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As The Great Race Draws Closer Northwest Arkansas TIMES, Sun., July 28, 1974 FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS 5A "Wallace's Grip On His Home Territory Begins To Loosen By JULES LOU Â· Montgomery, Ala. (AP) --' The time for the counting oE '_ votes was at hand. Few in Alai, bama could have suspected an outcome any different from the , pattern of the past dozen : years: George Wallace going ; after something he wanted, Â· George Wallace getting it. ; The governor, enveloped in his blue wheelchair with the sil- *Â· ver lining of political respectability it has brought him, sat Â· with practiced indifference as the marked ballots'were gath- . ered from the voting members i- of the Alabama Democratic Executive Committee. i Nearby sat his young, raven'. haired wife. Her role, at the announcement of the vote, would c be to move to her crippled hus 'j band's side for the inevitable moment-of-victory photographs. . Next .morning's front pages . would show yet another picture ,, of Wallace the Winner, to go beneath his grand caption: The ^ S p i r i t of '76. Except this time George Corley Wallace got licked. : At stake that Saturday morning last month in Birmingham T was the chairmanship of the , : state Democratic parly. No big deal in itself, the Wallace defeat was significant for the 5. broader reason that it involved ...-- as has his every carefully ; -calculated political act and ut- -terance of the past two years --- his 1976 presidential ambitions. ~-. MINIMIZES DEFEAT Wallace, naturally, minimize!, the defeat. "I don't know why anybody wants to make a fuss about it," he said. "I didn't go after it. Only reason 1 went to the meeting was because ] promised some anti-Vance people I would. Anyway, Vance "said he would support me, so 976, for a presidential cancli- ate not to control the party in is own state -- down home Â·here they know him best? So Wallace's men turned on ic heat- They named a candi- ale for chairman, contacted ommitteemen, twisted arms, iutched lapels. One com- nitteeman got a call from the ^resident of the bank where he ad a loan. Wallace himself made a dozen phone calls. "There's no way in hell they can beat us." \Va11ace's senior wlitical operative, 24-year-old Michael Griffin, told a reporter lefore the election. NOT EVEN CLOSE That apparently was the as- urance Wallace got. As one Alabama editorial writer commented later, "It is sate to reason the governor would never lave drawn his sword upon an adversary in a public arena un- ess he had known he could lave his head." The vote was 65-51, not even Wallace lias also had to swat- ow hard and sheathe his swore jecause of another public mis calculation, this one involving next December's mini-con vention in Kansas City. Early this year, Wallace lieu- :enants announced the bold in tent of sending a solid bloc of delegates to the convention, as many as a fourth of the 2,03! :otal. This, they said, woulc demonstrate Wallace's r.ationa strength and also assure tha his views were written into the party's new rules and con stitution, the main purpose o the gathering. Further, thes said they aimed to use the con vention's delegate selection process to build the nucleus o a nationwide grassroots 'Wai lace organization. All his people had to do was et over there and organize the recincts. Plain old shoe-lcath- r politics- They didn't do it. ot in Mississippi, not any- Â·here." Reminded of this, Wallace's lack eyes flashed a hint of the }ixie thunderclap he knows he an call down when he takes to he hustings. "You Â· saying I an'l carry Mississippi?" RINGING THE BELL Just so. Except for his third- arty effort, which required a annery of shoe leather to get n 50 ballots, Wallace's cam- aigns have relied less on staff vork than on his own brand of 'avlovian politics: when he ings the bell, the faithful sali- -ate. That has been sufficient in Alabama: in the May guberna- orial election he won with a record 64 .per cent of the vote against four candidates, including his wife's uncle. But po- itical pros wonder whether rattling the cage is enough to vin a nomination, or whether luttonholing delegates is at east as important. Wallace, for lis part, will admit to no flaws n self or staff. The fact remains that in 1972 IB polled 1.5 million more votes han any other Democrat in the .4 primaries he entered before IB was shot, and won five of them. Yet, when he got to the convention, only 12 per cent of the delegates supported him. This was in part because of the winner-take-alt rule in some states in 1972. Now those rules are changed, some feel to Wallace's advantage. In 1976 each primary candidate will win delegates in proportion to his popular vote. Some observers feel, however, that the new rule could hurt Wallace as much as it Robert S. Vance, the incumbent party chairman who won. the election over Wallace's hand-picked man, said it made a difference to him. "Simply put, I couldn't see letting the party organization become ai adjunct of the Wa!lace-for-Pres ident headquarters." "When Wallace bolted the Democrats in 19GB, state parts control passed to the hands o Alabama Democrats loyal to the national parly. That situ ation remained an irritant to Wallace in his 1972 campafgn How would it look, again in convention? "There's nothing important about that Kansa City business,' Wallace scoffs too late. Why the shift? So far, 62 delegates, nearly a third, hav already been chosen from 1 states, including four from th Deep South. The grand tola clearly committed to Wallace 16. Of those, 14 are from Ala bama, two from Mississippi. "He could have had th whole Mississippi delegation said a county probate judge unwilling to be identified a publicly critical of Wallace have a history of casting protest ballots, knowing they're not really electing anybody. "Send 'em a message," Wallace thundered in 1972. Will the rule change inspire 1976 voters to be less concerned with passion than preference? Speculation is always risky where George Wallace is concerned. One