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Page 146 text:
The American Campaign
In 1972, the presidential campaign focussed on the same issues of 1968 — Vietnam, pollution, crime and drugs. But, new issues emerged — the Watergate caper, the Tom Eagleton affair, the financial problems of the Democratic Party, as well as the unexplained financial resources of the Republicans.
It was, in part, a little of all the past political campaigns — promises, cries of moral indignation, more promises, secret plans for the American utopia. Yet, there were things distinctly 1972: a tentative step towards political honesty, a belief the system could make things better, and more representative of the electorate in the political process.
Richard Nixon's victory was seen by some as an approval of the past four years or maybe fear of what four years of McGovern would bring. But, whatever the reasons for electing Nixon, it was a landslide.
And what will Nixon do? The end of his term in office will coincide with America's 200th anniversary. Will he make it a four-year term not ever to be forgotten? Or will it turn out to be four years everyone would rather forget?
In Oregon, the political limelight focussed on more than Nixon and McGovern. Mark Hatfield, Republican incumbent, and Democratic challenger, Wayne Morse, staged a senatorial campaign battle that not only drew national interest, but became one of the most expensive campaigns in Oregon.
Both had adeptly proven their abilities in Washington's bureaucratic maze. Morse, at 72, had served as Oregon's senator from 1945 to 1968. Hatfield, running for his second term as Oregon's senator, held the advantage of congressional seniority and congressional sub committee positions.
When the campaign smoke had cleared and the votes were counted, Hatfield was the winner.
The local limelight was aimed at student participation in politics. Make-shift campaign stations, covered with posters and pamphlets dotted the campus. Political enthusiasts distributed flyers for their favorite candidates and voter registration tables abounded for the 18-year-old voter.
The city council race found University students running for positions in eight of the nine wards which resulted in the election of student representatives in two wards.
At every level, national, state-wide and local — the 1972 campaign tried to reach the people. It often failed miserably. But, its real test was not in counting ballots or how many invitations are sent out for the Inaugural Ball. Its real test lies in the next four years.
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