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G. William Whitehurst served ODU in the History Department from 1950-1963, and was Dean of Students from 1963-1968. He successfully ran for Congress and served as Representative to Virginia's Second Congressional District from 1968-1987, at which time he returned to ODU to teach in the Political Science Department. The interview discusses his background, the teaching profession and his techniques, changes in student interests, his involvement during massive resistance, his views on President Webb, his run for Congress, ODU's television programs with WTAR, the student honor system, and student unrest in the 1960s.


ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW
with
G. WILLIAM WHITEHURST

Norfolk, Virginia
July 27, 1974
by James R. Sweeney, Old Dominion University

RealAudio Interview Listen to Interview

See also Whitehurst Statements 1974 and 2001
and Whitehurst Congressional Website

 

Today we are talking with Representative G. William Whitehurst, Congressmen of Virginia's Second Congressional District. Congressman Whitehurst served on the faculty of the Norfolk Division of William and Mary and subsequently Old Dominion College from 1950 to 1968. At first, he was a member of the Social Studies Department, which included those who taught history, and then he served in the Department of History itself, until the early 1960’s when he assumed the administrative post of Dean of Students.

Sweeney: The first question, Congressman Whitehurst, that I wanted to ask you this morning, was what inspired you to enter the teaching profession? Could it have been that you had a professor yourself in a class once that inspired you?

Whitehurst: That’s precisely how it happened. I went to Washington and Lee University after World War II, and I thought I wanted to be a journalism major. I had seen something of the world in the war, and I wanted--I thought to--I wanted to do some writing.

The second half of my freshman year, I had a professor at W and L [Washington and Lee] named Dr. William Shanks, who is one of the most marvelous teachers I ever had, and he was such an inspiration to me that I began to think seriously then of, of teaching. I was doing very well in college, in sharp contrast to my public school record, which was very poor before the War.

So, I knew that I had the academic ability to go on and do graduate work, which would be a necessity for me, if I were going to teach. And then I just began to take a second look at academic life as a way of, you know, spending the rest of my days. And so, as a result of this man and these thoughts, Why, I decided to become a teacher.

Sweeney: Why was it that you decided to seek employment at the Norfolk Division of William and Mary?

Whitehurst: Well, I had grown up in Norfolk. I liked the community and my wife and I talked about this, and I felt it would be a good place to begin. You know, you don’t think too far ahead. But I was familiar with the school, even though I hadn’t attended it. I had friends who had gone there, and so, it just seemed like a good place to--to make a start.

So, I made some inquiries. I remember talking to Bob Stern, who was in the... well, we had political science and history joined together then because it was a very small school. He said well, that they had a fairly good turnover, and they would take my application and then I talked to Lewis Webb, who was the director then. So, as I went on to take my master’s at Virginia, directly from W and L, and approached the time when I would be needing employment, why I renewed those contacts. Just to go on and finish the story, in the summer of 1949, excuse me, the summer of 1950, they advised me that they hod an opening and that I could come in as an instructor that fall, if I would like. And of course, I did.

Sweeney: Down through the years, from reading the High Hat and the Mace and Crown, I get the impression that you must have been one of the most popular professors on the campus. Were there any special techniques that you used in teaching that gave you such a close relationship with the students?

Whitehurst: Oh, boy! Those are wonderful words to hear. I think that--I think good teachers all have certain common characteristics. And first of all, they have a love for students - for young people. They have a sense of humor, ability to not take themselves too seriously. But above all, an enthusiasm for their subject.

I loved history. I really did. I loved it as a child. And even when I was doing poorly in high school and a variety of other subjects, I always did well in that. I can recall as a child just reading extensively. Admittedly, much of it was superficial, but I always had a love for the subject, and I think that when you have that enthusiasm, you communicate that to your students. The combination of the ability to communicate that enthusiasm, a real liking for students, enjoying the classroom... I would get up in the morning and I would be anticipating a lecture and exploring new ideas, or something with students that was of particular interest to me, and it would just turn me on.

I guess whatever success I had at Old Dominion and before that, the Norfolk Division of William and Mary resulted from--from these characteristics. I’ll say this to you right now, that I miss teaching. Not to the exclusion of the job that I have, but whenever I have the chance in Washington to talk to a workshop or to a seminar that’s up there, I’ll seize that chance, because it gives me a chance to do the thing I’ve always loved to do.

Sweeney: One thing that I found interesting was, looking at the papers from those years on campus, you didn’t seem to ever get involved with any of the political clubs on the campus. I wondered why?

