How they Run

Udall for President

No Laughing Matter

by Mike Barnes

Copyright 1975 by the Democratic Forum.
Reprinted from Democratic Review, June/July, 1975, pp. 16-26, courtesy of the Democratic Forum and Mike Barnes.

"You know, out in Arizona they'll tell you that a horse show is where the horses show their asses and the horse's asses show their horses." Cong. Morris K. (Mo) Udall was talking to no one in particular, but a confrontation with a horse (in Boston at a Bicentennial reenactment of Paul Revere's ride) caused him to reach into his deservedly famous storehouse of quips and oneliners to find a joke that was at least approximately on point.

It was not yet 10 am on a recent Saturday, but Mo Udall had already been up and quipping for more than four hours. While most of his Capitol Hill colleagues took advantage of a weekend morning to catch up on sleep or get in a round of golf, this House member left home at 7:15 am and caught the 8:05 Delta non-stop to Logan International. The weekend before that he had flown to Ohio. The week before that it was California. The following Friday night he will board a flight to Milwaukee, and the week after that, Michigan (or is it Indiana?).

This weekend in New England, during the next 30 hours starting with Revere's ride and ending with a fundraiser in a Hartford, Conn. suburb, Mo Udall will travel 300 miles by car to attend five receptions in Salem, Nashua, Manchester and Keene, New Hampshire. On Saturday night, while his staff and press guests leave the forced smiles of the campaign trail for a private steak and a good night's sleep at the local motel, candidate Udall will dine at the home of a local labor leader and sleep in the house of another potential supporter. In 300 miles and 30 hours, he will sip coffee and eat cakes, give speeches, shake hands and answer questions for the pleasure and amusement of less than 300 campaign-wise and already-weary New Hampshire voters.

Laughing About It

"This business of running for President is pretty rough," Udall admits. "It tests your stamina, your digestion, your marriage and your sense of humor." Udall, however, keeps his sense of humor on the campaign and on the problems of establishing his credibility as a presidential candidate. His internal computer of political stories provides the perfect anecdote to help keep his own perspective and to win the hearts of his New England audience:

"Shortly after I announced my candidacy in New Hampshire, I walked into a local barbershop and began introducing myself:

'Hi, I'm Mo Udall and I'm running for President.

'Yeh, we know,' says one of the hangers-on, we were laughing about that yesterday.' "

Nevertheless, the Arizona Democrat will tell anyone who cares to listen that he is "deadly serious" about his candidacy and that he is in the presidential race "for the duration." In his case the "duration" is even longer than usual, because he set a record for an early official start to a presidential campaign when he became, last November, the first candidate to announce more than 15 months before the 1976 presidential primaries get under way.

The seriousness of the Udall campaign is demonstrated by the sheer intensity of Udall's personal effort and by the competent political organization he is forming at a national headquarters in Washington and in key states across the nation.

Results to date have been painfully slow. Udall acknowledges that "Mo Udall is not yet a known quantity" to the average voter, nor even to many Democratic activists. Money for the campaign has not yet begun to flow. The "name" politicians who can give a candidacy the credibility it needs to draw money and interest have been cool, even cold to the effort. There is movement, however, in the Udall campaign. "The situation is changing quickly," says the Congressman, "sometimes it's almost frightening how quickly it's changing."

One reason that this self-described "tall, one-eyed boy from Arizona" (the 6-foot, 5-inch ex-pro-basketball player has one artificial eye as the result of a childhood accident) is becoming better known nationally is that he has personally assumed the burden of his anonymity and is spending every available spare moment on the campaign trail outside of Washington. Another is that, at least for the moment, Udall is the most credible, most active and best organized liberal candidate in the announced presidential field. As such, he is increasingly the best available candidate for those liberals ready to move in support of "somebody" and the principal beneficiary by default of anti-Jackson, anti-Bentsen and anti- Wallace sentiment among many liberal activists. And increasingly, the Udall campaign is beginning to look "real," not only in comparison with a "weak" field of liberal competitors, but against the standards of a winning effort.

Although the national Udall political operation is not "second rate," as some Washington cynics are saying, it is top- heavy with Udall loyalists who are not as experienced in national campaigns as are the aides of other candidates such as Jackson and Wallace. As one Udall insider puts it, "I doubt that this campaign will be as technically sophisticated as Jackson's. John Gabusi is no Bob Keefe [a reference to Jackson's highly regarded campaign manager], but let's not forget that Mo isn't Scoop Jackson either. We've got a gold mine of a candidate here. So long as the staff doesn't get in his way, this guy is going to get a hell of a lot of votes."

