NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Backers of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass.) Saturday began a state campaign to draft the senator for nomination as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate.
Organizers of the campaign said Carter has failed to convince the people of his ability as a leader. They said they fear Democrats could lose not only the presidency but also control of Congress and state legislatures if Carter were to head the Democratic ticket.
"We intend to run a positive campaign. This is not a 'dump Carter' effort in any sense of the word," E.E. "Bo" Edwards, Nashville attorney who is leading the draft Kennedy campaign, said Saturday. Edwards was the state coordinator in Kentucky for Robert Kennedy's 1968 Presidential campaign, and he was treasurer of Carter's 1976 Tennessee campaign for the Presidency.
Edwards said it was not his organization's intention to be "a divisive force in the Democratic party." He added, "We are simply responding to a set of circumstances that we find to be a fact today--that the incumbent President has not rallied the country around his administration."
He said the organization believes Kennedy will provide effective leadership. "It has been since the early '60s that many Americans can say they are inspired by their government. We believe Sen. Kennedy can once again inspire Americans and inspire the free world," Edwards said.
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