DEMOCRATS' UDALL TRIBUTE LEAVES WIFE MISTY, VIEWERS CHUCKLING AT JOKES
(By Steve Meissner)
NEW YORK.--Norma Udall quietly stood in Madison Square Garden last night and watched through misty eyes as Democrats honored her ill husband, former Arizona Representative Morris K. Udall.
"I can feel his presence all over this building, she said, biting her lip as Arizona's congressional delegation waved yellow "Mo" signs, and the Democratic National Convention watched a videotape featuring some of Udall's best political jokes.
Udall, who retired last year because of advanced Parkinson's disease, was not in Madison Square Garden last night as Representative Butler Derrick, (D-SC) lauded Udall's efforts on behalf of campaign finance reform and for the environment, and as House Speaker Thomas S. Foley, (D-WA) said in a tape that "Mo needs no monuments. His monument is his work."
Udall is in a Washington, DC, hospital, so weak from his illness that he is unable to communicate.
Udall was able to watch the tribute from his hospital bed, his wife said.
"I left a note taped to his television," said Mrs. Udall. "I told them to make sure the channel was set on a station that was showing the convention."
Most seats in Madison Square Garden were empty yesterday as the tribute was shown. It was one of the first events scheduled on a very busy night--Tennessee Senator Al Gore was nominated as Vice President, and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton gave his acceptance speech--and delegates were still trickling in.
But a film clip lauding Udall contained some of Udall's most famous jokes, including the line supplied by a New Hampshire barber.
Udall entered the man's barber shop during his 1976 presidential campaign and explained that he was running for president. "Oh yeah, we were just laughing about that this morning," the barber responded in one of the better known lines of the book on political humor.
Arizona delegates found something
else to chuckle about. Giant television screens around the convention hall
showed a text of Derrick's tribute to Udall--and Udall's first name repeatedly
was spelled "Moe" instead of "Mo."
UDALL'S WIT, CHARM RECALLED IN TRIBUTE AT CONVENTION
(By Pat Flannery)
NEW YORK.--The echo of Morris Udall's words through Madison Square Garden on Thursday recalled a time 16 years ago when a legendary prayer became part of the popular political vernacular.
It was July 14, 1976, and Udall had just lost in his primary bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
As former Udall aide Bob Neuman recalled: "He gave his speech endorsing Jimmy Carter from the podium. It was just a masterpiece!"
The most memorable line was uttered again on tape Thursday for the 1992 Democratic National Convention:
"Lord give us the wisdom to speak tender and gentle words ... for tomorrow we may have to eat them!"
Udall's grace and wit were recalled in a 10-minute tribute that kicked
off the last night of the convention.
"Every time I see it, I want to cry," said Udall's wife, Norma, who sat with the Arizona delegation during the feature.
"It hurts me that he's not here," she said, adding that the "rush of affection and warmth is breathtaking."
Udall, afflicted with Parkinson's disease that is in advanced stages, is confined to a Washington, DC, treatment center.
South Carolina Representative Butler Derrick introduced the tribute to Udall, a St. Johns native who represented District 2 in the House of Representatives for 30 years.
The tribute was the idea of Arizona Senator Dennis DeConcini, who asked Democratic Party Chairman Ron Brown to consider it.
"I was visiting him (Udall) at his hospital room about 2 weeks ago, and it just dawned on me that it would be nice," DeConcini said.
As the Arizona delegation held up yellow "Mo" signs, Derrick told the convection that Udall "fought harder than anyone in Congress for issues he believed in ... and most memorably, he fought for the environment."
"Remember Mo Udall's ability to speak tender and generous words," Derrick said.
Norma Udall said she left instructions for Udall's television to be left on so he might see the tribute Thursday.
"I think the most important thing I'll tell him is how we feel about him," she said afterward.
on Interior and Insular Affairs
U.S. House of Representatives
The following is a compilation of national and Arizona legislation in which Congressman Morris K. Udall was instrumental.
* The federal government, as trustee
for Indian tribes, is responsible for securing sufficient water supplies
to develop and sustain reservations as viable tribal homelands. As an alternative
to long and costly litigation, Mr. Udall encouraged negotiated settlements
that would quanitify tribal rights, settle claims and provide means for
tribes to use their water entitlements. The federal government's contracts
with Central Arizona tribes to deliver Colorado River water as part of
their overall entitlement to water have provided a partial basis for settlements.
Main | Contents | Illustrations | Book Cover | Title Page
Addresses and Special Orders Held in the U.S. House of Representatives
and the Senate, Presented in Honor of The Honorable Morris K. "Mo" Udall,
A Representative from Arizona, One Hundred Second Congress, First Session
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993