Thursday, August 31, 2006

Personal Asides:

Very Gently As Not to Offend, Carol Marin Figures Out Why Jesse, Sr. Has Gone to Syria: Congratulations…Sunday’s Political Shootout: Dorothy Brown and Carol Pankau…Congratulations to Frank Nofsinger for Buying a Student Scholarship to My Course…Jim Edgar and Rep. Ray LaHood Sign Up as Guest Lecturers for Off-the-Record Roosevelt University Course.

Marin and The Great Pouting Buddha.

It has taken a long time since she began her column two years ago, but Carol Marin has carefully, gently eased her big toe into the ice-cold water of political controversy: something she is paid to do—but moreover, has tentatively and with great diplomacy, risked her liberal credentials to possibly offend The Great Pouting Buddha: the Reverend…ahem…Jesse Louis Jackson, senior. She said in yesterday’s column that it just could be that Jackson decided to go to Syria because Barack Obama was getting such good press in Africa. You see, there should be only one black man getting international press and it ain’t the upstart Obama. Thus we see the…ahem…Reverend manipulating an invite to go to Syria at the same time. And the slavish Democratic newspaper of record, of course, has to send yet another correspondent overseas to cover The Great Pouting Buddha while the Washington editor is busily covering Destiny’s Tot.

So obedient is the Democratic Newspaper of Record to its marketing scheme…young audience…minorities…young women writing “I-I-I” in the style of it’s all about me…young men doing the same it’s all about me…stereotypical black commentary hearkening back to the familiar civil rights days with which white liberals are more comfortable…in toto: liberal-slightly more liberal-exceedingly liberal-extremely liberal…ultra-liberal…that it had to do back-flips to placate The Great Pouting Buddha who wanted to even up the score with Destiny’s Tot.

This column was the first sign that Marin will do something besides swing the incense-burner at favored li

Guests on my Political Shootout show will be Dorothy Brown, clerk of the Cook county Circuit Court and prospective candidate for Mayor of Chicago opposing Richard M. Daley…and State Senator Carol Pankau, the Republican candidate for State Comptroller. Two articulate and courageous women. Terrific. That’s Sunday at 8 p.m. on WLS-AM (890).

Frank Nofsinger of Connecticut.

Frank Nofsinger of Connecticut, a regular Wanderer reader and frequent correspondent to this Blog has contributed a $250 student scholarship to a young person to attend the “Influencing the System” course at Roosevelt University starting September 7th. I just want to say to Frank that when and if I publish “Flashback” you will indeed get a personally autographed copy. We were both Minnesotans at about the same time—in Rochester, too! Like me he has a beautiful wife named Lillian. Thanks so much, Frank.

Jim Edgar and Rep. Ray LaHood Sign Up.

Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar has signed up as a guest lecturer for my Roosevelt University course. He was discuss The Executive department. As one of the most popular politicians in Illinois history who could easily have defeated Rod Blagojevich had he run, the ex-governor is noted for his own full-time participation in academic affairs at the University of Illinois. We welcome him to the special faculty of this course. Students and yours truly will have a great opportunity to grill…er…question the former governor who was also head of the National Governors’ Association. He and I have been dueling friendly sparring partners but there is no doubt that I would have voted for him gladly had he determined to run.

Congressman Ray LaHood, Peoria Republican, will discuss the federal Legislative Department on October 5. A member of House Appropriations, he is so skilled in parliamentary procedure that he is called upon whenever the operation of the House runs into choppy waters. He learned his skills as a top staffer for Congressman Bob Michel, the longtime House Republican leader. Congressman LaHood is one of the senior leaders of the House and gave serious thought to running for governor earlier this year. Another one whom I would have been proud to vote for.

Anne Burke and Bob Bennett Go to Rome, Meet with then Cardinal Ratzinger, Craft a Comprehensive Report. Objective Accomplished—but Will the Bishops, Hamstrung by Bureaucracy, Implement? Not That Bunch

She Calls for Disbanding of the U.S.C.C.B., a “Trade Association.”

Similarities in Views Seen Between Her and Authenticist Leader Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz.

The third and final article in a series for The Wanderer, the oldest national Catholic newspaper in the United States.

By Thomas F. Roeser

CHICAGO—As we discussed her service as interim head of the National Review Board—the group set up by the Catholic bishops through a public relations agency to smooth over pedophilia—Anne Burke told me she believes the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops should be disbanded. “All it is,” she said, “is a trade association. And not a very good one at that.”

That conforms exactly to what Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska said much earlier. To both of them, the existence of the marble mausoleum headquarters in Washington, D. C., the ornate assembly room, decked out like the UN Security Council with individual microphones, gives an air of egregious pretense and politicization not to mention a huge expense paid out from well-meaning Church donors. The USCCB with its bureaucrats entices bishops to pass the buck on tough issues to a faceless association in Washington. Actually, the Conference was built as a personal vehicle for then Bishop Joseph Bernardin to build a following and win recognition from Rome.

That Bishop Bruskewitz, the best known and most courageous authenticist prelate in the United States and Burke, a gutsy critic of the bishops’ establishment which has excluded Bruskewitz, didn’t communicate during her tenure strikes some as a shame. Both are natural rebels; both have naturally blunt but honest styles. They don’t agree on everything but could have worked together on some important matters. Knowing both, this Wanderer reporter thinks such an alliance could have been fascinating and performed great things for the Church.

They seem to agree on a number of things. First, on their view that robust discipline and courageous handling of erring clerics by bishops rather than by namby-pamby methods of transferring them to other assignments, postponed solution of the problems and actually worsened them. Bruskewitz has been eloquent on that issue, that the failings had been caused by “the bishops’ own (how shall we say it) sloth, folly, negligence or whatever it might be. I think it’s unquestionable that history and God Himself will judge very adversely the carelessness or recklessness or whatever it was that caused this situation to develop.” Burke expressed the same sentiments in pungent fashion with me.

Second, the USCCB is nothing more than an echelon of bureaucracy that blunts individual bishops’ effectiveness at home and should be abolished, the sooner the better; Burke believing that it is an oracular cave of winds and Bruskewitz having expressed similar views. Third: reasons other than the logical appointment of outside people dominated makeup of the Board: shallow p. r. considerations. Bruskewitz has said, “I think in my darker moments that there was a desire to placate the Beltway press—the media in the Washington area—and somehow it was supposed that the appointment of these particular persons would provide some satisfaction for the media and allow for some favorable coverage in this tragic business, the heinous business of sexual misconduct by priests and bishops.” Burke said virtually the same thing to me.

Fourth: the process of picking the membership was inept. Bishop Bruskewitz assumed, understandably, that they were picked by some USCCB functionaries acting for the bishops. But possibly even he didn’t know the extent of the incompetence of the choosing. A New York p. r. agency staffed by secular, commercial image-building types “googled” (conducted an internet search of) a list of nationally known Catholics without any consideration of their views on theology or the Church. The names were sorted with political balance—Gov. Frank Keating, an Oklahoma Republican as chairman and Burke, a Chicago Democrat as vice chairman. The list was sent on to the bishops’ office which cavalierly endorsed most of them without considerable thought. Bruskewitz says that the church should not be run “from a bully pulpit occupied by people who are doctrinally and morally not in sympathy with the Church.” Burke is shocked at such a disorderly process usurped the bishops’ function.

Fifth the National Review Board should have been established with more attention to statutory regulations than crass public relations considerations—a fact enunciated by Bruskewitz who told his diocesan newspaper that “I would certainly say that there should be some more clear statutory regulations and some clear job descriptions…And the National Review Board should be reconstituted with people who are loyal to the Catholic Church and the teachings of the church in their full dimensions.” Burke agrees.

Sixth—and most surprising--Burke is somewhat skeptical of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests). Not that she doubts victims charges but recognizes SNAP is a pressure lobby. It has a full-time, paid president, a woman abused by a priest, lawyer Barbara Blaine. It also has an executive, a young man who claims repressed memory only brought to light abuses that were visited on him by a priest when he was very young (repressed memory being held in serious doubt by this city’s premier social psychologist who is also a talk-show host, Dr. Milton Rosenberg). Burke does not doubt the existence of sexual abuse—far from it, she aims to eradicate it—but she told me in terms that Bishop Bruskewtiz might share that Blaine and her group are professional agitators on the subject: trying to inveigle the television media with their stories. She understands the game but feels SNAP has a reason to keep the issue alive: its own viability as an organization.

“That’s their job, after all—the job they’re paid to do, isn’t it?” she said. It’s a view perhaps many authenticists would share, possibly Bruskewitz.

But on the issue of Jeff Anderson, the Minnesota attorney who brings lawsuits over priest sexual abuse and reaps a good living from them, Burke doesn’t knock a fellow lawyer or the right of accused to legal counsel.

“Nothing wrong with that,” she said. “Everyone’s entitled to a lawyer.”

That Burke and Bruskewitz may agree on much leads this reporter to regret that they hadn’t met before the opening bell of Round One of the Board meeting. They seemed to be in different corners but didn’t have to be.

Not all is sanguine, however. They divide on Leon Panetta, Bill Clinton’s administrative assistant, who as a Congressman and White House aide supported abortion on demand. Burke, a pro-lifer, nevertheless felt that apart from that issue, she benefited from his specific judgment in board meetings. Likewise with Dr. Michael Bland of the Chicago area, a former priest about whom Bruskewitz has speculated on whether he was formally laicized; Burke thinks Bland, an expert in behavioral mental health, made an important contribution.

Had Burke and Bruskewtiz ever met, the judge might remonstrate with the bishop to change his mind on Robert Bennett, brother of William Bennett Reagan’s education secretary. Bruskewitz questioned his suitability because he was defense lawyer for Bill Clinton during the time of Clinton’s veto of partial birth abortion and “through the whole drama of impeachment.” But Burke argues that legal defense is a right and that no lawyer should be condemned because of an unpopular client, citing John Adams who defended British soldiers who fired on a defenseless crowd during the Boston Massacre. Moreover, Burke would say Bennett was her strong right arm in rallying a once chaotic board to produce a report that charts a clear course of action. If, she would add, the bishops will only follow it.

The Burke-Bennett alliance was interesting.