Whitehurst: I wasn’t involved in politics in the community and I was very much of an independent voter. I just... well, I just wasn’t interested. Isn’t that a peculiar thing to say? Having turned to another career that’s absolutely political. But, not having been active in the Republican party or the Democratic Party, but having voted faithfully--but generally having... voted for the man I... I remember, for example, in 1964, I voted for Lyndon Johnson. But at other times, like I voted for Nixon, then for local candidates I had voted, and occasionally my wife and I had worked very slightly in some of the local campaigns, but just handing out a few ballots and that sort of thing. Nothing that I would classify as real involvement, and therefore I didn’t--I wasn’t drawn to the political clubs that were established by the students on campus.

Click to listen Sweeney: I looked through the papers for 1958. It was just amazing that the High Hat never said one single word about the events in Norfolk that year on the massive resistance and the schools closing. This would seem to indicate that, at least the students as far as the newspaper was concerned, were extremely apathetic. Did you find them that way, in the fifties?

Whitehurst: I think that one has to look at the era of publications then——student publications. When I look at an issue of the Mace and Crown now, and remember what the High Hat was like, then I can see it’s a difference between night and day. This thing of it is, in those days, there were much stronger controls exercised on the publications by the college administration, and if the student had dared to write a hostile editorial about the administration, why he’d probably be summoned to the Dean’s office and asked to explain himself.

The universities in those days did exercise a lot more authority and control. Not really thought control, but certainly they didn’t encourage the students to take a student newspaper and concentrate on those kinds of items. They wrote about the prom, and the basketball team and items of those kind. So, I don’t think that there was, however, complete apathy.

I can remember in 1958 talking to students about it, and talking to my colleagues, and there was a lot of interest in it. But, that was also a generation that was not so activist, as say, the generation ten years later. And I think we all recognize that. In fact we apparently had a generation of students in right now that are not so activist as the generation, oh say, a group of students six years ago. And, so these things tend to go in cycles and waves, and that just happened to be at a time when students weren't... just weren’t actively involved in issues beyond the campus.

Sweeney: How about yourself? Did you do anything in ‘58 about the Norfolk Committee for the Public Schools or any of the organizations trying to bring about the reopening of the schools?

Whitehurst: No, not in an official sense. Although I remember this. I can remember talking to a lot of people about it, and in indicating then how unhappy I was, that I thought this was a great mistake. Now, there’s one thing to you know, tell your friends or to tell people in the community when you see them and you talk about it, and another thing to actively get out and participate, and I did not do that. I think that the principal reason for it at the time, and this is no alibi, it's just a fact, I was not prompted to because of other interests. You people will say, well what other interests could have been more important than that? Perhaps nothing was, but I was working on my PhD. at the time, and I was studying for my examinations. As a matter of fact, I took my writtens and orals in 1958, so I was very busy at that time, studying for my comprehensives, and I can recall very well that I didn’t give much time to anything else.

Sweeney: I found that working on the dissertation while teaching was an advantage to me, because it made me concentrate more on getting it done. Some people feel that the opposite is true, that you should complete the dissertation before you begin teaching. How do you feel about that?

Whitehurst: I think it’s whatever the circumstances you find yourself in--forced upon you. That’s not a very good answer, I guess, but I had taken off for the... from June of 1956 until September 1957, and during that approximate year and a half, why I was in residence at West Virginia. I knew, of course, that there was no way financially I could stay and stick through it. I came back and prepared through 1957 and 1958 for the comprehensive examinations, took them... and then it was a very natural thing to turn to the writing. I found that it was not an undue burden. It did require an awful lot of self—discipline and I just had to block out the afternoons when I wasn’t teaching, to go home, or I had a little office set aside, to spend time on that--on that dissertation, or on the occasion when I had a vacation at school to go to Washington or to New York or to Boston, and do the research that had to be done. So, to me it was a very convenient way to acquire it. It might have taken a little bit longer, but I’m not sure it took that much longer.

Sweeney: Do you remember any outstanding personalities from the Social Studies Department or the faculty generally in the fifties that will always remain in your mind?

Whitehurst: Oh, I should say they were all outstanding and memorable. Yes, of course, there were people who I liked and thought were good teachers. Stan Pliska, a very valuable associate, and a wonderful colleague, Bob Stern, whom I have always liked —— and we’re on opposite sides politically, but it’s never disturbed the friendly relationship of our families, and it’s one of the great aspects of that friendship. I remember that Bob was a popular teacher.

