[Five Day Bicycle Race raw: Adlai Stevenson III interview]

This video contains raw footage shot for "Five Day Bicycle Race," a project comprised of live in-studio commentary and taped edited coverage of the 1976 Democratic National Convention in New York City. Produced by independent videomakers calling themselves The Image Union (including many members of TVTV and Videofreex), it aired on Manhattan Cable for three hours per night for five days during the convention. This video features an interview with Senator Adlai Stevenson III, a vice presidential contender at the time.

00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with a black screen.

00:20Copy video clip URL The videomaker asks Stevenson about the role of the vice president and some of the changes that may arise in foreign policy in a Carter Administration. Stevenson briefly pauses and states that he hopes for new ideas in the Democratic Party. In regards to foreign policy, Stevenson says, “It seems to me some of the things we have to do are–we just have to stop doing some of the things that we’ve been doing. We ought to begin to recognize that all of–that America’s authority in the world (it’s been diminished in recent years) can come from many sources. Arms are not enough. We have to think about American capital, American technology, American food, technical assistance in terms not only of aiding other people and helping the world to be stable, politically stable and prosperous, but also in terms of restoring to this country, which is the only possible leader of the industrialized and the free world, authority, and we should know and know from painful experience that it cannot be acquired by the expenditure of billions of inflationary dollars on irrelevant weapons systems.” Stevenson then makes a comment about national security. “It’s possible to spend billions of dollars in the name of national security and acquire national insecurity and that’s what we’ve been doing.”

01:48Copy video clip URL The videomaker asks Stevenson about Carter’s support in Illinois, and where his support there is coming from. Stevenson talks about Carter’s strength in Illinois. Stevenson briefly talks about knowing four Illinois delegates who aren’t supporting Carter. He then moves on to talk about Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley’s reasons for supporting Carter.

06:39Copy video clip URL The videomaker asks Stevenson what a Carter Administration could do for the city of Chicago. Stevenson states that the survival and future of American cities requires much cooperation and assistance at the federal level. He goes on to talk about how the U.S. economy and its direct effect on American cities. This lasts for a few minutes.

08:33Copy video clip URL Stevenson talks about Carter’s boost in the media. He refers to him as “a very refreshing and appealing personality.” He states that Carter has successfully mixed charisma with substance and that the days of uncharismatic politicians are numbered. When asked how he feels about using television as a medium to express political ideas, Stevenson states that he is frustrated by the process. “I find it very difficult because I find it impossible to be simplistic about the issues. They don’t boil down into one or two sentences and they usually don’t lend themselves to something visual that’s of appeal or interest to the electronic medium.” Stevenson then talks about the lack of television coverage of himself and his opponent during his last campaign for Illinois senator. He goes on to state that it’s a concern for all serious public servants.

12:40Copy video clip URL The videomaker asks Stevenson if he ever becomes frustrated with being compared to his father, Adlai Stevenson II, who had run for president against Harry Truman in 1952 and 1956. Stevenson states that he has gotten over the frustrations he once had about constantly being compared to his father and that he takes pride in the work he has done as a public servant.

14:11Copy video clip URL When asked whether anyone has ever asked him to hold up the sole of his shoe, Stevenson tells a story about a time he had been asked that question. Apparently he responded to the question by saying that there were no holes in the soles of his shoes. However, Stevenson was unaware that he had a hole in the seat of his pants. (Stevenson’s father had been known for having holes in the soles of his shoes.)

15:14Copy video clip URL Stevenson talks about the possible surprises that may take place in the Democratic Party. He states that the only possible surprise may be Carter’s vice presidential pick. “I’ve never felt so optimistic about the prospects for the party or felt it more difficult to conceive the circumstances that would materially change the picture.” Stevenson also states that he has no expectations of becoming vice president.

17:48Copy video clip URL Tape ends.

 

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