committed. She suggested I refuse to consummate the marriage until after the election and then get it annulled.”
“What about your father?”
“He said a vampire’s not so bad. At least George isn’t a colored boy. That would kill him in the South. Maybe everywhere. So that’s why I’m playing up to Ahmet. Maybe he’ll get the hint and get me out of this Transylvanian nightmare.”

There was no doubt about it. Lynda had a problem. But then so did her father and by proxy, me. It wasn’t easy getting the photographers to squelch the photo of Lynda taking her moonlight camel ride into the Texas desert. I owe a few people on that one.
One morning he made his final offer to the Vice-President. “Fifty camels for your daughter.”
“Young man,” Johnson replied. “That is absurd.”
“Please, Daddy,” cried Lynda. “Fifty isn’t so bad.” Turning to Ahmet she whispered, “Offer him sixty.”
“Sixty,” he said, “And one of my wives. The one that please you most.”
“Come on, Daddy, that’s fair.”
“And where would you young lovebirds live?” demanded the Vice-President.
“Pakistan,” they replied in unison.
“Young lady,” said Johnson. “When I become President you will live in Romania because your husband George will be appointed Ambassador to there. And that’s final.”

I had a first class PR problem on my hand. The first thing that had to be arranged was Ahmet leaving with or without his camels. This was achieved with easy and spectacular success by methods I cannot divulge but Ahmet is now the director of the American Post Office on one of the Solomon Islands today. And, as you know, Lynda and George, after a tempestuous marriage, are no longer husband and wife.

My own personal choice as candidate was Bobby Kennedy, but the LSD business was having a deleterious effect on his chances. By the spring of ’68 the survivalist movement had become a real force in the nation. Millions of bearded, middle and upper class young people, mostly college students and their beaded women with their unshaved legs were busy building fallout shelters, stocking them with freeze-dried food, enjoying daily rounds of target practice and taking a drug called LSD.

In the summer of ’67 young idealists seeking an escape from liberal, sellout America, gathered in San Francisco Harbor and began preparing to escape the coming nuclear holocaust in ships fitted for two years of survival at mid-sea. Because of this they were called “shippies.”
The “shippies” began experimenting with a drug developed in Switzerland in the mid-thirties called “Lysergic Acid Diethylmide” or LSD. The “shippies” claimed they saw reality more clearly by uncovering truths buried deep in the subconscious and surfacing in the form of detailed hallucinations. A sub-movement led by former Admiral Timothy Leary spread the joys of this drug, and millions were experimenting with it. Unfortunately, this put Bobby in an uncomfortable situation. The Justice Department had jurisdiction over the FDA , and LSD was then a legal drug. By banning it, Bobby would isolate the survivalist vote which was then considerable in California, a state he had to win in the primaries. But average Americans were shocked when their children began experimenting with the drug, and in a moment of divine inspiration expressed the belief that their parents were “pigs.”

A decision had to be made, and Bobby’s solution was to take LSD and decide by personal experience. He apparently enjoyed its effects, though publicly he spoke of it as a danger.
Still, it made my life more difficult. Of all the primary candidates I chose to be PR director for Bobby, though Teddy begged me to run his campaign. We shall arrive at that aspect of the campaign later.

Just before the Oregon campaign we had a strategy meeting. Bobby said to me, “Norm, I’ve thought of the greatest slogan ever. Get ready for this: “God is Groovy”.
“Pardon me?”
“God is Groovy. Bobby for President. Isn’t that great? It’s so optimistic, yet so true. Who could resist voting for a candidate who thinks God is groovy?”
“I don’t think that’s an issue in Oregon.”
“Excuse me, Norm, I didn’t mean to interrupt or anything, but your face is melting.”
“Norm, now listen carefully. I want you to tell me if I should go public with this announcement…I know what it’s like to be dead.”
“No, I think we should keep a lid on that.”
“But I’m the only candidate who momentarily was in touch with infinity. I died for a moment, rose to the ceiling, looked down and saw myself dead. I have astral projected. I have left my body as a free spirit and chose to reunite with it just to win in Oregon. I think the people would appreciate knowing that. I could say I came a long way to meet you folks and really mean it.”
“Not a catchy campaign approach.”

“Okay, then, try this. You know how I love to walk barefoot on the beach early in the morning. Well, get this. I was on a beach near Portland minding my own business when guess who I see in the water? You’ll never guess. I saw King Neptune. So I went in and joined him. I splashed around in the water with THE King Neptune, and if you don’t believe me ask Vinnie Lombardi, my Secret Service agent. He practically caught pneumonia dragging me to shore.”

