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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Reubin Askew, July 8, 1974. Interview A-0045. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Political tenor of the South is changing

Askew does not believe that any presidential candidate that carries the label of "liberal" could win southern states, although he believes that the political tenor of the South is changing.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Reubin Askew, July 8, 1974. Interview A-0045. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACK BASS:
Governor, we are talking in terms of a book to be published in 1976 and how do you feel that the Democratic party nationally should treat George Wallace?
REUBIN ASKEW:
I don't know. That's a question that a lot of people are thinking about. I really don't know.
JACK BASS:
Do you think that there will be a southerner on the ticket in 1976?
REUBIN ASKEW:
I don't know that either.
WALTER DE VRIES:
What do you think it will take to get the South back, what kind of candidate for president?
REUBIN ASKEW:
Well, I think to present a candidate that is acceptable to the South.
WALTER DE VRIES:
What does that mean?
REUBIN ASKEW:
Well, it means that you are not going to have anybody that is considered exceptionally liberal, in the classic terms that most people quote it today, and to be acceptable in the South. I just don't think that's going to happen. And everybody in the South knows that.
JACK BASS:
And yet, a Gallup poll taken earlier this year showed that Ted Kennedy was running about the same in the South that he is in the rest of the country, may be slightly below, but it's close.
REUBIN ASKEW:
Well, there may be a rationale for that that can be explained. Because you have a certain element in the South that would, but it is not anywhere approaching a majority, I'll tell you that. I think that right now, between now and the time that you publish your book, you probably are going to do an awfully lot of revisions in terms of conclusions, because you are going to find that so much is going to happen that it is impossible at this point to predict what may be the outcome in 1976.