Edward McCormack

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Edward McCormack

1962 campaign

Writing in the Boston Democratic Socialists of America newsletter, The Yankee Radical September 2009, editor Mike Pattberg gives some background on the 1962 campaign that made Ted Kennedy a Senator for Massachusetts.;[1]

When Ted Kennedy first ran for U.S. Senate in 1962, he had no support from the left. Americans for Democratic Action, the major liberal group of the time, backed former Attorney General Edward McCormack in the Democratic primary. The Socialist Party USA mobilized their meager forces for Harvard professor H. Stuart Hughes, running as an anti-nuclear testing independent peace candidate in November. According to Ben Ross, SPers discussed the Hughes campaign exhaustively in The Yankee Radical in 1962, and with post-mortems into 1963. As near as I can tell from superficial research, both groups were right. McCormack actually had a good civil rights record, certainly stronger than JFK’s, at a time when this wasn’t to be taken for granted from Democratic politicians. Ted Kennedy had no record of any sort, but did have the Kennedy name and his father’s money, which was more than enough. In the ensuing decades Eddie McCormack went on to become a corporate lawyer for big developers; H. Stuart Hughes eventually drifted into neo-conservatism, endorsing Reagan. Ted Kennedy evolved into…Ted Kennedy,the Lion of Liberalism, as the Globe calls him.