The Oregon campaign was tough. Bobby listened to my appeals and publicly came off well till the Eugene speech now mockingly referred to as Bobby’s ‘ego lecture’. Bobby decided the people of Oregon should be told of his marvelous discovery; that there is no ego, or as he unfortunately said, “ego is bull.” He accused the other candidates of running, not for the nation’s good, but because they are insecure people who need power to fulfill their bruised egos. He said he wasn’t like that.

He just enjoyed politics which he called “a far out job. One crazy gig after another. Last week I played in Omaha to a great crowd and this week I’ve been getting high just listening to you Oregonians. You know you’re a real trip.”
Teddy was frightened by the new Bobby and wanted to see a Kennedy dynasty continued. So he entered the race against his brother and with his other brother’s permission, if not outright backing. Teddy, who is not as witty as John, received a great routine from his brother which made him a popular speaker wherever he went.

The routine would begin after he was introduced on the dais by an overly long speech. Staring first at the introducer he would say, “I remember once someone introduced me saying I was a graduate of Yale. As if that weren’t information enough he explained what Yale’s letters meant. Y was for Youth and spent ten minutes explaining the virtue of my youth. A was for Athletics, and he spent ten minutes saying what a great sportsman I was and so on. Finally I got up to speak and said to the audience, ‘You people are very lucky. You’re lucky I didn’t graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.’”
The crowds loved that, and he was on his way. Bobby was afraid of his brother winning, and on the day that turned the tide against him he was thrilled.
“Can you believe it? Joan’s announcing their divorce tonight!”
“How do you know?”
“Joan phoned Jack Anderson and said her husband was keeping her a virtual prisoner because she threatened to tell all. I knew their marriage was on the rocks, but how’s that for revenge? She’s announcing it now, and you can bet Teddy’s doing what he can to stop her. This is juicy.”

“Why is she demanding the divorce?”
“According to Anderson she wants to grow and she feels smothered in their relationship. She’s tired of being Teddy’s wife, she wants to find herself, the real Joan. And there’s more. She met some Greek, and they’re going off in his boat somewhere to seek truth. She’s running off with a rich “shippie”. And best of all, she won’t fight for the children. Ted can keep them, because—now get this, it’s rich—because she’s tired of being just a mother. Women have been repressed for too long, and she’s—listen closely, it’s hilarious—striking a blow for women’s liberation.”

Bobby was on the floor, tears rolling down his cheeks. He had trouble catching his breath, and I thought he was a secret epileptic. But this attack of laughter was nothing compared to the one that followed Joan’s televised press conference. Not only did she say everything Bobby claimed she would, but at the end of the conference she turned around, took her bra off, put her blouse back on, turned around and burned her bra. First, Bobby’s face crinkled up, a distorted smile appeared which was followed by a two hour laughing fit followed by days of spontaneous giggling. Often he would mimic a song called “We Love You, Conrad” from the hit play, “Bye Bye Birdie”, singing instead, “We Love You, Joanie, Oh Yes We Do.”

Strangely, Joan struck a nerve with millions of American women, and when the reigning Miss America called the coveted pageant a meat show and burned her bra on the “Vaughan Meader Show,” a movement started out of nowhere that was destined to lead millions of women to unfortunate careers, childlessness, frustration, man-hatred, lesbianism, and loneliness. The sanctity of the American family was also threatened by Joan’s irresponsibility, and divorce rates soared as women big and small decided they wanted to grow. Many were attracted by the survivalists and joined communes, others finding in Joan a role model, drifted towards the “shippies.”

Of course Teddy’s hopes were dashed by all this. At rallies rowdy women would accuse him of “depriving his wife control over her own body,” a concept he was entirely unprepared to deal with for no answer seemed to be satisfactory when the concept was foreign. Average men and women spouted the old standard “if you can’t control your wife, how can you control the country” dogma.

Politics do make strange bedfellows, and after the California primary, Newsweek hired the Harris Poll to see if any combination of Democrat Presidential and Vice-Presidential tickets could win the election. While McCarthy-Muskie and Kennedy-Carter would be swamped by any of the Republican contenders, a Humphrey-Wallace ticket would win the election. It seems that Humphrey, being the leading liberal candidate, and Wallace, being the leading conservative candidate, attracted a wide enough constituency to win the upcoming election.

Now I know personally that neither candidate wanted this, but a grassroots upsurge promoting a Humphrey-Wallace ticket grew and grew and grew. Both candidates were forced to consider the possibilities. Interested interlocutors willing to do anything to put their candidates in power, and seeing their only hope in this ticket, met and presented each candidate with a list of issues and a questionnaire asking how each would deal with them. The idea was to find common ground for an alliance. It was discovered that the only matter on which the two shared an opinion was that Jefferson City should remain the capital of Missouri.
But the possibility of the alliance would not go away. It seems both candidates had the most loyal supporters, and they wanted to see their men in power no matter who he was associated with. Wallace supporters especially were thrilled when this golden opportunity to share power arose.

