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CHAPTER 12 A Break with the Past In the Senate campaign that year, it was clear to me that change—generational change—was in the air. The Kennedys had ushered in a youthful revolution in American politics. When JFK took office at age forty-three, he was the youngest elected president in American history. His brother Bobby became attorney general at thirty-four.The president’s press secretary , Pierre Salinger, was thirty-five; Kenny O’Donnell, one of his closest aides, was thirty-six. I was just thirty-two when Kennedy was elected and only thirty-six by the 1964 campaign. By stark contrast, the graying J. Glenn Beall Sr. was seventy-one. One newspaper columnist said it was like “the urgent voice of the future” pitted against a “well-meaning . . . faintly fuddyduddy echo from the past.”1 Beall, I thought, was a decent man, but his time had passed. He seemed to have no clear vision for the future. In fact, he seemed a bit weary of it all. Ginny and I were out there campaigning every day, driving all across the state, accepting any and every invitation to speak. Beall did not even officially open his campaign headquarters until September 17, less than two months before the general election. When he traveled around Maryland, he often did so by private jet. Midwaythroughthecampaign,theBaltimoreNews-Americandevoted a full page to side-by-side profiles of the candidates’ wives, Ginny Tydings and Margaret Beall. To me, the profiles were a metaphor for the campaign itself: one side on the go, the other side more sedentary. Ginny was depicted as young, attractive, and active—a lover of the great outdoors, a rider and fox hunter, a woman who enjoyed tennis, swimming, and skiing. She was pictured astride a handsome gray thoroughbred hunter. 1. Bradford M. Jacobs, “Whose Hurrah?,” political column for the Baltimore Evening Sun, October 27, 1964. 186 CHAPTER 12 Margaret Beall, who by then had been married to Senator Beall for thirty-eight years, was described as spending her time quietly with her family, gardening, and cooking. She was pictured holding a cookbook she had helped write.2 On the campaign trail, I tried never to mention Senator Beall by name. I never attacked him. And when we met in a debate that fall, I was courteous, kind, and respectful. I did not want to say anything inflammatory. While I publicly disagreed with many of his positions (his opposition to federal aid to public schools and to the creation of Medicare and his support for the oil depletion allowance, which enriched already rich oil companies), I never attacked him personally. I just said we needed new ideas, thoughts, and leadership. That I was widely viewed as a protégé of Jack Kennedy was a powerful advantage. By the time I ran against Beall, our polls showed that my name was actually becoming better known than his. As the political columnist Bradford Jacobs observed, “For Mr. Tydings , bullying his opponent would be just as disastrous as bullying Santa Claus.”3 Beall was also saddled with the Republican candidate for president, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. Goldwater was a far-right conservative challenging a Democratic incumbent who had inherited John F. Kennedy’s progressive mantle. Beall was actually a moderate, who gave only a perfunctory endorsement to Goldwater and rarely mentioned Goldwater’s name in public. But he could not separate himself from the nominee of his party, and that hurt his chances against me as well. But beyond these advantages, I had pretty much burned my bridges with the state party organization, so I got little help from Governor Tawes or other Democratic leaders in Maryland. Marvin Mandel publicly complained that I was ignoring the wishes of the Democratic legislators from Baltimore city. Northwest Baltimore Democratic boss Jack Pollack, offended by my antimachine rhetoric, had supported Goldstein in the primary and now was backing Beall, quietly at first and then quite openly. Like Clayton Dietrich in the primary, old-style organization pols 2. Mildred Kahler Geare, “The Women behind the Candidates: Tydings, Beall Wives Play Dominant Role,” Baltimore News-American, October, 8, 1964. 3. Jacobs, “Whose Hurrah?” 187 A BREAK WITH THE PAST complained they could not get their hands on the usual pot of “walkingaround money” that was customarily used to reward party soldiers. By mid-October, a group of Democrats had sprung up that began to encourage voters to split their ticket between LBJ, the Democratic presidential candidate, and...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781623496289
Related ISBN
9781623496272
MARC Record
OCLC
1002693068
Pages
376
Launched on MUSE
2018-04-16
Language
English
Open Access
No
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