thumbnail of Elections '78: Prelude to '80; No. 4; Election Special
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<v Host>This program is made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. <v Marilyn Berger>Good evening, I'm Marilyn Berger. It's day four of our pre-election survey. <v Marilyn Berger>We've been to the West, the Southwest, the Midwest ?and? <v Marilyn Berger>South Carolina for a look at the South. <v Marilyn Berger>Had we been doing this series of nationwide political broadcasts in the early 1940s, <v Marilyn Berger>we probably would have skipped the south. <v Marilyn Berger>Southern states where then so predictably Democratic - that's with a large D - <v Marilyn Berger>that whatever political story there was in this part of the country was all over on <v Marilyn Berger>primary day. <v Marilyn Berger>The solid south, they called it. And that's exactly what it was until 1948 when
<v Marilyn Berger>Strom Thurmond took on Harry Truman over the issue of civil rights and led the Dixiecrat <v Marilyn Berger>walkout from the Democratic convention. <v Marilyn Berger>4 years later, Dwight Eisenhower made the first big Republican inroads in the now not too <v Marilyn Berger>solid south. But that didn't prevent Orval Faubus from standing up to him <v Marilyn Berger>over the issue of school integration and not too long after George Wallace <v Marilyn Berger>?stood in front of? a schoolhouse door and defied John F. <v Marilyn Berger>Kennedy once again over the same issue. <v Marilyn Berger>The only thing [tape cuts out] about the South, at least the white south in the 50s and <v Marilyn Berger>60s, was a determination to resist change. <v Marilyn Berger>But in the midst of the black-white confrontation, the dream of 1 man, <v Marilyn Berger>?Martin Luther? King became the most potent political force in the south. <v Marilyn Berger>Today, the south of frightened Freedom Riders and bombed-out black churches and <v Marilyn Berger>overturned school buses looks very different. <v Marilyn Berger>Who would have foreseen 30 years ago that Martin Luther King's picture would hang in the <v Marilyn Berger>Atlanta capital?
<v Marilyn Berger>Who would have foreseen that old guard senators like Eastland, Stennis, Allen and <v Marilyn Berger>Sparkman would be replaced by men like Bumpers, Baker and Chiles? <v Marilyn Berger>Who would have believed 30 years ago that a black man would be a candidate for the Senate <v Marilyn Berger>in Mississippi? That's Strom Thurmond would be running after black votes in South <v Marilyn Berger>Carolina? Tonight, we're going to have a look at the changing south, a <v Marilyn Berger>south that's moving away from the George Wallaces and the Lester Maddoxes. <v Marilyn Berger>With me again tonight are Kevin Phillips, political analyst and former Republican <v Marilyn Berger>strategist, and Ken Bode, former Democratic strategist and political editor <v Marilyn Berger>of The New Republic magazine. <v Marilyn Berger>There is evidence of continuity and change in the South and the Senate race right here in <v Marilyn Berger>South Carolina. As I just said, Thurmond is running after black votes <v Marilyn Berger>and he's standing on his long record of bringing federal money to the state. <v Strom Thurmond>We have worked to keep the military installations in this state. <v Strom Thurmond>And we haven't lost a single military installation, I don't believe, in South Carolina <v Strom Thurmond>since I've been in the Senate.
<v Charles "Pug" Ravenel>28 years in the government of this state <v Charles "Pug" Ravenel>and where are [tape cuts out]. <v Charles "Pug" Ravenel>Last in the nation in life expectancy. <v Franklin Ashley>South Carolinians take their politics very seriously, and this year they've got a special <v Franklin Ashley>conflict to watch. The aging veteran senior Senator Jay Strom <v Franklin Ashley>Thurmond takes on Charleston investment banker Charles D. <v Franklin Ashley>"Pug" Ravenel. Ordinarily, for Republican Thurmond it would be an easy contest, but <v Franklin Ashley>that's not the case this time. <v Franklin Ashley>Strom Thurmond came to the U.S. Senate in a write-in vote in 1954. <v Franklin Ashley>Once an iron-hard segregationist, Thurmond still holds a U.S. <v Franklin Ashley>Senate filibuster record when in 1957, he talked for over 24 <v Franklin Ashley>hours against a civil rights bill. <v Franklin Ashley>But now, in 1978, he begun ?to? <v Franklin Ashley>openly court the ?black? vote. <v Franklin Ashley>Now, Thurmond even has blacks speaking for him in ?telethon? <v Franklin Ashley>commercials. And how does he think he'll do? <v Strom Thurmond>And I think we have the support of about 95 percent of the
<v Strom Thurmond>mayors, that includes all 10 of the black mayors. <v Strom Thurmond>Uh they appreciate my interest in their community and what we've done to help the <v Strom Thurmond>community in which they live. <v Franklin Ashley>But Thurmond's strongest suit is constituent service. <v Franklin Ashley>Over the years, he's communicated a feeling that he has a personal interest <v Franklin Ashley>in each South Carolinian. <v Interviewee>He invited us all for dinner. <v Interviewee>So I went to his house for dinner. <v Interviewee>I've been knowin' him ever since uh <v Interviewee>I was a kid. <v Interviewee>I think if he's doing a good job for us and I feel that he is, and his seniority <v Interviewee>should count for much for our state. <v Interviewee>And I see no reason to change now. <v Franklin Ashley>Strom Thurmond never had an opponent as formidable as Charles Ravenel. <v Franklin Ashley>Oddly enough, Ravenel has never held elective office. <v Franklin Ashley>A Harvard grad and an ex-Wall ?Street? <v Franklin Ashley>investment banker, Ravenel returned to South Carolina in 1972, <v Franklin Ashley>and 2 years later won the Democratic nomination for governor.
