Part of our campaign coverage, at least in top-of-the-ticket campaigns, was to spend a day with each candidate and then report on campaign styles. Looking back, I’m not sure this contributed much of value to the election process – there was no discussion of issues, for example. It was really a look at style rather than substance. Still, it’s what we did, and I remember these days spent with the candidates as fun and a good excuse to get a day away from the office grind. This story was one that I wrote about Ed Muskie; the next one looks at his Republican challenger, Robert A.G. Monks.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The elections are less than two months away. Sen. Edmund S. Muskie and his Republican opponent, Robert Monks, are campaigning hard. UPI spent a day with each of the candidates, and their campaign styles are examined in this, the first of a two-part series.
By ARTHUR FREDERICK
BANGOR, Maine (UPI) — Sen. Edmund S. Muskie, D-Maine, and his Republican opponent, Robert A.G. Monks, have little in common except their neckties.
Like most Maine politicians, Muskie and Monks share an affection for the Maine necktie, something which has become essential to a political campaign.
Sen. William D. Hathaway, D-Maine, is generally credited with starting the necktie binge. He owns no fewer than 12 lobster ties, including a specially-made bow tie.
Hathaway wore a pine-tree-and-potato to the Democratic National Convention in tribute to Jimmy Carter. He said the potatoes looked a great deal like peanuts.
Muskie began a day of campaigning in the Bangor area last week with a news conference at a local television studio. He wore a blue tie speckled with little white lobsters. Monks campaigned early this week in Freeport, first touring the L.L. Bean Co. facilities. Monks’ tie was also blue, and it sported little miniature outlines of the state Maine.
Muskie is 62 and the son of a tailor. He has been in public life ling enough to develop what supporters call dignity and what his detractors see as stuffiness.
Monks is 20 years younger, and lived in Massachusetts until a few years ago. He is wealthy, wealthy enough to list his occupation as “fiduciary.”
Muskie approaches people confidently, and speaks off the cuff. Monks often says the same thing: “I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Bob Monks. I’m running for the United States Senate, and I wanted to pay my respects.”
Muskie’s recent morning began with a news conference at a Bangor television station. Then he went to the local GTE Sylvania plant and shook hands with the workers. He spent more time there than he thought he would.
“There’s people working there from as far away as Millinocket,” Muskie said as he walked form the plant to the car. “I don’t think I met two people from the same town, and that’s why I stayed there so long. They all go back home at night and talk to their friends.”