Muskie Brings Campaign to Massachusetts; Urges Staff to 'Act as Extension of Myself'
Senator Edmund S. Muskie (D-Maine) brought his travelling campaign show to Boston last night, and appealed to his Massachusetts delegates and campaign workers to pull off a last-minute victory and help restore his sagging political fortunes.
"You've got to act as an extension of myself and get our message over to the people." Muskie told the throng in his packed headquarters.
They will have a tough task. Muskie has decided to devote most of his time in the next two weeks to the Pennsylvania primary, which occurs simultaneously with the Massachusetts primary on April 25. He will spend only a few days here.
In addition, the Muskie organization in this state has gotten off to a late start. Tony Podesta, who directed the Maine Senator's effort in New Hampshire, was appointed Massachusetts coordinator on Monday, just 15 days before the balloting. Campaign materials and literature and just now being distributed.
But the crowd at the Muskie Headquarters last night did not seem to mind much. They gave the Maine Senator a huge ovation as he entered the room, and again at the conclusion of his speech.
Muskie seemed a bit more relaxed and self-confident than he has in recent weeks. "It's good to be back in New England," he quipped to the crowd, "Close to Maine."
Then, referring to the ever-present television cameras and newsmen, Muskie said. "I see we're speaking to the world...at least, that part of the world that's still interested in us."
Muskie also made his first appeal for the newly-discovered "Populist" vote that suddenly seems to be attracting much attention from Democratic candidates.
"Workers who say nobody seems to care have every right to be angry," he stated. "I'm glad people are protesting, and I'm frustrated that I haven't found a way yet to tell people what I want to do about their problems."
Muskie also sharply criticized President Nixon for increasing the bombing in Southeast Asia. "Bombing didn't work three years ago, and it won't work now. It's a disaster," Muskie concluded.