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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 30, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta -Wcdneiday, Auguit 30, 1972 THE UTHBRIDOE HKAID 39 NATTERING NABOB OR STELLAR STATESMAN? Spiro Agnew: the jester who wants to be a king "There can be a mystique iiljiiul a man. You can look In (lie eye and know he's il. This guy has got It." Nixon, IMS Dy TOM TIEDI! WASHINGTON (NEA) Just what lias Spiro Agnew got in his eye? Four years ago Repub- licans obviously felt he had n glint there (hat would please llic South while not displeasing (tic North thus he was lifted out of the Maryland governor's mansion, fitted with a pair of oulsized political boxing gloves, given perhaps the most nega- tive assignment in the history ol the vice-presidency (the "king's says Edward Spiro Agnew (Drawing Tom Tide) anil deposited in Mid (Vc America lo begin the lcgenoul a dozen federal commit- es hot jobs like attending, lien he can't find any way out, eetings of the President's ouneil on Physical Fitness." ike the mail said when facing xeculion, "If it weren't for ic honor of the thing Spiro Agncw is a proud man. e has heen huffeted for the ast tliree and a half Uio press, by the public, ren by bis boss, more than has cen justified. He cannot look ippily on the prospect of four lore years of the rame and othing more. So. As the game icct goes. His idea may be to desiep more of the same and oncenlrate on something more. Twelve American vice-presi- onts have gone on to be prc.' enls (eight by way of presi- cnlial and they have crved a total of Iffl of the 13-year history of the top of- ce. "Agnew is not really a dos- eralcly ambitious says friend. "But I think lie wants presidency. If only to show 'tat he is not acluck. 1 Ihink 2 has already started vangc his image for 1370. I may say so, I don't thin] .Ir. Nixon or the press wil lave Spiro Agnew to kicl around any more." Indeed, whether or not th speculation on Agnew's amb: ions are true, or not, one thin, about the man is perfect] clear: He wants to change hi .mage. And the indications nr that he will use Iho cotnin campaign to this, as weil a other, ends. Those close to him demy ho will sell out "on pri ciples" lo win new friend not going lo stop gi his honest opinions says h press secretary) Imt staffers admit few in the Agncw rctinu arc satisfied with their man national portrait. "This isn't going lo be 'New Agncw' as opposed lo ti 'Old Agnew' says ail Victor Gold. "But what we hope is that people will com to know about the Vice-Pros dent as ho really Is. I don think any man has ever grow so much in this office as h Agncw. He's not what you re a about in some of the paper He's a serious, hard working, loyal man. But he's a fine hu- man being as well. Gold believes, with some con- spicuous justification, that pub- lic exposure has created an Agnew that does not exist. He says some facets of tlw man Will, THE REAL Spiro Agncw please rise? The vice-president has been a man of many faces and voices sinca be took office in 3963 but many observers say he is now aiming for the presidency in 1916. avc been so exaggerated, like ic lines of a cartoon carica- urc, thai much of the public ow sees what they want to ee in him, not what he is hut 'hat they believe him lo be. "There says Gold, "two reat lies about Spiro Agnew. 'hey have repeated so of- that many people now sim- ly ncccpt them as fact, Well, he hell with that. They aren't act. They are just two lies nd I think it's a damn shame." Lie No. I: Agnew the but- con. Aides say the charge is hangover from such incidents when, in New York City, Agnew once declined an invi- alion lo tour a black neighbor- mod, saying: "If you've seen me slum, you've seen them all." Gold says the boob tag is bal- oney, politically motivated nnt elitist: "If Agncw was an Ivy Leaguer, like John Kennedy, o Franklin Roosevelt, nobody would dare pin the clown Ihing on him. But he isn't an Ivy leaguer. He's the son of Greek immigrant, self-educa led, and slarted al Ihe bottom However, he has an IQ of abou 135, he would ralher read tha do anything and theso are qua Ities you don't find in man clowns. As for sorna of thos. early quotes, well, if you loo nt them as they were intended they are not clownist nt ol The Vice President said a slums look the same that ii miserable and depressing an wrong! Thai's what he mean If Ted Kennedy had said I the press would have undo- slood and written it ns such. Lie No. 2: Agnew the aloo Well, all right, says Victo Gold, so the Vice Presiden isn't Ihe kind of fellow "yo slap on the back." He Is single minded chap, a tra which carries with it an air aloofness. He doesn't run Ih Washington party circu! Doesn'l loiter for chlt-chal nfte public appearances, docsn "good-guy" it with the "lie's a very private pc says one of his advanc SIMPSONS-SEARS 16" Color Portable Reg. Get Iha desfgn fecilurei In color TV. New Super Brilo fubo givoi 1 17 iq. inches of viewing arpo. SI Ida controls moke color and volumo lunrnrj eaiy. Memory ffns tuning. Hand- lomo In walnut woodgraln 19" Color Portable................ 