Professor and politics are "In" this year, thanks largely to the academic coloration of the Kennedy administration. Thus, it should surprise no one that this union of the theoretical with the pragmatic has become an important feature of the battle between Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy and Edward J. McCormack Jr. for a Senatorial nomination in the September 18 Democratic primary.
The Harvard "eggheads" entered the fray about a month ago when Mark DeWolfe Howe, professor of Law, sent out a letter in which he called Ted Kennedy an "impudent young man," and said that he would support McCormack's candidacy.
At about the same time another Harvard Professor, Samuel Beer, former national chairman of the Americans for Democratic Actions, declared himself for the President's younger brother.
Since then many other members of the Harvard faculty have entered the political arena. In McCormack's corner stand such well known academic lights as Reinhold Niebhur, Visiting Professor at Harvard last year; John T. Edsall, Professor of Biochemistry; Addrew M. Gleason. Professor of Mathematics; and Henry A. Murray, Professor of Clinical Psychology, emeritus.
Both Medical and Law School faculty have been active in their support of McCormack. From the Law School come Professors Clark Byse, W. Barton Leach and Henry M. Hart. Jr. The Medical School McCormack supporters include Professors, Ives Hendrick, Leroy D. Vandam, Richard Warren, and Benjamin Castleman.
Other Harvard Professors backing McCormack's candidacy include, Professors Herbert Dieckmann, Stanley Cobb, Serge Chermayeff, Wiktor Weintraub, John R. Raper, and Bernard Budiansky. Two other Harvard academicians for the Massachusetts Attorney General are Nicholas Wahl, Assistant Professor of Government, and Benjamin W. Labaree, Assistant Professor of History.
Aside from Beer, the only other Harvard faculty member taking an active part in the Kennedy campaign is John Plank, Assistant Professor of Government, and an expert on Latin America who accompanied Kennedy on a whirlwind tour South of the border in the latter part of 1961.
Last Wednesday, Howe, who has been the most active of the faculty members supporting McCormack, appeared on a local television station and claimed that "Teddy's candidacy has done almost irreparable damage to the President's good name."
"Despite his youthful innocence," Howe continued, "the candidate surely knows that he could not seek the high office to which he now aspires if he were not the brother of the President."
Howe went on to ask Republicans to cross party lines on the primary and vote for McCormack. He termed Kennedy's candidacy "an affront to political decency."