Together in New Hampshire

In the field, it does not appear that the staff is "getting in his way." In New Hampshire, the Udall campaign is impressive enough to frighten off other liberal contenders. The campaign is getting out good-sized crowds by New Hampshire standards at a time when most citizens do not even realize that there will be an election next year, and it has cornered a large segment of the cream of local liberal political activists.

Among early Udall backers in, New Hampshire are Maria Carrier, who headed Muskie's campaign there in '72, State Rep. Dudley Dudley, "the Durham Joan of Arc" who played the major role in the environmentalists' battles against the proposed Onassis oil refinery, and Joanne Symons, a transplanted New Yorker who has become Assistant Minority Leader in the New Hampshire Legislature. Merv Weston, the local advertising and public relations man who handled McGovern in the state in '72, is on board to do the same for Udall. "We've got a formula," says Weston, "and I think it will work again." (The formula for McGovern was a heavy expenditure for radio spots beginning long before the other candidates and intensifying toward election day.

Added to these and other liberal "heavies" in the Udall campaign are a host of New Hampshire volunteers and activists, many of whom are veterans of McCarthy '68 and McGovern '72, who have the proven ability to organize at the town and precinct level and who "own" the lists that are the bread and butter of an election in this small state. Already the campaign has a New Hampshire mailing list in excess of 2,000 persons, and Udall operatives in the state believe that at least one-third" of that number are so committed that they would not desert the Congressman's cause no matter who else might enter the race, "including Teddy Kennedy."

The results of this organization seem tangible. A mid-April poll supervised by an experienced political reporter for the New Hampshire Times put Udall on top with a voter presidential preference of 25% -- eight percentage points ahead of President Ford and leading Fred Harris, Jimmy Carter, Gene McCarthy, Henry Jackson and Lloyd Bentsen by margins of 9 to 21%. On paper, at least, Mo Udall's campaign organization in Wisconsin also looks good. The Wisconsin Udall Committee lists five of the state's seven Democratic Congressmen as supporters, and a network of experienced campaign workers is developed and operational. As in New Hampshire, a state headquarters has been opened with a full-time professional staff. According to national Udall lieutenant John Gabusi, comparable progress is being made in Massachusetts, Oregon and California.

From the campaign's early emphasis on New Hampshire and Wisconsin, it is clear that what is hoped for is a McGovern- style elimination of liberal competition in the early, relatively low-cost primaries, so that Udall can stand alone against Jackson, Wallace and possibly Bentsen, his three best- financed declared opponents. Regional Coordinator Ed Coyle, in charge of some key states including Ohio and Pennsylvania, says, "I believe we have a real possibility of winning on the first ballot. What it will take will be victories in New Hampshire and Wisconsin, winning some major early caucuses [in non-primary states], and following up with decent showings in some of the industrial states and a big win in California. If we can become the candidate of the moderate-to-liberal wing of the Democratic Party, we can't be stopped."P>The results of this organization seem tangible. A mid-April poll supervised by an experienced political reporter for the New Hampshire Times put Udall on top with a voter presidential preference of 25% -- eight percentage points ahead of President Ford and leading Fred Harris, Jimmy Carter, Gene McCarthy, Henry Jackson and Lloyd Bentsen by margins of 9 to 21%. On paper, at least, Mo Udall's campaign organization in Wisconsin also looks good. The Wisconsin Udall Committee lists five of the state's seven Democratic Congressmen as supporters, and a network of experienced campaign workers is developed and operational. As in New Hampshire, a state headquarters has been opened with a full-time professional staff. According to national Udall lieutenant John Gabusi, comparable progress is being made in Massachusetts, Oregon and California.