Once again the interlocutors sought compromise. They gave both candidates a list of issues, and both were asked in two words to answer where they stood on each. A computer would compare the results and plan a viable campaign.
The following, for the first time in print, was the result of the questionnaire:
Cuba HUMPHREY Improve relations WALLACE Nuke`em
Vietnam HUMPHREY Leave gracefully WALLACE Nuke North
Civil Rights HUMPHREY Improve programs WALLACE Cancel legislation
Soviet Union HUMPHREY Detente initiated WALLACE Dismemberment of
France HUMPHREY Closer ties WALLACE Who cares?
Crime HUMPHREY Rehabilitation programs WALLACE Chain gangs
Pornography HUMPHREY Local standards WALLACE Selected castration
Unions HUMPHREY Support programs WALLACE Mass lockouts
Nuclear proliferation HUMPHREY Create ceilings WALLACE Begin immediately
African relations HUMPHREY Strengthen role WALLACE Misogyny enforcement
China HUMPHREY Handle gingerly WALLACE Sterilization drugs
States Rights HUMPHREYCertain areas WALLACE Favorite topic

The results were fed into a computer by whiz kid, Steven Jobs, and the computer, after shorting out, refused to start up again. A higher K—IBM was next employed and said the solution was in the hands of higher powers than itself. IBM officials claimed this was the first instance of a computer hinting at the existence of God.

The movement died when both candidates publicly killed it. Still, there was no denying Wallace’s popularity in California. It portended a real change of mood in the country that we were sadly reluctant to acknowledge. We hoped it would go away by Election Day and, of course, we were very mistaken.

Here was Bobby’s strategy with which I concurred and helped plan. Cezar Chavez was leading a boycott of California grapes to protest working conditions of Mexican laborers, and seeking both the liberal and Chicano vote, we backed him. I arranged photo sessions with Bobby and Chavez, and he endorsed us publicly.

Wallace, on the other hand, stressed that the Mexicans were mostly in the country illegally and had no rights as American citizens, especially not the right to strike. He spoke of Latin Catholic America’s horrifying birthrate and predicted that if this illegal immigration kept up, they would swamp Anglo-America. He asked why Anglos aren’t moving there, and he spoke of a time when revolutionary groups would claim the American Southwest was Latin originally and would try to win it back with violence. His solutions included an electric fence along the whole Mexican border and border guards with orders to shoot to kill smugglers of immigrants and labor camps for the immigrants themselves. And on this issue he won the primary.

That was certain to divide the upcoming convention, yet California left a more profound effect on the Republicans. The shooting at the Ambassador Hotel had shocked me. As a child whose parents knew violence and came to America to escape it, I had felt personally violated. Though I never liked the victim, it was as if the gunman had attacked me, not Richard Nixon, and shot down many of the beliefs and concepts I held dear.

Nixon addressed supporters, and his final words were, “On to Miami.” He was the jubilant winner of a state that rejected him for governor because of his amazing statement that, “the nation can’t stand pat,” which led to his later divorce. After his loss he called an embarrassing “last” press conference apologizing to reporters for his attacks on their integrity and thanking them for their support over the years.

With his final words spoken, he entered the kitchen of the hotel where a crazed Palestinian and leader of an unknown lunatic group called the PLO, Yassir Arafat, pulled the trigger.
I can still recall the screams of “Oh no, no, no,” as Roman Gabriel, an ardent Nixon supporter and pantyhose executive, wrestled Yassir to the ground, and Nixon lay motionless in a pool of blood.
Thank God for modern medicine. Rushed to the operation that saved his life, Nixon was saved, though he remains paralyzed from the waist down today.

One must dwell on the “what ifs” of Nixon. What if he had not been shot? He, in my opinion, would have been the Republicans’ candidate despite the half-truth labels that stuck with him all his life and gave him his nickname, Sticky Dickie. What if he had been President? I believe he would have been a do-nothing president, avoiding issues and scandal. And I believe he would have presided over a quiet period in American history characterized by nothing.

Yet, “what ifs” mean nothing. The Republican convention held in Miami was a shootout between Reagan and Rockefeller which was Reagan’s victory after the third round of voting. In desperation, a Rockefeller-Lindsay coalition tried to stop the Oscar-winning thespian, but to no avail. Reagan’s Shakespearean background made him too fine a dramatist to ever lose to the scion of America’s wealthiest family and the inventor of modern prison reform as we know it today.

Chicago was a different convention. I thought it was a bad choice. The Negroes had recently rioted there, and the largely Polish-German white population despised the President’s retreat policy from Vietnam. But as Fred Sorenson explained to me, if it weren’t for Mayor Daley stuffing ballot boxes in 1960, we would have lost Illinois and the election.

