Scene from a Hubert Humphrey town hall in rural Wisconsin during the presidential primaries in April 1960:
I still have my cup of coffee here. After all, I got a couple of Norwegians over here you see, and since I’m only half a Norwegian they only gave me half of a cup and I wanted to finnish it off.
Anyway, when you’re out speaking, as I have been, why once in a while a good cup of coffee sorta braces you up for the next meeting.
Now gentlemen, I am one of the candidates in your Wisconsin presidential primary race. We’re going to have an election here on Tuesday, April the 5th.
Now this election is off course a very important one in terms of your state.
Now my friends, during my service in the United States Senate for twelve years, I have given more time, more attention, to matters of agriculture than any other one subject.
Now Senator Humphrey is not out here just to please you, by these comments. I say that Wisconsin have lost hundreds of millions of dollars of sales. I say that the business men of Wisconsin have lost hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business because of reduced farm income.
And I charge here that not a single candidate in this primary election has paid any attention to the farmer at all, except Hubert Humphrey…
Instead of you reading about who you wanna have as president in Life Magazine, you ougtha take a good look at him in the flesh. You oughta hear what they have got to say. Because let me tell you what: Life, Time, Fortune, Look, and Newsweek don’t give a hoot about you here in this place.
And I know, they laugh at ya. I’ve been down to their editorial boards, some of them, and I’ll tell you they have no more appreciation of a farmers problem than they have of what’s going on on the other side of the moon. Thankfully they don’t know the difference between a corn cob and a ukulele.
I can tell you that my votes aren’t very popular sometimes in New York City, or Boston. … When I read the editorials; The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, … they say that the farmers’ being subsidized, and they look at Hubert Humphrey’s record and they say ’well this fellow, this Humphrey he’s just the Midwest, he’s just for those farmers. That’s what they say. They’re right. I am.
Transcribed from Robert Drew’s must-see documentary “Primary” (1960).