Humphrey Finds Cheer
By Thomas F. Stafford
April 10, 1960
Humphrey Finds Cheer
By Thomas F. Stafford
MADISON - U.S. Sen. Hubert Humphrey hit a brisk stride Saturday in his first weekend of presidential campaigning in West Virginia, rounding out a series of five speeches here with an outline of his "ten-point program of economic recovery".
The Minnesota Democrat plunged deeply into the nation's problems in his swing through Summers, Mercer and Boone counties, remarking here that "unfortunately, there's no way in which citizens can indict their own government."
He talked enthusiastically all along the route about the warm reception given him by West Virginia voters. "Outside of my own state of Minnesota," he said, "this is the most enthusiastic I have found."
Between his first appearance in Hinton at 9 a.m. and the last here 12 hours later he went on a handshaking spree in Hinton, spoke twice in Princeton and backtracked to Athens for an appearance before a stenographic clinic.
The Athens appearance was impromptu, arranged hastily during a luncheon at Princeton after an invitation came from Concord College. He had to pass up an invitation from Whitesville Democrats because of the tightness of his schedule.
His spirits mounted as he went along. "Nothing like this happened in Wisconsin," he said. Both in Wisconsin and West Virginia his only opponent in the presidential primaries is U.S. Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
Kennedy won the Wisconsin round, and Humphrey is trying to make a comeback here. West Virginia is regarded as a pivotal state in the presidential runoffs, with the Democratic nomination at Los Angeles this summer the hoped-for big prize.
His economic recovery program for West Virginia includes the following:
1. Policies to insure a growth of the nation's economy at "the healthy Democratic rate of 5 per cent instead of the Eisenhower-Nixon creep and crawl of 2 per cent."
2. The establishment of an area redevelopment program.
3. The establishment of a coal research and development commission to seek new uses and markets for coal.
4. Federal standards for unemployment insurance, with extended coverage and a healthy increase in the amount and duration of benefits.
5. A $1.25 federal minimum wage, with extended coverage.
6. A food stamp program, to bring America's food surplus to the hungry.
7. Reform of the federal tax system, to close loopholes.
8. A stand-by public works program of schools, hospitals, roads and conservation.
9. A youth conservation program - to provide "constructive employment opportunities for young men, and to conserve, develop and improve our great natural resources, our forests, our lakes, our streams, our parks."
10. Develop tourism through recreational facilities - "to make West Virginia the year-round playground and vacation center of America."
Humphrey lashed out at the Eisenhower Administration here, declaring that in spite of the fact the Full Employment Act of 1946 is "the law of the land", the Administration has not obeyed it.
"There's no way in which the citizens can indict their government," he went on, "but they can enforce the law on it by...turning this veto, no-go, go-slow Administration out of office in November and replace it with one which will base its economic policies four-square on the Full Employment Act."
Humphrey's tour was by bus, with caravans of local supporters meeting him at the city limits of Hinton, Princeton and Madison. With him were newsmen, members of his staff and a quartet of pretty Charleston models.
The models rode into Princeton on the back seat of a convertible, and there - as well as elsewhere - they gave out Humphrey campaign literature. They were Zora Ann Krneta, Mary Virginia Reed, Norma Kaye Perry and Joyce An Stevens.
At the brassiere factory there where he addressed a luncheon audience of approximately 250 Humphrey got a big laugh when he said he was "trying to uplift the economy" with his program.
On his visit to Concord, he meticulously avoided any reference to partisan politics in his remarks to approximately 300 members of a secretarial group. Instead, he encouraged them to become active in the science of politics either as Democrats of Republicans.
This country could not survive without political parties, he noted. Partisanship in politics is just as important to the survival of democracy, the former political science professor said, as denominations are to religion.
He told a crowd of around 200, who assembled at the courthouse in spite of a biting wind, that a poll ha been taken which indicated he would lose by a two-to-one margin in West Virginia to his "competition".
"Don't let a poll decide you," he added, urging his listeners to make their own decision. "The last time a poll was taken Tom Dewey was supposed to win. Poor old Dewey - wonder what happened to him."
At Hinton he was applauded several times as he took the side of the railroad brotherhoods in the "full crew" dispute. "The full crew in an engine cab is as important as a co-pilot on an airplane," he said to the delight of his railroad audience.
He also pledged his support to the Youth Conservation Corps legislation, now before Congress, saying it is vital to areas like southern West Virginia where a thriving tourist industry could be developed.
