Two stars from the national republican galaxy came to Boston last night hoping to brighten the cause of Republican Senate candidate Raymond Shamic.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Margaret M. Heckler told a crowd of about 400 at a $125 per plate fundraising dinner that Massachusetts had become a one partly Democratic state like the old Solid South. "Let's bring the balance back by sending Ray Shamie to the senate in November," the former Massachusetts congressman said.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., the chairman of the Republican National Committee--who spoke in place of Sen. Barry F. Goldwater (R-Ariz.) because Goldwater was detained in Washington--said the party "stands strongly behind Ray Shamie."
Buoyed by polls published in The Boston Globe on Sunday, Shamie told the flag-waving crowd--after a minute-long standing ovation--that "there's a victory coming our way in November."
"I believe I represent a new emerging Massachusetts," said Shamie, a millionaire businessman who won 38 percent of the vote in a challenge to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass.) two years ago.
Shamie also took the chance to show that he was miffed about his treatment on a televised "mini-debate" with his Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. John F. Kerry last night. In the debate on WNEV-TV, Kerry sat in the studio with the moderator while Shamie responded via a TV hookup at the Copley Place Hotel.
"I just had a mini-debate with John Kerry," Shamie said, "though I guess it's appropriate to call any debate with John Kerry a mini-debate. He had many words and interruptions and distortions."
Because of the TV hook-up, Shamie apparently had difficulty responding to Kerry and did not get as much air time as the lieutenant governor.
The race between Shamie and Kerry has drawn national attention because Shamie scored a tremendous primary upset over Elliot L. Richardson '41. The race is pits two rivals from opposite ends of the political spectrum against each other--Kerry is a liberal, and Shamie is a conservative who drapes himself in the mantle of President Reagan.
Shamie's victory was also considered significant because he won the support of large number of independents and conservative Democrats. The Republican party in Massachusetts has not previously tapped those groups, and the possibilities for a conservative like Shamie are unclear. The Globe poll put Shamie seven points behind Kerry, well within striking distance with 35 days left in the campaign.
Roll On Out
At last night's event, Heckler and Fahrenkopf tried to roll out Reagan's coattails long enough for Shamie to stand on, claiming that Shamie's strength in the polls represented a trend toward conservativism. Both of them used most of their short statements to cheerlead for President Reagan.
"This is an exciting time in the nation's history to be a Republican," said Fahrenkopf.
Fahrenkopf said that as of Sunday the Republicans had registered 2.7 million new voters nationwide, far more than the 2 million the Democrats claim. He also noted recent polls which show Republican strength in the 18 to 25 age group.
"It's a wonderful thing to know that the ideals, goals, and dreams of our oldest president are the ideals, goals and dreams of young Americans," he said.
Fahrenkopf also had harsh words for Democratic presidential candidate Walter F. Mondale, saying that Mondale couldn't "leave home without...his labor crutch"--the United Auto Workers, "his black crutch"--the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, or "another crutch"--Rep. Geraldme A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.), his running mate.