In the midst of dissention between the bishops and the Board, Democrat Burke, a trim athlete and sailor and Bennett, an ex-Democrat turned conservative Republican, lumbering, overweight and crotchety who seemingly cannot smile, sat down and pondered what to do. Reviewing the obstacles thrown their way by the bishops, Burke said suddenly: “why don’t we go to Rome?” “What?” growled Bennett. “See John Paul II?” The Pope was desperately ill at the time. Burke said, “No—but why not Ratzinger?”

Bennett groaned. “The bishops in charge of this place will not permit it.” Then they both laughed: they were being buffaloed by the bishops’ bureaucracy as well!

They both came to the same conclusion: Who cares?

So they worked closely together, coordinating their respective church contacts along with ambassadorial link-ups. The next thing they knew they were plugged into a meeting with Josef Cardinal Ratzinger, then prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, dean of the college of cardinals, close confidante to John Paul II and the second ranking official of the world-wide Catholic church.

“Don’t even ask how we did it,” Burke said to this Wanderer reporter. “You know something about politics, don’t you?”

Next thing they knew the two of them were on a flight to Rome, Burke docking the bishops for her flight, Bennett, the most famous defense lawyer in Washington, paying his own way. First, they huddled with sprightly, very quotable Francis Cardinal Arinze the Nigerian-born prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Cardinal Arinze, noted for his blunt, no-holds-barred words, got right to the point. “Tell me,” he said in his British-tinged accent as he peered at the two with eyes that seemed to probe their souls, “what is going on?”

“A long story,” said Burke. And they told it.

It is exceedingly likely that Burke and Bishop Bruskewitz agree on the brilliant merits of the outspoken Arinze who seems to talk in sound bytes inimical to hierarchical parsing: a later candidate for the papacy. After Arinze peppered them with questions, he led them to another office—not all that big—occupied by Cardinal Ratzinger. In his lightly German-flavored accent with superb English diction, he said: “I have been very eager to see you and to listen to your report and have many questions to ask you.” They bent his ear for two and one half hours.

As Burke and Bennett strode out into the hot Roman sun, Bennett said: “I think we’re getting somewhere.”

“To say that we were highly impressed is an understatement,” Burke

told me. “He had a number of pungent observations.”

What did he say? this Wanderer scribe asked. After a long pause, she asked, “do you want more coffee?” As she poured, she said in a words familiar to all Chicagoans who know how politicians talk: “That’s for me to know…” And, said I, “for me to find out.”

Correct. And I didn’t find out, she being the consummate professional. But this would be yet another issue on which she and Bishop Bruskewitz would agree. The man who became Pope Benedict XVI was direct in his questioning, far from naïve in assessing the situation in the United States, not so theological or philosophically speculative as to render it an academic exercise but asking pertinent questions concerning bishops, their preparation for the task, how involved they were in the exercise, what they sought to achieve by the process and how they would reform in the future.

News of their meeting with the two cardinals got back to the United States almost instantaneously. The second Burke walked into her judicial office, her secretary handed her a flock of notes to call Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the USCCB.

“You are entitled to know,” said the bishop in his grave way, “that even bishops who go to Rome for such meetings are required to clear them with this office.”

“I am sure,” said Justice Burke. “But then as you know, we are not bishops.”

The conversation thereafter was professional but brief.

The political forensics went on until the end of Justice Burke’s term as interim president of the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People. There was no indication that she would be reappointed—and, indeed, she couldn’t for she was due to be named to a higher judicial post—from Appellate Justice to state Supreme Court Justice. Also she felt she had been beating against a stone wall. But she supervised the preparation of the comprehensive report issued February 27, 2004. Her successor was named Chairman not interim chairman—a little reminder that with the USCC hierarchy, she was a rebel from start to finish.

“Doesn’t bother me,” Anne Burke said last week as we finished our third meeting. She had given the bishops more reform than their leaders had counted on when they made their oracular and pompous addresses to the television cameras. She insisted on issuing a report which the highly vaunted Charter hadn’t called for. She caused the bishops to ordered and pay for the most thorough study of clerical sexual abuse ever in the history of any Church in the world through the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She encouraged—well, did more than encourage, but served up only one option to the bishops so they had to ratify it—the naming of Kathleen McChesney, an outstanding FBI agent, number three in the bureau, as head of the Office of Child and Youth Protection. And then Burke was gone.

Following Burke’s departure there was controversy about McChesney’s staff hire, Teresa Kettelkamp, a former Illinois state trooper, who mandated what some feel is a graphically described how-to book teaching children how to protect themselves which grossly offended some parents and some bishops due to the explicit nature of the writing. While Burke didn’t figure in the production of the materials, she defends them, saying that due to the cultural depravity, explicit warnings must be issued.

“When you were young and went to a department store with your mother,” she said, “she would undoubtedly warn you before you went to the washroom not to talk to strangers or allow any strangers talk to you.” Right—that was an early warning which we had during the 1930s.

“But now, sadly, things are different,” she said. “Now what’s required in order to protect young people, regrettably, is much more warning than that. Now because of the debased culture we must safeguard our kids from improper touching, improper advances and to enable them to protect themselves they must receive more information than we had as kids. When we were kids, before television, did we have an overflow of slush and semi-pornography into our homes? Of course not. The protection of our kids require that they receive more than we did when we were their ages.”

She cited her own experience with her now ten year old son, an African American kid born to a drug-obsessed mother whom the Burkes adopted—the birth mother first agreeing then not agreeing, fighting with authorities because she delays taking treatmemnt, in a legal action that is being contested to this day. She was in the very same position as my mother many decades ago when we were at Marshall Field’s and nature called. My mother said, “don’t take to anyone in there.” Burke told her son Travis, “don’t let anybody talk to you or touch you in there, hear me?”

When he came out, he shouted across the room: “Hey, Mom! Nobody

touched me in there!”

The only time in the three extended conservations of several hours long this Wanderer reporter had with Burke was trying to make clear-cut distinction on the issue of homosexuality vis-à-vis priestly pedophilia. Bishop Bruskewitz asked the USCCB to make a study of the scandals, to find out whether or not they were homosexual in nature, his motion failed for want of a second, an indication of the skittishness Bishops have about the prevalence of sexual abnormality among priests and possibly among their own number.

Burke bobs and weaves and is not a model of clarity on that issue, citing the fact that while homosexual inclination could be endemic among priests--particularly those who entered pre-divinity at a very early age--a linkage between homosexuality and child abuse is vague and uncertain.

I pressed on. “Yet the John Jay Report said that over 80 percent of the crimes committed in the scandals were `homosexual in nature.’”

She agreed with this language but said the phrase “homosexual in nature” does not mean that homosexuals are more prone to commit offenses.

“Com’on,” I said. “Isn’t this a distinction without a difference?”

That’s where I made Burke the lawyer and judge work hardest. Our coffee turned cold in the cups as she finally came out against the very early induction of boys into pre-divinity studies, arguing that with no experience whatsoever in natural boy-girl relationships, they may be drawn into associational affinities that one could say were homosexual in nature but would not categorize them as homosexuals. I said: good try. I’m still not with you.

But her view that the church makes a mistake by encouraging very young boys to become priests was shared by Chicago’s most revered priest, Msgr. Ignatius McDermott, the city’s famed “Skid Row priest,” a lifelong friend of Anne Burke and her husband. A man’s man, a fellow South Sider and White Sox fan who before his death at 95 was viewed by young and older priests alike as a model for their lives, he felt the same way as Anne Burke..

“A man should be out in the world, I think,” he said to me not long before his death. “When I was young, we were recruited for the priesthood by well-meaning pastors and nuns and our mothers were thrilled. We were not even in our teens. With me and my classmates it was okay. We wanted the priesthood and loved it. But now, I think, with different circumstances, that priesthood candidates should be out in the world before they make that commitment.”

He did not elucidate but I think I understood.

“Yes,” she said finally nodding at a photo of the man all Chicago called Father Mac, on her wall. “He said it better.”

Anne Burke is still a rebel, still a caustic critic of the bishops’ establishment. “As far as I know,” she says, “the recommendations of our Report have not been implemented. Can you imagine that?” The report, if followed, would be the most revolutionary yet conservative and authentically Catholic, reform the institutional and spiritual side of the church has had since the days of Archbishop John Ireland of St. Paul.

It starts out with an outline for comprehensive reform of the seminaries. In Chicago the rector of the seminary that allow indicted predator Fr. Daniel McCormack to skip through, that somehow “lost” the papers of his prior lapses, has been promoted to vicar general of the archdiocese, the second-ranking position. Far from being promoted, he should have been asked to defend himself. Moreover, the lay chancellor, Jimmy (his formal, not nick-name) Lago who was supposed to be in charge of the affairs of the diocese has been reappointed and given official supervision of clerical abuses, a job most people thought he had all the time. This after Lago gave a huge self-promoting interview to the Tribune telling how he bolstered a dazed and confused Francis Cardinal George who didn’t know what to do .

The report calls for: a fuller treatment of the gift of clerical celibacy (in some seminaries, celibacy as a topic seldom, if ever, comes up)…great stress to be placed on holiness and prayer life for priests…bishops to forsake initial presumptions in favor of accused priests…laicization of erring priests although the procedure is sanction in canon law.

Further it recommends doing away with: clericalism, where bishops sweep offenses under the rug so as to keep them from being made public…forgiveness without condemnation, where the erring priest is allowed to believe his action was a mere oversight rather than a grievous sin and insult to the trust children place in him…undue reliance of bishops on psychiatrists and psychologists in place of spiritual guidance…undue reliance on lawyers who dismiss sexual abuse of children by priests as mere legal problems…failure of bishops to hold themselves accountable, passing the buck to lay officials or faceless boards…undue reliance of Vatican-appointees as candidates for bishoprics, men who have little or no pastoral experience…disregard of fraternal correction when bishops see other bishops avoiding the issue or deciding to opt out of the unpopular style of calling priests to account.

“I’d be surprised if anything has been done in this regard,” she said, of the 143-page document A Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church of the United States.

In October the original members of the National Review Board will get together for a reunion. They will certainly recall that but for a gutsy Irish lady Democratic judge from the south side of Chicago…with the help of a bulky, overweight curmudgeon Republican defense lawyer, two who won their support…the Report would have been a glossy corporate-style annual report with glowing predictions. Instead of what it is: an honest, accusing finger pointing to certain bishops in their marble palace…not all: one in Lincoln, Nebraska is an exception…who haven’t even read much of it and who would rather concentrate on more convenient politically palatable issues than the well-being of our children.

