Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Late Rep. Ike Andrews' rules for campaigning

Former U.S. Rep. Ike Andrews of Chatham County died Monday in his 84th year, another veteran of World War II's battlefields who went on to a career in politics with an eye toward helping folks back home. Rob Christensen of the News & Observer has an obituary on him here.

Andrews -- who liked to campaign with a button like that of President Dwight Eisenhower ("I like Ike") ¬-- lobbied me a few times to call him "Ike" in headlines instead of his last name, but editors at the Greensboro Daily News where I worked for years always felt that most readers associated the name with the president and supreme commander of allied forces in the big war. He liked to tell folks he was from Bonlee and wait for them to ask where that was. "Just down the road from Bear Creek," he'd say with a grin. Both are in southwest Chatham County.

Andrews was an indefatigable campaigner, as are most successful politicians, and once when I had been following him around on a busy day, I asked him how he was able to keep up the torrid pace of travels, meetings, speeches, interviews, corresponding with constituents, listening to debate, crafting bills and so on. He gave me his two rules for keeping up. Number one, he said, "Always have a little something to eat when the opportunity arises." And second: "Always use the rest room when you get a chance."

Good advice. Goodbye, Ike.

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