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Sheathing The Sword:
The Democratic Old Guard Copes with Carter

4 July 22, 1976 EAST SIDE EXPRESS
By John C. Klotz 

The Democrats can win in 1976, but to do it they will have to pay 
a fearful price. I learned about the price and just how fearful 
it will be Thursday night, the last day of the Democratic 
National Convention. 

I had over-extended my kidneys at a NOW cocktail party and had 
entered the Penn Bar of the Statler Hilton searching desperately 
for a men's room when I observed in a corner booth Cywell 
Gilford, a legendary figure of the Democratic Eastern 
establishment. He was alone, quite distraught, as tears streamed 
down his well-tanned cheeks. His low moans were creating a minor 
disturbance. Sensing his great distress, I went over to his table 
and sat down, hoping that I could be of some help.

"Gil" I said, "What's- wrong?" (Although Time invariably refers 
to him as 'Cy,' his few thousand or so intimate friends call him 
'Gil." (We had never met but I wanted to put him at ease.) 
"What's wrong . . . what's wrong?" he moaned, "it's over . . . 
it's over. that's all. Twenty-nine years of public service, gone, 
down the drain," and he broke into a wailing sob. 
His anguished wail attracted angry glances from several tables. I 
tried desperately to calm him.  

"Your career over?" I scoffed. "Impossible! I can still remember 
when it all started. In 1949 at age 22 when Truman appointed you 
Point IV Administrator in East Outaboundia."

"Yes, that's right" he nodded. His groans stopped and a faint 
smile came to his lips. "After only four months on the job I made 
the cover of Time.

"I remember the article," I interjected. "You were given credit 
for restoring cordial relations with America's longtime foe in 
the eastern Carpathians."

He sighed. "Yes, but that became the problem. I'm afraid my 
relations with the President's wife were too cordial. But one 
year in East Outaboundia is enough for any man. And then there 
was that opportunity in the wholesale appliance business with 
Harry Vaughn.

"I heard about that. And all the time you making your fortune in 
deep freezes you studied law nights . . . at Yale. It's an 
inspiring legend that I grew up on."
"And don't forget that I was also writing jokes for Adlai." He 
was laughing now. The pleasant memories of his rise in the 
Democratic establishment were flooding back."

"And there were other things," he said. "Marilyn and I were great 
friends until Joe came along." A look of disdain swept across his 
face. "I never did like baseball."
"Tell me." I asked. "Were the Kennedy years as exciting as they 
"Even more so," he replied "But although we buddied around a lot, 
Jack and I were never close friends. Frankly, he was jealous."


"Well you know how women are. He was constantly trying to beat my 
time, but my former girl friends said things to him . . . that 
made him feel inadequate . . . if you know what I mean." There 
was a touch of arrogance in his voice.

"Is that why he sent you to the bay of Pigs?" 
"I've always suspected that," he replied.

"That was quite a show," I remarked. "the Reader's Digest printed 
a great story on that. Swimming ashore with the first wave. Then 
narrowly avoiding capture and living off the countryside for 
three months until you make your escape. "Well yes, that was a 
good story, but actually I hid out in a former Batista brothel 
that Castro had converted into a reeducation center for 
streetwalkers. The girls called me their 'secret weapon.' I had 
the time of my life."

He was laughing now. Our conversation had eased his troubles from 
his mind. I felt good about that.

"And After I escaped to Miami," he continued. "I was able to give 
Jack the first definitive information on Castro's missiles. 
Kennedy really hated me after that. I did like Johnson though. 
Sometimes we would sneak up to Boston together and pick up a 
couple of Radcliffe girls. It was great fun, although I must 
admit that communal sex had never really been my thing."

"How did you find the time?" I asked. "As Lyndon's roving 
ambassador you seemed to be always out of the country. There was 
your headlined trip to Lebanon were you devised the final 
solution to the religious problem. And there peace keeping 
missions to Viet Nam, India, Rhodesia and Angola. When did you 

"Not very often," he boasted. "Somethings, You always find time 
for. There was Jackie, Shirley and Lizzie."

