Interview with Charles Butts

What happened that next day in the campaign office? It was after Stokes had brought race into the campaign. It was after it had been mentioned


Um, the f, the following day a number of the campaign activists ah, whether they were supposed to go to work that day or not ended up in the morning down at campaign headquarters. There was some recriminations against some decisions that had been made by some publicists ah, that were brought up, and, and generally a feeling that ah, the campaign had been let down by this error. Stokes did, I thought, was a pretty strategically wise thing. He asked me to get everybody up in that phone room which was our largest room. And everybody trudged upstairs. And then he spoke to them. And he said that while we had this incident last night, ah, it may have been that ah, your candidate made a mistake. Ah, but remember, your candidate isn't God, going to make mistakes. It's, it's been our one setback and we feel that the opposition has had a lot. Ah, and one mistake won't lose an election unless you let it so. Just remember your candidate can make mistakes. And he repeated that he thought that the candidate wasn't God. And so ah, it worked very well because they vented against him for a while and then kind of began to feel better, began talking about other strategies in the campaign and the meeting ended. And I remembered as people were ah, filing downstairs ah, and they were stopping to talk with him. And then they had all left and it was only he just getting ready to go down the stairs. And I said, "Carl, it must have been rather difficult for you to say that the candidate wasn't like God." And he said, "Yes, it was. But I didn't mean it."