Interview with Mayor Joseph Smitherman
QUESTION 8
INTERVIEWER:

CAN YOU START THAT OVER BECAUSE NOBODY HEARD THE…

Mayor Joseph Smitherman:

Jim Clark was a very close friend and supporter and uh, Jim Clark was a very affable guy, everybody liked him, so you, you know, these things switch. Jim Clark had been, when he first ran for office, he got what Jewish vote it was, we have a big Jewish community for a city this size, Jim got the Jewish vote, the Catholic vote, what little black vote it was out there the first time he ran he was appointed by Folsom and ran against Baker, a popular police captain. Baker at that time was a hard core conservative in racial matters and Clark was a liberal and it just reversed. Uh, you know, similar to Gov. Wallace and Gov. Patterson. When Gov. Wallace first ran for office, he carried the black vote and he lost, Patterson called him a liberal, next time Wallace said nobody will out seg me again. And he stood in school house doors, and all those things which, uh, he carefully articulated. But last time he ran against a Republican, he got 200,000 black votes, or approximately 99% of the black vote.