Thursday, September 04, 2014

History Lessons

A couple weeks back at a Brad Anderson fundraiser, retired UI history professor Shel Stromquist gave a deeply moving account of his experiences as a Freedom Summer worker in Mississippi in 1964. I noted: "Stromquist still bristles as he remembers how Lyndon Johnson failed to support the Freedom Democrats."

The flip side of that last piece involved three giant figures in 20th century Democratic politics, and the last survivor of these, Walter Mondale, offers his thoughts here.
“Lyndon said to Humphrey, ‘If you want to be the Democratic vice presidential nominee you better settle this Mississippi issue.’ Humphrey in turn said to Mondale, ‘Fritz, if you want to be the appointee to the Senate to replace me to become vice president, you had better settle this Mississippi delegation issue.’ They just kept passing the buck from Lyndon to Humphrey to Fritz.”
That thing where an ideological candidate counter-intuitively does well in an ideologically opposite region? I've seen it on small scale locally, where, say, a Green or lefty independent in a race with no Republican will run best against a prominent Iowa City liberal in a rural conservative precinct. Why? It's a low info race and people are voting AGAINST. Here's how that works in Florida, where socialists lead in statewide primaries in the Panhandle because Dixiecrats are voting against Obamacrats.

What happens when an official is too infirm to serve, but won't step down? I have personal experience in that, and here's a look at how South Dakota was short a senator for three whole years.

And you think Braley-Ernst is getting nasty? A look back at one of the epic Senate battles of all time: Jesse Helms vs. Jim Hunt, North Carolina, 1984.

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