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Republicans poured into the Boston Garden last Thursday night for a campaign kickoff "Go" rally, and win or lose in November, it really was quite a party.
There were ugly gaps of empty seats in the vast arena, but those Republicans who made it to the fund-raising rally -- some for as much as $100 a ticket -- roared in answer to Gov. John A. Volpe's or ning challenge: "Do you want win?...of course you do"?
Volpe started the rally with a sprint across the stage to the speaker's podium. "The Republican Party is on the Go!" he shouted. "We are on the Go until nexy November and then will come a smashing Republican victory."
"The Democrats are running for cover", Volpe asserted. "Our issues are so good, so weighty, have so much down to earth common sense merit." he cried "that the opposition adopted many as their own program."
"After 8 months of fighting against our Republican proposals on Beacon Hill (the Massachusetts capitol) the Democratic Party at Springfield -- less than three weeks ago -- gave up the fight."
Volpe was referring to a plank in the Democratic platform which calls for major reform of State government by abolition of the Governor's Executive Council. The same proposal was rejected by a Democratic controlled legislature earlier this year.
Next Volpe presented "the warriors in this fight -- the excellent team of endorsed candidates." George Cabot Lodge, candidate for the U.S. Senate and the other endorsed candidates came out on the stage, and were introduced by Volpe to the applauding crowd.
Finally Gov. Nelson A. Rockfeller of New York, told the crowd that "we've got perilous days days shead on both the international and domestic sweep."
At a press conference earlier in the afternoon, Rockfeller was asked "Do you expect to be the Republican Presidential nominatee in 1964"? He stated emphatically, "I have no plans beyond 1962. I want to be renominated by the party and re-elected Governor of the Empire State. I have no plans beyond that."
However, when Rockfeller was entering the Madison Hotel, just before the rally, a woman in the crowd leaned over, touched him and whispered "God bless you Mr. President." Rocky's reply "Not yet, not yet."
Rockfeller predicted great victories for the Republicans in both Massachusetts and New York, and pictured Volpe as a "great man lifting Massachusetts from a mo- rass of Democratic corruption."
"Gov. Volpe has the opposition on the run." Rockfeller declared, "give him the tools and he'll finish the job." Rockfeller stressed his belief, expressed last February at Harvard's Godkin lectures, that "politics is the lifeblood of democracy."
"The idea that politics is a dirty business", Rockfeller said, "is completely and fundamentally wrong." "Any man who believes this should get in and try to clean it up."
After Rockfeller's address, George Murphy, the master of cermonies, introduced a few Republicans sitting on the floor. Henry Cabot Lodge, former United States ambassador to the United Nations and Republican vice Presidential nominee in 1960, drew a strong hand.
But the arena really resounded to applause when Murphy introduced Rep. Laurence Curtis, Republican Senatorial candidate who was defeated by George Cabot Lodge in the Convention but has decided to oppose lodge in the September primary.
As the long ovation finally died away, Murphy said; "Let's stick with old George tonight; this is a fund-raising rally and we don't want to run overtime."
Murphy then presented his own star-studded entertainment program, seemingly to mellow the political aspects of the vening. The Dunhills, Edgar Bergen and his Friends, Jane Powell, the Kingston Trio, and a pair of rising young comedians named Rowan and Martin finished out the "Greatest Show in the history of the Republican Party in Massachusetts."
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