<v Franklin Ashley>However, he was subsequently disqualified for not meeting residency requirements. <v Franklin Ashley>Ravenel later angered many fellow Democrats when he refused to support the subsequent <v Franklin Ashley>nominee, Brian Dorn, who was his rival in the primary, but this <v Franklin Ashley>time Ravenel is back again with his greatest strength found in the cities. <v Interviewee>I would have knocking at the gates a young man who is 40 years old, who is well trained <v Interviewee>and a leader, and I am highly in favor of his carrying on. <v Interviewee>I think that right now we need Pug Ravenel. <v Interviewee>And if they can't stand up with a man who is capable <v Interviewee>and who is qualified then they deserve exactly what they have now, which is nothing. <v Franklin Ashley>Ravenel is still behind, but gaining. ?The? <v Franklin Ashley>question now is what kind of inroads will Thurmond make into <v Franklin Ashley>the black community? <v Interviewee>Well, you know, he got 8 percent of the black vote in 1972. <v Interviewee>He didn't care about the black vote. He hasn't voted for blacks. <v Interviewee>He's voted to hold them down. And uh so now suddenly when they got the vote and it
<v Interviewee>matters, he's going after 'em. <v Franklin Ashley>Admittedly, behind in the white vote, Ravenel is working hard, meeting with black <v Franklin Ashley>leaders. He knows he must get between 85 and 90 percent of the black <v Franklin Ashley>vote in order to have any chance of winning. <v Franklin Ashley>Consequently, most black leaders have now fallen in behind Ravenel. <v Franklin Ashley>In the closing days of this campaign, Strom Thurmond has said, I don't owe the voters a <v Franklin Ashley>thing. And Pug Ravenel has seized upon that [tape cuts out], calling it pattened <v Franklin Ashley>arrogance. Now, perhaps the question may be how much do the voters <v Franklin Ashley>of South Carolina feel they owe Strom Thurmond? <v Marilyn Berger>Ken? Can you answer that question? <v Marilyn Berger>How much do the voters owe Strom Thurmond? <v Ken Bode>Well, certainly the black voters that he's courting so assiduously this year don't owe <v Ken Bode>him- owe him very much. But it's uh a very clever campaign and it's 1 that's being <v Ken Bode>duplicated by Republicans around the country pretty uh successfully. <v Ken Bode>See if the average Republican gets about 8 to 10 percent of the black vote, they know <v Ken Bode>that they can double that percentage. <v Ken Bode>It will make the difference in marginal races. So they've hired a black consulting firm <v Ken Bode>here in South Carolina to teach Republican candidates how to meet blacks, where to go
<v Ken Bode>to find political blacks, churches and so forth, even how to shake hands with blacks. <v Kevin Phillips>It's a lot more than that, Ken, it's not just a Republican strategy. <v Kevin Phillips>I think all across the country we're seeing a lot of blacks losing faith and in some <v Kevin Phillips>liberal programs and promises and ideas. <v Kevin Phillips>Strom Thurmond mentioned here that he had the support of the 10 black mayors in South <v Kevin Phillips>Carolina. But in Louisville, Kentucky, in this year's Democratic primary, the antibusing <v Kevin Phillips>candidate was a black. <v Kevin Phillips>In Mississippi, we have Charles Evers running as an independent for the United States <v Kevin Phillips>Senate, and he's running as a candidate against the Panama Canal treaties, against <v Kevin Phillips>welfare, against busing, for law and order. <v Kevin Phillips>I think blacks realize but they can't rely on the old liberal programs <v Kevin Phillips>and they're up for grabs. And it's not just smart politics- <v Ken Bode>I disagree. I think that there is going to be no programmatic tradeoff for Repub- <v Ken Bode>that blacks are going to get from the Republicans over this, and they're going to see it <v Ken Bode>very soon. You can't really believe that the future of black politics in the South rests <v Ken Bode>with guys like Evers who are running and sounding like Eastland or the political shell
