Tuesday, November 22, 2011

News Archive: Demos hail Kuchel decision not to run.

n. a. (1965, September 21). Demos hail Kuchel decision not to run. The Miami News, p. 9A.

In late September of 1965, California Democrats were breathing a collective sigh of relief when liberal Republican senator Thomas Kuchel announced he would not run for the governorship.  This left Ronald Reagan the odds on favorite to win the GOP primary.  All the “really smart people” concluded this would increase Brown’s chances for reelection.  Supposedly, the Brown camp wanted to run against Reagan.  Speaker of the California Assembly, Jesse Unruh (D.) proclaimed the Kuchel decision, “drastically increases the Democrats’ chances of keeping the governorship.”

In Obamaesque fashion, Kuchel decided that rather than simply bowing out of the race, he would toss a needlessly-alienating verbal grenade into the primary conversation:

…within our California Republic Party is a fanatical, neo-fascist, political cult, overcome with a strange mixture of corrosive hatred and sickening fear, recklessly determined to overcome our party or destroy it.
Reagan’s ability to slough off veiled personal attacks and stay on message was evidenced in his response, in which he agreed with Kuchel on the evils of neofascism and communism, noting that he was “unalterably opposed to either.”

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