He laid it on the line.
March 5, 2001 8:05 PM   Subscribe

He laid it on the line. He was born in West St. Paul, Minn., on April 13, 1907. He died March 5, 2001. And between, he ran for president 9 times, the first in 1948 and his last attempt in 1992. He said, "You can write or talk about something and it has some meaning, but to be effective, you have to lay it on the line." Now we won't have Harold Stassen to lay it on the line anymore.
posted by Lynsey (5 comments total)
Stassen was the last living person of the 1,700 who signed the U.N Charter in 1945 forming the group. They don't make many liberal Republicans any more, but there was a time when he was one of the biggest stars in the GOP. In 1992, he won one delegate in Minnesota's presidential primary. I'd love to find out the story behind that.
posted by rcade at 8:25 PM on March 5, 2001

rcade - try this link http://www.booknotes.org/transcripts/50097.htm
It's an interview with Stassen by Brian Lamb in 1990, before his last run for POTUS, but he talks a lot about Eisenhower and the Charter. I thought "liberal Republican" was an oxymoron until I read more about him.
posted by Lynsey at 8:46 PM on March 5, 2001

Today I listened to a special on Minnesota Public Radio dedicated to him. A few remearkable facts:

He was county attorney for St. Paul at 22. Governor at 31.

After he helped set up the U.N. charter he rejoined the Navy and flew out to the Misouri as part of the admirals staff that accepted the Japanese surrender.

He was married to his wife for 70 years. She died six months ago and was an accomplished artist. In San Francisco when the U.N. charter was being negotiated, she entertained the wives of the Soviet delegation and opened a channel that eventually solved the impasse over the Veto issue.

His candidacy in 1952 may have been a stalkng horse for Eisenhower to deflect attention from the isolationists in the republican party.

He was against the Vietnam war.

He was the first republican to speak out against Joe McCarthy.

Here is the file.

posted by chrismc at 9:01 PM on March 5, 2001

I don't have much to say escept that it's threads like this that make me love Metafilter. When I was a kid, Stassen was treated as a near-crackpot--the perennial-loser joke Presdential candidate--if he was remembered at all. And I bet most people today under the age of *cough* don't know him at all. It's great to find out there's more to the story. Thanks, Lynsey.
posted by rodii at 9:26 AM on March 6, 2001

Thanks chrismc - I, too, thought he was a crackpot loser, the originator of the political futility award. Instead, he was seemingly one of the good guys and that's how we should remember him :)
posted by Lynsey at 9:34 AM on March 6, 2001

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