Down the Ballot

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

HHH: Humor, Humility, and Humphrey

I was reading over Harvey Goldberg's article on Hubert Humphrey in this month's Bandwagon. It made me think about just the kind of political leader Humphrey was in his day. He had a sense of humor, even in defeat. After his presidential campaign, he appeared as the guest of honor of a Dean Martin Celebrity Roast.

In their day, the Martin Roasts were a great venue for the cultural icons of their times to mingle and interact. The roasts of today are far different in tone then the old Martin roasts. I don't think you would find many politicians willing to subject themselves to them today. Humphrey was the last Democrat to be embraced by Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Ronald Reagan would end up being the last candidate embraced by the entertainers of this era.

Old Blue Eyes even did a campaign commercial for Humphrey in 1968. You can find it at the Living Room Candidate.
The Martin Roast was pretty funny. I particularly enjoyed Rich Little's segment in part 3/5. Here is Part 5/5 where you can see HHH speech to the roasters and audience members. A great line of Humphrey's is "I accepted because I wanted to find out the difference between Dean Martin and Whiskey. The difference is, whiskey gets better with age!"
Watergate was in high swing during the roast. Humphrey was back on top, even though he wasn't in the White House. I wonder how many people were thinking in the aftermath of Watergate, "gee I should have voted for Humphrey." 

 I do not boast a Humphrey collection the size of Minnesotan Paul Bengston, I don't think anyone has one that comes close to his 1,000+ Humphrey collection. Here is one pin that is rather easy to get that deals with HHH and the Rat Pack. The simple pin stands for Frank Sinatra supporting Humphrey. It is a 1" celluloid pin, that you should be able to find for under $10 dollars.

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