<v Ken Bode>game that Strom Thurmond is playing. <v Marilyn Berger>Well, but- but the blacks are getting something from these people, as as we've seen in <v Marilyn Berger>this film, where Strom Thurmond can deliver because he's been in Congress a long time. <v Marilyn Berger>But are you suggesting there is a conservative feeling among blacks? <v Kevin Phillips>I think what they're- they're looking at here is that liberal programs, the extension <v Kevin Phillips>of them that we've seen in the last 5 or 6 years, bussing, uh liberal sociology <v Kevin Phillips>isn't relevant to your lower-middle-class black communities and they don't feel it <v Kevin Phillips>produces. A pork-barrel approach, Strom Thurmond delivering on post offices <v Kevin Phillips>and roads is worth more than a pie in the sky at the Yale Graduate School of Sociology. <v Ken Bode>Still, the liberal economic agenda is the black economic agenda. <v Ken Bode>And you look to see to the Congressional Black Caucus to see whether Republicans will <v Ken Bode>support that agenda and they simply aren't doing it. <v Marilyn Berger>Well, Ken I- I don't know. I've heard albeit they are conservatives, but I've heard white <v Marilyn Berger>conservatives who once were liberals say that the blacks and the poor- <v Marilyn Berger>white poor- are very tired of having liberal white programs that are really <v Marilyn Berger>geared to upper-middle-class morality and white
<v Marilyn Berger>uh mores imposed on the blacks. <v Marilyn Berger>For example, there was a hospital built in New York with all private rooms. <v Marilyn Berger>That's because upper-middle-class whites like private rooms. <v Marilyn Berger>The poor like to be among each other when they're sick. <v Ken Bode>I've heard white conservatives who once were like white liberals say the same thing. <v Ken Bode>But I don't think they're right. <v Kevin Phillips>Look at the energy situation, you have the N Double A C P favoring an expansionist energy <v Kevin Phillips>policy to create jobs, not the no growth, uh elitist <v Kevin Phillips>liberal conservation policy, which has everybody just riding bicycles to <v Kevin Phillips>upper-middle-class jobs. <v Ken Bode>There'll be a test here in South Carolina. Strom Thurmond and Pug Ravenel represent this <v Ken Bode>different point of view. And Strom Thurmond may be in more trouble than we are led to <v Ken Bode>believe at this point because he's always had weak opponents up to now. <v Marilyn Berger>Well, it says that Ravenel would need 85 to 90 percent of the black <v Marilyn Berger>vote in order to win. And Thurmond is going hard for them. <v Marilyn Berger>But, you know, there's another race in the south where the Republican incumbent is doing <v Marilyn Berger>no campaigning at all for black votes. <v Marilyn Berger>And that's in North Carolina. And Richard Hatch has a report.
<v Richard Hatch>In North Carolina, trouble slipped up behind Senator Jesse Helms while <v Richard Hatch>he was busy becoming the darling of America's conservative cause. <v Richard Hatch>His problems are: an off-year election in a heavily Democratic state, <v Richard Hatch>a rough and tumble challenge from Democrat John Ingram, and <v Richard Hatch>the senator's own record, as a rising star of the political right. <v Richard Hatch>Helms led opposition to the Panama Canal Treaty. <v Richard Hatch>He opposes abortion and supports prayer in the schools. <v Richard Hatch>He [tape cuts out] perfect score of 100 on his Senate votes from the American <v Richard Hatch>Conservative Union and a polar opposite 0 from the Americans <v Richard Hatch>for Democratic Action. <v Richard Hatch>The Helms campaign style is to avoid mentioning the Republican Party, <v Richard Hatch>to target his few personal appearances toward friendly audiences, and then <v Richard Hatch>to push the ideological buttons of ?conservative? <v Richard Hatch>rhetoric. <v Jesse Helms>I don't want business to run this country. <v Jesse Helms>I don't want big business and I don't want big labor union bosses, and I don't want big
<v Jesse Helms>government to run [applause]. <v Richard Hatch>The Helms strategy has been to stay in Washington, appearing senatorial, <v Richard Hatch>while a huge Raleigh based organization conducts the most costless <v Richard Hatch>campaign in U.S. history. <v Richard Hatch>Making their latest financial report, Helms workers stacked up computer <v Richard Hatch>readouts with the names of 2 hundred and 70 thousand ?contributors?, <v Richard Hatch>who have sent him more than 6 million dollars. <v Richard Hatch>Only one-third of those contributors are from North Carolina. <v Richard Hatch>Helms needs money to get out the crossover vote in an off-year. <v Richard Hatch>But John Ingram is trying to turn the senator's assets into liabilities. <v John Ingram>Why does the 5 billion-dollar Republican opponent consistently <v John Ingram>send out computer letter after computer letter after computer letter, <v John Ingram>begging for a hundred and 8 thousand dollars more television, <v John Ingram>when he has received 2 free television shows?
