Cabbages & Kings
INDIANAPOLIS, May 8--Sen. Robert F. Kennedy '48 (D-N.Y.) was disqualified yesterday as winner of the Indiana presidential primary after urine analysis disclosed that he had run with a pain-killing drug in his system.
As a result of the disqualification, Gov. Roger D. Branigin became the official winner a day after the race. Kennedy had led Branigin with 42 per cent of the Indiana vote, in the key primary.
The announcement that rocked the political world came after the primary's commissioners received the following report from the chemist for the Indiana State Electoral Commission:
"The analysis of the urine sample taken from Robert F. Kennedy, winner of the Indiana Primary on May 7, 1968, contained phenylbutazone and/or a derivative thereof."
In Indianapolis yesterday, Kennedy's manager, Stephen Smith, said he was "stunned" when the commissioners notified him of the infraction. He suggested the test samples may have been switched with that of third-place finisher, Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy (D-Minn.).
Kennedy, brother of a former president, called it "the biggest disappointment of my life."
The phenylbutazone found in Kennedy's sample cost him the primary despite the fact that many experts admit that the drug merely is a painkiller and not a pep pill.
The questions now troubling the nation are, "Should an ailing politician be given a drug to remedy his malady before an election race even though the medicine is intended to treat his illness rather than stimulate him to run more effectively? Would this not be tantamount to making an unsound person sound for a certain length of time?"