The fates are conspiring to make this strategy a good deal more difficult for Udall than earlier appeared the case. While New Hampshire has declared its firm intention to have the first presidential primary "if we have to have it on Thanksgiving Eve 1975," Massachusetts and other New England states intend to hold a common "regional" primary as early in 1976 as possible. While New Hampshire may still be first, it will be very closely followed by a larger and more influential New England primary that will require large dollar and organizational resources. And New York's primary date, now being set to coincide with Wisconsin's delegate selection, will put a greater spotlight on New York City (where Sen. Jackson has strength) than on Milwaukee or Madison and will again require massive amounts of money, money that Udall does not have at this stage and Jackson does.P>The fates are conspiring to make this strategy a good deal more difficult for Udall than earlier appeared the case. While New Hampshire has declared its firm intention to have the first presidential primary "if we have to have it on Thanksgiving Eve 1975," Massachusetts and other New England states intend to hold a common "regional" primary as early in 1976 as possible. While New Hampshire may still be first, it will be very closely followed by a larger and more influential New England primary that will require large dollar and organizational resources. And New York's primary date, now being set to coincide with Wisconsin's delegate selection, will put a greater spotlight on New York City (where Sen. Jackson has strength) than on Milwaukee or Madison and will again require massive amounts of money, money that Udall does not have at this stage and Jackson does.

Udall is focusing on the problems. Asked what his "victory scenario" was, he responded, "I feel a little bit like the coach on the way to the stadium in a bus with his team. He doesn't know what sport they are going to play, who the opponent will be, or whether they will be playing on wood, ice or grass. The rule books are still being mimeographed, and somebody asks him, 'What is your game plan?' "

Becoming the Liberal Man

With or without a "game plan" in order to have a realistic shot at the nomination, Udall will have to establish himself as the leader in the liberal wing of the party. This means he must have an edge over all of the other "progressive" candidates either already running or contemplating doing so. Included in this group would be Sens. Bayh, Church, Humphrey, Muskie and Stevenson as well as a handful of governors, ex-governors and non-office holders such as Sargent Shriver. The Udall people think they may have that edge. Referring specifically to Sargent Shriver (who has been reported as ruling out a declaration before fall), brother Stewart Udall says, "If he believes he can wait that long, he must have his reasons. Our own perspective is that the man who gets out to an early lead is more likely to win the race. We've been out on the track running hard, and we believe we have put all of these months to good use."

One way in which Udall hopes to differentiate himself from the rest of the liberal pack seeking the presidency is to be out front in denouncing Gov. George Wallace. Udall's recent trip across the country during which he attacked Wallacism in several cities was designed to put the Arizonan on record as being the toughest anti-Wallace candidate. This was no spur of the moment tactic but the result of extremely careful planning by the top echelon of the Udall campaign organization. The genesis of this strategy may well have been the appearance the Congressman made some months ago before the national convention of Americans for Democratic Action, a bastion of traditional Democratic Party liberalism. Udall was very well received by the assembled ADA members when he delivered a strongly-worded assault on the idea that George Wallace might be an acceptable national candidate for the party of Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy. Shortly after that speech, Stewart Udall was telling friends in the press that the campaign was going to place "major emphasis" on anti-Wallace rhetoric "in order to show that Mo is prepared to take a stand on some of these very controversial issues."

Whether Morris Udall is prepared to take hard positions on controversial issues has been debatable and has kept some liberal support from him. In the case of his recent shift to hard-line opposition to "everything that George Wallace stands for in American politics," the "controversial" position was adopted only after slow and careful consideration of the political consequences. Watching the decision-making process within the Udall camp, some observers got the impression that the central reason for the attacks on Wallace was Udall's view that it would accrue to his own political advantage. It had, according to these same people, very little to do with the other realities of the issue. As one Washington politician put it, "Wallace has been down there in Alabama all along. It wasn't until Mo figured out there might be some votes in it that he went after him." In fairness to Udall, it should be pointed out that he has been saying for at least the past year that Wallace is "totally unacceptable" as a presidential or vice-presidential candidate.

One of the modulating forces on the Arizona Congressman's campaign statements has been his fear of becoming "another McGovern." He says he is unwilling to take positions in order to get nominated that would later hamper his ability to win the general election, which is what he contends happened to McGovern in '72. As a result, he sometimes makes statements on issues so vague that his position is almost indiscernible. At a recent appearance at the National Press Club, for example, the candidate gave the following responses to questions about specific national issues:

  • Busing: "When court orders are entered, the President should support those orders instead of encouraging those who oppose them.... Congress, however, rather than the courts, should handle these issues because our society has to seek ways to provide both good schools and equal education.... There ought to be ways to solve this problem."
  • Gun control: "I find as I travel around the country that attitudes are changing. But I am, after all, the Congressman from Tombstone, Arizona .... Maybe we ought to send Henry Kissinger to negotiate with the National Rifle Association."
  • Controlling inflation: "The first thing we need to do is get a new Administration in Washington and get to work on this problem .... Maybe we ought to turn inflation over to the post office. They may not stop it, but they'll damn well slow it down."

