Everyday we all make mistakes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Last week in a discussion of presidential politics I mentioned that my father had brought home a newspaper in 1948 that carried the Chicago Tribune’s early edition that proclaimed Willkie the winner over Truman.

Within hours after my column appeared in newspapers in our senate district, I began receiving telephone calls, e-mails and messages about my faux pas.

Obviously it was not Willkie who was defeated by Truman, but rather it was Thomas Dewey of New York.

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Since I am supposed to be &uot;a student of politics&uot;, I feel bad about making that mistake and appreciative to those who contacted me to point out my error.

The very first person to catch my mistake and contact me was Melvin Cooper of Prattville.

If you make a mistake, and if someone points out your mistake, you definitely want it to be someone like Mel Cooper.

Mel is a gentle, knowledgeable and dedicated American who has contributed much to his community and country.

I first met Mel when he worked at the Pentagon in Washington.

I was a chief aide to a United States Senator and Mel handled liaison services for the President.

He later served as director of our State Ethics Commission and earned the well deserved title of &uot;Mr. Ethics.&uot;

It was due to the foundation which he laid that we have had a very strong ethics law that affects all political office holders in Alabama.

Besides learning that Truman defeated Dewey, and not Willkie, I learned one other thing – apparently a lot of people read my column.

I am very appreciative for that fact because I enjoy interacting with my constituency in this way, and I welcome comments about what I say, both favorable and unfavorable, and I sincerely encourage you to continue to contact me.

In my column last week, I also told you that I would report on the political forum which I attended several days ago in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The speaker was Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the Rothenberg Political Report.

He is also a columnist for the prominent publication about Congress, Roll Call.

Mr. Rothenberg, among other things, predicts the outcome of elections, and he was on the program to discuss the current presidential race.

Mr. Rothenberg predicted that the race would be very close but felt as though Senator Kerry had a slight advantage and would, in his eyes, be the winner if the race were today.

He predicted that President Bush would get a &uot;small bump&uot; following the Republican National Convention but he suggested that most people across the country had already made up their mind with respect to casting their ballot.

Mr. Rothenberg suggested that Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Iowa would be key battleground states.

He said that, in his opinion, if President Bush could possibly capture three of these five states he could overcome the slight advantage that Kerry seems to command at this time.

Space does not permit me to give you his reasoning for his predictions but I intend to follow-up with one final column on this subject at which time I will lay out his reasoning.

Until next time, remember &uot;I’ll go with you or I’ll go for you&uot; to help you solve any problem related to state government.

Senator Wendell Mitchell can

be reached at 334-242-7883, or by writing

to P.O. Box 225, Luverne, AL 36049.