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Presidential candidate McGovern greeted 200 supporters in Duluth. He was surrounded by media and participated in staged events for the press. McGovern talked about grain speculators making a killing at the expense of American famers and taxpayers; this money should have gone to the farmers. He said there should be an investigation into how this deal was negotiated.


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CLAUDIA DALY: Senator George McGovern brought his presidential campaign to Duluth and Superior today in a tightly scheduled hour and 50 minute happening that included hands shaking with some of the 200 or so supporters who turned out at the Duluth airport, and rubbing elbows with truckers and grain elevator workers at the Farmers Union elevator in Superior. The whole affair had a made especially for the media flavor, which is perhaps unavoidable for a presidential candidate who is accompanied by a jet load of reporters and photographers assigned for the duration of the campaign, and also picks up an entourage of local and regional communications types wherever he goes.

Still, except for a couple of deliberate forays into the crowd at the Duluth airport, McGovern was constantly surrounded by shoulder-mounted cameras, amplifiers, and boom mics which served as a moving barricade, often preventing so much as a glimpse of him.

On the agenda was a statement to be delivered by McGovern to workers at the Superior grain elevator. McGovern in fact, spoke only a few words of that statement, and again, for the benefit of the cameras. Strictly speaking, it was delivered however, in printed handout fashion that you got from the girl in the orange coat, if you happen to know that the girl in the orange coat had the releases in the first place.

The grain elevators provided an interesting, albeit dusty background for film coverage. A railroad car full of grain was emptied, a fairly dramatic display in which the car was raised in the air, dumped on its side, and emptied like a sandbox toy. Somebody passed out yellow hardhats, presumably as a safety precaution. And the assembled crowd bloomed like a field of Black eyed Susans.

There amidst the earthy odor of decomposing grain, McGovern offered his comments on the USDA negotiated grain sale to Russia.

GEORGE MCGOVERN: All of us are grateful for the opportunity to sell more American grain overseas. But the recent deal on wheat and grains with the Soviet Union has a bad smell to it, as one looks into the implications of what happened. Because the facts are that grain speculators were allowed to make a killing on this deal at the expense of the American farmer and the American taxpayer. The truth is that tens of millions of dollars have been made by grain speculators that should have gone into the pockets of the people that produced that grain, the American farmer.

I think what is needed now is a full investigation of the conditions under which this grain deal was negotiated. There's something wrong when high officials of the Department of Agriculture move in and out of the employ of the United States government into the employ of the private grain companies in such a way as to do damage, both to the interests of the American farmer and the American taxpayer.

CLAUDIA DALY: It pretty much went off like clockwork, on schedule and according to the script, with only tiny unexpected occurrences like bumping into Teddy White and listening in on a conversation between Frank Mankiewicz and another McGovern staff worker to make the event seem more than two dimensional. Perhaps that is what is so disturbing, a presidential candidate came to town and even if you were there, the show will be a lot better, more real, when you see it on the tube tonight. This is Claudia Daly in Duluth.


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