Posted: June 19, 2003
CARPER IN THE MIDDLE
U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper figured out
"triangulation" long before anyone even had coined the term.
As a Democratic senator and two-term governor,
Carper has placed himself in the pragmatic middle of politics in his
own version of triangulation, the name applied to Bill Clinton's
penchant for presidential position-taking that adroitly placed him
between the Republicans on the right and his fellow Democrats on the
Carper was way ahead of Clinton. In his youth
he backed both Barry Goldwater, the conservative Republican who ran
for president in 1964, and Eugene McCarthy, the liberal Democrat who
was a presidential candidate in 1968.
Carper's right-left combo was highlighted in
the newest edition of Congressional Quarterly's 1,196-page
Politics in America, a scholarly guide to the 108th Congress. It
was included in a new section called, "Did You Know?"
So why Goldwater? "It was about the same time
Hillary was a 'Golden Girl,'" quipped Carper, referring to the early
rightwing fling of U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, his Democratic
colleague and liberal darling. Both of them were 17 at the time.
Carper said he was drawn to the Goldwater camp
by a fraternity brother at Ohio State University, where he was a
freshman. He said his commitment ran deeper to McCarthy, even though
Carper was preparing to go to Southeast Asia with the Navy and
McCarthy was an anti-war candidate.
"What attracted me to both Goldwater and
McCarthy is they were principled politicians, and they both took on
a candidate [Lyndon Johnson] I wasn't crazy about," Carper said.
While Congressional Quarterly singled out
Carper's early politics for particular notice, the rest of the
Delaware delegation overcame its small size to get some attention in
the handbook, too.
U.S. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. appeared in a
section called, "Congressional Half-Life," listing eight members who
have spent more than half their lives in the Congress. Biden, a
six-term Democrat first elected in 1972 when he was 29, hit the mark
on Feb. 16.
U.S. Rep. Michael N. Castle, a moderate
Republican in a sea of conservatives, not surprisingly emerged from
the crowd to make the list of members who most often voted against
their own party. He was sixth among opposition Republicans in the
U.S. House of Representatives.
Delaware itself also wound up on a list of
states that never have had a woman or African-American as either a
senator or representative. The others are Iowa, New Hampshire and
Iowa will have to speak for itself, but the
rest are living under the "Curse of the Small State." Furthermore,
Delaware, New Hampshire and Vermont could have avoided the list if
only Congressional Quarterly had thrown in governor, too.
# # #
MIKE MILLER CHARGED
Micheal C. Miller, the two-time Democratic
loser for Delaware's lone congressional seat, has appeared on a
police blotter -- again.
He turned himself in June 11 to state police
in Sussex County on disorderly conduct and trespassing charges after
allegedly stalking a school bus and arguing with the father of his
son's schoolmate, according to news stories appearing first in the
Cape Gazette and then the Associated Press.
It was a convoluted incident. The press
reports said Miller's son and the other boy dumped hair gel and
white eraser fluid on a mentally disabled student during a bus ride
and were suspended from the bus for three days by the Cape Henlopen
School District. Miller appealed his son's penalty, leading the
other father to ask why only his son had served his punishment, the
news outlets said.
Miller reacted by following the bus,
apparently trying to find out where the other boy and his father
lived, until the bus driver called for police, the news stories
said. Miller argued with a state trooper and later with the other
boy's father at a garage he owned, according to the news outlets.
The Cape Gazette reported that Miller told the
other boy's father, "The retarded kid shouldn't be on the bus,
anyway." When the newspaper contacted Miller, he said, "There is no
story. There is no incident."
Miller, who runs Tax Man Accounting Services
and Miller's Landscape in Lewes, has been in and out of courtrooms
since the 1990s. He was sued by a landlady for back office rent,
mixed it up with his stepdaughter's father and unsuccessfully
contested a speeding ticket during the 2002 campaign season.
In two tries against Congressman Mike Castle,
he topped out at 31 percent of the vote.
Asked what the Democratic Party had to say
about Miller, state Chairman Richard H. Bayard simply shook his
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