“As intellectual influences go, this was a step down from Thomas Aquinas.”

–Andrew Ferguson on Eugene McCarthy’s coming under the influence of LBJ and Senator William Fulbright

As writers go, Andy is one of the best, and his Weekly Standard piece on Eugene McCarthy’s Children’s Crusade and Howard Dean’s is article of the week. (Yes, it’s only Monday’but you gotta read it.) I’ll let you click for the compare and contrast on the mobilization of youth and the effect that McCarthy had and that Dean could have on the Democratic party. But on an appealing aspect of McCarthy’s personality, heeere’s Andy:

“A big break came when he [McCarthy] appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, who asked him whether he thought he’d be a good president. ‘I think,’ McCarthy said after a pause, ‘that I would be adequate.’ When Johnson withdrew from the campaign, reporters rushed McCarthy for a comment, an occasion to rally the troops: ‘Things have gotten rather complicated,’ he said and left it at that. Why didn’t more blacks vote for him, a columnist once asked. ‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘I haven’t really made much made much of an argument that they should.’ Early on he abandoned that staple of industrial-state politicking’greeting the sunrise shift at factory gates’because, he explained, ‘I’m not a morning person.'”