John Anderson says discussion of a running mate is premature because he is still concentrating on getting his name on state ballots and raising adequate campaign funds. But the speculation is off and running without him.
The same day Walter Cronkite denied much-publicized reports that he might accept an offer to be Anderson's running mate, former Reagan campaign manager John P. Sears told reporters in Washington that Anderson could win the presidency by putting a Northeastern democrat on his ticket.
This would improve his popularity in the Northeast, according to Mr. Sears, where voters would be most dissatisfied with a Reagan-Carter choice. And it would give the Anderson ticket two-party appeal, since Anderson still belongs to the Repbulican Party.
One such Northeastern Democrat, US Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, said two weeks ago he was not interested in the prospect, before Anderson had even announced his independent candidacy. Another likely prospect, New York's Gov. Hugh Carey, made light of the idea, saying he was comfortable in Albany and did not anticipate an offer from Anderson.
The Anderson campaign is a political hot potato for those who depend on party support, Republican or Democrat, in their careers and would risk losing it by joining the Anderson effort. Meanwhile, George Ball, a ranking foreign policy official during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, has come out in support of Anderson's candidacy.m
In a survey asking black Americans to rate Jimmy Carter's performance in helping the black community, 46 percent of those polled gave the President negative scores, compared with 22 percent who rated him positively.
The latest Data Black Public Opinion Poll, released Thursday, also showed that blacks favored Carter over either of the major Republican candidates by a 6 -to-1 margin. Other polls suggest that Carter is roughly even with Ted Kennedy in popularity among blacks -- despite a significant Carter win among blacks in Texas over the weekend.
"Just a change in tactics" -- that was Ronald Reagan's response to President Carter's decision to begin limited public appearances, including campaigning, after a six-month campaign moratorium.
Ted Kennedy concurred. "I think the decision quite clearly is a political judgment," he said, a judgment Kennedy thinks is based on Carter's loss to the senator in five of the last seven primaries and caucuses.
While Kennedy considered the President's decision to be a "victory" for the election process and is anxious to face Carter in debate, Reagan was skeptical of Carter's explanation that the nation's crises had become more "manageable."
"Manageable?" Reagan said, ". . . to pretend the situation is any less grave is a little strained."
According to his scheduling office in Washington, Carter has no campaign commitments yet and won't begin until at least next weekend.m
"The polls have shown Carter was in trouble," said a Kennedy aide. "He seldom moves without the polls."
Ronald Reagan told Texas last week that Jimmy Carter, now often dubbed a "born-again hawk" in the press, has significantly weakened US military might and damaged relations with allies by not keeping them informed of American actions, such as the recent rescue attempt in Iran.
Reagan further charged that Carter was fudging on his promise to increase defense spending by 3 percent in real terms in 1981 by using "deceptive bookkeeping practices."
According to aides, Reagan was refering to a memorandum to Defense Secretary Harold Brown from his deputy comptroller John Quetsch. The New York Times reported that this April 8 classified memorandum discussed an agreement between White House and Pentagon budget aides to cut military spending by $83 million for fiscal 1980, so the 1981 budget would show a 3 percent increase.
On Iran, Reagan urged quick action on the remaining US alternatives, and said if that means "a complete quarantine of Iran, then so be it."
The Des Moines Sunday Register called on President Carter to withdraw from the race for re-election and to concentrate on solving the nation's problems.
In an unsigned editorial, the newspaper said Carter "seems incapable of guiding the country and running for president simultaneously."
The Register suggested Vice-President Walter Mondale be the Democractic candidate.