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Help me identify southern state politician from a movie
January 16, 2013 9:01 AM   Subscribe

Many years ago I recall watching a movie, where this southern state politician (supposedly based on a true character) was pulling dirty tricks during his campaign. IIRC, he for example accused his competitor of being a "humanist", along with several other carefully chosen praise words which, to his uneducated voters, sounded like insults. Does anyone know which movie I am referring to, or who this politician was?
posted by helion to Law & Government (4 answers total)
 
George Smathers?
posted by leesh at 9:04 AM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


That was fast! From the wikipedia article:
"Time Magazine, during the campaign, falsely claimed that Smathers said this:
Are you aware that Claude Pepper is known all over Washington as a shameless extrovert? Not only that, but this man is reliably reported to practice nepotism with his sister-in-law, he has a brother who is a known homo sapiens, and he has a sister who was once a thespian in wicked New York. Worst of all, it is an established fact that Mr. Pepper, before his marriage, habitually practiced celibacy."

Yup, sounds about right :)
posted by helion at 9:13 AM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can never remember who the politician was, either, so I always start with the search string, "and his sister was a thespian".
posted by Bruce H. at 9:21 AM on January 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


That was fast! From the wikipedia article:
"Time Magazine, during the campaign, falsely claimed that Smathers said this:


Emphasis on falsely claimed. The Wikipedia article also notes:
Part of American political lore is the Smathers "redneck speech," which Smathers reportedly delivered to a poorly educated audience. The "speech" was never given; it was a hoax dreamed up by one reporter.
posted by Boxenmacher at 10:08 AM on January 16, 2013


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