<v Richard Hatch>North Carolina's insurance commissioner, Ingram always opposes automobile <v Richard Hatch>?rating?, but is usually overturned in court. <v Richard Hatch>He has pedaled his loud, energetic, abrasive style through 8 <v Richard Hatch>statewide campaigns. <v Richard Hatch>He is spending about $300000. <v Richard Hatch>Ingram favors the Equal Rights Amendment, and he rails against ?numerous independent? <v Richard Hatch>[tape cuts out] banks and oil companies. <v Richard Hatch>Helms is against ERA and the list of political action committees <v Richard Hatch>contributing to his campaign reads like the Fortune 500 <v Richard Hatch>of American business. <v Richard Hatch>Helms win would advance the conservative cause and increase his influence <v Richard Hatch>in the national arena. <v Richard Hatch>But Helms is a New South Republican elected in the full bloom of Richard Nixon's <v Richard Hatch>Southern Strategy. <v Richard Hatch>Whether that strategy went down with Nixon or whether it remains as an option for <v Richard Hatch>the Republican Party may be what North Carolinians are really voting on here
<v Richard Hatch>next Tuesday. <v Marilyn Berger>That's a fantastic uh campaign ?chest? <v Marilyn Berger>he's got, 5 million dollars. Where'd he get that? <v Ken Bode>Well. He's by Richard Viguerie, who is the right-wing fundraising genius [tape cuts out] <v Ken Bode>creates some uh a bank of computers in northern Virginia. <v Ken Bode>And he's an expert on the single issue constituencies that are so active in this <v Ken Bode>election. Viguerie and his mailing list are against gun control. <v Ken Bode>They're against the ERA. They're against abortion. <v Ken Bode>They're against the Panama Canal treaties. They're against the unions. <v Ken Bode>And they're for right-wing candidates. <v Marilyn Berger>That suggests that the little man is contributing to this campaign as well as the Fortune <v Marilyn Berger>500. <v Ken Bode>Oh, that's absolutely [tape cuts out]. You can't have a pile of computer names that's <v Ken Bode>uh that big without having a lot of small givers. <v Kevin Phillips>That's a very important aspect of this race, because Jesse Helms isn't in some ways just <v Kevin Phillips>a candidate for reelection to the Senate. <v Kevin Phillips>Jesse Helms has indicated, without saying that he wants to run for president in 1980, <v Kevin Phillips>that he's not ruling it out. And there's been a lot of talk. <v Kevin Phillips>And I think with some legitimacy, that the- the great Jesse Helms mailing list is <v Kevin Phillips>really in the 198- 78 Senate race is a mailing list for a possible
<v Kevin Phillips>1980 presidential run. <v Kevin Phillips>And that these people that have been contributing to Helms in this race may be <v Kevin Phillips>contributing to him ?in? a bigger rice, and that's got a lot of importance <v Kevin Phillips>because Richard Viguerie, I think has several presidential candidates. <v Kevin Phillips>1 is Jesse Helms and 1 is Phil Crane from Illinois. <v Kevin Phillips>And if he gets them in motion, they can break up Ronald Reagan's ball game. <v Marilyn Berger>[speak over each other] Let me just back up 1 minute. That boggles my mind. <v Marilyn Berger>Jesse Helms for president? <v Kevin Phillips>Jesse Helms for president. He has said that he's not ruling it out. <v Kevin Phillips>I think it's not in the sense that Jesse Helms or anybody pushing Jesse Helms thinks <v Kevin Phillips>he's going to be running in all the primaries. <v Kevin Phillips>But as a candidate, a favorite son candidate, North Carolina, which is an early primary, <v Kevin Phillips>yes, there is attention being paid to that tactical possibility. <v Ken Bode>Jesse Helms has to get through this election first. <v Ken Bode>And then 1 of the things that's a little unclear when a guy has 6 million dollars is how <v Ken Bode>much it costs to raise that money. And with Richard Viguerie, it sometimes can cost you <v Ken Bode>50, 60, 70 cents on the dollar in overhead to get that money. <v Marilyn Berger>Does that suggest he's holding some of it for 1980, Mr. Viguerie? <v Ken Bode> I don't think so. I think that uh that Jesse Helms is in a race up there against John
<v Ken Bode>Ingram, the insurance commissioner, who's a fast finisher, who was given no chance to win <v Ken Bode>the primary, who's a populist Democrat. <v Ken Bode>And the party's beginning to come together behind Ingram. <v Ken Bode>And Helms may be in more trouble than we're led to believe. <v Kevin Phillips>Well, he's in- in some trouble, perhaps, but he seems to be fairly far ahead in the <v Kevin Phillips>polls. I think that's a very important thing, that if Jesse Helms were to lose here, that <v Kevin Phillips>would be a major setback for the conservatives and for the Viguerie connected activist. <v Kevin Phillips>But it doesn't look like it at the present time. <v Kevin Phillips>And the other aspect here, which is enormously important, is the role of organized <v Kevin Phillips>labor as an issue. <v Ken Bode>Well, the people you mentioned, Crane, Viguerie and- and Helms are also very important in <v Ken Bode>the way the right-wing in America is moving against the unions, particularly in this <v Ken Bode>?election? <v Kevin Phillips>That's absolutely true. Of course, it goes beyond right-wing [tape cuts out]. <v Kevin Phillips>For example, uh South Carolina's other senator, Fritz Hollings, was 1 of the leaders in <v Kevin Phillips>the fight against the so-called labor uh reform. <v Kevin Phillips>And I think 1 of the disappointments the unions have is that almost <v Kevin Phillips>all of the southern democrats oppose them on labor reform. <v Kevin Phillips>They tend to oppose them on- on right to work issues.
