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tell corny jokes if you're a politician, but to be really
witty...people are afraid of wits in politics. In fact, that
was one of the things that was leveled against him: he was “too
frothy and frivolous” when he was running for President. Of
course, he didn't have a prayer; he was running against a
national hero. Nobody could have beaten Eisenhower. I don't
even know whether Stevenson would have been a good President
because there was something indecisive about him.
Could you give an example of that?
Yes, I can. After he was defeated in 1956, he took
the defeat so gallantly, in contrast to Nixon when he lost in
California: a miserable exhibition. I spoke out at the University
of Illinois one Friday night. On Saturday, Adlai invited
me to have lunch and spend the day with him in Springfield.
He was still Governor of Illinois. He was just finishing out
his term. So Saturday morning I had a chance to show off a
little bit at the University of Illinois because a state
trooper arrived to take me to the governor's mansion in Springfield.
It's quite a drive. I stepped into the car and we
went bowling out of the campus and ran right into an automobile
as we left the campus.
The driver got out of the other car in a rage. But
when he saw that it was a state trooper he turned pale and
began apologizing for our having run into him. Of course,
it was all patched up. We weren't going very fast. There
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