October 28, 2004 8:09 AM   Subscribe

HistoryFilter: Odd reference to McCarthy in Kerry's 1971 Senate Testimony. He said: "I realize that we cannot negotiate treaties and I realize that even my visits in Paris, precedents had been set by Senator McCarthy and others, in a sense are on the borderline of private individuals negotiating, et cetera. What was the incident involving McCarthy that set a precedent?

The Green's an inappropriate place for politics, so I'm trying to avoid that. I'm just asking for a neutral clue about that single reference.

Google done let me down.
posted by RavinDave to Law & Government (6 answers total)
It was actually Senator Eugene McCarthy. He won the Democratic primaries in 1968 but was replaced at the convention by Hubert Humphrey (who lost). Relevance to Kerry's testimony? He was "the voice of the movement for a negotiated settlement to the war."
posted by smackfu at 8:23 AM on October 28, 2004

"the voice of the movement for a negotiated settlement to the war."

...That was rejected at the Democratic Convention in 1968 by a wide margin of attending delegates, disappointing many and setting off the unpleasantness in Chicago.
posted by loquax at 8:30 AM on October 28, 2004

I'm still confused. The quote very much sounds like McCarthy engaging in quasi-inappropriate "private negotiating" on behalf of the government -- and it sounds like Kerry was using this to justify his Paris meetings with Vietnamese representatives. Given the context, I don't see the tie-in with the convention.

I'm willing to entertain the notion that I'm merely dense -- but I'm hoping the confusion I have is from Kerry's multi-paranthetical speaking style.
posted by RavinDave at 8:37 AM on October 28, 2004

Well, it has nothing to do with the convention. That's just background. He ran for the nomination on a platform of a negotiated settlement in Vietnam. AKA, he was negotiating with a foreign country on behalf of his future government, while he was still a private citizen.
posted by smackfu at 9:06 AM on October 28, 2004

Right. Eugene McCarthy = decent fellow. Joe McCarthy = scumbag.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:16 AM on October 28, 2004

So, McCarthy actually approached them? Fascinating. I never knew that. Thanx all!
posted by RavinDave at 12:04 PM on October 28, 2004

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