<v Kevin Phillips>And the South is becoming a major battleground for the unions, and they're not doing very <v Kevin Phillips>well. <v Marilyn Berger>Well, but who do the unions have to support is their problem, isn't it? <v Marilyn Berger>[speak over each other]. <v Kevin Phillips>?Well really not anybody? <v Ken Bode>But they're prepared to make a pragmatic choice in the south right now, they know what <v Ken Bode>the political turf looks like. In Mississippi, for example, the unions got in early and <v Ken Bode>backed Maurice Dantin, the Democratic nominee, when he was an underdog in the primary. <v Ken Bode>When it was over with, they had their candidate, but I talked to a union president and I <v Ken Bode>said, "Uh what do you think of this guy? How is he in labor law reform?" And the union <v Ken Bode>president said, "Well, we're going to have to talk to him a little more on that 1." <v Marilyn Berger>Well, you know, labor is in trouble all around the country, though. They didn't do well <v Marilyn Berger>on the bill. On the labor bill. <v Ken Bode>Oh, absolutely right. <v Kevin Phillips>Well, the south is a major problem area. <v Kevin Phillips>The south is expanding the jobs down here. <v Kevin Phillips>Correlations are made that right to work states have more jobs, more plants are moving <v Kevin Phillips>there. People in the south link their prosperity to right to work laws. <v Kevin Phillips>And as a result, it's a very hard nut for the labor unions to crack. <v Marilyn Berger>I'd like to go back. You were talking about Jesse Helms as a possible presidential <v Marilyn Berger>candidate. But let's look at another state in the south where there's what some people
<v Marilyn Berger>consider a real presidential candidate. And that's Howard Baker, the minority leader in <v Marilyn Berger>the Senate. He's there ?for years? <v Marilyn Berger>And he's in 1 of the toughest races of his career. <v Marilyn Berger>It's in this race also that we can see the blurring of party lines in the south, <v Marilyn Berger>for example, the Nashville, Tennessee, in which is normally a Democratic paper, has <v Marilyn Berger>endorsed Baker. Now, John Siegenthaler is the publisher of that newspaper <v Marilyn Berger>and he also does a regular program for WDCN, the public television station in Nashville. <v Marilyn Berger>Here's his report on the Senate race there. <v John Siegenthaler>The race for the United States Senate in Tennessee has attracted some natural national <v John Siegenthaler>attention because Howard Baker is the Republican minority leader <v John Siegenthaler>and because his friends say he's seriously planning a race for the presidency in 1980. <v John Siegenthaler>So Baker takes nothing for granted. <v John Siegenthaler>He's running hard. He spends a good deal of time on the campaign trail and a lot of money <v John Siegenthaler>on the media. In the primary election, he was virtually uncontested. <v John Siegenthaler>Still, he spent 800 thousand dollars and his budget in the general election will double <v John Siegenthaler>that amount. His opponent, Mrs. Jane Eskind, is a wife
<v John Siegenthaler>of a millionaire stockbroker. She's a party leader, a civic worker, and the first <v John Siegenthaler>woman ever to win a statewide Democratic primary election. <v John Siegenthaler>She has emerged as a much tougher opponent ?that? <v John Siegenthaler>anybody had anticipated. When she entered the Democratic primary, nobody gave her <v John Siegenthaler>a chance to win. She was opposed by two well-known political figures of her party. <v John Siegenthaler>She outplanned them, outcampaigned them, outspent them, won a stunning victory <v John Siegenthaler>in the right to oppose Baker. <v John Siegenthaler>Ms. Eskind has the support of organized labor, whose leaders are upset with Baker because <v John Siegenthaler>of his vocal opposition to their labor reform legislation earlier this year. <v John Siegenthaler>Ms. Eskind has managed to finance a media campaign, which suggests that while Baker may <v John Siegenthaler>be a good talker, he doesn't listen to his constituents. <v John Siegenthaler>His leadership role in the passage of the Panama Canal treaties is an issue that is <v John Siegenthaler>raised in some of the Eskind commercials on TV, such as this 1. <v Speaker>You know, federal spending is really getting out of control. <v Speaker>People aren't going to stand for the way we gave away - the Panama Canal? <v Speaker>That was downright - criminal the price of food these days.