My salute to Anne Burke is in Chicagoese: “Way to go, lady! You done good!”

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Personal Asides: The Colgate Shave Cream Jingle…Another Trivia and This Time Use the Search Engine and See Who Comes in First


I should have allowed search engines to be used. Jesse Taylor, a friend of mine, used one and not only produced the lines of the Bill Stern jingle but played the song for me on his computer. Anyhow, he wins but with the proviso that he used a search engine which I had forbidden. The jingle went: Bill Stern the Colgate Shave Cream man is on his way/ Bill Stern the Colgate Shave Cream man had lots to say/ He told you tales of sports heroes/ The inside dope he really knows/ Listen in next Saturday/ C-o-l-g-a-t-e!”

Another Trivia.

This time use the search engine and see who comes in first—because I don’t want you to rack your brains too hard. This time it will be a race to see who is speediest. Who said:

“The world is not a rectilinear world. It is a curvilinear world. The heavenly bodies go in curves because that is the natural way for them to go and so the whole Newtonian universe crumpled up and was succeeded by the Einstein universe. Here in England, he is a wonderful man. This man is not challenging the fact of science. He is challenging the action of science. Not only is he challenging the action of science, but the action of science has surrendered to his challenge. Now ladies and gentlemen: Are you ready for the toast? I drink to the greatest of our contemporaries, Einstein.”

Flashback 1960: Why the Judd Keynote Hit Home and How the GOP Sank Back when Its Author Wasn’t Nominated…Viehman Elects as Republican Governor the Very Man He Didn’t Want and the No Thanks from The Winner


[More reminiscences from fifty years in politics for my kids and grandchildren plus for Dr. Paul Green, U. S. History Expert, Who Enjoys Them].

As I followed a spindly, bespectacled skin-cancer-facially scarred 61 year-old Congressman from hotel room to hotel room, state caucus to state caucus where he received standing ovations and boosts for the GOP vice presidential nomination, I wondered how broken-hearted the delegates would be if Judd were not nominated, as I feared he would not be. Mid-western conservatives were in a party dominated by the eastern seaboard since 1940. Willkie was nominated that year over Taft and the then conservative Vandenberg…Dewey in 1944 and `48…then Eisenhower twice. Conservative had an air of despair until Judd gave the keynote.

Not that Walter Judd was an old-style conservative: he represented a new breed of Republican which had broken with the old isolationist strain: having supported the Marshall Plan, aid to Greece and Turkey, having placed Harold Stassen in nomination in 1948, having flown to Paris to convince Dwight Eisenhower to run against Robert Taft. But he was an original “hawk” as distinct from the liberals…the “New York Times” and the Cowles newspapers (in Minneapolis) in the forefront, who believed a non-military man could, better than Eisenhower, negotiate an end to the Cold War. They were learning Democratic, were harsh critics of Foster Dulles but had kind views of Cabot Lodge. But in the keynote Judd did what eastern Democratic newspapers and eastern Republicans feared to do: strike at the foreign policy of Roosevelt and Truman. That’s what got the GOP delegates excited over Judd —and that’s what cooled Nixon on Judd.

Judd was oblivious to Nixon’s deviousness. Judd supported free trade, the up-building of the military when conservatives warned this would lead to war, endorsed expanded foreign aid and who had been a close friend of Senator Harry Truman ever since the two of them shared the same hotel room when they traveled to small mid-western towns after World War II to convince grassroots isolationists that we should join the United Nations, having supported Truman on all key foreign and defense measures (but criticized Truman on other foreign matters particularly vis-à-vis China). Judd got to know Richard Nixon when they were both in the House and was sure Nixon was as non-flexible in foreign policy as he. That’s where he was wrong. Nixon was the essence of flexibility, believed in no permanent things and had used the Alger Hiss case to win the plaudits of the conservative base. Now he was willing to enlarge his base and wanted Cabot Lodge to bring the northeast—always distrustful of Nixon—into the fold with him. Thus he perceived a nomination of Walter Judd as an obstacle.

As Nixon’s then Karl Rove-like pal, Murray Chotiner, had told me: Nixon feared that whenever he would feint and bob in foreign affairs as president, Judd the rigid Cold Warrior would be opposed: moreover Judd was principled. Nixon feared that kind of man. He felt he had taken the temper of Cabot Lodge and saw in him the negotiation-prone vice president Nixon wanted him to be: a malleable northeasterner, close to the Rockefellers and “The New York Times” and the TV networks who had gained quite a bit of TV coverage as UN ambassador speaking out against USSR aggression: but all the same a Nixonian.

What did Judd say in the keynote that inflamed the base? I’ve looked at the text once again before writing this and feel the same shiver that went through me when I heard it at the International Ampitheatre that July. He asked ten rhetorical questions…having changed the text at the last minute from declarative statements…which each time provoked a response that rocked the old building. Let’s look at them and consider the history. First, remember that Judd was not just a world famous surgeon but perhaps the country’s best known medical missionary who with his wife had been captured and held prisoner by the Chinese in the 1930s during the early war between China and Japan. The political establishment disliked criticism of FDR and Truman, wanted encouragement of negotiation with the Communists. With that in mind, here is Judd in fiery stance on the platform:

o “Was it Republicans who recognized the Soviet Union in 1933 and gave it acceptance into our country and world society as if it were a respectable and dependable member thereof?”

o “Was it Republicans who, at Teheran, against the urgent advice of Mr. Churchill, agreed to give the Russians a free hand in the Balkans?”

o “Was it Republicans who secretly divided Poland and gave half of it to the Soviet Union?”

o “Was it a Republican administration which at Potsdam gave the Soviet Union East Germany and left West Berlin cut off from the rest of the free world?”

o “Was it a Republican administration that publicly announced that Manchuria would go back to its rightful owners, the Chinese and then secretly at Yalta gave control of Manchuria to the Russians?”

o “Was it a Republican administration that divided Korea and gave control of North Korea to the Communists?”

o “Was it a Republican administration that gave to the Soviet Union the Kurile Islands which had never been anybody’s except Japan’s, thereby endangering both Japan’s and our security in the North Pacific?”

o “Was it a Republican administration that rightly put its hand to the plow in Korea and then when victory was in sight turned back, allowing the Reds to recover so they can still make more trouble in the future?”

o “Was it a Republican administration that fell for the Communist offer of a truce in Korea without requiring that the North Korean aggressors lay down their arms and the Chinese Communists get out of Korea where they had no business to be?”

Notice that even Judd didn’t touch the fall of China which occurred on Truman’s watch. Joe McCarthy and Bill Jenner (the Senator from Indiana) had seemingly poisoned the topic with charges of Communist subversion. Judd had opinions which were privately identical but spurned a question on it which could have finally ripped the roof off the Ampitheatre but, Judd reasoned correctly, would have forfeited his chance at the vice presidency.

The delegation visits went on hour by hour. By the time we went to bed, Judd was the choice of the convention. Rockefeller was all set to deliver New York. They bumped into each other in the Blackstone lobby and I pushed myself forward, pressing against a plump lady whom I discovered to my dismay was Brad Heffelfinger.

Both of us overheard the bargaining. Nelson Rockefeller in a last minute attempt got hold of Judd and promised him the vice presidential nomination if he would do a lateral arabesque and issue a statement of conscience that--. No, said Judd, I cannot do that. You see, I think Nixon is the better man for this job right now than you, Nelson: I’m sorry. But, said Rocky, if you go with me we’ll patch up the northeast. Who the hell is Cabot Lodge but a defeated Senator—defeated by Jack Kennedy? I tell you I can whip up the northeast. Do you not think the name Rockefeller is not formidable in New York?

Judd laughed inexplicably—which he later told me was prompted by his reflection on the anomaly. As an impoverished kid from Rising City, Nebraska who worked his way through college and med school, he never thought he’d be dickering with a Rockefeller, the merchant prince, super-powerful inheritor of economic and political tradition, governor of the most powerful state who was bidding for his help. Walter, Rocky remonstrated, you know the northeast is everything. I am the governor of New York. We’ll have the support of the big papers and networks that Dick can never have. We’ll have a campaign that—he waved his hand—that will never be outspent. (That’s for sure).

But, said Judd, you’ve only been governor for two years—you don’t have the experience in foreign affairs. No foreign experience? thundered Rocky, [scatological reference to excrement] I was Franklin Roosevelt’s coordinator for Latin America! I was his assistant secretary of state when Navy lieutenant Dick Nixon was playing Pinnocle with his buddies on a Navy trawler for Chrissake! Sorry, Nelson, I can’t do it.

Brad Heffelfinger grabbed me by the shoulder so forcibly that he almost ripped my jacket: “Your man has real principles!” she said, happy that Judd didn’t cave which meant her Cabot Lodge was still in the game. Yeah, I said, but principles that’ll screw him up and all of us. He is wrong. Maybe he can’t back out now but he should never gone for Nixon in the first place. Baby, she said, you’ve always said I don’t tell you what I really think—but I really think you’re right! But that’s my good fortune, being for Cabot! Cabot, I said and echoed Rockefeller’s reference to excrement.

At 11 that night while Nixon was being nominated by the convention, Judd was called to the Nixon suite at the Blackstone and I tagged along, banging against Nixon thugs and Secret Service. Nixon had said that there were four possibles: Cabot Lodge, Jerry Ford, House Republican leader, Thruston Morton, Senator from Kentucky and Judd. Wait outside, Judd said. I sighed: How disappointed I was that I couldn’t get inside.

“You’re disappointed!” Elizabeth Heffelfinger who was also waiting outside the door, said: “You little [scatological reference to gaseous emission] I wouldn’t stand for you getting in there while I was locked out!” The crowd of lock-outs belonged to the GOP A list including David Rockefeller who sank wearily on a sofa. Not too shabby for a guy wearing a wrinkled Benson-Rixon suit that had been advertised as “You can look nifty for seventy-four fifty.” After forty-five minutes, Judd came out, looking elated. I assumed the deal was made.

Not so. Not until long after the convention ended and we were back in Washington did I hear what happened—details that square with Judd’s oral history and his interview for a biography many years later. Nixon received Judd warmly and said, “The question of the vice presidency is down to two. The press speculates it’s four but it’s two—Lodge and yourself.” Judd said that he believed the winner was Lodge because he already had his acceptance speech written.

