[The 90’s Election Specials raw: George Grey #1]

Raw footage for The 90's election specials. This tape follows George Grey, Illinois campaign manager for independent presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, as he makes travel and appearance arrangements for Buchanan's Illinois tour. Afterwards, there is an interview with Grey. He is highly critical of both the Republican party and President George H.W. Bush.

00:00Copy video clip URL Videomaker Suzy Wehling tests the equipment before heading out into the field.

00:56Copy video clip URL The tape cuts to footage of George Grey at the Buchanan Campaign Headquarters in Illinois. Grey goes over the campaign itinerary with a colleague and talks about the scheduling conflicts that have arisen in preparation for Pat Buchanan’s visit to the state. Grey briefly talks about the themes of the campaign. “I don’t want to get too upscale. That’s the theme of this whole campaign. We’re not going for Rockefeller Republicans.”

32:24Copy video clip URL Grey begins to talk about his work for the Buchanan campaign. He thinks it has been very frustrating to work with Buchanan’s national campaign. Grey had been working from inside of his apartment for months before getting the money for office space. Grey talks about the hard work he’s put in to build a base for Buchanan in Illinois, and doubts that Chicago’s Croatian community would ever vote for current President George H.W. Bush. Grey is very critical of Bush and comments on the negative effects of Bush’s foreign policy in the aftermath of the Cold War. He also talks about Generation X and states that they’re getting “screwed economically.” “We’re going to be the first generation in American history who will have a lower standard of living than our parents, and that stinks. It’s not right. For Bush to say, ‘well, times are okay’–times are lousy. The eighties were prosperous. The nineties have been a bad time. They don’t recognize that. I think a lot of young people feel very frustrated you know? There’s no sense of economic control over our future or destiny.” Grey then begins to talk about the tough times he’s experienced in the job market just after getting out of law school. He goes on to say, “We can’t continue to play policeman to the world… we have to regroup a little bit.”

40:18Copy video clip URL Grey begins to talk about the negative aspects of the Republican Party. “The Illinois Republican Party is completely depressing because they don’t stand or believe in anything… Here’s the formula for success [in the Illinois Republican Party]: You pucker your lips, you get a jar of super glue, you apply it to your lips, and you put your lips to the behind of somebody who’s going to carry you the furthest. You don’t believe in anything.” Grey states that this formula really turned him off of the party. He talks about the concerns he has for extreme conservatives and how they can tarnish the campaign. He then states that the campaign’s main demographic is middle class conservatives who believe the private sector is more effective than the public sector.

44:07Copy video clip URL Grey talks about the demographics of Buchanan campaign volunteers. He states that 70-75% of the volunteers are made up of people in their late twenties and early thirties. He states that the Buchanan base in Illinois is an accurate representation of the state. He also talks about the need for a stronger family unit in America and emphasizes the need to regain more traditional values. However, Grey makes a point of saying that the base doesn’t want to take any steps backward. He goes on to talk about what he plans to do after the campaign, his frustration with the national campaign, and working nearly eighteen hours a day for the Illinois campaign. Grey is just out of law school and was set to take the bar exam, but had to postpone it due to his work. Grey talks about how difficult his situation is with substantial student loans and not having a job that will pay him enough money.

49:23Copy video clip URL Grey goes onto complain that Buchanan’s national campaign offices are disorganized and, perhaps, unappreciative of his efforts, saying: “[The national campaign office] has dragged its feet so much in even paying basic things like phone bills, that [I] have to look out for myself.” He goes on to say that if he were offered to be on the national campaign, he would do it, but that he can’t count on it. When asked whether he’ll be in politics ten years from now, Grey says he’d love to be. He talks about the many types of people he has worked with, those who are genuine and those who are phony. “I would do it if it could be done without selling your soul… The key thing is, go into politics, go for it if you believe in something, if you really believe in something. Don’t do it for an ego trip, which is what most people, at least from this brief experience I’ve had these last two months–most of the people I’ve encountered who are in it who are politicians, you really look at somebody’s core and what is this person about? Why did they really get into it?”

52:44Copy video clip URL Grey explains why he likes Buchanan. He considers Buchanan a bit of an outsider who, therefore, does not really owe anybody. “He’s trying to make the Republican Party more working class and middle class. I feel absolutely uncomfortable with the Republican Party having as its symbol the symbol of the Monopoly game–the little guy with the top hat. I don’t identify with that.” “Middle class people, working class people–they should be the stars, front and center of your party. They’re not. They’re neglected. They’re forgotten about and you know, I think it’s depressing.” Grey then talks about his campaign strategy in gathering frustrated conservatives and different ethnic groups and movements in forming Buchanan’s main base. Grey’s colleague also comments on the encouraging aspects of the campaign. Grey goes on to say that they don’t know what is going to happen with the Buchanan campaign in Illinois. However, Gary thinks Buchanan doesn’t need to win the primary to win and likens the campaign to David and Goliath.

58:25Copy video clip URL End of tape.

 

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