As an aside, Lyndon Johnson won his 1948 Senatorial seat by 87 votes, and there were rumors that he stole votes to win. Later he would jokingly say, “I never stole ‘em. Ah just borrowed them. Ah gave ‘em all back in 1960.”
Outside the convention at Lincoln Park, Abbie Hoffman had gathered his “McCarthy is President” (MIP) Party, and it’s followers called MIPPIES, to protest America’s surrender in Asia. As the reader is well aware, blood was shed in their confrontation with the police.

Later at the Chicago Eight trial, conducted partly in Yiddish by both Abbie and Judge Hoffman, it was revealed that a conspiracy of industrialists and students had crossed state lines to foment anarchy.
Of course the biggest embarrassment of the convention was when Hoffman led his students to the Vietnamese Consulate in Chicago and took it over, holding the innocent diplomats hostage until all American soldiers serving in Vietnam stayed there until replaced.

With blood and kidnapping and blackmail and extortion on the airwaves, we tried to hold a convention. Coming into the Amphitheatre, George Wallace who claimed he wanted to change the Peace Corps in the Peace Corpse, had the most committed delegates. We liberals were prepared to do anything to stop him and combined, our support outnumbered his.

But, of course, the convention became deadlocked and voting meant nothing. It was a convention decided by committee. The question was how much the final candidate should divorce himself from the President’s policies without compromising the Party’s principles. Two days before, the Ray Coniff Singers, hardly a political outfit, had performed at the White House, and before singing pleaded to keep the boys in Nam. This embarrassing incident was news everywhere as we decided on our man to run for the presidency.

Bobby had isolated his hopes by telling delegates he had actually seen the Jolly Green Giant overlooking the little folks of the San Joachin Valley while he was campaigning in California. Lyndon and Ted had their own problems, previously explained , and McCarthy was viewed as too right wing for a coalition of delegates determined to nominate a liberal candidate. From the smoke filled back room came our surprise compromise, Senator George McGovern of South Dakota.

McGovern won the nomination, despite a complete apathy towards his candidacy by most of the delegates, and he named Thomas Eagleton of Missouri as his running mate. (Since the election they have not seen each other, even socially.)
And the race was on. While Eagleton defended the President, Reagan used his Hollywood connections to run what is now called a media campaign.
He convinced his good friend and everybody’s favorite sergeant, Phil Silvers, to perform on his behalf in Vietnam. The episode of Sergeant Bilko was beamed live to 120 million Americans, the largest single audience for any show in history. And what a hilarious episode it was.

Bilko buys a Geiger counter to get rich quick by finding uranium. After some searching he finds a high level of radiation under Colonel Hall’s house. He has to dig for the valuable ore so he lures Colonel Hall to a Bridge game with another officer at a base a hundred miles away.
The colonel comes back early and discovers all of Bilko’s platoon, including Rocco and Doberman, busy digging up his basement.
“Bilko,” he says, “What is the meaning of this?”
“Oh, Colonel Hall,” he answers, “You discovered our little surprise.”
“What do you mean, Bilko?”
“Well, because your men love you so much, we were going to build you a rec room. But you came in and spoiled everything.”
“Bilko, I’m very touched.”

So the digging goes on and the uranium was just a watch with a glow dial. The crowd of soldiers loved it. Paul Ford took five long ovations, and Phil Silvers literally could not leave the stage. And then the plug for Reagan. Oooh, that hurt us.

And, of course, the Eagleton affair. The press found out Eagleton was a pyromaniac, having started two churches on fire and was arrested three times for child molestation. Still, McGovern, for reasons one cannot yet fathom, said he would back his man 1000 percent. However, after Eagleton privately confessed that yes, he enjoyed torching churches, but it should have no effect on how he conducts the business of government, McGovern dropped his candidate and even more crazily nominated the head of the much hated Peace Corps, Sergeant Shriver, as his new Vice-Presidential choice. What a headache his campaign was becoming. What else could possibly go wrong?

Well, as we all know, the television debate with Reagan was the what else. Defending Kennedy’s rapprochement with the Communist East, McGovern claimed the North Vietnamese would be as free as good men are in Poland today.

Now I’m prepared for a little hyperbole now and then, but no one in the Iron Curtain nations can be truthfully called free. The next day the Los Angeles Times printed a cartoon of a group of Polish workers. The caption read, “I don’t know? How many George McGoverns does it take to screw in a light bulb?”
After that the McGovern joke fad spread like wildfire. Why is TGIF written on McGovern’s shoes? To remind him that Toes Go In First. Why did McGovern ask for his pizza to be cut into four pieces? He can’t finish eight. And on and on ad infinitum.
He became a joke, and Ronal Reagan became President of the United States.

12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

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