"I had rather be a dog than the prime minister of a country where the only things the inhabitants can be serious about are football and refreshments." --George Bernard Shaw
The real political infighting never changes. We never learn about the brutal behind-the-scenes business until too late.
But this time it's different. Insiders loyal to Governor Rose Mofford are talking. Outraged by the high-pressure tactics of Terry and Sam Goddard, they are telling what happened now.
A few days before the governor announced her decision not to run, Mofford met with the father-and-son team in her office. It was the second meeting the trio had held. The topic of discussion was the same both times: Sam and the son of Sam wanted Mofford to step aside.
Sam Goddard and Mofford have known each other more than thirty years. Mofford still defers to him because she remembers when he was governor and she was a loyal Democratic follower employed far down in the ranks of state workers.
"Rose, you must make your decision now," Sam told her. "You have got to drop out for the good of the party. Our polls show that if you run for governor, you can't win. We must retain this office. You owe it to everyone to step down." Mofford didn't believe Goddard at first.
"But why is it that my own polls show I can win?" Mofford asked.
"Your polls are wrong," Sam Goddard said. "Rose, a lot of people around the state like you, but you can't win." "And who runs for governor if I step aside?" Mofford asked.
Sam Goddard hesitated.
"Terry's ready. And the party leaders agree Terry can win." There was an awkward silence in the room. Mofford's lips quivered.
"I'll let you know soon, Sam. And now, will both of you please excuse me? I've things to do." Sam Goddard, the ex-governor, and his son, the mayor of Phoenix, left the governor's office.
Later that day, several of Mofford's assistants noted that the governor seemed to be fighting to hold back tears.
One of Mofford's assistants figured out what had happened even before being told. "Those two greedy sons of bitches," the assistant says. "They weren't going to let anything stand in the way of moving Terry Goddard to the ninth floor, were they?" Nothing strange about this story. The real world works this way.
I went down to the city council chambers to watch Terry Goddard quit as Phoenix mayor and announce he'd run for governor.
"When I ran for mayor last year," Goddard said, with strained sincerity, "I never imagined Governor Mofford wouldn't run for re-election. I know her change of plans didn't come easy . . . " Terry Goddard managed to say these last words with a straight face.
Of course he knew Mofford's decision to drop out didn't come easy. Hadn't he taken part in the arm-twisting sessions where he and his father muscled the old governor aside? The Goddards have decided it is time for Arizona to have another Goddard in the governor's chair.
The timing of young Goddard's announcement was crucial. There were rumblings that Carolyn Warner, a Democratic candidate in the last election, wanted to make another run at the governor's chair. So Goddard had to announce before Warner could get back into the state from vacation. It was imperative for them to beat Warner to the punch.
The tactical reasoning was sound. If Terry Goddard's own announcement played strongly enough in the media, perhaps Warner might even be bluffed out of the Democratic primary.
There were a dozen television cameras set up in front of the podium when Goddard arrived to much applause from his City Hall followers.
All the usual Terry Goddard-Bruce Babbitt sycophants were fussing about the hall. They're fascinating to observe. They are smug, arrogant, narcissistic and, above all, overconfident. This is a group of people who clearly believes they were born to run things.
Burton Barr, the perennial fixer, who has become Goddard's chief adviser, wasn't present. But that's not surprising. He may not even surface during the rest of the campaign. Rest assured, however, that Barr is a prominent member of the team.
Bruce Babbitt, he of the grandly nonchalant manner, was also not in the hall. He is too much the grand seigneur of Arizona politics to lower himself to appear at such a gathering.
But the Goddard-Babbitt alliance was publicly affirmed several days later when it was announced that Babbitt's wife, Hattie, will run Terry's campaign.
Do you think that it would be impossible for Barr and Babbitt to work together because they are from different sides of the political spectrum? They can. Even when Babbitt was governor and Barr speaker of the house, Barr served as godfather to one of Babbitt's sons.
Goddard's appearance before his followers had some uneasy moments. Just because he is glib, it doesn't necessarily follow that he is always believable.
Terry expressed his opinion that he has been an excellent mayor for Phoenix. He kept bleating about his love for all the people of Arizona.
Then he talked about Rose Mofford:
"Rose Mofford has devoted a lifetime to the state she loves. Nearly fifty years ago, Rose left her community of Globe, to serve the people of her state. For five decades, she has sacrificed her personal life, but ended up with the biggest family of all. I join with all Arizonans in wishing her well." This ranks as the most hypocritical public statement of the year. Here is the very man who has been plotting to get Mofford's job ever since she moved into the office. And now he's trying to convince everyone he played no part in overthrowing her.
I had the uneasy feeling that Goddard and his family look upon Mofford as an old family servant being put out to pasture since her gall bladder started acting up.
There is something instructive here. Both political parties in this state are severely split between the haves and the have-nots.
When Evan Mecham, a have-not, surprisingly stole the governor's office, it took an impeachment trial, but the Republicans eventually did him in. When it came time to remove Mofford, the Democrats did it with stealth and a mailed fist inside a velvet glove.
Goddard told his followers he'd spoken to thousands of people from all over the state who urged him to run. I wondered when he'd had time to talk to these thousands of backers.
The truth is there is no groundswell out there for Goddard. He expects to raise more than $1 million for his campaign, but most of it will come from out-of-state corporations who seek to do business with the state. A check of campaign records will show that Babbitt, too, raised much of his campaign money in this manner.
Off to the side, as he spoke, you could see the mayor on the television monitor. He seemed even more convincing on the television monitor than he did in person.
Not far away, you could see Pat McMahon of KTAR-AM. The talk-show host was waiting to interview Goddard right there in the chambers for his morning radio show. McMahon, lately retired from the Wallace and Ladmo children's hour, considered this such an important story that he had given up his regular monthly luncheon with the Hibernian Society.
