Reports in the Boston Globe that if Sen...

MARTIN NOLAN

July 15, 1993|By THEO LIPPMAN JR.

MARTIN NOLAN reports in the Boston Globe that if Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy runs for re-election next year his campaign slogan will again be, "He Can Do More for Massachusetts."

That's what it was in 1962.

The Senate seat he sought had been held by John Kennedy. He resigned after he was elected president in 1960. A family friend was appointed to keep the seat warm until a special election could be held for the remainder of the term.

Teddy was an inexperienced assistant district attorney at the time. The slogan was meant to remind voters that he'd get his brother the president to provide pork and assorted goodies for the state.

(John Kennedy used the slogan in 1952, but as an attack device, running against an ineffective incumbent, Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.)

Teddy's 1962 opponent for the Democratic nomination was the very experienced state attorney general, Edward McCormack, son of a well-known and colorful local politician and nephew of the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The president came through for his brother. Officially he pledged not to interfere in the party primary, but he quietly sent word home that "win or lose," Teddy would control patronage in Massachusetts.

He helped in other ways. He added to the bandwagon effect by telling reporters in Washington, "I'd rather be Ted than Ed," a nice twist on the popular pacifist cliche of the day, "I'd rather be Red than Dead."

I don't recall what McCormack's campaign slogan was, but his theme was expressed in a debate with Teddy. "If his name was Edward Moore, with his qualifications, with your qualifications, Teddy, if it was Edward Moore Kennedy, your candidacy would be a joke."

It was a devastating put down. I rank it right up there with Lloyd Bentsen's 1988 gibe at Dan Quayle ("I knew Jack Kennedy etc., etc., . . . Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy"). Teddy reacted as Danny did 26 years later. He was visibly stunned. He turned ashen. He thought he might have lost the election.

But his name wasn't Edward Moore, and he defeated poor McCormack by better than 2-1.

He went on to defeat Republican George Cabot Lodge in the general election, in a contest that had even more family intertwinings than had the Kennedy-McCormack race.

George Cabot Lodge was the son of Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. Junior was the senator John Kennedy said he could do more for Massachusetts than in 1952. Junior was also Richard Nixon's running mate in 1960, when John Kennedy was elected president.

Lodges didn't always lose to Kennedys. In the 1916 Senate race, Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. -- George Cabot's grandfather -- had defeated John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, Ted's grandfather.

Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. served longer in the Senate than any Massachusetts senator in history, 31 years, eight months, five days. Teddy will tie him a year from today.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.