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naturally, candidates, I would talk this out with the publisher. And we really never had
any disagreement at all. Or none that couldn't easily be worked out.
On this occasion, it was clear to me from things that Punch had been saying during the
year that he was somewhat favorably - certainly much more favorably disposed to
Moynihan that I had been. I did not like Moynihan. I didn't like his style. We'd been
critical of some of the things he'd said in the U.N. I felt that Moynihan had been all over
the lot of various issues - whether one talks about his famous “benign neglect” statement or
other issues too. I felt that he was a very unreliable type who cut his politics to the
opportunistic needs of the moment. And I was particularly outraged by the fact that he was
considering running for the Senate after having stated very, very explicitly while he was in
the U.N. that of course he would consider it a mark of dishonor to use his U.N. position,
Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations, as a springboard for political office
- which of course is precisely what he did use.
So I had said to Punch shortly before I went on vacation that I knew that he was somewhat
more inclined for Moynihan than I. If I had to choose, I wasn't very keen about any of the
candidates, but I certainly would pick Abzug over Moynihan.
Remember, this was a primary. A very important point. Because while I had always felt
that the Times had to take a position in an election, I always had felt from the beginning
that it was not necessary, except when we really wanted to do it, for the Times to take a
position in a primary.
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