“But it’s not so far gone in his favor that it couldn’t be reversed if we decided that it is the best thing to do,” said Nixon. Then Nixon, the wily, the serpentine, the reptilian, asked: “Would you be willing to give his [Lodge’s] acceptance speech?” Judd hadn’t seen the speech, of course, but Lodge had been playing the easy-does-it Northeastern game. Later Judd wrote in a memorandum for the history books: “[H]e was not offering me the nomination but only offering me a chance to show him how I would be a better candidate than Lodge—which I wasn’t honestly sure I could do.”

“…which I wasn’t honestly sure I could do.” Why not? Miriam Judd, his wife, told me later. It was his concern for his raw, peeled face like raw hamburger—which he regarded as making him a curiosity, something that could be ridiculed by late night TV people…a humiliation that this surgeon could not handle. So what did Judd tell Nixon? Again, from Judd’s memorandum:

“I told him I felt I was qualified for the position and I knew I would bring the ticket a great deal of strength, particularly in the Midwest and South, because I had spoken to so many and such a variety of audiences there. But I recognized that he, Nixon, was weakest in the Northeast and that Lodge ought to be able to bring more support there because of its being his own base, because of his years of exposure on television at the United Nations where he had done an excellent job and because I thought he would be an exceptional appeal he probably had to women voters. I added, of course, I would be glad to nominate Lodge if he, Nixon, wanted me to.”

That is the tip-off. Judd was afraid to take the assignment: thus he was dissing himself. So, it wasn’t all selflessness, Miriam Judd said. It was a deep-rooted inferiority because the early radiation he received on his face when he was a young medical student and physician—before scientists had any reckoning of the damage that could be caused—convinced him his face was a drawback…and more than that: that he wouldn’t be able to live with jests and whispers about his appearance. Judd never acknowledged this; he insisted that what he said in his memo was it in its entirety.

I never believed him. He cited other excuses when he talked to me. One was his age: 61. Not important, Eisenhower having been older as president, elected at 62, suffering a heart attack at 65, an intestinal bypass at 66 and a slight stroke at 67 that impaired his speech for 24 hours as none better than physician Judd knew. Eisenhower lived to age 79. He also said he wanted more time, at age 61, for reflection and for refurbishing his spiritual life. That also was baloney. He kept up a steady schedule of travel, speaking and writing, serving as a contributing editor of the “Readers Digest,” dying at age 96.

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. was nominated and proved to be one of the more indolent, apathetic and non-inspirational campaigners in modern times—hitting his hotel at 6 p.m., disdaining late hours and even turning down media requests. His blandness didn’t add anything to Nixon’s own newly-adopted blandness. Still in all, the Nixon-Lodge campaign came close to the nation’s record of scoring over Kennedy-Johnson.

In summary, years later, Judd wrote, “My great error was that I overestimated Lodge’s vote-getting capacity and underestimated my own. It was the greatest mistake of my life from the standpoint of the country. If I had made a real effort myself and given the green light to a good many key people who were wanting to put on a real drive for my nomination…we could have gotten the delegates to nominate me, the ticket would have gotten a great more votes in key places, Nixon would have been elected and the whole course of history in these United States and the world would have been vastly different.”

If only 4,500 voters in Illinois and 28,000 in Texas had changed their minds, those 32,500 votes would have moved the states with their 51 electoral votes into the Nixon column, giving him an electoral majority of two. With Ed Viehman’s heroic campaign waged in 1960 despite his own deadly cancer, Kennedy won Minnesota by only 22,000 out of 1.5 million cast. If Walter Judd had been on the ticket, Minnesota and its electoral votes would have been in the Republican column. Thanks to Viehman, Minnesota elected Elmer L. Andersen as governor, defeating Orville Freeman, the co-pilot of Hubert Humphrey’s mighty DFL organization. Viehman’s grassroots architecture carried the day for Andersen and reelected Quie by such a margin that he was never in doubt again.

Neither recognized it nor thanked Viehman. Immoderate expression of gratitude is regarded as weakness by successful politicians. They will say thank-you to supporters on election night but that’s it. Without all of you, they say inwardly, I still could have done it. That view of politicians has never changed for me during my work in two states during the 20th and early 21st centuries. To be successful, they have to have supreme faith in themselves with egos that leap tall buildings at a single bound. That he didn’t have that spiraling ego proved to be the downfall of Walter Judd who believed what his followers did not: that he was ugly—and so, wounded in his own self-esteem, he did in fact become a cripple. Fittingly, he often expressed expansive gratitude for the help of others. A sign he was too modest and un-self-consumed requisite for the long haul.

In the rearview mirror of history, I disagree with Judd’s statement that “the whole course of history in these United States and the world would have been vastly different.” By the time Nixon did become president, nine years later he had developed a Kissingerian view of “realistic” fatality about this country’s lessened will in the Cold War—a “realistic” fatality that existed until another president turned it around, Ronald Reagan. I imagine that Nixon would have possibly tried to carry out Eisenhower’s plan to overthrow Castro at the Bay of Pigs. It would certainly have failed as it did for Kennedy. But Kennedy redeemed himself with the Cuban Missile crisis. I am not sanguine that Richard Nixon, at bottom a very weak, insecure man, would not have blinked before Kennedy. Kennedy blinked too, of course, pulling missiles out of Turkey. I am not sure Nixon would have stopped there with concessions. At bottom he had the soul of a vice president—not a president. You can’t sell meat-loaf as filet mignon. But if Nixon-Judd were elected and Nixon died with Judd in charge then history would have changed—for the better.

Concerning Judd’s instinctive backing away (something I feel he couldn’t acknowledge) I believe, as did his wife, that he had purposely failed to fight for the role and convince Nixon that he was the right man out of a crippling inferiority complex about his looks. The ravaged face, the burned-away lips,could have been explained from the standpoint of his humanitarian experience, could have been made into a plus. But it begins with one’s own view of himself. Tragically, Walter Judd’s own view of his looks blinded him and caused him to fall short of realizing a remarkable career. But that is what is known as the human condition.

I consoled myself—not much—by thinking that he would be willing to run for the Senate later that year against Hubert Humphrey. At least with that hope in mind, I went to the celebratory cocktail party and delicious buffet thrown by an ecstatic Brad Heffelfinger for her favorite, the man she called fondly Cabot Lodge. I looked at him across the room: the paste-up plastic smile, the black patent-leather hair and once again saw the visage of Freddie, the foppish would-be swain of Liza Doolittle in Shaw’s “Pygmalion” which was later celebrated as “My Fair Lady” which opened on Broadway in 1956. Now whenever I see re-runs of the film with Audrey Hepburn, whenever I see Freddie I always think of Cabot Lodge.

Cabot Lodge went on to carve out a dishonorable role in history. He was named Ambassador to South Vietnam by JFK and, most historians confirm, actively participated in the overthrow of Diem—an act that was supposed to usher in a better government but which knocked the only stable prop out of the government…leading to worse and worse successors, topped by the country’s ultimate fall to Communism. The Lodge-plotted overthrow led to Diem’s assassination and the murder of his brother as well. Nice guy Nixon had picked. A true relativist like the manipulator who chose him as consort. I never had the chance to ask Judd what he thought of the assassin he had offered to place in nomination.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006



The Roosevelt University Seminar on Public Policy Featuring:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: A Fair and Balanced Mid-East Solution.

Karl Rove: What I Really Know About Valerie Plame

Sen. Barack Obama: Dreams of My Kansas-Born Mother.

Judy Miller: What I Had to Do to Get the Inside Story on Bush.

John Kerry: Why I Voted for the War Before Voting Against It.

Tom Cruise: Why I Started Taking Anti-Depressants Again.

Benedict XVI: My Easy-Does-It Plan to Catholicize the World.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich: Why the Press Made My Baby Cry.

Tony Peraica: Vote for Me and Nobody Gets Hurt.

Mayor Richard M. Daley: What Do I Have to Do for This Media,

Take Down My Pants?

I am disappointed and stunned to find that there has not been a rush to sign up for this course…which if not changed will be cancelled. I don’t mean to be petty about it but all those who have asked me for favors for the past three decades can forget about me doing any favors for them in the future if they fail to sign up and allow this course to be cancelled. If you can’t attend take out a “scholarship” and give it to someone deserving. If you can’t think of any deserving person i.e. a student, I can think of many. Contact me. The course’s official name is

Special Topics: Current Political Trends.

Where: Roosevelt University

Room 430

430 South Michigan


When: Thursday evenings from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

September 7 through December 21, 2006

Fee $250.

Register at

Your $250 credit card payment will be required at sign up time…or bring your check payable to “Roosevelt University” to the first class session. No college credit will be given nor will you receive a grade for your attendance if you audit this course. To formally enroll and receive credit for the course or to find out more about Roosevelt University offerings, visit the website at

I would request all those who sign up to audit the course let me know as soon as possible at

Hoping you will not let me down, I remain—

Thomas F. Roeser

It’s Not the Same Town Royko Used to Write About. City Council in Modified Revolt Against the Mayor, BanningCity Council in Modified Revolt Against the Mayor, Banning Foie Gras and Reflecting White Wine and Brie Elitist Pressures.

[This is an article I wrote some weeks ago for The Wanderer, the nation’s oldest national Catholic weekly and forgot to post until now. The third and final article on Anne Burke will be published soon. Until then, read this.]

By Thomas F. Roeser

CHICAGO—This is no longer the city where the late legendary columnist Mike Royko, a blue-collar, 16-inch softball playing, hard-drinking defender of the underdog, suggested substituting the city’s official motto Urbs in Horto or City in a Garden to Ubi est Mea? or Where’s Mine? The city that Royko wrote about was a town which legend spinners insist is still the real Chicago—city of the “big shoulders,” polluting manufacturing plants, Mafia gangsters and cherry-nosed aldermen who bow deferentially to a mayor named Daley for whom English appears to be a second language. Royko’s earliest memory was living above his father’s tavern and being allowed to take the tavern payoff down to the precinct police sergeant. But it isn’t the same.

Today many of the old neighborhoods have either been razed to make room for condos costing $700,000 plus. Formerly rundown four flats have been upgraded to suit information-age yuppies, affluent couples who have copme in from exurbia, liberal singles and world-weary gays who nibble on salads, jog, practice yoga and read the New York Review of Books as they sip latte coffee while deciding what to wear to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art. The people who are calling the shots are (a) esoteric liberals, (b) the unions and (c) bleeding heart liberal journalists who agonize for “the poor.”