<v Speaker>There's not enough - jobs are what we need. <v Speaker>I'd like to see - a senator who knows what's on peoples' minds. <v Speaker>I'm Jane Eskind. A good senator has to be more than a good talker. <v Speaker>In Tennessee, a good senator has to be a good listener. <v Speaker>Jane Eskind: Democrat for the Senate, for Tennessee. <v John Siegenthaler>Senator Baker is a cautious, careful politician. <v John Siegenthaler>As a campaign stratagem, he tries to ignore Jane Eskind as much as possible. <v John Siegenthaler>He declined to debate her. He also uh ignores any mention of his votes <v John Siegenthaler>in favor of the Panama Canal treaties. <v John Siegenthaler>He knows that those votes ran contrary to the voter sentiment in Tennessee. <v John Siegenthaler>His media message has never mentioned the Panama Canal. <v John Siegenthaler>Instead, uh his television commercials usually conclude, as this 1 does, <v John Siegenthaler>with a not so subtle hint, that it takes courage to make unpopular decisions. <v Howard Baker>More than almost anything else, Tennesseans fear runaway inflation. <v Howard Baker>It threatens our families and our very future. <v Howard Baker>We agree that government spending has to be brought in line and our free economy must
<v Howard Baker>be allowed to prosper. We have a right to expect more stable taxes at all levels. <v Howard Baker>But as a Tennesseean, I believe we've got to make some unpopular decisions if we hope <v Howard Baker>to control inflation. <v Television Host>Making unpopular decisions takes courage. <v Television Host>And these days that's hard to find. <v John Siegenthaler>Well, Howard Baker is making a serious effort to attract substantial numbers of black <v John Siegenthaler>voters, obviously, in an attempt to show national party leaders that the right Republican <v John Siegenthaler>from the middle of the road can pull from all segments of the voter spectrum. <v John Siegenthaler>A leader in his campaign is Frances Hooks, of Memphis, the wife of Ben Hooks, who's the <v John Siegenthaler>national executive secretary of the NAACP. <v John Siegenthaler>Democratic Party leaders that I've talked to don't really expect Jane Eskind to beat <v John Siegenthaler>Howard Baker, but they've noted that in the closing days of the campaign, the polls have <v John Siegenthaler>indicated that the gap between the 2 candidates has narrowed and that may have encouraged <v John Siegenthaler>President Carter to make a quick 2 hour stop in Nashville on behalf of the statewide <v John Siegenthaler>Democratic candidates in the closing days of the campaign. <v John Siegenthaler>For Baker's part, he said he would welcome a confrontation with Carter on Tennessee soil.
<v John Siegenthaler>He said he expected all along that the ?president would? <v John Siegenthaler>try to cut his margin of victory. <v John Siegenthaler>Whether it will help Howard Baker or hurt him won't be known until all the votes are <v John Siegenthaler>counted. As Howard Baker himself said last week, "I won't know. <v John Siegenthaler>I'm cut until I see the blood." <v Marilyn Berger>Ken, ?inaudible? Are we going to see blood? Is Baker [tape cuts out] <v Ken Bode>It may be a case of Baker losing even if he wins. <v Ken Bode>Because when you're a presidential contender and that's what Baker considers himself, <v Ken Bode>you're judged by the margin of your win, not just whether you win. <v Ken Bode>And Baker won by over 60 percent last time. <v Ken Bode>This time, he's in a real tough race. And uh GOP moderates who really would like to see <v Ken Bode>a Baker candidacy in 1980 say he's gotta win by a minimum of 55 percent <v Ken Bode>in this race. <v Kevin Phillips>He's in a real squeeze play here. He's got on 1 side the Carter administration <v Kevin Phillips>that would like to see that majority shaved down as much as possible to discredit him as <v Kevin Phillips>a 1980 candidate. <v Kevin Phillips>And on the other side, he has the conservative Republicans and the conservative activists <v Kevin Phillips>who'd like to see him shaved down for the same ?reasons? They don't want to see him ?in <v Kevin Phillips>elections? They don't want to see his [tape cuts out] be rewarded on the Panama
<v Kevin Phillips>Canal issue. <v Marilyn Berger>Kevin, is this the same thing we saw last night when we were talking about the Percy race <v Marilyn Berger>where conservatives were trying to ?inaudible? <v Marilyn Berger>they're too conservative Republicans? <v Kevin Phillips>It's certainly a cousin, but it's not exactly the same ?thing? <v Kevin Phillips>It's really related front and center to the Panama Canal issue. <v Kevin Phillips>When Howard Baker took the lead on that and pulled Jimmy Carter's chestnuts out of the <v Kevin Phillips>fire, he did so uh very much to the chagrin <v Kevin Phillips>of the right-wing Republicans. And as a result, they've even organized a committee to <v Kevin Phillips>defeat Howard Baker and filed with the Federal Election Commission as the only committee <v Kevin Phillips>to defeat and not elect a candidate. <v Ken Bode>Well, that's- that's Howard Baker this year. That's going to hurt Howard Baker ?this <v Ken Bode>year? and it's also gonna ?be a? <v Ken Bode>problem for him to take his opponent very seriously, who's using this Panama Canal issue <v Ken Bode>effectively. [tape cuts out] He thought she didn't have a chance. <v Ken Bode>And now he finds himself looking over his shoulder and she's surging. <v Ken Bode>She's spending a lot of her own money at the end of this. <v Ken Bode>She's a millionaire. She can afford it. So Baker could really be in trouble. <v Marilyn Berger>I'm interested in this Carter angle, though. Does the White House really see Baker as the <v Marilyn Berger>threat in 1980? <v Kevin Phillips>I believe they do for the following reasons: Jimmy Carter thinks that either Gerald Ford
