The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 08, 1976, Page page 4, Image 4

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: opinion
Efforts to lend respectability to the home
comins elections will take any of the fun out of
The homecoming committee chairman wasn't
the least bit tactful earlier this week in letting
UNL students know he considered the late Ralph
Crabtree a "degrading' homecoming king. Now,
we admit our biases and we were all pretty fond
of old Ralph around here. Thus, our indignation.
Is it more Mickey Mouse for our beloved Ralph
(cartoon character though he was) to represent
the student body as homecoming king than it is
to give students a choice between two candidates
who were nominated for the position simply be
cause they are the only two who applied?
As far as we can determine the duties of the
homecoming royalty, Ralph lacked none of the
qualifications needed to carry them out. He had
a nice smile, he went to football games, he was
well-liked. . . (o.k., so he was a little narrow in the
The homecoming royalty at UNL seems to
serve the same purpose as the homecoming king
and queen at the high schools-to give a focal
point (besides the football game) to the whole
celebration. Sounds harmless enough.
I doubt if students meant any disrespect when
they elected Gary Brantz homecoming queen in
1974 and Ralph Crabtree homecoming king in
1975. They were just trying to lend a little
festivity to the festivities.
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Pep rally atmosphere surrounded local debate crowd
By L. Kent Wolgamott
The search for Fritz began as usual, one hour late, but
it became a glorious adventure, not only a search but a
journey to the inner workings of American politics. This
was a chance to observe the Great Debates with 500
screaming Democrats, and then to observe their candidate
for the easiest job in America, the vice presidency. Who
wouldn't want a job that pays more than $60,000 per
year and supplies a house, personal jet, etc. for making
speeches? - r
Halfway to the Big O, the spiritual condiments began
to take their demonic effects. Visions of fighting with
Secret Service (SS) Agents flashed through my brain. I
considered the night's festivities and what could be
expected or dreaded for the remainder of the evening.
organization but on selling the candidate, making the peo
ple feel he or she is needed and has something to offer,
and that people should take time to purchase, the pro
duct, by going to vote. -
This year, we are seeing two styles of campaigning,
a personal public approach by Jimmy Carter and a re
served private approach by President Ford, I think the
difference is becoming apparent between the two men and
their philosophies. f . ;
Back in Omaha, the evening then digressed to an infam
ous South Omaha restaurant for sustinance and more
politics. Talk turned to a comparison of Carter-Ford and
Ali-Norton, two epic battles in the same week, both
ending with bruised and bloodied opponents and the
questionable decision.
Mondale, of course, brought up the horrid subject of
his opponent, the hatchet man from Kansas, Bob Dole.
Bat that is another story for another tens. The remainder
of the evening is nothing but a cloudy blur of forgetting
the tape machine, of driving back and joining civilization
again. But we had traveled to the mountain and seen
Mohammed (Jr.) and survived. .
; Ve had seen the debate and its effect on a partisan
crowd and had seen modem American presidential politics
as it is.
Vhat raore can you ask?
Then we arrived the Hilton. We were off to the great rally
in the sky. .
The fun began. As I walked through the door, the SS
man grabbed my arm and pulled me to the side. He want
ed to look at my marvelous little tape machine, he
thought I was going to blow up Fritz with my tools of the
trade. After he became convinced I was peaceful in in
tent, he let me enter. The first move was obvious, nego
tiate the crowds and get to the bar for fortification.
Struggling through the teeming masses, we reached our
destination and purchased the necessary portions of
America's national drug.
Finding seats was not too difficult and we sat back to
drink our beer and wait for the debate to begin.
DownhO for Ford
Jimmy Carter came out with his guns pulled and let go
with both barrels on question once. From that point, on
ward, Ford went nowhere but down. With each attack by
Carter the hall would ring with cheers and applause, each
response brought laughter. It was as if the crowd was
being led by cheerleaders, like a high school pep club.
As the debate continued it became evident that many
of these people were responding out of blind faith.
In past debate babble it became obvious who had won,
both from a Democratic and Republican viewpoint. As we
waited for Mondale, the concensus gave Carter a victory
and set the stage for the speech which would be forth
coming. After a lor.g half hour, Mondale appeared. It was easy
to find him, just follow the press, swarming Eke flies to a
carcass. Mondale supported Carter and pointed out in
consistencies in Ford's positions, but soon left to meet the
national press. Cut his appearance satisfied the crowd. It
was net so much what he said but that he said it, that here
in Omaha was the next vice president of the United
That is perhaps the strangest aspect of American
politics personal contact. Kowwhere else does the
speech making, handshaking and parade riding happen on
sch a large scale for so long a time. The media cansans
try to portray a personal contact, the candidate is speak
L'Z ctly to you, the individual. It is this aspect of a
c."-p which cannot be measured by public opinion
Life on presidential campaign trail
proves difficult for candidate's wife
By Arthur Hoppe
That Harvard -educated gorilla who's running for
President has proved himself a serious contender. Like
the other serious contenders he has sent his spouse around,
the country to tell the public how wonderful he is. The
candidate's wife was wearing a puka shell choker and
clutching an embroidered handbag when she met the
press. In answer to the first question put to her, she said
she had no favorite fashion designer. .
"I just get my handbags off the rack" the attractive,
neatly-groomed primate said.
The still-shapely simian said she and her husband were
wed when both worked for Ringling Brothers; "At the
time, everybody said our marriage was only a publicity
stunt," she said.
The short-stemmed former juggler said she and her
husband had remained together despite the fact that his
vocabulary included 500 words while hers was limited
to 250. She said she felt her lack of a more formal educa
tion had been no handicap to her husband in his career.
"He says I certainly have a large enough vocabulary to
be First Lady, she said.
The busy mother cf four said the couple's three brown
sons were campaigning for their father in various states.
"I thought I spotted one in Chicago the other day," she
said, "but it was only a Democratic precinct worker."
She was quick to say she wouldn't be surprised if her
daughter was bavins affair. "If she wasn't " she said
with an infectious kih, "I'd be surprised."
She added that if elected, her husband and she not
only planned to sleep together in the White House but
would do so without pajamas and in a single bed. "It
won t be easy she said, "but we have always tried to give
the public what it wants."
Shy by nature, she said that at first campaigning had
proven difficult for her, but that now she enjoyed it.
Even so, fame has its drawbacks," she said. "I can't
walk through a hotel lobby without drawing a crowd."
Asked for her position on such controversial subjects
as abortions, gun control and Federal monetary policy,
T-2 efTxtrveness of a campaign depends not only on
she frowned. "Speaking for myself, I fully support my
husband's stand on every issue " she ssid, "whatever it
may be." . -
The hard-working little helpmate 1 she wasn't sure
what they mht be because she hadn't seen her husband
for the past six months. Cut she denied nrncrs politick
ing was ruining their mamis.
"Ta, loss or draw," she srd, a hint cf tears in her
fc, brown eyes, "I jjst can't he!? IgvLi; thit b3 ape."
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