The mayor is still named Daley, a very small chip off the old block. He has forsaken his old Irish Catholic Democratic heritage. Once old man Daley—Richard J.—severely questioned a Jesuit priest who had assigned the book “Crisis in Black and White” as required reading for the mayor’s son Bill. Sis Daley objected, too. But the book was tame, a mere study of black mores. It would be boring to read now, certainly not an incitement to race war. Once pro-life and as traditionalist as his father, Richie has endorsed abortion on demand, gay rights and same-sex marriage in order to appease the near North liberals who aren’t interested in getting city jobs. Moreover, fearful of being indicted, he is under the watchful stare of an out-of-town federal prosecutor. Federal rules have been applied to the town’s hiring and firing. Therefore he fears to punish his enemies and reward his friends with either jobs or contracts, the ingredients that built the once impregnable Democratic machine.

In place of the old cry of “give a break to the workingman and his family,” the reigning appeal is to assuage celebrity minority demagogues and the high-income white denizens with trendy causes. Therefore as none other than the Associated Press put it recently, “If you’re a cell-phone-using, goose-liver, cigarette-smoking, fast-food-loving person Chicago might not be your kind of town.” Ordinances have been passed to ban all these things. But the capper is the fight over a special minimum wage hike for so-called “Big Box” employers like Wal-Mart and Target. Liberals who used to be fighters for more jobs for the poor are now trying to shove thousands of jobs out of town, with dire consequences for the poor. Wal-Mart set up a store in suburban Evergreen Park just a few blocks from Chicago that collects an estimated $530 million a year in sales from Chicagoans without a penny of sales tax going to Chicago—all the while the spot where Wal-Mart wanted to build in Chicago remains an empty lot.

When Leo XIII wrote about business’ obligation to social justice in Rerum Novarum he became known as the working man’s pope, criticizing “a small number of very rich men [who] have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke which is very little better than slavery itself”—meaning excruciatingly low wages which, Leo said, prompts a class of servitude which spurs the evil of socialism, class hated and an abhorrence of private property. He accepted the right to strike but called upon the state to reform grievances that promote strikes.

In response to eloquent demands like Leo’s, both parties have enacted laws protecting labor unions and, in fact, federally set a minimum wage level under which the union-affiliated working man and woman can be protected. There are varied arguments for and against the minimum wage: some of the nation’s most prestigious economists have said that it by itself has held back industry from providing the jobs and economic growth that help the working poor. Nevertheless the minimum wage stands. Nobody outside of conservative academia advocates its abolition these days. Instead both liberals and conservatives cry out for more jobs. It’s a no-brainer.

Emperor Daley I followed the dictum of the founder of the Democratic machine, a Czech immigrant with no religion and who could barely read, known as “Pushcart Tony” Cermak. Cermak formulated the strategy that kept Democrats in power here since 1933: hire well-qualified and, if need be, honest, people to head up city departments but staff the underside of the departments with loyal Democratic precinct workers who are given quotas for vote-delivery on election day. Every ward had a quota of jobs they were entitled to depending on how the wards performed on election day. You didn’t want to have a precinct captain either head the city planning department or police or fire. You try to hire and promote the best so there’s little or no scandal all the while the grunt work is done by the grunts who work the precincts. Every ward committeeman had his quota of jobs and that was that.

This worked under the senior Daley’s successors. Jane Byrne, the first woman mayor and Harold Washington, the first black one, were wildly improvisational, but followed the Tony Cermak formula. It has taken John Kass, a brilliant Tribune columnist, to figure out exactly what has gone wrong. To no one’s surprise, it involves politics. Byrne wanted to keep young Richie Daley, the first-born son of the old man out of power. Young Richie, a state senator, was preparing to run for Cook county state’s attorney, the main elective prosecutorial job, preparatory to running against Byrne for mayor. Fearing that Daley would find a way to prosecute her, Byrne cut a deal with Alderman Ed Burke to run against Daley in the Democratic primary. As mayor, Byrne had a lot of clout and the battle between Daley and Burke with Burke aided by Byrne was reincarnated ancient Irish clan war.

Daley won but in studying the returns, he was aghast that so much of Democratic organization had been gone for Burke. By the time he was elected mayor, Daley vowed to build a personal organization loyal to him alone. Thus he re-wrote the rulebook of old Tony Cermak. The organization was to be starved of jobs. The jobs were to go to only those loyal to Daley. The new rulebook was devised and followed in secret.

That meant politics directed from the 5th floor of City Hall, not in the wards. Underling jobs were approved by Daley’s people in the front office. But there was a basic flaw Daley and his minions didn’t see. By the old rule-book, jobs given to the wards certified that the ward politicians and the aldermen would have to be loyal to the mayor. Tony Cermak had ordained that the Democratic ward organizations had a reason to support a Democratic mayor—for jobs and privileges. Now it was not so.

Even so, the new rulebook could have worked except for Patrick Fitzgerald. The U. S. prosecutor on a white horse concentrated on City Hall as the source of all jobs and discovered the age-old never-observed ban on patronage was being discarded. The trail didn’t lead to the wards but directly to the mayor’s office. Fitzgerald exerted pressure on the mayor, interrogated him for an hour. Daley cut his politicking to the bone. He would not go to the neighborhoods to raise money for favorite aldermen. They were left alone to raise money for themselves or lose to challengers.

That meant a vacuum. Into the vacuum moved labor unions —vowing to raise money and send out foot-soldiers, legal under the law, to reelect the alderman with a proviso: the aldermen would have to do what they’re told.

That was all right with the aldermen who are used to doing what they’re told, whether it’s by Daley or the labor unions. The job of alderman pays nearly $100,000—no small change.

The aldermen’s new dependence on the unions, not the mayor, spelled a new dynamic of power in the city. Sensing Daley’s vulnerability as the feds probed him, the unions cheered. They’re not too crazy about Daley anyhow since he has fought them noisily on police and fire labor contracts, believing that the cheaper money he could get by with would hold down the need to raise taxes. As the new source for money and foot-soldiers in town, the unions craftily decided to test Daley’s strength.

The first shot in the war came on a scattering of so-called “consumer issues” which Daley abhors. As an exponent of Chicago the convention town, the tourist town, Daley wants to help hotels, restaurants and night clubs continue to appeal to the convention trade (already high union wages to build convention booths have chased some big trade shows out of town) so helping restaurants and clubs is job one.

But along came one Alderman Joe Moore, a Democratic liberal from the near North side—a new fangled liberal, member of the Democratic National Committee and a Howard Dean lefty—who introduces an ordinance to ban foie gras being served at fancy tourist restaurants. Moore agonized publicly about the pain and suffering that comes to ducks and geese forced to ingest grain in spectacular amounts to fatten up their livers. This is inhuman, says Moore, who is not at all perturbed about supporting abortion that kills unborn children.

With organized labor savoring the chance to punish Daley for past transgressions, Alderman Ed Burke, Daley’s old nemesis, has introduced an ordinance that would ban smoking inside vehicles when “small children” are riding in them. Violators would be fined $100. But what is the definition of a “small child”? Burke says the cutoff should be children under age 8. Does t hat mean it would be permissible to smoke near a kid who has just turned 8? Meanwhile Burke is crusading against restaurants serving trans-fats. He’s restricting it to restaurants owned by companies with at least $20 million in gross sales but not Kentucky Fried Chicken.

All the while the city council has been considering an ordinance to require microchips implanted in the necks of all dogs in the city so as to find them when they run away.

Now comes the coup de grace. When Leo XIII talked social justice he was concerned with the need of the unemployed poor to work without deprivation or exploitation, without a boss beating them with a stick or working them until they dropped. Wal-Mart and other “big box” stores are looking at locating in Chicago which would be a great boon to the city and its poor. Wal-Mart isn’t unionized but pays an average of $11 an hour and other big retailers will have to pay even more to attract beginning workers.

The feds’ minimum wage for union shops now stands at $5.15 an hour for unskilled workers. Jewel Foods in Chicago is unionized but its average pay is less than the average of $11 at Wal-Mart.

Basically there was no argument for penalizing the Big Boxes except for some unions and lefties to demagogue and fight Daley. But for the first time in memory, there was a union-sponsored mass march against City Hall, sparked by a demagogue white priest with blond hair, Fr. Michael Pfleger, who has been pastor of an all-black church and is regarded by his parishioners as a white Messiah, which he loves. (Pfleger has resisted being transferred and has said that if he is, he will start his own religion. Possibly other dioceses would can him and tell him to go ahead. Not the archdiocese of Chicago.

And also for the first time in memory, Daley lost a Council vote. The Council passed by vote of 35 to 14 in the Council a special minimum wage of $13 an hour by 2010 ($10 in salary and $3 in benefits) for “big box” stores with over $1 billion in sales. Daley rightly says this is a variant of “red-lining” which in the old days kept blacks out of home-buying in neighborhoods: keeping huge enterprises out of neighborhoods where poor people need the jobs they supply. Not long ago, desperate cities were striving to lure businesses by declaring low-tax and low-regulation enterprise zones. Now Chicago is beating them with a stick to get out of town.

Daley, who believes in very little, has one absolute: pro-business. He wants to encourage Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Costco and Home Depot. In this he is joined by a few hardy aldermen like Isaac Carruthers, an African American, who knows that his poor south side ward needs jobs. When Wal-Mart opened a store in the suburb of Evergreen Park, just a block of so beyond the Chicago limits, more than 27.000 applied for its 325 jobs at $ 7.25 an hour. Carruthers declared, the law “will cost black people jobs. If I put out a notice that there were 500 jobs waiting in my ward—what Wal-Mart was offering—you’d see a line of people from my ward all the way to Mississippi. People want jobs!”

Both city newspapers editorialized against the Big Box ordinance but liberal columnists they carry bleat support for the poor. Most aldermen want to protect their six-figure jobs, the unions want to punish Daley, Daley is afraid to reassert power because the feds are looking at him over the transom.

