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Senator Eugene McCarthy did not, contrary to wide expectation, endorse Vice-President Hubert Humphrey's candidacy at a rally for 11 Senatorial peace candidates at the Boston Gardens last night.
Instead, the beaming Senator turned to the most famous club in the world. "This could be the most important Senate assembled in this century," he told a wildly acclamatory crowd of about 9000.
Though attacks against Presidential candidates Richard Nixon and George Wallace were frequent and scathing, McCarthy and the other speakers hardly mentioned Humphrey. "I am here to urge continuing commitment, particularly to Senate races," McCarthy said. "The Senate has the substance to stand most courageously on the issues we've raised during our campaign."
Those issues, he said, were three: the war, the "militarization of our foreign policy and almost of our whole political life," and the problem of making the political process work.
The McCarthy campaign began with "not a promise, but a vague hope for change in the system," he went on. "We've made some progress--not enough--but there remains time. . . . I said we'd go on to Chicago and beyond. And no matter what prudential judgments may be called for from us in the next week or two, I say that we'll go on beyond November," he concluded.
Two of the Senatorial candidates preceded McCarthy on the rostrum--John J. Gilligan of Ohio, who defeated incumbent Frank Lausche in the Democratic primary, and Paul O'Dwyer of New York. O'Dwyer said a volunteer army should be put in place of the draft, the voting age should be lowered to 18, and "we should take the foreign policy of John Foster Dulles and scrap it once and for all."
The audience's enthusiastic solidarity was shaken by the angry speech of the Cambridge Peace and Freedom Club's candidate for state representative. Michael Schwartz, a graduate student in Social Relations, said that the only just solution for Vietnam is to end negotiations and withdraw immediately and totally. Since McCarthy's aim "from the outset" was to lead a campaign is "only shadow boxing." "Nice guy McCarthy has a minor tactical difference with Johnson," he continued to a rising chorus of boos. "McCarthy's movement is over now. McCarthy exists as a feeble support for Humphrey, afraid, as he says, to go all the way in support because the kids will think he's sold out," Schwartz said.
Other speakers were Jerome Lettvin, M.I.T. professor of biology and electrical engineering, Kenneth L. Tigar, teaching fellow in German, film star Shirley MacLaine, Bert Corona, representative of the Farm Workers Union, and Richard Goodwin, political adviser to McCarthy
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