Although Udall campaign workers are sensitive to criticism that their candidate is being less than forthright in confronting difficult issues, they are equally critical of "die-hard liberals who would rather be pure on every issue than put a decent liberal in the White House." They maintain, in the words of Udall legislative aide Terry Bracy, that their man "is capable of articulating strong medicine for the country in a way that is acceptable to a broad spectrum of voters because there is nothing strident about his style or personality." Regional Coordinator Ed Coyle confirms the view that "the nominee should not be one who alienates significant numbers of persons in the party." He believes that Udall "is able to bring people with differing perspectives together in a highly constructive way." Says another person close to Udall who preferred not to be identified, "If these damn liberals -- and I mean people like Don Fraser [Minnesota Congressman and president of ADA] and Alan Baron [party activist and director of the Democratic Planning Group] -- would get off their asses and get behind Mo, we could nominate him easily and beat the pants off Jerry Ford or whoever the Republicans throw at us. They're sitting around waiting for some lily white purist to come along and mumble all the right liberal incantations. I tell you, honestly, that's a damn fine way to make sure we lose again in '76. It's absolute bullshit."

It is also not entirely justified to claim that Mo Udall is not saying anything very specific about issues. For example, he recently announced a major proposal aimed at injecting competition in the energy industry by "breaking up the major petroleum companies so that they cannot participate in more than one phase of the energy business." His continued leadership in the fight for strip-mining control legislation is proof of his willingness to put his neck on the line when he believes in an issue, and he has long been a leader in efforts to reform campaign procedures and the internal workings of the House of Representatives. On the last point, Udall is an acknowledged expert, even among his fellow Congressmen, and he has written two books on the subject. The first was The Job of the Congressman, a detailed "how to" book for Congressmen and their staffs. The other is Education of a Congressman, a compilation of Udall's congressional office newsletters, largely about economic matters, that his staff is quick to stress "he really writes himself." Both of these books are generally considered obligatory reading for new Congressmen and Capitol Hill staffers. (Udall has written a third book, a lengthy treatise entitled Arizona Law of Evidence that was published in 1960. Written while he practiced law in Tucson, the book has been described by knowledgeable lawyers as "totally comprehensive and definitive.")

The best insights as to how Udall might act as President tend to come from his casual remarks and his personal view of the ills of the country rather than from his prepared speeches or his legislative record. They are generally insights that would please the purest liberal. He is firmly attached to the spirit of the Kennedy Administration and the good will, optimism and talent it brought to Washington. His personal heroes in government, he says, are people like Herb Denenberg, Pennsylvania's ex-insurance commissioner and Newton Minow, the controversial former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, "people who had the audacity to believe that they were supposed to serve citizens, not industries." He continually returns to themes of monopoly and waste in our economic system. Driving in New Hampshire, he is most alert when the conversation drifts accidentally to the price-fixing practices in a small industry or when visually confronted by appalling land use in the New England countryside. And on the issues of controlling growth and re-establishing competition in the economy, between the humor and the soft-sell, Cong. Udall may be as close to a radical as can be found in Congress.

A Single-Handed High School

Morris King Udall, the man, is somewhat of an enigma, even to close associates and friends. He is considered one of the funniest men in public life (a recent article about him in New York magazine was entitled "Will Rogers Is Running For President"), but he clearly works at being funny. He maintains a book of jokes and political stories that he has heard during his career, and he does not appear to mind retreading some old ones. Nonetheless, his basic sense of humor (much of it self-deprecating) is not feigned, and the salt-and-pepper-haired Congressman uses it to marvelous advantage. At a political breakfast in New Hampshire he was asked by an obviously suspicious New Englander if he were a lawyer. Udall responded by telling the story about the politician who was campaigning and was told by a citizen that he would vote for him if he was "not one of those damn lawyers." The politician's response was:

"Well, I'm a lawyer, but, if it helps any, I'm not much of a lawyer."

