Greasing the Way for Goddard

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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.

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Tom Fitzpatrick