Campaigning for John Anderson, 1980

J. D. Hayworth remembers his first experiences assisting in a presidential campaign.

Interview on 2015-07-11

Transcript

00:00:00.000 Abe Holtzman, who was a very partisan Democrat – he had visited with Harry Truman when I believe he was a UCLA undergraduate –
00:00:08.196 Abe was here on campus, I loved taking his courses, and we would have back and forth and discuss and debate.
00:00:14.999 But he was at a conference where Anderson was speaking and he said, “Look, there’s a guy on the NC State campus you ought to get in touch with.
00:00:21.686 He’s a fairly prominent Republican.” Well the beauty of Anderson’s campaign, you know, Howard Baker was from next door in Tennessee, Reagan had Tom Ellis and all the Helms guys,
00:00:34.155 I’m just a student at NC State but suddenly I kind of go to the front: “Well, we’ve got an elected leader; we’ve got the student body president at NC State,”
00:00:44.696 and it gave me entrée into the workings of a presidential campaign; really interesting.
00:00:52.498 And of course by May of 1980 – I believe it was May – when Anderson decided to leave the Republican party and run as an independent,
00:01:04.154 I wasn’t really happy with that but I said, well, I gave him my personal commitment and I’ll stick with him through this.
00:01:12.907 He came to town, and this was kind of interesting, because we’re doing this rally up on the capitol grounds
00:01:25.853 So, I’m just a kid, right, but I’m like the only guy that Anderson has, so they decide at the rally I’m going to introduce Anderson.
00:01:36.580 So, we’re right there at the State Capitol. I guess Governor Hunt could look out the window and see this thing going on.
00:01:42.455 I go out to meet the car, and John B. and I turn, and it was the first sensation – this would happen a few other times in public life –
00:01:54.900 but all the cameras, and you’re in this almost like cocoon of media people, not so much a crush, more of a cocoon, because they’ve got to have space to take the pictures.
00:02:05.767 You’ve got all the television, and all the photographers, and all the reporters and I’m going, “Wow; this is really something.” So I step, and obviously wanted to hear John speak. I did not make a Clinton mistake.
00:02:23.668 In stark contrast to the verbosity of this interview, I knew my job is to get on and get off, so I think I spent maybe forty-five seconds to a minute introducing Anderson.