With a once machine town cowering from populist imprecations and federal prosecutors…a suddenly weakened town where the old rules on getting favors done don’t apply any more--the average working stiff from the neighborhoods—deprived of even the old-time services precinct captains could supply has a right to mourn the old days and ask Ubi est Mea? Where’s mine?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Personal Asides: Pardon Me! My Goof! My Goodness! Chuck Johanns Scores Two!...Neil Steinberg Gets a Phone Call from Africa…Birkett and Schuerer an Interesting Duo…Randy Stufflebeam…Another Trivia


Chuck Johanns.

My error: somehow I missed Chuck Johanns getting the quote from Theodora and the purple shroud. Good contributor David Graf noticed it too (and I guess also had the right answer but came after Chuck’s). That was unforgivable of me but absolutely brilliant of you, Chuck. Not only that, he comes back with the correct president who gave the quote last time: Calvin Coolidge. Chuck, what can I say? Fantastic work. And thanks for spotting my error, David.

Neil Steinberg.

To appreciate columnist Neil Steinberg you must (a) appreciate a clever scatological joke (which I do)…(b) understand that all home-grown columnists on the city’s Democratic newspaper of record must endorse liberalism with near-religious intensity to keep the paper’s tone intact as per its marketing posture (which I do)…and (c) celebrate trendy mores and morals that reflect youth. Youth, youth, youth: that’s the driving point of the Sun-Times. Some of the more sluggish columnists do it poorly: witness the publisher’s wife, Jennifer Hunter, who bored everyone silly the other day with a wistful séance over an ex-girl friend who insists on staying alienated. Who cares? But then Mrs. Cruickshank beamed up a derogatory reference to her own supposedly out-sized derriere to keep it interesting (well, not knowing the expanse of territory and not wishing to it was not). But I digress.

Steinberg has two things going for him. First, he is undeniably the best writer in the house, with a subtle sense of irony that improves the paper. Second, he observes the canon that he is supposed to appeal to the youth market—in his case the young married male Jewish (he refers to his Jewishness frequently, as when he considered taking a job in New York city but decided against it saying New York city does not need yet another Jew) upper-class sophisticated category, which he does superbly. But every so often Steinberg takes a risk with his liberal marketing niche—but not so much as to risk replacement. He is the only columnist to softly ridicule the Barack Obama phenomenon that is being pushed heavily by Marketing. Lynn Sweet is over in Africa with him and her breathless dispatches reflect the early days of liberal infatuation with communism i.e. “I have seen the future and it works” of Lincoln Steffens: in this case, I have seen the young black man who will be the president of the future and I am enthused.

Steinberg is the only writer in that uniformly left-wing Apparel Mart propaganda trap who has the guts to question the absurd media binge that has captivated not just his paper but the entire Chicago media market. He wrote a gentle statement, rephrasing a view that has not been published except on this Blog: that it would have been more fitting for Obama to visit the white mother who gave him sustenance after his black father skipped out to Harvard and never returned. To soften the effect, Steinberg wisely said that he would vote for Obama for president (see: Steinberg’s not a racist!). And he deftly suggested that perhaps the time has past when we have to atone for guilt by putting on a media circus like this. Yesterday Steinberg reported that he had received a phone call from Kenya from the Senator himself who expressed with steely phraseology that he loved his mother and that he viewed Steinberg as suggesting the opposite. Well, then, why doesn’t young Galahad give some attention to her in the public media?

The reason he doesn’t…and Steinberg has alluded to this…is that this is a media promotion for his presidency—and it is far more valuable to appeal to the half of his nationality that is black which more interests the heavy constituency of the Democrat party that is black rather than the half that is Kansas white. Perhaps David Axelrod who from his Chicago p. r. boiler room is pulling the wires for this African circus might be better to talk to. But if he were to do this, Neil Steinberg, a very good columnist, would be looking for a job and might have to settle for a column-writing job where he would be just another Jew in New York.

Birkett and Scheurer.

Joe Birkett and Bill Schuerer were very good on my show last night. All ten lines were jammed. About Joe: you know I favor him and supported him in the Conservative Summit—the only one to vote for him for governor. About Scheurer you don’t know much, but he is the Moderate party candidate for 8th district Congress, collected sufficient signatures on his petitions, was accepted as a bona fide third party candidate. So he will be on the ballot. Let me say he is a very presentable gentleman with whom I disagree—but you knew that. He was perspiring profusely during the show but he needn’t have. The show produced some interesting statements from Schuerer.

He is far more appreciative of Republican David McSweeney’s candor and character as a candidate for Congress in that district than he is of Democrat Melissa Bean.

Not that he agrees with McSweeney but that he shares with me the belief that David is sincere, well-versed and thoroughly at ease with the issues of the Congress. I personally believe that if he gets a fair hearing and presentation of his views in the media…which is problematic…he would be far more attractive to the Democrats of the 8th than Ms. Bean. I have met Ms. Bean only twice: once when she was on my show. She is a very attractive lady but for several things.

She utterly refused to have any opinions about public life that were not in her handy Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee kit she carried into the studio. She insisted on her staff aide sitting beside her at the desk and pointing with a grubby finger to the sheets she had spread out before her in answer to my questions. And when I asked her who she was most impressed with in the House she paused…hemmed and hawed…hawed and hemmed…and came up with the answer. Now usually a first term Congressman, especially one who is a Democrat in a heavily Republican district, would be well advised to say that Speaker Denny Hastert impressed her. After all, he is only the third Speaker to come from Illinois. So what was she afraid of?

The fact was that Ms. Bean’s tutorial image-maker didn’t allow her to say this and she followed his direction meekly. After some thought following his scribbling a note to her, she said that the Congressman she was most impressed with was…are you ready?...Rahm Emanuel. I don’t think a Congressman Bill Schuerer, no matter how much I disagree with him, would have to hem and haw…and certainly wouldn’t come up with the name of Rahm Emanuel.

Schuerer did not disavow for a moment that he would consider voting for the impeachment of President George W. Bush if, under a Democratic House, a bill of impeachment would be submitted—not only on the Iraq War but on other things (what they are he didn’t specify). That was a significant statement that has never come out in the campaign before to my knowledge.

Schuerer said that if elected he would go to the House and vote “present” on election of a Speaker…between Denny Hastert and Nancy Pelosi…unless the House was so mathematically tied that by his single vote he could decide the issue. That strikes me as disqualifying the voters of the 8th in participating in a key decision they have every right to perform—the election of a Speaker from a party that will govern the House. What is the sense of electing someone who would only vote in case of a tie?

Randy Stufflebeam.

I hope I never get so jaded with this political stuff…so absorbed with two-party politics…that I can’t spot a genuine idealist, even an impractical one, when I see one. And Saturday afternoon I had coffee with a man who really impresses me, notwithstanding the fact that because he’s engaged in a futile write-in for governor he doesn’t stand a chance—but his conservative freshness, idealism and good spirit is highly impressive. He’s not unlike the Jimmy Stewart character in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Only he wants to go to Springfield.

He is Randy Stufflebeam of Belleville who is running on a write-in for governor for the Constitutionalist party. He is not the loose cannon that Howie Phillips, founder of the national party is. Somewhere along the line Howie got unhinged and seeks to establish a theocratic state—not the one that fellow eccentric Kevin Phillips (no relation) fears but one Howie is really working for.

But there is no need for Kevin or anyone else to worry about Howie. One of these days somebody is going to run around his office with a net, scoop him up and carry him away. But Howie has really no connection with the bright young man who is running on a write-in for the Constitutionalist party here, Randy Stufflebeam. There is no talk of a theocratic state governed by Governor Stufflebeam for instance. His program can be found at .

The other day he and his Dad, Cal were in town. Seeing them I thought immediately of the hardy souls who sat down in another coffee house with Sam Adams: the Stufflebeams, solid social conservatives, are that genuine—with Randy having served two hitches in the U. S. Marine Corps. His father is his driver, a husky ex-semi trailer trucker: the two of them representing the best that Illinois can offer. My good friend Eunice Conn, formerly of Niles who now lives near Danville, is his volunteer campaign manager. Randy just may have solved my problem for me. I just have to practice spelling R-a-n-d-y S-t-u-f-f-l-e-b-e-a-m if by chance I forget to take his literature with me to the polls. We could do a lot worse, folks, than Randy Stufflebeam…and we have…and this November we will.

Another Trivia.

Switch now from great orations to something probably only someone of my age will remember. It was a radio show on Saturday night…before television. It dealt with sports and the commentator was Bill Stern. There was a jingle when his show finished which tied him to the product sponsoring the show. Do you remember it? I can hear it now sixty some years later. I’ll start it and see…without search engine help…if you can complete it.

It went: “Bill Stern the Colgate Shave Cream Man is on his way…”

Can you finish it?

Flashback: 1960—My Last Campaign with Quie; Judd Rings the Bell with His Keynote and is Pushed Toward the Vice Presidential Nomination; Viehman Struggles with Deadly Cancer. A Republican Governorship Looms

[More memories from fifty years in politics for my kids and grandchildren].

Viehman’s revolutionary grassroots revival had to be directed from the outset at 3-term Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor Orville Freeman who, unlike Hubert Humphrey, was an unlovable, grim, humorless visage. Part of it wasn’t his fault. He was a severely wounded World War II veteran, having suffered the same kind of facial wound that Illinoisan Richard B. Ogilvie had—the bullet going through the jaw, making it difficult for both men to do anything more than effect a grimace in place of a smile. But having known both, I can say that there was not much humor in either man. Freeman was a high-taxing, Depression-era-conceived Democrat whose wife, Jane, beautiful enough to be a Hollywood starlet, was far more ideologically pure than he—a woman who, if they ever allowed her to speak, would have terrified the state with her Fabian socialism drawn from near-Commie University of Minnesota days. Humphrey caught her act at an out-state farmers’ rally where she called for a statist reform of the economy and public ownership of all business identical with another Minnesotan and said to Freeman out of the side of his mouth, “uh-uh. Orv, she sounds just like Gus Hall. Keep her at home.” (Gus Hall was the Duluth-born Longshoreman, then chairman of the Communist Party USA).

Orv Freeman, a lawyer and pragmatist, at least had some ideals. Ogilvie had the coldest eyes for a politician I ever saw. His goal, perfected by his equally austere aide, one Tom Drennan, a former Sun-Times reporter and ex-Democrat, was non-idealistic, non-philosophic just tactical: to build a Republican party machine tailored on the Daley machine, to apply the Nelson Rockefeller-style corporate state with an army of professional political foot-soldiers who which could raise money, organize and master the new technology of politics to bring dividends on election day. Ogilvie and Senate President Russ Arrington were the sires of what is known as the Illinois Combine where future leaders like Jim Edgar, Jim Mack and Bob Kjellander cut their eyeteeth (but, I digress).

