07 May 2017

HST:  Yes ... He named his campaign plane the Dakota Queen II, and at first that was enough -- just one 727 which he chartered from United Airlines at outrageously inflated rates.  They burned him as much as they could.  He was doing things like flying back and forth from Washington to New York when he could have stayed in one place and they were running up ...
Ed: Speak up, please.
HST:  They were running up massive bills which were not necessary.  I learned this from the United Airlines representative on the plane.  But nevertheless, when the campaign began mushrooming around Labor Day, more and more press people came aboard the Dakota Queen, and it was necessary to have two McGovern campaign planes.  One of which was divided into three compartments:  where McGovern's family, himself and his sort of ... personal staff sat in front.  Like a first-class compartment.
[later]
In the rear was a bar and a sort of mini press room where there were about five typewriters, a few phones -- you could call from the plane to headquarters in Washington -- you could call anywhere from the plane.
[much later]
... but Colorado was the only bright spot in the country that night ...
Ed:  Why was that?
HST:  Gordon Allot got beaten ... A Republican senator ... an arch Nixon supporter ... He was defeated by Floyd Haskell, a sort of unknown Democrat, by a very small margin ... and also the Olympics were defeated which was a definite victory ...
Ed:  There had been a referendum?
HST:  Oh yeah ... They actually threw the Winter Olympics out of Colorado ... Which was a great shock to the Chamber of Commerce people, the greedheads ... And then I called Aspen and ... we carried ... you know Aspen was the only county in Colorado that went for McGovern ... And there was one other thing ... I forget what ... oh, Pat Schroeder ... a sort of a liberal woman lawyer who beat the former DA who was the incumbent congressman.
Ed:  Where was that?
HST:   In Denver.
Ed:  Also in Colorado.
HST:  Yeah, but the rest of the country -- except for Massachusetts -- was a sort of never-ending nightmare.  For a while, in the press room, there were people trying to write or ... half-heartedly poking on typewriters around the edge of the room ... But nobody was writing by five, we were just sort of watching television and drinking ...

Hunter S. Thompson talking to his editor about election night in November 1972, from Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.

No comments: