The Errant Governor

Cabbages & Kings

Nobody loves a fat man and even fewer people love Paul A. Dever. Nevertheless the Governor is an appealing speaker and an overly-maligned official, and we were anxious to hear him speak before the Young Democratic Club--the old Young Democratic Club--yesterday afternoon in Littauer.

In front of the great white building a small group of Young Democrats had gathered, heads together as if caucausing. It was 1:20, ten minutes before Dever was scheduled to arrive. Stanley Tobin, president of the club, broke away from the caucus and greeted us. "It's a closed meeting," he said, "but the CRIMSON's welcome." He smiled and added, "I hope we don't give you anything more to write about.' We smiled back.

By 1:30 most of the Young Democrats had come out of the Littauer lecture room where they were to hear the speech and were sitting on the steps or moving about nervously, waiting to welcome the governor. They all were Dever buttons and some sported two or three. Tobin, dressed in a sharply pressed blue suit, walked up and down the long path from the building to the street. He clutched a folded wad of paper which appeared to be introductory remarks of some sort.

Time passed quickly for no one was too worried about Dever's whereabouts. A group of the youthful Democrats had gathered around Government professor Sam Beer, earnestly debating politics. At 1:45 a Buick convertible drove up and deposited several young Democrats and a pile of campaign literature. "That's the advance car," Tobin said joyfully, "the governor should be just behind it."

Panic struck at 2 p.m. Dever had not been right behind the advance car and a rumor that he had been seen near Kirkland House spread among the politicos. Then, just on the hour, a HYDC agent pedalled up furiously on a light-weight bike. "I just spoke to a cop," he reported to Tobin, "and the cop says he saw Dever's car going up to the Law School. The cop says Dever is going to speak at the Law School."

Tobin turned around and began sprinting around Littauer and back into the Law School quadrangle. As he ran he looked from side to side, hoping to see the long black car with the S-1 license plates. He came back two or three minutes later without the Governor. He shrugged his shoulders at all questions.

A club functionary came up behind and handed Tobin a nickel. "Call up the Governor's office again and find out where he is. Tell 'em that we got 60 students and Sam Beer waiting here." The phone booth was occupied and Tobin called from the office of the Dean of the School of Public Administration. "I know he left an hour ago but he's still not here," he told the person in the Governor's office. "Don't you know where he is?" Tobin demanded. The answer must have been no, for when he hung up he had a betrayed look on his face.

Tobin went outside again to tell the other YD members that the Governor was lost. They clustered in a disconsolate group, offering various theories as to what happened to the Governor. The name of Currey, figured prominently in this speculation. Finally, far down Massachusetts avenue we could see a large student in a light blue jacket running heavily toward Littauer. He bounded across the street and ran up to the Young Democrats. "I've just come from the Lampoon," he panted, "and they've got Dever . . . down there . . . he spoke there." With a whoop and a holler the Young Democrats fled toward Mt. Auburn St., Tobin leading the pack.

Tobin banged the Lampoon's side door with both fists, and the startled face of the janitor appeared. The Young Democrat pushed his way in and managed to retrieve the errant Governor. With red faces, the Currey faction trooped along behind the Governor, while Curey himself unctuously told Dever he "was happy he could come." The Governor smiled slyly. Tobin glanced furtively around as he led the Governor to the car, evidently expecting another attack.

Tobin, Dever, Dever's brother, his chauffer, his secretary, and a CRIMSON reporter all huffed down the street to the Governor's big, shiny Cadillac. Tobin threw open the rear door, and said, "Step in Governor." But Dever replied, "Oh no, that's all right. Don't bother." Tobin's face turned white, and he blustered out, "But Governor aren't you coming to the Young Democrats meeting?" He imagined all his efforts to get the Governor out to Harvard rudely shattered. "You can't go now, we've been waiting for you at Littauer . . ." "But I always sit in the front seat," said the Governor. Tobin closed the rear door, opened the front door, and the Governor climbed in.

Once inside, everybody started talking at once. Dever's secretary asked the CRIMSON reporter what was going on, Tobin began making a speech, the CRIMSON reporter questioned the Governor's brother, and the chauffer told the Governor that he didn't have much time left. The only unruffled person in the car was Dever. As the car passed through the Square, Dever quietly noted that he "knew the father of that police-man on the corner."

Tobin, meanwhile, observed a large number of Young Democrats walking down Massachusetts Avenue, probably thinking that the whole affair was a great flop. He rapped furiously on the car's windows, and this made some of the members turn back. The car drove up without fanfare, with only a handful of passerbys looking on. The Governor go out of the car, and walked alone to the Littauer steps where Sam Huntington, a Government instructor, greeted him. Inside, the library and the offices disgorged a multitude who wished to see "The Governor." He waved. With Tobin tagging behind, Dever mounted the platform and took a long drink of water.

Tobin went to the rostrum and called "all loyal Democrats to come forth." After damning the "Democrats for a day," Tobin introduced Professor Beer, who forthwith introduced the Governor. Dever pointed out that he had a calendar of appointments beginning at 3 p.m. and "couldn't spend much time." The clock at the rear of the auditorium read 3:05 p.m. But he did reassure all present that at the end of the hall, "there was much magnificent literature telling what we have accomplished." He then went into a vigorous, ten minute campaign speech, that brought frequent applause.

After telling all good Democrats to vote for Adlai Stevenson, he left as the crowd stood and cheered. Outside he said he was very happy about the people, and about the day. He refused to tell whether he would do it again. MICHAEL. J. HALBERSTAM   and PHILIP M. CRONIN