Viehman, perhaps the best state organizer of movement volunteers the party ever produced—who could have rivaled Mark Hanna on the national stage had he lived—was able to foment grassroots discontent with the DFL in numerous ways. He added to the regular base of small business types and free market farmers a cadre of unemployed bitter-enders from the Iron Range mines who blamed Freeman, the DFL and unions for their loss of jobs. To which he added thousands of new residents in the suburbs. His “Neighbor-to-Neighbor” program played big in the Twin Cities suburbs where on the night volunteers were to go door to door, porch lights burned brightly to signify where the Republican votes were. He initially was on the way to add a large component of fellow Catholics to the mix when the John F. Kennedy boom for president began. Kennedy’s emergence captured all Catholic attention. Then Catholic Viehman did a 180 and reached out to Protestants who opposed a Catholic president. It was a case of creativity on his part: a Catholic subtly trading on bigotry to enhance his party.

Viehman, I said, you shouldn’t fool with that anti-Catholic stuff. You and I are Catholics and we know there’s a lot of bigotry in this fear of Kennedy. You shouldn’t help it along to win a political victory.

“Who the hell made you my confessor?” he said. Well, I said, consider this: By fooling around with Catholic haters, you’ll be losing the Catholic vote in the future and strengthen Humphrey if he comes back to Minnesota to run for reelection to the Senate. Catholics will remember that and be tighter with him than ever.

“Not if I run against him,” Viehman retorted suddenly, alluding to his own Catholicism—proof that he had given some thought to elective office. Then he gave me news which I dismissed peremptorily: that he was going to Mayo’s to find out what was ailing him: formidable bowel trouble. He did and the news they gave him was tragic. His only chance was to resign his post and submit to long-range chemo. He took the chemo for a short while and got deathly sick to his stomach from it. He decided to die in the harness rather than living that way—a decision he kept to himself as long as he could. I didn’t fully know it but I called a friend at Mayo, a physician who was in touch with a good many others. I asked: what does he have? He said quietly, you don’t want to know and I can’t tell you. So I knew, all right but I shut up about it.

All the while, Hubert Humphrey was having a devil of a time running in the primaries against John Kennedy. Humphrey found for the first time that his passionate liberal personality was too extravagant when compared to Kennedy’s subtle, more attractive lower key persona—and that as a round-faced, thin-lipped orator he was no match for the incredibly handsome Massachusetts new generation of Irish Brahmin. Also that he couldn’t begin to match the money old Joe Kennedy rounded up for his son. Kennedy defeated Humphrey in West Virginia, proving a Catholic could get elected by voters of that strongly Protestant state, Wisconsin which Humphrey had hoped to capture through its nearness to Minnesota. Kennedy won all seven states whose primaries he entered. Humphrey returned to Minnesota footsore.

With Minnesota Protestant Republicans as well as Protestant Democrats, anti-Catholicism was rife, believing what happened to Humphrey was a consortium of powerful Catholic funding and organizing by old Joe Kennedy. I remember being with Quie at a fund-raising dinner in Faribault in mid-Spring, a dinner where a lot of his friends attended. Quie was a devout Lutheran and was highly regarded as a good layman. After the dinner, a prominent Lutheran minister who was his good friend grabbed us, hooked his arms over our necks and drew us together in a mutual hug. Not understanding that I was Catholic, he said, “Albert and Tom, let’s just hope that Kennedy gets the nomination for president. That will do more to coalesce our good Protestant people to join the Republicans to keep a son of Rome from the White House. It will be more important than any other factor!”

Quie tried to wriggle out of his embrace, not looking directly at me. Me, I felt rather unclean with that guy believing I was a fellow anti-Catholic bigot and I corrected him on the spot. For a few minutes a hot revulsion came over me and I decided to vote for Kennedy—but I got over it. I couldn’t vote anyhow because we were bouncing back and forth from D. C. to Minnesota with no fixed home. I really think I would have voted for Kennedy anyhow since Nixon was, for me, a kind of Uriah Heap cum Captain Queeg…rubbing his hands deferentially, eyes sunk deep in his head, plotting-plotting-plotting.

While all this was going on, Walter Judd was laboriously writing his keynote address in pen, then dictating it to his secretary. His phones rang constantly at home as well as at the office with people trying to influence his ideas. New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, just elected two years earlier, decided privately that he would run for president in a Republican challenge to Richard Nixon. He came strolling in to see Judd, drawing on the fact that they had worked together on United Nations and other foreign policy issues since 1945.

Businessmen with close relations to Joseph P. Kennedy called—not imagining that they could sway him, but to remind him that Joe and his son John were staunchly anti-Communist, urging him to craft a unity speech. Then John Kennedy himself phoned from the Senate, to supposedly seek some advice on a foreign policy matter—and to remind Judd that they had served in the House and were in agreement on opposing Communism. Believe it or not they got wind of a bad rumor that Judd might not run for reelection to the House and thus could possibly be available for a top-level adviser post with Kennedy notwithstanding the keynote and after the convention. Not so: Judd would run for reelection.

Not long thereafter—as if by magic—Vice President Nixon, looking haunted as if consumed by machinations, came round with an entourage to give Judd some ideas on the keynote. For Judd there was no choice: he was for Nixon…a decision, I think, that was a mistake in view of what happened long after. In 1960 there was no great dividing issue like abortion or other social policies. On foreign relations, internationalism and a tough approach to the USSR, both Nixon and Rockefeller looked very good—there not being much indication of Nixon’s craven opportunism or Rockefeller’s sickening private womanizing that was on a par with what we later learned was JFK’s. At the time, while I was officially regarded as a Nixon guy, I thought Rockefeller would be a better president (he was for heavier defense spending than either Eisenhower or Nixon and with the world’s sunniest disposition would, I believed, have been able to make a better sale with the American people vis-à-vis Kennedy. Nixon with his shriveled ego and, I must say, reptilian sneaky-ness which he strove to compensate, was all put-on. With him, getting to his real views was like pealing an onion, one layer at a time until you got to the nub and it disintegrated in your hands. As I have said before, particularly when he wept on Eisenhower’s shoulder following his Checkers speech, I always felt Nixon was unmanly. That was my view but who cares what an aide thinks? I kept my anti-Nixon-pro-Rockefeller view to myself.

Back home in Minnesota, Viehman got out of the hospital after a few days’ stay and roared back to the campaign trail, no one knowing what he had been told but suspecting the worst. There were two top flight Republican candidates for governor—one, P. Kenneth Peterson, the newly elected Republican mayor of Minneapolis who won largely because of Viehman’s organizing program: the idea of a Republican in his old mayoralty job gave Humphrey fits. Peterson was a kind of Humphrey act-alike, speaking with machine-gun rapidity but of largely conservative ideas. The other candidate was a man I knew much better—a Chicago-born one-time orphan who moved to Minnesota to stay with relatives, conquered polio as a child, went on to work his way through the University of Minnesota and take an entry level job at an industrial adhesive plant in St. Paul—the H. B. Fuller Company. He became the company’s best salesman, then its top financial guru and finally president in his mid-thirties, ending up a multi-millionaire by his early forties. Then he turned to politics. His name was Elmer L. Andersen and was regarded in Minnesota as sort of embodiment of Paul Hoffman, the international-minded head of Studebaker who dabbled in liberal Republican affairs.

Elected to the state Senate, Andersen became interested in social services and metropolitan planning and became the darling of old ladies, the League of Women Voters, the pro-Democratic editorial pages and minorities with a special affinity for the Jews (who would do anything for him but vote for him). At the same time, he mobilized a great segment of progressive Republicans who wanted to return to the glory days of Harold Stassen and Luther Youngdahl. His was truly a stunning story—but he was too liberal for me. He was not only liberal but an anti-partisan, believing that parties harmed governance. An idealist with many illusions: politics could be cleaner if all of us would only get along…the DFL had many good points; it was just that they didn’t understand economics…conservatives and particularly Viehman traded too much on anger and hate.

Today’s times are far different from those—but if you were going to cast Elmer Andersen in a contemporary ideological package you would have to think of Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Chris Shays of Connecticut—with this exception: unlike them, he was an intellectual who read Camus, thought greatly of philosophy and studied history of Minnesota and the Midwest in its entirety. I never reached a point in discussing liberalism with him where I found him saying, “I don’t agree with liberals there.” He was a true liberal. I shuddered.

But unlike Humphrey who loved political dickering, Andersen’s preferences were for reform of politicking, much like the starry-eyed John Gardner who had started Common Cause. His views on labor and civil rights were identical to Hubert Humphrey’s. But unlike Humphrey, he appeared soft. Too soft, I thought, to be governor, someone who disdained political combat. Even his eyes had a cocker spaniel’s soft languid quality. He didn’t seem to have any conservative heroes: least of all Walter Judd. His ideas on international affairs were like Adlai Stevenson’s. Nope, put him down as too non-combative in everything: a cookie-pusher. But in this I was wrong. Very wrong.

But Andersen was obviously, much too liberal for Viehman. “I didn’t build this party up from nothing to turn it over to the likes of that liberal do-gooder, corporate fat-cat, fruit-cake Elmer Andersen,” Viehman told me in a phone call which he represented as from his office but which was actually from his hospital bed. Fruit-cake was his term for anyone who was liberal, even flaming heterosexuals: he equated liberalism with effeminacy. Even Humphrey was a fruitcake to Viehman which he assuredly was not, attracted as he was to one a beauteous DFL committeewoman and former journalist. She was married to a super-rich Democratic broker: she a leading Jewish philanthropist civic leader with raven hair, olive complexion and stunning smile, who dressed down to under-accentuate her charms but who could turn men’s knees to Jello whenever she drew close in pretended rapt attention to their views.

I’ve seen hardened Republican conservatives sound liberal in discussions at civic events to please her. Viehman would bump into her occasionally but swore off discussing political matters with her saying, “I can’t keep on track. All I do is look at her and go nyyaaa-nyaaa and sound like an idiot.” Once he and I saw her conversing to a small group at a civic event. Viehman gazed at me with crossed eyes signifying rapture. None of us knew for sure how close she and Hubert were but imagining they were, Viehman would groan and say of Hubert: Lucky man!.