<v Kevin Phillips>or Ronald Reagan uh would lose to him and wouldn't crack his southern base for <v Kevin Phillips>different reasons. But he feels that Howard [tape cuts out] threat, because Howard Baker <v Kevin Phillips>would take part of the south, the energy states, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, <v Kevin Phillips>that are vulnerable because of that, on the energy issue, and he'd also take the <v Kevin Phillips>upper south, which is Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, his home base, and that would <v Kevin Phillips>take half of the south away. That makes him a real threat to Carter on Carter's home <v Kevin Phillips>turf. <v Marilyn Berger>And he could do that while holding on to some of the north, I take it? <v Kevin Phillips>Yes, I think he could. Howard Baker has run fairly well in the polls as a <v Kevin Phillips>[tape cuts out] with a moderate appeal nationally. <v Marilyn Berger>So you were talking about Panama before. <v Marilyn Berger>Both of you were. I- do you really think that's gonna be important in 1980? <v Ken Bode>Not me. <v Marilyn Berger>You don't think so? <v Ken Bode>Well, no I think it-. <v Kevin Phillips>I-. <v Ken Bode>Go ahead. <v Kevin Phillips>I do, because it's important leading up to 1980. <v Kevin Phillips>I think it's important in the sense that a Republican presidential candidate probably <v Kevin Phillips>can't get the nomination if he's been on the wrong side of [tape cuts out] could've <v Kevin Phillips>straddled Panama, but I don't think he can be on the wrong side-.
<v Ken Bode>That's what the right-wing said. That's what they warned Baker about. <v Ken Bode>[tape cuts out] get the litmus test of 1980. I just think that the Panama Canal is this <v Ken Bode>year's buzz word. It doesn't have any kind of staying power as an issue <v Ken Bode>insofar as the electorate in general is concerned. <v Ken Bode>And if it hurts anybody in the south, lord knows it should hurt Jimmy Carter, who brought <v Ken Bode>home the treaties. <v Marilyn Berger>Well and I think, though, that foreign policy doesn't have a decisive effect in a <v Marilyn Berger>national ?election? and it may, as you say, have a uh an importance in a ?selection <v Marilyn Berger>process?. But I think come 1980, whoever the Republican candidate is <v Marilyn Berger>and Jimmy Carter is gonna be elected much more on domestic issues than <v Marilyn Berger>?foreign policy?. <v Kevin Phillips>Well, that's quite true. Carter, I think, has recovered in the south from the Panama <v Kevin Phillips>problem. It did hurt him in the polls down here, but so did almost everything else in the <v Kevin Phillips>middle of 1978. And he seemed to jump up down here. <v Kevin Phillips>Uh I think he's probably got Panama largely past him. <v Kevin Phillips>I think it's something that can impact the Republican nomination process, though. <v Ken Bode>You know, indications are, as I see it, that in the South. <v Ken Bode>Jimmy Carter's in trouble for very much the same reasons that he's in trouble in the rest
<v Ken Bode>of the country. He hasn't gotten a hold on inflation, and he doesn't really seem, even <v Ken Bode>though he's a native son, doesn't really seem to be up to the job. <v Ken Bode>He's not very popular. The Mississippi candidate for the Senate in this [tape cuts out] <v Ken Bode>won't have Jimmy Carter's [tape cuts out] Polls just [tape cuts out] showed Edward <v Ken Bode>Kennedy running ahead of Jimmy Carter even in the south. <v Marilyn Berger>Well, don't forget that when we were in Texas there [tape cuts out] said that there's a <v Marilyn Berger>certain amount of sympathy for Carter. <v Marilyn Berger>And there is a feeling, as I've said before, throughout the country, that nobody can do <v Marilyn Berger>the job. And if Carter isn't up to is say, "Who is?" That, nobody really <v Marilyn Berger>has an answer. <v Ken Bode>I doubt, they're gonna vote for him again, though, on grounds that they feel sorry for <v Ken Bode>'im. <v Kevin Phillips>Carter has 1 thing going for him down here, which I think people shouldn't overlook. <v Kevin Phillips>Uh [tape cuts out] from the idea of being another son of the south, he's a man of ?shows <v Kevin Phillips>not just? faith of a lot of people in the south, a man perceived of as bringing a moral <v Kevin Phillips>influence to the White House. We've seen that in the polls on this [tape cuts out] And I <v Kevin Phillips>think it's a factor not to be overlooked. <v Marilyn Berger>Very quickly, you've been talking here about ?the south? <v Marilyn Berger>Is there really a new south?