329 Qualify Costs No More at Simpsons-Sears STORE HOURS: Dally 9 n.m. ro p.m. Thursday end Friday 9 a.m. fa 9 p.r C.nlr. Village. Tnl.phon. 318-9231. en. "He still has the same rse friends he hai5 before ho iok office. His idea of a nice me is playing the piano at 2orge White's house (White is Baltimore lawyer, and Agnew or watching the ilts play football on TV. Lis- n, why should he be anything The Vice President scsn't like contrived tilings, remember once somebody set p a picture with him and a ipplcd war veteran. He was bsolutely furious. He drjesn't ant anything set up. He oesn't want to be anything but hat he is. I saw his guy eat "nncr once with seven com- lele strangers because they aid they were in his old rmy unit. Now, is that snob- ery? I think not." To be sure, Ihe public picture of Spiro Agnew is at least somewhat shaded, I'm lie once said, "fighting the idea of being a rather ill-equipped, fumbling, obtuse kind of person." He is not any of these, if fairness is the measure. He is, quite simply, Middle America's Mr. America, and despite propa- ganda to the contrary there Is nothing wrong with that. Like many Americans he started out small and shaky (when his law practice (ailed in the 1950s, ha became an in- surance claims He served twice in the military. Now, the dreary days over, again like many Americans, he has a tendency to forget such limes slill exist for millions but he largely holds to funda mentally decent impulses. He is, says one of his people, no so interested in political issue! as he is in social questions: Lhink he is as concerned abou the poor and. the underprivileg ed as any man In America I also think he is concernec with all the others in the lam who aren't poor or underpr] vileged." The press, for one, no ques lion, agrees that Agnew is con cemed with the unpoor and pr vlleged in America but no with their less fortunate broth ers. Thus the open war that has raged between the Vice Pres dent and the national media It is no doubt the biggest sue battle since the early days the Republic when men lik eorge Washington advocated i lo spell out some of his own lanaging the news. "Some''' says Agnew, "are t only to line the bottom of ird cages." Privately, it's said, is rage is even redder. As it happens, the newspaper ap seems lo have begun en- rely by accident. In the early ays ol the 1903 campaign, fjnew, o normally stiff sort, ried to buddyup to reporters sadly, it backfired. Take lis infamous "Fat Jap" re- nark. It was directed at newsman not as an ult, but as a flip, rather crude ry at "camaraderie." He got 'F" for effort. Newsmen from 'okyo to Tacoma were stung. After that, says a close staff- er, Agnew withdrew: "He he- ;sn to believe the press was after him lo make him look ike a boob. I recall a time a newspaperman asked Agnew about Oscar Wilde and homo- sexuality. Agnew said, 'Oh, ion't know.1 Well, he meant that le didn't know Oscar Wilde was lomosexual but the next day's apcrs made it sounii as if he didn't know who Oscar Wilde was. I could go on with a hun dred examples like that. Let's face it. The press just hasn' been very generous to him.' But if the press has damaged the Agnew image, by acci dent or design, the Vice Pres I dent's own people, the Republi can administrators, have help ed mightly in Uie dirty work Kevin Phillips, a wriler am Nixon Influencer, says that t a large extent, "Spiro has been manipulated in a role He has been programmed t massage right-wing psyches and given an almost complete! negative function as a critic o the left. As a corollary of tliis he has been denied the chanc deas and programs which make the sum total of 'hat he says more appealing." gncw's backers thoroughly gree. Says one: "Nixon treats he Vice President like a dog n a leash. Ho eays, 'Sic 'em and sits back to laugh.' And so It is, after 43 month] office, Ted Agnew may be ed up with being the king's aster. A photograph of himself, his staff office, Is an inch lighcr than that of the- Presl- ent. A cartoon adjacent to tha ihotograph shows a large thea- re marquee "Featuring Spiro with Richard Nixon's name underneath, in small ype. A staffer reminds a visitor if what Barry Gold water said; 'I don't know of a single Re- lublican who doesn't think tha Vice President is more popular ban the President." Nobody on Agnew's staff, of course, talks about 1976. The 'resident is listening and all that. "We're just worried about and all that. Wink and elbow. Yet. Well. 'Wait and see." It may be, of course, that like Humpty Damply Spiro Ag- new won't be able to put his image back together again. Then again maybe he really Li a crude fellow who has nothing more to offer tha nation than .45 caliber prose, locker room bonhomies, and rigid right-wing ruminations. But he would like the nation to reconsider his case and his credentials. In sum: Let's talk. "All I'm say- he has said, "is that lifa is- a very complex matter. There are two sides to every argument." (Newspaper Enterprise Assn.) Remodel your kitchen the easy, fast and economical way 9 Days only 20% Off longer the kifchen have to be your home's forgotlen room. For the next 9 days you can add beauty and convenience lo your kitchen and save That's right, 20% offll These beautiful kitchen cabinets wilf not only odd good looks to your kitchen, help to increase the value of your home. Tra- ditional Birch with warm "Spicewood" finish or Mediterranean Elm with dark "CastiHian Oak" finish. 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