Surprisingly shy for a successful politician and skilled humorist, Udall is no political backslapper, much preferring to be approached by supporters than to stretch out the glad hand to strangers. In a crowd he is most likely to greet new faces with a slightly hesitant, "Hi, I'm Mo Udall." Some friends suggest that his constant joking is a cover for his shyness and that he has to force himself to be outwardly friendly to people he does not know well. There is the same superficial kind of personality contradiction between his "relaxed, easy-going style," commented upon by almost everyone who meets him for the first time, and his obvious personal drive and ambition. As one Udall staffer says of her boss, "This is a man who is spending 80-hour weeks trying to become the most powerful human being in the world, and all the while he looks as though he were headed for an afternoon picnic or a day at the beach."

As with anyone, however, the veneer of calm can crack. Behind schedule on the New Hampshire campaign trip, the Congressman's car was forced to stop to buy gasoline, and a passenger in the back seat suggested he was going to get out and buy some New England maple syrup to take home to Washington. Udall looked around with a flash of temper and muttered,

"Screw the maple syrup."

Seconds later he is joking again, this time about the difference in radicals of the '60's and the '70's.

"In the '60's, you know, it was 'Power to the People.' Now it goes, 'Power to the following people . . . . ' "

Mo Udall was born and raised in the Arizona hamlet of St. John's, a Mormon settlement founded by his grandfather, David King Udall, a pioneer who left Utah to spread the Mormon gospel to Arizona. The Congressman's father, Levi S. Udall, studied law by correspondence and went on to become Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court. His mother, Louise, was active in Arizona civic affairs. She was especially concerned with Indian life and culture, and in 1970 published a book entitled Mine and Me, an account of the life of a Hopi Indian woman.

Mo Udall ran his high school practically single-handedly, captaining the basketball team, writing a political column for the newspaper, playing the lead in the school play, and, during football seasons, quarterbacking the football team and also marching in the school band at half time. Between high school and college he served four years in the Air Force, holding the rank of captain at the time of his discharge. At the University of Arizona, Udall was the highest scorer on the school's nationally ranked basketball team and was the first non-fraternity man to be elected student body president. After college he played one year for the Denver Nuggets, a professional basketball team, before entering law school. Three years after graduation, he was elected Pima County (Tucson) Attorney. As prosecutor, Udall fought to halt organized crime from making further inroads into the operations of Arizona race tracks.

Elected to Congress in 1961 in a special election to fill his brother's seat (when Stewart was named to President Kennedy's Cabinet), Udall quickly made a name for himself as an effective liberal. In the active 89th Congress, he served as the liberal Democratic Study Group's floor whip on such social measures as the Civil Rights Act, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Medicare, and open housing legislation. His "anti-labor" vote on the controversial Taft-Hartley "14b" legislation in the mid-1960's remains a sore point in some labor quarters, but labor leaders interviewed recently say that Udall is "more than acceptable" as a presidential candidate. In 1969, Udall became the first Congressman in this century to challenge a sitting Speaker of the House when he made an unsuccessful attempt to unseat John McCormack. Two years later, he ran against Hale Boggs for majority leader and lost narrowly. Udall said after the latter defeat that he had been assured by a majority of the Democratic Caucus that he could count on their support, but he lost in a secret ballot. This prompted him to tell reporters,

"You know the difference between a cactus and a caucus? A cactus has the pricks on the outside."

The Congressman's family is very much involved in his campaign. His son, Mark, has been living in New Hampshire for several months helping to organize the campaign there. The good-looking 24-year-old Williams College graduate is considered by the Udall staff to be a "tremendous asset" to the campaign, and he has been the subject of favorable editorial comment in New Hampshire newspapers. The Portsmouth Herald went so far as to "endorse" the young man, saying, "Frankly, if you have a chance to talk with Mark Udall, you'll wonder why he isn't running instead of his father. We've never met Morris Udall, but, whether he ever makes the presidency or not, he's achieved, along with Mrs. Udall, a renewal of our belief in what is known as the 'family.' "The Herald's faith may be shaken when it learns that Mark's mother divorced Congressman Udall some years ago, but Mark is making a lot of friends for his father at the right time in a crucial place.

