Monday, January 2, 2017

Some random American history.....

     Always the Happy Warrior, Humphrey said he didn't mind being out-gunned or out-glamored, but he couldn't forgive the "ruthlessness and toughness" displayed by the Kennedys, and most of all Bobby.  One upsetting instance was "Bob Kennedy's peddling the story that my campaign was being financed by Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa,"  Humphrey complained later.  "Both he and Jack knew the story was untrue and could have stopped it."  Equally infuriating were anonymous anti-Catholic mailings sent across the state - mainly to Catholic households - which ensured a turnout of angry Catholic Democrats along with Catholic Republicans who crossed over.  The apparent culprit in both cases was Paul Corbin, a Kennedy aide famous for his whimsical and deceitful tactics.  "If you have a job and you want to get it done," said campaign aide Helen Keyes, "send Paul Corbin out to do it."  Corbin was sufficiently devoted that he eventually converted to Catholicism so that Bobby and Ethel could be his godparents.  Bobby loved him back, above all for his outrageousness.  Humphrey was right that whether or not Bobby ordered up the dirty tricks, he did nothing to stop them, and their success ensured they were a fixture of U. S. campaign culture from then on.
     Jack beat Humphrey by a comfortable 12 percentage points, but it was shy of a knockout blow in the eyes of a skeptical press and an angry opponent.

-Larry Tye,  Bobby Kennedy:  The Making of a Liberal Icon.   This excerpt concerns the Wisconsin primary leading up to the nomination of John F. Kennedy as the Democratic candidate for president in the 1960 election.  The history major in me is fairly certain that dirty tricks did not originate with this election.

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