SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Glenn/Metzenbaum debate
By David Landis


November 21, 2005

I was riveted by John Glenn's stinging rebuke of Howard Metzenbaum as recounted by Walter Bolling recently in Sitnews, and I wanted to find out more about it. After researching several online sources, this is what I found out:

Senators Glenn and Metzenbaum both served as Democrats from Ohio. Metzenbaum retired from the Senate in 1995 and Glenn retired in 1999.

The text of Senator Glenn's comments is accurate, but it was not spontaneous, nor was it made in 2004 on the Senate floor. The two men were rival senatorial candidates before each were eventually elected, and the "never had a job" charge was raised by Metzenbaum several days before a May 3rd, 1974 debate with Glenn at the Cleveland City Club.

The internet/email versions of this account have carried various "extra information" I will paste in what one source (others were similar) had to say about them here:

The text in the 2004 variant criticizing Democrats for not supporting President Bush's Iraq War was appended several years after this email flier began circulating and has nothing to do with John Glenn's 1974 remarks. As to the charge, also appended in a later variant, that Howard Metzenbaum worked as an attorney for the Communist Party during World War II, I have found no evidence so far to substantiate it.

The rival senators went on to endorse each other in future campaigns, Metenbaum endorsed Glenn for President and Glenn endorsed Metzenbaum for re-election to the Senate.

Finally, I would note that this is merely clarification - nothing could or should detract from the power and meaning of John Glenn's 1974 reply. The Cleveland City Club's 22-second standing ovation should attest to that!


David Landis
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related Viewpoint:

letter To those who criticize our commanders By Walter Bolling - Ketchikan, AK - USA



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