After the Hinton speech Humphrey paced his aides in a tour of the business district. He visited stores and banks, sampled fudge at a bake sale, chatted with people on the streets, and passed out Humphrey buttons.
The reaction in Hinton appeared to be pro-Humphrey, indicative of the way his listeners reacted to his speech was Eric E. Fox's deci[sion] to change his registration from Republican to Democratic. The 62-year-old railroad conductor went immediately to the Courthouse and switched over.
Afterwards Fox told Humphrey, "I just heard you speak and then changed my registration."
Humphrey leaves the state to make a television appearance in Washington today but will return Monday for more campaigning. His opponent, Kennedy, opens his campaign Monday.
By Herb Little
Associated Press Writer
By Herb Little
Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass), less heavily favored than he was in Wisconsin but possibly still the favorite, begins campaigning Monday in a West Virginia presidential primary rematch with Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn).
There are some West Virginia politicians who now rate the May 10 contest a tossup, although conceding that Kennedy is better organized. Regardless of the outcome neither man can tie up any West Virginia delegates to the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. Unlike Wisconsin's the primary here is non-binding.
Kennedy came out of the Wisconsin Primary last Tuesday the winner, with 56 per cent of the Democratic vote, but he yielded four of 10 districts to Humphrey. As to their contest here, Humphrey, already on the scene, agrees that this is a sound conclusion:
Neither he nor Kennedy can go into the Los Angeles convention in July as a very formidable contender for the Presidential nomination without having won in West Virginia.
West Virginia is expected to shed more light than did Wisconsin on a question that haunts many Democratic professionals. Would the November chances of Kennedy if he were to become the first Roman Catholic nominee in 32 years be seriously hurt by his religion?
Catholics make up approximately 5 per cent of the population in West Virginia compared with 30 per cent in Wisconsin. Catholics account for 15 per cent of church membership in West Virginia. Local politicians in southern West Virginia, where Congregationalist Humphrey campaigned Friday and Saturday, are generally agreed that "the religious issue" will help him there. How much they don't know.
But the southern counties are the more overwhelmingly Protestant part of the state. Upstate there are more Catholics. The steel city of Wheeling in the northern panhandle is 30 per cent Catholic.
The last Catholic nominated for President, Democrat Alfred E. Smith, lost West Virginia to Herbert Hoover 375,000 to 263,000 in 1932. What that meant in terms of religion is not clear. West Virginia was in the habit of going Republican then. Now the state's registration is Democratic by a big margin.
Kennedy is to fly into the state Monday for appearances that day in Charleston, Huntington and Beckley. Humphrey will continue stumping the southern coal mining area Monday with appearances at Logan, Man, Oceana, Pineville, Welch and Bluefield.
Kennedy is scheduled to arrive at Kanawha Airport at 9:45 a.m. Monday.
At 10:05 a.m., he will deliver a 20-minute address in the Morris Harvey College auditorium. He will answer questions for 15 minutes and greet people for an additional 15 minutes.
At 11 a.m., he will open a half-hour press conference on the steps of the State Capitol.
From 11:35 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. he will tour Charleston streets and visit Frankenberger's store.
From 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. he will have lunch in the Kanawha Hotel, his Charleston headquarters. From there, at 1:35 p.m., he will leave by car for Huntington.
LOGAN - Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., making a swing through West Virginia on behalf of Sen. John Kennedy, Saturday night urged voters not to let religion influence their choice in the primary.
"As a Protestant," Roosevelt said, "I urge all my fellow Protestants not to make a religious issue in the West Virginia campaign.
"Our constitution clearly guarantees that there be no religious test for holding office, and I hope this will be kept in mind in this election."
Kennedy is thought to be up against more prejudice against his Roman Catholicism in West Virginia than he was in Wisconsin. This is a border state, with some of the attitudes of the South, and only 5 per cent of its population is Catholic.
Sen. Hubert Humphrey, Kennedy's opponent in the May 10 Presidential primary, is a Congregationalist. Accordingly, he is expected to benefit from whatever anti-Catholicism there may be.
Roosevelt turned to the subject of hard times in Logan County, among the biggest coal producers in the state and suffering from the decline of the industry. His speech was made at a rally at the county seat.
"I realize the unemployment situation here," Roosevelt said. "I decry the fact that the Small Business Administration has not done what is should have done for the residents of this area."
He argued that the SBA has been doing next to nothing and that if the policy continued conditions would grow worse.
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