Kennedy Speaks Tonight At Democrat Rally Here
April 11, 1960
Kennedy Speaks Tonight At Democrat Rally Here
Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass) will bring his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination to Beckley tonight following a rally here Saturday night for his rival, Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn).
Kennedy’s reception will get started at 7:45 p.m. in the courthouse preceded by a press conference at 7:30.
Don Hudson who is heading the Kennedy campaign in Beckley said the Senator’s main objective is to meet as many people of this area as time allows. He said the speech will be short.
Hudson stressed Kennedy has come to grips with problems of depressed areas in his home state and is very interested in the solution to these problems, mainly unemployment brought about by technological advances for West Virginia.
He said the senator is eager to advance his view on pending or proposed legislation.
Hodson announced other members of the Kennedy campaign team will visit the area before the state primary election May 10 in which Kennedy is competing against Humphrey.
After the meeting Kennedy plans to visit the Slab Fork Coal Co. mining community and then fly back to Charleston.
Kennedy will begin his first serious bit of campaigning in the state by making a combination auto-airplane tour of Parkersburg, Charleston and Huntington before arriving in Beckley.
Humphrey, already on the scene, will move deeper into southern West Virginia Monday. There is little chance the paths of the two candidates will cross.
Humphrey will continue to stump the state by chartered bus, leaving Charleston at 5 a.m. for a trip which will take him through the southern coal fields with stops at Logan, Man, Oceana, Pineville, Welch, and Bluefield.
Kennedy will fly to Parkersburg arriving there in time for an 8 a.m. coffee session and rally before proceeding by air south to Charleston. He will travel by auto from Charleston to Huntington and then will fly on to Beckley for an evening speech.
Although Kennedy has been absent there has been activity on his behalf in the state. Former Rep. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. was in West Virginia over the weekend putting in a plug for Kennedy.
At Logan Saturday in the heart of the southern mine fields where the name Franklin D. Roosevelt Sr. is almost revered among older miners, Roosevelt urged the voters not to let religion influence their choice.
“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 a Roman Catholic. Humphrey is a Congregationalist. West Virginia is 95 per cent Protestant. Most of the Catholics live in the northern part of the state.
Humphrey has kept the question of religion out of his West Virginia speeches.
By Emile J. Hodel
By Emile J. Hodel
Sen. Hubert Horatio Humphrey is an astute politician. He is also a personable and knowledgeable man. He may even be, as Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt has said, a great American.
Far from being a real liberal, however, we think that a man who is so easily willing to sacrifice the personal and individual freedom of Americans in favor of more and more state control of every facet of our society is more clearly radical reactionary. His philosophy is that of outright socialism or welfare-statism.
But we will say that the senator from Minnesota seems to have a great deal more savvy – more on the ball- than Sen. John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his supporters.
Senator Humphrey visited us Friday night and Saturday. And his political operation thus far appears to be far superior to that of his presidential primary opponent. We know now that he has learned a lot from his ‘stalemate’ with Kennedy in Wisconsin.
For example, full and complete information on Humphrey’s activities including several copies of the schedule of his campaign came to us. Thus far we have received nothing comparable from the Kennedy supporters.
Senator Humphrey is traveling by a chartered bus which allows newsmen to accompany him simply and easily by paying normal bus fare. Senator Kennedy is hedge-hopping on a private airplane. We were told Friday night by an Associated Press man, Herb Little, that he had no idea whether he would be able to return here tonight with Kennedy. He hoped to do so but Kennedy was scheduled to fly directly here from Huntington. Little had not yet been able find out if there will be a commercial airline schedule to permit him to do the same thing – fly from Huntington to Beckley.
Senator Kennedy’s supporters proceeded to show their prejudice in the whole matter all day yesterday. They worried news people considerably with their fussing and arguing that the mere fact that Kennedy was also coming here tonight rated as big or bigger headlines that the Friday-Saturday Humphrey visit.
In effect, they are allowing their emotionalism to overcome their better judgment.
Had they been as smart as the Humphrey people they could have made it quite certain that everyone knew Kennedy was to be here this evening in the same way their opposition did. Humphrey’s forces placed quarter page advertisements in both papers in large picture of their man appearing at the top.
Kennedy didn’t bother so his supporters are apparently scared to death that he won’t attract such a large crowd.
And at every point they seek to use the old “prejudice’’ argument as verbal black-jack. They imply that you are prejudiced if you are not beating the drum for Kennedy. And they seek to imply further that West Virginians will suffer added bad national publicity if we fail to back Massachusetts favorite son.
We fail to see any possible way they could do their man more harm. And were we voting the Democratic ticket on May 10 we would vote we would vote for Kennedy as things now stand. But if his emotional supporters keep it up they will surely prove his undoing.
Humphrey did tell us Friday night that West Virginia’s primary is going to grow into even greater national prominence than did the Wisconsin vote. He said this was true because of the indecisiveness of the Wisconsin election.
He’s probably right and we are sorry in a way. The Kennedy-Humphrey battle may obscure the other issues and contests which are more important for the Mountain State.
In any event the astute Humphrey a Congregationalist church man running against a Catholic ended his campaigning here Friday night by attending a Bar Mitzvah ceremony in the Beckley Hotel ding room. Does this mean that he’s going to take this election “lox, stock and bagel?” Your guess is as good as ours.
And top of the morning to Democrats and Republicans alike!
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