The candidate has five other children, all by his first marriage. Randy, 23, is working with an Outward Bound program in Colorado this summer. Judith (called "Dodie"), 22, just graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in anthropology. Anne (called "Bambi"), 20, spent the past year at the University of Lancaster on a junior year abroad from Vassar. Both Dodie and Bambi plan to live in Wisconsin to help in the campaign, as their older brother has been doing in New Hampshire. Brad, 18, just graduated from high school in Boulder, Colo., where he lives with his mother. Described by Mark as "the best politician in the family," Brad is planning to take a year off to help his father's presidential effort before entering college. The youngest child, Kathy, 16, also lives with her mother and is said to be interested in a career in the theater.

The Problems: Cash & Credibility

The problems for the Udall campaign at this stage are first to convince the active liberal wing of the party that Udall is the man, that no knight in shining armor is coming to save it, and then to get from those liberal activists the money he will need to fight his way through 30-plus primaries against the well-armed Jackson and Wallace.

The candidate's brother and campaign manager, Stewart Udall, spends a good deal of his time worrying about whether there will be enough money available to keep the campaign moving forward at the pace he believes is necessary. He notes that they have raised "over a quarter of a million dollars" and that their direct mail effort, just beginning, is getting a good initial response. Mailings have gone to Cong. Udall's personal list (mostly Arizona residents), lists of contributors to the Environmental Defense Fund (over Stewart Udall's signature, presumably because of his identification as former Secretary of Interior), and contributors to Ramsey Clark's 1974 New York senatorial campaign. Test mailings have also gone to portions of other selected lists in anticipation of doing very large mailings in the fall as the Udall staff and their candidate prepare for the ordeal of the primaries. Stewart Udall says, "If we are able to get the necessary money, we can make it possible for Mo to have a very effective campaign vehicle. I personally believe we will get it."

His brother, the candidate, seemingly unperturbed by the exigencies of a modern political campaign, keeps on traveling about the country telling funny stories and trying to convince the Democratic Party that he is a serious candidate for its highest crown. He tells his audiences that they should stop expecting someone named "Abraham Woodrow Franklin John Fitzgerald Smith to step from the clouds." History, he says, supports the view that the nomination will be won in the primaries. The man who wins those primaries will be "flesh and blood," and will have fought for the victory. He thinks the country wants someone like him -- "someone younger, someone fresher." Some, like the New Hampshire voter who called him "too much of a stand-up comic to be President," will not accept it. But this is certain: if Morris Udall's opponents, actual and potential, believe that this man of determination is just an Arizona funnyman -- and treat his campaign with less than respect -- they may find the Democratic Party has discovered it has a sense of humor.

The Udall Campaign Team

Campaign Manager Stewart Udall is the candidate's brother and predecessor as Congressman from Arizona. The former Kennedy and Johnson Interior Secretary is respected as an environmentalist and a forceful public speaker. He currently runs an environment consulting firm in Washington called Overview, practices some law and devotes remaining energies to his brother's race for the presidency.

His role as manager has him on the road frequently as a substitute spokesman for the campaign, and his prominence as a former Cabinet official adds a degree of lustre to the routine responsibilities of running a political operation. In fact, Mo Udall is sometimes confused with his well-know brother. In Boston recently, for example, the candidate extended his hand to someone at a political gathering saying, "Hi, I'm Congressman Udall," and got the response, "Oh, of course, Stewart Udall. It's an honor to meet you." Mo considers this type of confusion "a big advantage." He says that it "increases the name visibility dramatically, and that can be significant, especially during the early part of his national campaign.")

Most observers of the campaign feel that Stewart Udall's participation is important and helpful. It is said that he brings maturity to a staff that might otherwise lack direction and experience in national politics. As the candidate's brother, he is seen to speak for the campaign and the candidate's views with a greater degree of authority than that usually available to campaign staff. He does not reject comparisons to Robert Kennedy's role as director of John Kennedy's 1960 presidential race. "The main difference," he says, "is that I'm older than Mo, while Bobby was younger than Jack."

