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SCOUTING REPORT FOR '56
For the reason that Americans are a sports-loving people, it is considered a good idea for a presidential candidate to show active interest in sport and thus perhaps win to his cause millions of fishermen, golfers and whatnot. This is indeed sound political thinking, for, as President Eisenhower has remarked, sport is our national common denominator. There are, furthermore, lessons in democracy to be learned from sport. Former President Hoover has noted, for instance, that all men are equal before fish.
This winter, with a presidential election coming up, potential candidates of the two parties—avowed, unavowed and dark horse—have been sitting assiduously in duckblinds, polishing their putters to a silvery gleam and testing the tautness of racket heads, not unconscious of that November day when the American people will draw the curtains on the voting machines and make their inscrutable choice between, perhaps, a Republican low-handicap golfer and a Democratic dry-fly fisherman. As a service to its readers, SI has prepared a scouting report on the sporting backgrounds of several who, for one reason or another, have been mentioned as possible nominees of the two parties.
It is not known, of course, whether President Eisenhower will decide to run again but, in any case, his accomplishments in sport are well known. He is a golfer, a fisherman, a hunter and fan. Here is the rundown on half a dozen others (more later if necessary):
Adlai Stevenson : Likes all kinds of hunting, especially quail, pheasant and duck. Pretty good shot with 12-gauge Ithaca pump. Missed a North Carolina buck last year. A fly-fisherman for trout and salmon but also plugs for bass. Fond of tennis, still plays a good game. Former 18-handicap golfer. Used to maintain three horses but gave them up because of constant travel and now borrows rides from a neighbor.
Governor Averell Harriman : Likes to hunt, and shot first deer at age of 8 in the Adirondacks, has hunted in West and in Austria. Particularly enjoys pheasant and has two favorite guns, both double-barreled 12-gauge Purdys. Once raised Labrador retrievers, one of which made the cover of LIFE (Dec. 12,1938) before Harriman made a recent TIME cover (Nov. 14, 1955). Used to bowl close to 200, was an eight-goal polo player and college oarsman. Ardent baseball fan and Dodger rooter, with fine mind for statistics. Topnotch bridge player, skier, bass fisherman.
Senator Estes Kefauver : Made University of Tennessee varsity football team in sophomore year and during senior year was All-Southern Conference tackle. Captain of track team as shotputter and discus thrower, with a throw of 142 feet standing for a time as conference record. Coached high school football at Hot Springs, Arkansas. Now shoots skeet, ice skates, swims in the Senate pool. Good fly-fisherman and rifle shot. Bagged Texas deer with first shot. Used to shoot around 90 before giving up golf. Likes to ride bicycle with children and owns motorbike.
Governor Frank J. Lausche: Played sandlot baseball (third base) in teens, then pro ball with Duluth, where he made record books with 14 assists, two putouts and an error in single game. Was with Lawrence, Massachusetts when World War I broke out. Played at Camp Gordon, Georgia but after war turned down offer from Atlanta club in order to study law. Years later, as Ohio governor at $13,000 a year, was one of four considered for baseball commissioner at $65,000, but rejected opportunity. One of top bowlers in Middle West in early 1930s. Frequently attends Ohio State football games. Plays high-class billiards and has posted some flashy 69s on 72-par Columbus (Ohio) Golf Club course. Cold weather golfing gear: long woolen underwear, high lace boots and sizable tarn o'shanter which he shifts from ear to ear as one or the other gets numb.