Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pete McCloskey

This has been a most exciting pre-election season. I really can't remember a better one, though personally, I favor the 1972 campaign. Here's why.

That year I was a sophomore in highschool at West Bend West (Go Spartans!). As part of one of those civic duty lessons that social studies departments are so fond of, we students were given the opportunity to organize our own campaigns for president, with the actual players in the primaries as our clients.

Being a bit of a rebel I decided to head the Pete McCloskey for President campaign. Heaven forbid I would do anything for Richard Nixon -- mostly because my dad was voting for him, but also because I had yet to make that clean break from my dad and move to the Democratic side of the ledger. Eventually I would and George McGovern is today still a hero of mine (another story on that).

I don't remember much about McCloskey except that he was against the Vietnam War, and didn't stand a chance of winning. But he wasn't Nixon.

(As an aside, looking him up in Wiki, I now recall that he was a co-author of the Endangered Species Act.)

We had to give a speech before the student body (I was nominated to do this). I must have been quite the sight -- 120 pounds soaking wet with mismatched clothes (I still have this issue today, my wife dresses me for important occasions) and one-armed glasses resting perilously on my geeky nose.

There were three of us in the McCloskey campaign. He wound up garnering 13 votes. Though he lost by a huge margin (Washington County being Nixon country then and very conservative today), I considered it a victory of sorts that we'd been able to convince ten others.

Oh, and we had balloons and gave out candy bars. No other campaign used props.


Dad29 said...

and gave out candy bars

Bribery comes natually to (D) folk.

Other Side said...

Ha ha. Hey, we were 16 and facing insurmountable odds.

Other Side said...

Besides, if I recall correctly, my dad made the suggestion.

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