<v Kevin Phillips>I kind of think the new south is overstated. <v Kevin Phillips>The term came in the 1870s. <v Kevin Phillips>It didn't turn out to be a new south then. <v Kevin Phillips>I don't think it really will now. Russell [tape cuts out] still protecting the [tape cuts <v Kevin Phillips>out] the coast of Louisiana and Harry Byrd is still carrying out that dynasty in <v Kevin Phillips>Virginia. <v Ken Bode>Depends on where you look. In Alabama, Stonewall, Jim Allen is gone. <v Ken Bode>John Sparkman is gone. George Wallace is gone. <v Ken Bode>In Arkansas, you're gonna have a 31-year-old Democratic governor who began in politics as <v Ken Bode>a McGovern organizer, of all things. <v Marilyn Berger>?Me? too. Though, I think that the feeling here ?as a Southerner? <v Marilyn Berger>as I am, comes down to the south. There is a different sense. <v Marilyn Berger>And if that's not a new south, I don't know what it is, but we are going to be leaving <v Marilyn Berger>the south. We're gonna be headed up for New York and we'll be ?right back? <v Marilyn Berger>with our 5th report. And then also from New York we'll bring you a ?special? <v Marilyn Berger>program on Sunday. <v Marilyn Berger>I'm Marilyn Berger. Have a good evening.
<v Television Host>Was produced by KERA-TV and South Carolina Educational Television, who <v Television Host>are solely symbol for its content, and was made possible by a grant from a Corporation <v Television Host>for Public Broadcasting. <v Television Host>Next on Nova, Alaska: The Closing Frontier. <v Interviewee>Man has to be compatible with the wilderness to survive. <v Interviewee>I believe that's true. If you destroy the wilderness, nature, why, it's going <v Interviewee>to catch up with you. <v Television Host>Alaska, our nation's last wilderness. <v Television Host>But can wilderness compete with development? <v Television Host>It's the land battle of the century. <v Television Host>Alaska: The Closing Frontier. <v Television Host>Next time on Nova.
<v Television Host>This program was produced by WGBH Boston, which is solely responsible for its ?content?. <v Television Host>Major funding for Nova is provided by this station and by other public television <v Television Host>stations. Additional funding is provided by a grant ?from the? <v Television Host>Exxon cooperation and the National Science Foundation. <v Interviewee>Well, I think the main thing I wanted to see Alaska as Alaska is supposed to be. <v Interviewee>Not- not- not cities and a lot of people. <v Interviewee>But see, the beauty of Alaska is it really is. <v Television Host>To see the beauty of Alaska is to step back in history.
Elections '78: Prelude to '80
Episode Number
No. 4
Election Special
Producing Organization
South Carolina Educational Television Network
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
This is the half-hour special from the South Carolina Educational Network. The episode begins by giving a brief history of politics in the South and the South's shift from voting overwhelmingly Democratic to now being more uncertain. There is a film about the Senate race in South Carolina between candidates Strom Thurmond and Charles "Pug" Ravenel, and after the film, the panel discusses the race in South Carolina. A reporter discusses the Senate Race in North Carolina between Jessie Helms and John Ingram, and again the panel discusses it afterwards. The next senate race covered is the race between Howard Baker and Jane Eskind in Tennessee, followed by panel discussion of it and Baker's potential candidacy for president in 1980. Finally, the panel gives their opinions on the idea of the "New South".
Series Description
"'Elections '78: Prelude to '80' was an unprecedented off-year election series on PBS designed to help the American voter better understand how the issues and candidates involved in the November, 1978 elections would [affect] the 1980 presidential election. The seven-part series was comprised of five 30-minute regional specials (aired nightly Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 1978), a one-hour wrap-up (Nov. 5) and a one-hour post-election analysis (Nov. 15). The series marked the first cooperative venture among several stations within the PBS system. Each regional show originated via satellite from a different station and focused on the key issues and candidates in that state or region. In addition, two polls were commissioned prior to the series for background material. A trio of political specialists with contrasting points of view -- Marilyn Berger (former NBC White House correspondent), Kevin Phillips (syndicated political columnist and author) and Ken Bode (political editor of The New Republic) -- served as correspondents for the series. "Two programs representative of the series are submitted. The half-hour special from the South Carolina Educational Television network focuses on the key U.S. Senate races in the South as well as the proposed labor law reform and right-to-work bills. In the one-hour analysis program, produced by KERA in Dallas, the outcome of key issues and personalities detailed in the early part of the series is presented, along with political projections for the next two years prior to the 1980 presidential election."--1978 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Coordinating Producer: Cole, Renate
Director: Shirk, Tom
Interviewee: Ravenel, Charles
Interviewee: Thurmond, Strom
Moderator: Berger, Marilyn
Panelist: Bode, Ken
Panelist: Phillips, Kevin
Producer: Cherkezian, Nazaret
Producing Organization: KERA
Producing Organization: South Carolina Educational Television Network
Reporter: Siegenthaler, John
Reporter: Hatch, Richard W.
Reporter: Ashley, Franklin
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-8f8d4159b52 (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 0:32:34
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Chicago: “Elections '78: Prelude to '80; No. 4; Election Special,” 1978, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Elections '78: Prelude to '80; No. 4; Election Special.” 1978. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Elections '78: Prelude to '80; No. 4; Election Special. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from