"Lizzie?" I asked and then blushed. If you have to ask a last 
name, you don't deserve to know. "How did you manage that?" I 
continued seeking to hide my embarrassment and ignorance.

"Well Philly is Greek and that can be very trying at times." 

"You mean that Lizzie?" I gasped. He didn't reply for his mood 
was turning somber again. 

"I should never l have worked for Nixon. Deputy Director of the 
CIA for Internal Affairs was a nothing job." 

"No, no," I said. "It was a chance to serve your country. And it 
only lasted six months. You resigned in dispute over principle as 
I recall."

"That's what's the papers said. Actually, I got caught 
propositioning Julie. And now it's been seven long years in the 
cold . . . " Tears were welling up in his eyes. "I wanted so 
badly to get back into public service. I was hoping to be 
Ambassador to the Court of St. James. At least I could see Lizzie 

"Well why not," I said. "You've earned it and the Democrats are 
bound to win with Carter."

"That's the problem," he said, "Carter. We view, er, ah ... 
certain things differently. I mean Carter would probably frown on 
an ambassador who ... you know what I mean." He started to sob 

"I see what you mean," I said.

"That's why after the Ohio primary, I decided to go straight. No 
more girls. No more drinking bouts with Norman, Pete and Andy 

"Andy Stein?"

"Andy's great. He always picks up the check. I even started 
sleeping with my wife - unless Frederico was in town of course." 


"Her boy friend."

"Of course. I should have guessed. But if you're going straight 
what's the problem?

"I blew it, two months of living like a monk and I blew it. This 
afternoon I went to a cocktail party and started to drink again. 
It was hot, there were no air conditioners and I just kept 
gulping down these Gin and Tonics. The old urge came back. And 
then I saw . . . her. She was quite attractive, not too young, in 
her forties, I guess. She was just standing there, alone. I 
walked up to her and I . . . I. . . I patted her on the 
backside . . . " 

He could barely speak through the sobs choking him. "She turned 
to me and said 'I beg your pardon.' . . . I said, 'You don't have 
to beg, I'm easy.'"

He noticed a pained expression flicker across my face. "Look. I 
know it may sound corny. but what the hell, that line always 
worked on Lizzie and Jackie!"

"It isn't that," I replied. "It's just that I came in here 
looking for the men's room."
An astonished look swept across his face. "That's funny, you 
don't look . . . "

"No no. no," I shouted, "it's not that. It's just that I've been 
to this cocktail party and I have a a weak . . . Why don't you 
just finish your story," I sighed. 

"Well the line didn't work this time. There was fire in her eye. 
She said to me, in a voice dripping with fury, 'My name is 
Rosalyn Carter, what may I ask is  yours?' I didn't know what to 
do.  I felt the floor sway under my feet. So I blurted 'Clark 
Clifford' and bolted from the room. But it's too late. too late. 
I'm finished A-A-A-H-H-A-A-E-E-H-H-H."
It was like the cry of the banshee. I tried desperately to 
comfort his tormented soul, but he was sobbing uncontrollably. 

"There, there," I said, "get a hold of yourself. Nothing is 
wrong. you gave her a phony name. You're safe. Just don't attach 
a picture to your resume. Besides, you're getting saltwater 
stains on your Pierre Cardin suite."

"You don't understand, you don't understand," he repeated while 
banging his fist on the table. "I thought that too, but I asked 
Ave to check up for me just to be safe. He's very understanding, 
knows everybody and is very discreet. Well Ave poked around 
and ... and ..."  His anxiety was growing by the second. 

"And," I asked.

"And he found out that the Secret Service was dusting her fanny 
for fingerprints." He broke again into a horrible wail that drew 
every eye in the bar to us.

He was gone completely now. There was no recalling him from his 
hysteria. He lay his head on the table and continued to weep 
uncontrollably, destroying not only his $300 suit but $50 white 
on white silk shirt. I got up and left. Some things are just too 
sad, and, besides, I still hadn't found the men's room.

Chastity. That's the price the Democrats will have to pay in 
1976. The questions are whether they are willing to pay it, and 
if they pay it, whether the White House is worth it?     

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