Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy
His First Election

By Jerome Grossman
An interesting sidebar to Ted Kennedy's inspiring political history harks back to his first run for the Senate in 1962. It was, as some labeled it, a "battle of the clans": Opposing Kennedy in the Massachusetts Democratic Primary was Edward McCormack, nephew of House Speaker John McCormack; Kennedy's Republican opponent was Yankee scion George Cabot Lodge; and on the left was Independent peace candidate Harvard Prof. H. Stuart Hughes, chair of the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, and grandson of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes.

I was Campaign Manager and Chester Hartman was the organizer of the massive signature drive required to place Hughes on the ballot. Hughes needed 72,000 signatures, a purposely prohibitive number in that era of McCarthyism and nobody in fact had tried to reach it since the law had first been passed.

In this talented field, Hughes polled 50,013 votes, 2.3% of the votes cast. However, we collected a startling 149,000 signatures in ten weeks for a "peace candidate." The Cuban Missile Crisis arrived in October just before the election. With the integrity that was his hallmark, Hughes went against the popular hysteria: he accused President Kennedy of acting over hastily in imposing the blockade of Cuba, of bypassing the United Nations, and unnecessarily stirring up an atmosphere of national emergency. His position cost Hughes thousands of votes.

In the process we built a town-by-town organization all over the state, a structure that remains in place today. A clear result has been the election over recent decades of so many progressive voices to the state's first-rate Congressional delegation, including Michael Harrington, Father Robert Drinan, Gerry Studds, Jim McGovern, Barney Frank, Ed Markey, John Tierney and John Kerry.
The Hughes campaign built the strongest statewide peace movement in the country, a movement that changed the face and reputation of Massachusetts politics.

2 comments:

an average patriot said...

Jerome
Congratulations to all of you and your efforts. Hughes was right and I have come to the conclusion that stirring up an atmosphere of national emergency has been the only goal today and McCain will continue down the road that will be more horrific than WW2 and the Depression combined unless we can get Obama in, keep him alive, and get something positive going here quick. there is no way this will be stopped with conventional methods. It stupefies me to listen to the BS as McCain says he is not like bush and he is fund raising with him, under lock and Key. What is it going to take to wake someone up? take the big picture of everything into one thought process. Something has to be done! Hi Danny!

rrocket777 said...

GOOD GOD! Do you honestly consider that bunch of loons (Michael Harrington, Father Robert Drinan, Gerry Studds, Jim McGovern, Barney Frank, Ed Markey, John Tierney and John Kerry) FIRST RATE???? I've never seen a bigger bunch of losers in my LIFE! Obviously, Massachusetts has come a long way from the original Boston Tea Party! You guys might STILL throw a Boston Tea Party, but it would be made up of men of the same persuasion as Gerry and Barney, since that seems to be all Massachusetts can produce! How can ANY white man cast a vote for Obama after hearing Jeremiah Wright's diatribe? I'll tell you how....they're scared to death of black men. Come to Kentucky where REAL men live and we'll teach you how to be one, since your Dad failed miserably!

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