thing is certain: his paralysis has not quieted any of his zest for branchhead- ing, as they call it in Dixie, the knack of choosing an issue and orating upon it in words that even the folks at the head of The Rule Of Law Stands Firm i the branch can understand. At one campaign stop during lis recent race for governor he interrupted a recitation of the accomplishments of his administration to apologize: "I know this is boring, but it ought to he said. I'll be through in a minute." America..' "Mr. Humphrey came down here and said, 'How great thou art, here in Alabama., "Sen. Kennedy came to Dcca- lur last year and made a speech that sounded like it was written right here in Etowah CROWD WAITS They waited, knowing lie wouldn't disappoint them. At last he put away his notes. "My friends, things have changed. We don't have to visit them like we used to. They vis it us. "Just a few months ago the President of the United States came down here and said, 'Alabama is the conscience of County.." Robert Kecfe, executive. director of the Democratic National Committee, said, "Wallace's strength is his ability to anticipate the concerns of the little guy. His weakness is the perception of him as an anti- black. There are a lot of little guys for whom point two is important," Wallace is far more convincing when he discusses the slate of his health "No, he says candidly, "I'm :iot going to get better and better. I'm as good as I'm going to gel. I'm paralyzed, and I want you to know tliat's a hell of a shape to be in. But it's not an impossible shape. I can do everything I used to do. It just takes me longer, that's all." Wallace admits to feelirrg dreadful pain, constant pain, and often clutches at his right side. "I know there's no chance of relief from it," he said. "But I've learned to live with it. When I'm busy at something, it really doesn't bother me." APPEARANCE DECEPTIVE During his daily two hours of morning therapy, shirtless and uncombed, he appears tired, older than his 54 years. That is deceptive. Standing in leg braces between parallel bars, lie uses the time to make phone culls, which, he says, is what he would he doing at the office anyway. At his office, from about 1 to 5 p.m., he receives visitors, shakes hands, conducts 'meetings, talks politics. Occasionally his head will droop; he insists it is merely a way to rest in a chair that won't tilt back. His alertness belies occasional rumors that he consumes great quantities of drugs. "The only thing I take is Vitamin C," he said. On the stump, strapped up- right to his podium, he appears as strong at the end of a 40- minute speech as at the start"In my opinion," says Dr. Henry Hamilton Hulchinson, his physician, "George Wallace can withstand the rigors of a rough political campaign. He is also capable of fulfilling all the duties of a United States President.' A good thing, because Wallace is certainly less than coy about wanting to be one. He also, no doubt, would leap at the chance of being a United States vice president, although he is not as forthright in saying so. "Nobody announces that they want to be vice president," he said. '/A King Futmts Syndicate And Not Everyone Is Happy Darwin Experiences a Boom By RUSSELL GRIFFIN 'Â· DARWIN, Australia (AP) -=. In the age of "get away from it all," Americans, Britons, Cana- -dians, Greeks, Italians, Australians and a lot more are getting --away to the same place. , That is Darwin, the north Australian city that is nearer Â·-Jakarta, Singapore and Manila than it is to Canberra, Sydney Â·-and Melbourne. .'.- After the longest recorded -rainy season of seven months, =.and a cold snap that brought ^nighttime temperatures down /.to a record low 55 degrees Fahrenheit for this tropical icity, it would be surprising if ; people were coming, let alone .Â·staying, in this port on the Ara; fura Sea. . But a recent government survey shows that more than 43 , per cent of the population of 47,000 intend to stay for more i-than five years. As Darwinites - tell it, if you stay more than a Â·year, you're hooked.. - : - What attracts the many na- ..tionalities to this place that is -just about as far away from the ;-;rest of urban Australia as you Â·ean get? Just that. Mora and more people are concluding that big| city living is not for them. The result has been a growth slowdown in the major cities of Sydney and Melbourne on the southeastern coastline of this U.S. sized coimtr yand a rapid expansion of outback towns with Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory, leading the way. Not that many people talk about it. Although Darwin's population has increased by 10,000 "southerners" of various nationalities in (he past five years, you don't hear much about it elsewhere. Nobody is keen on shouting about Darwin being the country's fastest-growing (pro rata) city in Australia in nine out of the last .ten years. It seems that those who have moved in have spontaneously decided that Darwin should be kept just the way it is -- small. Small, so that the commercial center on a typical weekday is a scene of strollers, slow-moving autos and casual conversation on the sidewalks in the customary 100 degrees Fahrenheit heat. The talkers might have just stepped oul of the air-conditioned governmenl )ffices in which a majority ol :he town's workers spend their time. For that is Darwin -- a government town now run from federal capital Canberra, which explains a lot of its growth. LIKE PIONEERS But it is also a town in which people feel like pioneers, inspired by the large number of characters who live around the [own, and those who come in from the "bush" every so often lo get the dust out of their throats. The "bushies" will have arrived in a ute (small utility truck) or a four-wheel drive vehicle from one of the kingsize cattle stations that occupy a large part of the Territory's 520,2*0 square miles, about 100,000 square miles bigger than Texas and California together. It's harsh country: red soil, a spiny grass called spinifex and little water. 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