And this was not such a bad thing for McMahon. In recent weeks, he has been doing radio commercials for one of those outfits that promises to help you lose weight. Although McMahon has assured his radio audience he's lost fifteen pounds, the word is out that he has actually gained half a dozen pounds since his weight-loss campaign began.
Goddard's purported fiancee, a New York resident, stood just behind his shoulder all during the press conference. But she was never introduced. Who knows what role she's been assigned for the coming campaign?
The mayor, now approaching middle age, is still unmarried. His marital status will become a more interesting question as the campaign progresses.
His enemies in the Evan Mecham camp have already publicly accused Goddard of being gay.
How will Goddard answer? Will he tell all the question is none of their business? Will he threaten to sue as he has done before and then withdraw the threat? Or will he get married to satisfy the so-called Christian right wing?
Sam Goddard, the mayor's father, sat in one of the rear rows. Even Sam left the hall before his son's elongated and self-congratulatory press conference ended.
It is always surprising how naive the questions become at an event like this.
"Will your father take part in your campaign?" Terry was asked at one point while Sam was still there.
"I hope so," he said. He managed to maintain a straight face. His father sat there without expression. He must have been happy, knowing that he had already steamrollered the helpless Mofford as part of his contribution.
The next morning, Sam Goddard accompanied Terry to Flagstaff for his first campaign speech. There were only a handful of listeners, all registered Democrats.
"What if the opportunity to run for the Senate comes up?" a man asked. "Will you quit as governor and try for Washington?" Goddard didn't bat an eye.
"I love Arizona," he said, glancing round the room.
You have to love a candidate who's forthright enough to admit he loves Arizona. I guess.
Later that day, Mofford was asked about Goddard's decision to run for governor. Certainly, she did not express surprise. But Mofford couldn't bring herself to offer a ringing endorsement, either. By now, Rose Mofford realized she'd been outslickered by the Goddard boys.
Howard Adams never looked better. The day after Goddard's desertion, the Phoenix City Council met to pick a new mayor.
Adams was a heavy favorite to win the job. He has the most experience, for one thing. Secondly, he's clearly the most knowledgeable member of an extremely weak group.
But Adams stepped aside, predicting the council would be torn apart by internal strife if he didn't allow the job to go to Paul Johnson. And that's how the thirty-year-old Johnson, a hard charger who's been on the make ever since getting elected for his first term, became the city's mayor.
And once again, the voters were denied the opportunity to decide who moves into a top office. When Mecham was sacked, we had no opportunity to vote despite a massive recall movement demanding a vote. We got Mofford.
Now Goddard sprints for the upper pasture. Once more, a gaggle of political insiders gets to decide who gets the job. Phoenix is too big a city to have a mayor who was selected by a handful of fellow councilmembers. This situation calls for a special election with Johnson sitting for no more than sixty days.
In the mayor's chair, Johnson will be a babe in the woods. We should expect trouble. In addition to Adams, both Mary Rose Wilcox and Calvin Goode want the mayor's job. Wilcox even stacked last week's meeting with her followers, hoping that sheer numbers in the hall might by some miracle bring her over the top. On the days when Goode is not campaigning for a pension, he is always willing to proclaim that he is destined for a higher calling. As time goes on, he becomes more and more the pitiable political hack.
We shouldn't expect much from Johnson. Why should we? Until he proves differently, Johnson is a young man in a hurry who realized his skills were so limited that he sought the safety net of a city council seat while still in his twenties.
Bob Barnes, the only Republican candidate without funds, is the hardest- working figure in the gubernatorial campaign. Barnes wasted no time calling a press conference to demand that Sam Goddard resign his job as Democratic state chairman after his son Terry announced.
Barnes is on top of everything in the campaign. He seems to be the only candidate who works on it every day.
No one wants to take Barnes seriously because he's not a member of any political clique. He makes the regular Arizona pols uneasy. "Who is this guy?" they keep asking. "Who gave him a speaking part?" In Chicago they had a philosophy about newcomers on the political scene. "We don't want nobody sent," the followers of Mayor Richard Daley used to say.
Barnes' latest position paper points out the political baggage that each one the campaign.
Evan Mecham, Barnes points out, has already been impeached.
Fred Koory has a conflict of interest in his dealing with the Phoenix Baptist hospital chain. Koory has received more than $150,000 in real estate commissions involving hospital purchases.
J. Fife Symington III was caught laundering $15,000 in campaign money he donated to help defeat a city council candidate who was opposing the construction of Symington's project at the corner of 24th Street and Camelback. Worse still, this was done while Symington was serving as the state Republican finance chairman.
Barnes, who is an Annapolis graduate (1953), was a navy pilot. He holds a master's degree from George Washington University, and his doctorate from the University of Washington includes majors in international business and world politics.
The Republicans will realize they must deal with Barnes before long. He clearly doesn't intend to give up. He will keep rattling cages and knocking on doors.
Sooner or later, the voters will realize that Barnes is serious. The Republicans ignore him at their peril.
As if the Republicans didn't have enough problems, Sam Steiger has returned to the scene.
Clearly, Steiger is also going to enter the race. He is the real dark horse. If anyone can explode on the political scene with limited funds, it's Steiger. He knows where the bodies are buried and is not afraid to talk about them.
Steiger has one more important thing going for him. He actually knows how to run the state.
Goddard looks upon Mofford as an old family servant being put out to pasture since her gall bladder started acting up.
Even Sam Goddard left the hall before his son's self-congratulatory press conference ended.
Once more, a gaggle of political insiders decides who gets the job.
The Republicans ignore Bob Barnes at their peril.
In the mayor's chair, Paul Johnson will be a babe in the woods.