In 1972, while I was just entering my teens and living in Delaware, my Dad became involved with a local politician trying to make it big time. So involved, he became one of his campaign managers. Delaware had two senators. One was William Roth, a Republican, and the other seat was available. Aiming for this seat was a young Joe Biden, a relative unknown. My Dad and Step Mother (whom was one of the three that the Glass Slipper did not fit) were hard core Democrats, and my folks were a friend of his, so…he became one of Joe’s inner circle.
He, his wife and his new born daughter (before they died in the crash) used to come over for dinners on Sundays to “talk strategy”. I guess they figured I was just going to be a babysitter for his daughter, but no, I preferred to sit in on their talks. My Dad figured it could be a good learning experience. Damn. He was Right. I knew after two dinners I was NOT going to be a Democrat. At 13, I already knew. Why? Because their conversations included openly…OPENLY…. talking about voter deception. Lying (which they called “stretching the truth”) was actually part of their strategy. They discussed how to make voters believe things that were fabricated, and how they could exploit everyday problems as launching points for a campaign. He was a liar, schemer, and could not give a rats ass about people way back then. And oh man, I heard the term “nigger” so many times I thought it was a a preposition. It was not a word that I had heard my dad use, ever, only when with “Mr. Biden”. He also freely used the term “Chico” and a local derogatory term “Cheswoldites” to describe the Moor community in Cheswold, Delaware.
After he won, my Dad stepped away and continued with his own life away from politics, but I will never forget the Fall of 1972. It cemented my politics. Forever.