Sunday, April 16, 2000
The campaign needs some humongous number of signatures in Texas, and Pat is going down this week for rallies in Dallas and Houston. I expect we'll make it, and Bush will try to knock us off the ballot and fail. But boy, this third party thing can be rough sledding.
There are the occasional pleasant surprises, though. A guy—I won't name him in the event he has some privacy concerns - had been loosely involved with the campaign for several weeks. He has sent me detailed memos about Serbia, which were all very interesting, and was helping with a New Jersey fundraiser. He was an attorney, in late middle age I would guess, and a retired colonel of some sort.
There are lot's of people like that - smart Buchananites who offer all sorts of interesting advice that there isn't the time or energy to put to good use.
Then the guy sends me a note saying he's taking a short leave of absence from his law firm and he'd like to help. I send him an e-mail back saying well, why don't you go to Texas to collect signatures - to be perfectly honest, that's the most pressing task the campaign has right now. Thinking that there's about one chance in ten a New York-area lawyer would actually do that.
Next thing I hear from Colonel X, let's call him - "Boy Texas is really a mess, good you sent me down here, we need Pat to come down right away, we need this that and the other thing, tell so and so to schedule this." In other words the guy is TAKING CHARGE. Bay is suddenly inundated with phone calls from our Texas people about Colonel X - some good, some bad - some simply fearful. Colonel X has set up a "command post," Colonel X is telling everyone what to do, who is this guy whom the campaign sent to organize Texas? The answer is that Colonel X is filling a rather large managerial void. As a scribbler myself, who has never administered anything larger than a newspaper editorial board (though I'll hold out for the Paris embassy after Pat wins), I find this completely admirable, and of course a welcome surprise.
NB: Seth Lipsky - mentioned in this space a few weeks ago - was fired from the Forward, the New York daily paper that he edited and more or less founded. Like most people I thought he had a majority ownership share in the publication, and couldn't be fired. The other owners apparently thought Lipsky had made the paper too neoconservative, severed it too much from its labor movement/ socialist heritage.
I'm gonna call Seth now and let him know I'm sorry. He was gracious enough to phone me after I was fired by the Post. There are things in the Forward I really can't stand at all - their treatment of Pat, their treatment of immigration issues. But Lipsky made the weekly paper an important read – a very clear window in the thinking of an extremely influential group, (New York or New York-linked Jews). He did it with a low budget as well— a real editorial accomplishment.