Andersen, a neuter-like Buddhist monk type, was not affected by her. For him, the meeting would be fulfilled if she had good words to say about one of his closest friends, Rabbi Gunther Plaut. Were he to meet Marilyn Monroe, he would comment that she was an interesting species of English derivative from Kentucky and since she was named Norma Jean Mortonson, could she possibly be Norwegian? Who but Elmer would wonder that? But that didn’t mean that Andersen, a married man and father, was what common parlance would call a fruitcake. Yet he wasn’t particularly masculine, either. Nobody, not even his best friend and worst enemy, would link him with the young Democratic committeewoman. Before him, the archbishop of Canterbury or the Cardinal head of the Propagation of the Faith in Rome. But Elmer Andersen? . Inconceivable.

You didn’t want to cuss in front of him for fear he’d be shocked. He was a good church Lutheran who never swore, drank modestly, didn’t smoke, was a collector of rare books and would not laugh when an improper joke was told but would look reproachfully at the story-teller. “He obviously doesn’t have a conservative bone in his body,” said Viehman who liked men to be more brawling, vehement and explosive and if multi-millionaires (even if born poor) who did not come across as a namby-pamby. Surprisingly enough, Brad Heffelfinger, the liberal mega-multi-millionaire dowager-fund-raiser of the Republican party, who knew everybody’s weakness from diligent surfing of political gossip could either take fellow liberal Elmer Andersen or leave him. “I don’t know,” she said. “He is more…well…feminine than I am.” Well, so were many of us. But by which she didn’t mean effeminate (which he wasn’t). “He gives you the attitude that you get when you’re with a high church archbishop,” she said. “With him, you want to watch your language. What kind of a man is that?” He died at 95 a kind of secular patriarch of Minnesota Republican liberalism (his last act was to endorse John Kerry), a non-believer in Reagan, a man whom I faithfully served and ended up admiring because of his character but whom I never figured out.

“We’ve got to nominate Peterson,” insisted Viehman. “A man’s man goddammit and I’m going to secretly help him even though as state chairman I am supposed to be neutral. Don’t tell anybody.” I was too busy working with Judd and Quie to care. Concerning Judd, before the keynote address—worried that he would never finish writing it—I had given up on the vice presidential thing. There was little interest beyond intellectual conservatives. Now I was becoming increasingly alarmed at the slow, agonizingly slow, progress he was making on the keynote. He’d take it home, bring back a draft, read it in the office and toss it away. The tossed away drafts I read were good but he wasn’t satisfied. When we went to the Chicago convention, he still didn’t seem pleased with it (not that I or anyone else had seen it). The night before he was to deliver it, he sat down in his hotel and started it over from scratch. I despaired. Minutes before he stepped onto the podium he had revised it again, changing declarative sentences into interrogatories for the audience to respond.

However long it took to produce, he delivered what should be regarded as the greatest keynote in political history, a model for others of both parties to study. It is endemic of the continuing liberal bias of the media that it took Teddy White’s verdict—that it was a cacophony of hate—and disliked it. But it ranks with Catiline’s oration against Cicero when he decided to turn and fight, with Queen Elizabeth I’s inveighing against the Spanish Armada but most of all Mark Antony’s rallying of mourners to vengeance over the body of Caesar. The incorrigible lateness of the writing precluded a teleprompter—but Judd didn’t need one…nor did he ever use one. The speech title was over-long: “We Must Develop a Strategy for Victory—to Save Freedom—Freedom Everywhere.” But that was the only thing wrong with it. The genius surgeon who once worked 24 straight hours operating on wounded Chinese soldiers had turned out a genius manuscript.

I’ll synopsize the talk later but it was…as you have suspected…of all the addresses I’ve heard, it was not to be topped. Better than Humphrey at his best at the Dem convention of 1948…tied with MacArthur’s speech to Congress in 1951…tied with JFK’s inaugural. Tied with Reagan at the 1976 convention concession with the city on a hill. Tied with Reagan’s address to the boys of Pointe du Hoc. You have to take into account the atmosphere that surrounded the convention where Judd tossed the blockbuster. A great orator probably only has one speech that good in him—and this was it. Why was it a lighted match tossed into an ammunition dump?

The GOP with a conservative base had felt that Eisenhower, for all his glory, had not recognized it. Richard Nixon was supposed to be the conservative balance-wheel but his image-makers were designing what they called a “new Nixon.” The “new Nixon” was a conciliator and half-liberal. Kennedy used to be described as an idealist without illusions. As it proved, Nixon was a reptilian (I must use that word again) illusionist without ideals. And conservatives suspected it at the convention. The conservatives felt they had nobody. They had beseeched Goldwater but he was too new. As the convention rolled along, as I wrote earlier, Nixon turned up in New York, sat down with Nelson Rockefeller and concluded what was known as the “Treaty of Park Avenue” where Nixon bought into all the domestic programs of the liberal Rockefeller because Nixon believed he needed the northeast to win election. That was like a kick in the stomach to the conservatives. Nixon was utterly unable to conceive that the Treaty was bad, so wrapped up was he in his own pathetic insecurities that to ease he sold conservatism out.

All day long, the convention drowsed to long recitation of bland speechifying of platitudes. Then at prime time came the oration from a spindly surgeon with a pock-marked face reminiscent of the monstrous one of Sinclair Lewis who was afflicted with the same facial skin cancer. So bad you didn’t care to look at it, but whose words were so compelling you had to. It was so memorable that it spawned an instant Judd-for-Vice-President movement blossomed among the delegates. The speech was so beautifully partisan, stinging the Democrats so badly that Robert Kennedy told Teddy White and other journalists that he would never forgive Judd. Coming in the wake of blandness many delegates felt that he would be the vice presidential candidate Nixon originally was: destined to bring the fight to the Democrats. They reasoned that the new Nixon would try to be the born-again GOP liberal. There should be someone who is both statesman and battler who could take the argument to the voters the way the delegates wanted the argument to sound. Nixon’s people, who had assured Brad Heffelfinger that her Cabot Lodge, was number one for the job, now backtracked.

As I was working the convention in Chicago after Judd’s speech started a spontaneous procession with the Minnesota standard bouncing along and homemade signs extolling Judd for vice president, I jumped up with a start. There coming in the door of our press room was Ed Viehman, fresh from Rochester, at age 38 looking like an apparition of death with a ruined visage from which the press instinctively recoiled in shock. “Is Walter going to make vice president?” he rasped (his marvelous voice affected by the chemo as well). The press and I couldn’t take our eyes off him and I said I didn’t know. But now, maybe.

As the post-keynote pressure came on, the eager to placate certain future nominee, Nixon, hurried to list Walter Judd as one of the very top finalists to placate the conservatives. Brad Heffelfinger phoned me from the Lodge hotel suite, catching me at the Minnesota press desk and shouted in a voice so charged with fury that I clamped the receiver tight to my ear, worried that she could be heard throughout the room. She started as she always did: “You little----! You told me you had given up on this vice president thing and now Judd’s tied with Cabot! If he gets it and not my Cabot I’ll never forgive you!” As she cast serious doubt on the legitimacy of my birth and ancestry, I tried to tell her (a) I had nothing to do with the boom and (b) I only heard the speech when she did—on television. But she could sense, even as a liberal, that the convention was going for Judd.

As all politicians do, she turned immediately to her own political problem: “how can I not support a fellow Minnesotan—especially Walter-- for vice president?” I told her: You have to support Walter as a favorite son for vice president. Many others have done it and covertly worked for others. But as I saying this a messenger came saying that Judd was on the way to visit various state delegations who wanted to hear him again and again, preparatory to supporting him.…and if I wanted to keep up with the rolling tide of history, I’d have to hang up on her and follow him in the entourage.

So I said: Brad, you have to get on the Judd wagon at least officially. If you don’t and he gets it, you’ll get a challenge for National Committeewoman from the conservatives as sure as I’m standing here and you’ll lose. Frankly, I still think Lodge is going to get it because Nixon has no soul and if Nixon wants him, he can find ways to deliver. Nixon wants to sew up the northeast and he thinks Lodge can do it. That’s all that counts with Nixon.

She was pondering what to do when we ended the conversation. Then I went chasing down the hall following the slim, bespectacled surgeon, his face, freshly peeled at Mayo, like raw hamburger, his very lips burned away, loyal wife Miriam at his side, I banging my way through the television cameras as he went caucus to caucus with the revolution igniting.

Now there was a possibility—admittedly slim, so slim as to be microscopic—that for the first time in U. S. political history, a convention would take things into its own hands and nominate for vice president one who hadn’t been earmarked by the presidential candidate. This would be different from the Democratic convention of 1956 when Stevenson threw the choice to the floor and said he’d take whomever they chose. Everyone knew Nixon wanted Cabot Lodge and now it could be a floor revolution which would embarrass the certain presidential nominee while enthusing conservatives.

But it was fun while it was happening. Lodge had showed Brad Heffelfinger his pre-written acceptance speech for vice president. Brad told him that professionally she’d have to be for Judd but never mind, she was really for Cabot—which made no hit with Cabot who smiled manfully as if he were undergoing a hemorrhoid examination. He had thought it was all sealed. Or was it? At this point, Lodge was supposed to be the hottest card at the convention but Judd was getting the media and the push from the grassroots…and Judd was chalking up more delegation requests for appearances. Lodge was ensconced in the presidential hotel suite with Brad and Peavey, waiting for a call from Nixon and Brad was breaking it to him gently that she had to be for Judd technically. The calls for Lodge to appear to delegations were tepid; the delegations he spoke to were tepid and his remarks were measured and tepid. He had to wonder if Nixon, famous for jumping ship when scared would pick Judd and leave Lodge, UN ambassador with an undelivered speech that had been approved by the Nixon people? Could it be possible that Republicans would stage a runaway convention?

Possible? In my dreams. At the end, it told more about Nixon, Lodge and Judd than I would ever imagine. The 1960 election—the election of John F. Kennedy—was decided, I firmly believe, with the vice presidential selection by Nixon of the wrong man to run with him. A terribly wrong man. Which Nixon later acknowledged. The man with no firm convictions, who almost backed out and declared defeat when the heat came on for his Alger Hiss hearings, who hadn’t fully decided what it was he believed, was wrong yet again.