After writing books about the 1950 contest for the U.S. Senate between Richard Nixon and Helen Gahagan Douglas and, especially, Upton Sinclair's race for governor of California in 1934, not much could happen this year that would truly shock or offend me.
The lesson of Upton Sinclair's 1934 gubernatorial run is that sticking to principles and running hard from the left -- if backed by the grassroots -- can get results from a president, even if the candidate in question loses.
The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce today virtually ordered all member businesses to close up shop on Election Day and get out the vote for Merriam against Upton Sinclair in the California gubernatorial race.
So far at this part in the '34 California gubernatorial race, Katharine Hepburn had refused to comment on the district attorney's investigation of political intimidation in Hollywood. But that didn't stop her father from speaking for her.
William Randolph Hearst was back at San Simeon after an absence of five months and ready at last to select a candidate in the California governor's race. His papers had been crucifying Upton Sinclair for the past month.
Upton Sinclair succeeded where greater writers failed -- he nearly got elected to high office, and, even in losing, had a profound effect on an American president and the future of politics in America.
Heading into the Washington, D.C. primary Tuesday, a little-known white candidate for an at-large council seat, Michael D. Brown, has essentially stolen the political identity of another, far better-known black politician.
When pundits labeled last year's presidential campaign "divisive" and "dirty," I had to laugh. The champion of all dirty races in this century, in fact, was the 1934 contest between Upton Sinclair and Frank Merriam.