Hubert, Jack Scout Votes Across State
May 1, 1960
Hubert, Jack Scout Votes Across State
Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass) went through the motions of filling his West Virginia campaign engagements Saturday, despite a sore throat infection that left him without much voice.
An aide, Matt Reese of Huntington, made the speeches. Kennedy limited himself to handshaking and a few weak voice words to each audience after Reese had finished. Reese is executive secretary of West Virginias for Kennedy.
Kennedy is campaigning for the May 10 West Virginia primary election. He and Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn) are entered as candidates for the Democratic nomination for president, although the outcome of the primary will not tie down any convention delegates.
Humphrey and Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. ran into each other while campaigning in Richwood in the south-central part of the state.
Roosevelt is a booster for Kennedy.
Humphrey was entering the Richwood Grade School, Roosevelt was going out.
FDR, Jr. made a bow, threw open his arms, said “Good afternoon Senator,” then asked how everything was coming along. “Wonderfully, wonderfully,” Humphrey answered – which ended the conversation.
The opposing campaign sound trucks, parked near one another out on the street, engaged in a few exchanges meanwhile.
Marvin Crouch of Cabin Creek, the Humphrey driver, blasted out that “Roosevelt has been in here once, and now it’s our turn.”
Then he threw in, “Humphrey is the closest man to FDR there is. I mean senior. Not our man.”
Humphrey himself both watched the same fishing and ate some of the area’s formidable ramps while in the Richwood area.
After turning up at Summit Lake, seven miles out, for the opening of the state trout season, he came on in for a meal dedicated to the greater glory of the spring onion-like plant that smells notoriously in its natural state, and even more notoriously on the breath.
After taking his first mouthful somewhat dubiously, Humphrey pronounced the ramp was “fine.” Then, having made his concession to local pride, he added, “but I don’t think it’s as necessary as water.”
Roosevelt likewise turned up at the annual ramp festival, the times were different there, and the two men didn’t see each other again.
At the lake, Humphrey didn’t catch any fish – he couldn’t get a license. But he got in his licks as a campaigner.
A tour to the lake was included on his speaking schedule in this lumbering and coal mining community. His bus made the 7-mile trip over dusty traffic-filled mountain roads to the lake.
Some 4,000 fishermen surrounded the 43-acre-lake at the 6 a.m. opening hour. At mid-day it had gotten a little breezy, and some of the crowd had left. But there were still some 500 cars, trucks, trailers, and other vehicles in the parking lot, and other hundreds of other cars on side roads around the area.
Kennedy’s forays Saturday were all in the Charleston area, the farthest being to Madison, 37 miles south of here. He started his day’s schedule with an appearance before a crowd of about 200 on the courthouse lawn there.
The next stop was Eskdale, a small mining community on Cabin Creek, east of Charleston. Numerous drab mining settlements – some of them now almost ghost towns – are strung out along Cabin Creek. This section is afflicted by chronic unemployment.
It was Kennedy’s first venture up Cabin Creek, where Humphrey did heavy campaigning earlier this month.
Kennedy and Reese spoke at Eskdale in front of a Quonset hut-type general store to a crowd of miners, many of them out of work and their wives and children.
Across the road was a mine which has been shut down since March. Until Saturday, a “no work” sign was posted in the window of the mine office, but it was taken down before the Kennedy party arrived, probably in anticipation of the accompanying photographers.
The 340-pound Reese made approximately the same short speech at each stop. He reviewed Kennedy’s record as a Navy PT boat officer in the South Pacific –“He’s the only veteran running,” Reese said – and his record in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Reese never failed to stress and argument that has become a daily theme in the Kennedy campaign: a vote for Humphrey on May 10 would be wasted because, as Reese put it, “Hubert Humphrey cannot win the nomination.”
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