Regional Coordinator John Gabusi, 34, is an Arizona native and longtime political activist in that state. Before Stewart Udall's arrival as manager, Gabusi ran the Udall political operation, and, despite his titular equality with the other three regional coordinators, he remains in command when Stewart is not in the office. Gabusi was president of an Arizona polling company and met his present boss when his company handled polling for the Congressman's re-election campaign in 1968. Udall brought him to Washington in 1969 as a subcommittee staffer. Gabusi's role in Udall's congressional campaigns has continued as campaign manager -- in '68, '70, '72 and '74. Udall has increased his majority in each re-election campaign and now wins by comfortable margins, although in his first race (a special election in 1961 to succeed his brother who had been appointed to Kennedy's Cabinet), his margin of victory was paper-thin. Gabusi took time off from his Capitol Hill and Arizona responsibilities in 1972 to help the Muskie campaign in the primaries (Udall was an early strong supporter of the Maine Senator), and he later coordinated western states for McGovern-Shriver under the supervision of McGovern lieutenant Rick Stearns. Stearns, currently a Harvard law student, is one of the Udall camp's advisors on tactics and strategy. Gabusi is now in charge of what the campaign has designated "Region l," basically the same 15 western states he coordinated in the 1972 national campaign.

Press Secretary Bob Neuman, 35, is a veteran California journalist who recently joined the Udall camp after six years as press and legislative aide to Cong. Jerome Waldie of California. Neuman says, "I don't know if I'm bringing any luck to the operation, but the week I came to work for Mo, Mondale decided to get out of the presidential race." Before coming to Washington in 1968, Neuman held editorial positions with a number of small town and suburban newspapers in Northern California. The press secretary, who commutes to Washington each day from an 85-year-old house in Galesville, Md., says he has been impressed with Udall ever since arriving on Capitol Hill. "Mo was clearly the heavyweight on the Post Office Committee where I had the most opportunity to watch him in action.

Issues Coordinator Jessica Tuchman, 28, is a Radcliffe graduate and survivor of the 1968 McCarthy campaign who holds a Ph.D. from Cal. Tech. in biophysics and biochemistry. Called "Wonder Woman" by fellow Udall staffers, Ms. Tuchman is an accomplished equestrian (nine years of competitive riding and jumping) and the author of numerous studies with titles such as "Effects of Differentiated Membranes on the Developmental Program of the Cellular Slime Mold Dictyostelium Discoldeum." During the McCarthy campaign she served as assistant to campaign director Curtis Gans and spent the summer of '68 in Chicago where she organized teams of lawyers to fight credentials and rules battles. Describing herself as "physically and emotionally destroyed" by the campaign and the Chicago convention, she gave up politics and entered graduate school. In 1973 she received a Congressional Science Fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her Capitol Hill position was with Udall's Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. Ms. Tuchman's current role is coordinating all issues research and speechwriting for Udall. She says she is avoiding setting up traditional campaign task forces of issues experts, preferring to call upon knowledgeable individuals without asking for public endorsement of her candidate. For speech preparation, she says the Udall office has very little outside help because "Mo likes to write his own stuff." Increasing demands upon the Congressman's time, however, have placed more emphasis upon Terry Bracy's talents as a ghost. Among outsiders sometimes called upon are Colin Matthews, a legislative aide to Sen. Frank Moss, and young Washington lawyer Rick Neustadt whose father, Richard, Sr., has long been active in national Democratic politics. Ms. Tuchman says, "To be honest, the number of really great speechwriters -- the Dick Goodwins -- is maybe six or seven in the whole country. We haven't reached the point at which we feel we need that yet."

Congressional Legislative Assistant Terry Bracy is a 32-year-old political scientist who first worked for Udall on a congressional fellowship in 1965, then joined the staff full-time in 1968. Bracy, described by other staffers as "Mo's alter ego," sees his current role as providing a "bridge between the congressional and campaign offices" and helping with the congressman's speechwriting chores. Jessica Tuchman, who coordinates issues research and writing for Udall, says that Bracy "is as close as anyone to being able to reproduce Mo's idiom." Bracy is a native of St. Louis, Mo., where he graduated from Catholic schools and St. Louis University. He completed graduate school at the University of Arizona, then taught government at Arizona and was news editor of the Tucson NBC television affiliate. From Tucson, Bracy migrated to Washington where he did consulting work for a number of congressmen before joining Udall's staff. In 1972 he took a leave of absence from Udall to work on the national McGovern-Shriver staff.

Of the '76 presidential race Bracy says, "I think Mo is going to win. He's right for the times. He is a man of reform in a time when reform is what is wanted and needed." The kind of reform Bracy envisions is "gut structural reform of all of our society's major institutions, including government, the energy industry, the regulatory agencies, transportation systems, etc." He adds, "I see the role of the next President to be the great reformer of the 1970's, the way Roosevelt was in the 1930's.

