A Kerry in Politics

Frances McGovern, in a 1964 file photo, found humor in her political campaigns.

“Why did a bright young homegrown Irish maiden named Frances McGovern become the darling daughter of regular Democrats in the 1950s and 1960s?”

“Because this cheerful, smiling 22 year-old had a great name.” And a great mascot to boot!

She ran for some local political offices and lost each time. “But after that, McGovern won a seat in the [Ohio] legislature three times.”

“In 1964, she challenged genial seven-term GOP Congressman William H. “Bill” Ayres.”

“No Democrat […], had been able to unseat him. But President Lyndon Johnson and wife Lady Bird came to help. McGovern’s pet [Kerry Blue] terrier,
Cherry, made public appearances, too. But the Irish lass couldn’t upset Wily Bill.”

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