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CHAPTER 11 Challenging the Democratic Machine In shock, Hardin Marion and I retreated to the privacy of the offices at Tydings & Rosenberg to figure out when and how I should wage my campaign for the US Senate. The Kennedy assassination had put everything on hold, including my run for the Senate. The assassination also forced Louis Goldstein to postpone his expected announcement about running for the Senate seat. The nation was in mourning. It had lost a young, dynamic leader. No one was quite sure at the time whether Kennedy’s assassin had acted alone or was part of a larger conspiracy. Lyndon Baines Johnson of Texas, a man far different from President Kennedy in appearance, experience, and upbringing, was suddenly our president. The Kennedy administration program was left unfinished, abruptly frozen in place. Kennedy’s wife and children, his aides, his Cabinet secretaries, even his brother (whose antipathy toward Johnson was well known), all faced an unknowable future. The world had turned topsy-turvy. I had lost someone I not only knew but greatly admired. The president was not some remote figure I had only read about in the newspapers . He was someone who had slept in my home, someone I had campaigned with side-by-side, who had invited my wife and me on boating excursionsonthePotomac,totheArmy-Navygame,andtoeventsatthe White House. He had eaten dinner at our table, seated between my wife and my mother. He and his wonderful family had become real friends. And he, of course, was my most important political benefactor, the one who made it possible for me to become US attorney and whose backing for my run for the Senate was already well known. His quiet support would have put any other candidate at an obvious disadvantage. Had 167 CHALLENGING THE DEMOCRATIC MACHINE he not been assassinated, I think I might have run unopposed for the Senate, notwithstanding the strong animosities I had created as a legislative reformer and federal prosecutor.The death of the president meant that the state organization now was free to draft a strong candidate it preferred—in all probability, the popular Goldstein—to enter the primary . I knew I could not publicly launch a political campaign so soon following such a national tragedy, but I also knew the political clock was ticking and the Democratic primary in Maryland was coming up in May, barely six months away. At that early stage, I had neither the financial resources nor the political support to wage a successful campaign . What I did have were two important, influential friends, both of whom had supported President Kennedy and without whom I never would have succeeded: Jerry Hoffberger and Frank Gallagher.The president was assassinated around midday on a Friday. On Sunday morning, Hardin and I met with Jerry and Frank. Both said I should run, that the president would have wanted me to run, and that they would go all out to help. Slowly, quietly, out of sight of the press, Hardin and I began to assemble a campaign team and to reach out to supporters around the state. I personally recruited our county campaign chairs, quality people like Lynn Clark and Dick Schifter in Montgomery County.1 Although Hardin was a neophyte at running a statewide campaign, he handled the day-to-day campaign operations; Gallagher served as campaign treasurer, although his real job was political strategist; and Hoffberger oversaw fundraising and helped with advertising and media. I would not have run in 1964 if Jerry Hoffberger had not said, “Joe, I’m behind you. You run and I’ll worry about raising the money.” Or, if Frank Gallagher hadn’t said, “I’m with you. We’ll walk the plank together.” Without those two, I would not have run. 1. Richard Schifter has had a long and colorful career. He fled his native Austria after the Nazi annexation in 1938 and immigrated to the United States at age fifteen. He did intelligence work for the US Army during World War II and later graduated from Yale Law School and practiced law in Maryland. He has served in a number of capacities for the United Nations, including as US representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and as deputy US representative to the United Nations Security Council with the rank of ambassador. In 1985, President Reagan appointed Schifter to be assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs. He has been an ardent supporter of the nation of...


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