Regional Coordinator Paul Tully, 31, a politically experienced lawyer, is almost universally described as "very savvy" and "the best political operative" in the Udall operation. Tully, a proud New Yorker born in the Bronx where his father was in George Meany's union local (the senior Tully says of Meany, "He wasn't even a good plumber"), was brought up on city politics and was active as a volunteer in Robert Kennedy's successful 1964 Senate race. Tully planned to work on Kennedy's presidential campaign staff in '68, but the date of his graduation from Yale coincided with the tragic Kennedy victory celebration after the California primary. His favorite having been assassinated, Tully worked for Eugene McCarthy until the convention, then handled scheduling for the congressional campaign of Johnson-dumper Allard Lowenstein. From that effort on Long Island, Tully went back to the big city to coordinate advance and scheduling for Jimmy Breslin's quixotic mayoral campaign in 1969. Tully, an accomplished political raconteur, says that the Breslin experience has "given me enough good campaign stories to last a lifetime." After the Breslin campaign he entered law school at the University of Pennsylvania, finishing in time to handle scheduling and advance operations for McGovern in '72. He also was responsible for the same region he now handles for Udall - New England plus New York and New Jersey.

Of Mo Udall he says, "He's a good candidate. He's a great guy to work for. With the right breaks this thing can easily go all the way."

According to Tully the principal "breaks" involve "how much money is out there" and "whether we can make Mo Udall the progressive Democratic candidate after the early primaries."

Director of Scheduling and Advance Ron Pettine, 30, is a Villanova political science graduate who got his start in politics running the 1964 congressional campaign of Bill Searle in Pennsylvania. In 1965 Pettine joined the personal staff of Milton Shapp, then Chairman of the Board of Jerrold Corporation, an electronics firm. Pettine's career has been linked to that of Gov. Shapp ever since, and, as Shapp became increasingly involved in state and national politics, his young aide followed. In 1968 Pettine worked for Humphrey in the Pennsylvania primary, then joined the national Humphrey-Muskie advance staff. During Shapp's winning 1970 campaign for governor, Pettine served as appointments secretary and chief scheduler. After the victory, he was appointed Deputy Secretary of State of Pennsylvania (a Cabinet-level position), the youngest person ever to hold such a post in the state's history.

Fundraising Coordinator Marcie Kripke, 23, is a veteran political fundraiser. Born into an activist family (her mother is a long-standing political worker and fundraiser in Colorado), Ms. Kripke has been involved in politics "since I was in diapers." She played a major role in the unsuccessful mayoral campaign of Democrat Dale Tooley in Denver in 1971, and in '72 she was a key aide in the victorious Haskell-for-Senate campaign after serving as a McGovern alternate from Colorado in Miami Beach.

In 1973, she helped coordinate telethon activities for the Democratic National Committee. A year later she was in charge of fundraising for the senatorial campaign of Gary Hart, a long-time friend of her family. Under the direction of Stewart Udall and Stanley Kurz, Mo Udall's World War II Air Force side-kick and New York lawyer-accountant who serves as campaign treasurer and National Finance Chairman, Ms. Kripke supervises the campaign's direct mail program and fundraising parties and events around the country. A recent event she put together in Virginia attracted some 350 persons who paid $50 each.

Other top Udall staffers include:

Administrative Assistant Roger Lewis, 43, a soft-spoken administrator described by several co-workers as "non-political." Lewis does not involve himself in the campaigns confining his work almost exclusively to Arizona concerns.

Regional Coordinator Susan Marshall, 30, an experienced political operative with a background in women's groups in Arizona. Currently in charge of "Region 2" (the South and part of the Midwest), Ms. Marshall has worked on the campaigns of Robert Kennedy and George McGovern. She also was a key figure in the last two Udall congressional campaigns.

Regional Coordinator Ed Coyle, 27, a veteran of the 1972 Muskie campaign "boiler room" operation that organized field operations in a manner similar to the Udall "regions." Coyle is in charge of his camp's "Region 3" (the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states). After the Muskie campaign folded in '72, Coyle worked for Sargent Shriver during the general election campaign. In 1973 he handled direct mail and other fundraising duties in the campaign of Henry Howell for governor in Virginia.


Last update: December 22, 1998