Frank MacDonald was a popular teacher, as well, and a man with a great mind. I remember Frank, especially in the faculty meetings, when he could just really throw them into a tizzy. People like that. There were people in other departments who had good reputations. If you start mentioning somebody, you’ll leave someone else out, so I’ll just say that I remember that students told me about other teachers they had who they were very fond of, and thought were adventurous, exciting teachers to study under.

I can’t say enough things about Lewis Webb that are favorable, and... I just have the greatest affection and esteem for him. He made it possible for me to get my PhD. He found money for me. He gave my wife a job teaching. Teaching math while I was gone which enabled her to keep body and soul together with the two small children we had. Next to my father, there’s no other man in my life who has had a greater influence upon me than Lewis Webb did, and he knows it. I’ve said it many, many times.

I found Vernon Peel a sympathetic individual to work with. First off, when he was Lewis’ assistant, and then later when I worked with him as Dean of Students. I always found him easy to talk to, and I found that trust in me to be reassuring and a rewarding thing. As a consequence, the years that I was Dean of Students of the school, and worked directly with them, I found it to be an enjoyable time and a very self—satisfying time for me. It ended my career at the school on a very good note. I left with regret when I left Old Dominion. I told them I didn’t leave like I was shaking the dust from the place off my feet and didn’t want to go back. I always will have nothing but, but fond memories of the years that I spent there.

Sweeney: Did President Webb influence your decision to run for Congress at all?

Whitehurst: Yes. Yes, he did. About two days after I was approached by Bob Doumar on behalf of the city Republicans asking me if I would be their candidate, I went to Lewis and I’ll tell you the story. It’s really interesting. I had a regular day to see him. I saw him every Wednesday morning about 10:30 or 11:00 and I would go in and tell him what my problems were and might have to get his consent to certain things that we wanted to do in Student Affairs. Then, that morning after I had finished with everything else, I said, "Mr. Webb, I have something else to discuss with you and it’s personal, and I need your advice." and he said, "Well, what is it?"

I told him what had happened and he said, "Well, Bill, what do you want from me?" I said, "Do you think I ought to do it?" He said, "I really can’t answer that for you." And that was a good way to answer me. He didn’t say yes or no. And I said, "Well let me ask you a couple of questions. Would I embarrass the college if I became a candidate, because I said, I have no idea whether I can win this thing or not?" And I said, "I would be running under a Republican banner and we have a Democratic Board, and those appointments are political." He said, "Oh no. There won’t be any embarrassment to us and you go ahead and do that if you want to." I said, "Do you think I can win?" He said, "Yes, I think you have a chance to win. It depends upon who your opponent is. I think you have a better chance of defeating Bingo Stant than you do Jack Rixey." I said, "So do I, and so I’ll have to wait and see how the primary turns out before I’ll’ know what my odds really are."

And then he said, "But there’s something else I’d like to say to you. He said, "All my life, he said, the things I wanted I really had to go out on a limb for." For the school, which was his life. And he said, "I would like to say that if this is that important to you, you’re going to have to work for it." And I said, "Well, Mr. Webb, I guess you told me what I really was seeking." And I said, "All of my life——for the rest of my life, if I don’t do it, I’ll be asking myself the question, could I have won? And I just can’t go through life asking myself that question. I’m not going to embarrass the school. I’m going to conduct a dignified campaign, and I want you to know how grateful I am to you." If he had said, "No, I don’t want you to do it. We think it’s inconsistent with your job here", then, I never would be a member of Congress today, because I would have abided by his, his decision.

Sweeney: You were a pioneer in the 1950’s with Bob Stern in the television program "Trouble Spots Around the World" and then you taught a history course on Virginia history on television. Do you feel that these early exposures on television helped you when you became a news analyst on WTAR in 1962?

Whitehurst: Without a doubt. I tell you those programs were put together on, you know, a wing and a prayer sort of thing. We had a lot of fun, and you know, they gave us a sufficient amount of preparation, but we got over the business of... that a person always does who first goes on television or having an eye look at him and have to look back in it. Being able to speak with a certain feeling of being extemporaneous and with spontaneity.

So, I really did profit from it, especially teaching the course, because the place where I taught was. . . the fellows would play jokes on you. They’d set the alarm clock on you to go off in the middle of it and it was just a very loose arrangement. You really had to hang loose, as it were. So, I felt that I really cut my teeth, and therefore, when the opportunity came to be a news analyst for WTAR, why, as far as the nuts and bolts of appearing on camera were concerned, I had that behind me. And so, it was really, really duck soup.

Sweeney: It seems that everyone feels that you getting on that television program and becoming a news analyst helped you when you ran for Congress.

Whitehurst: I never would have made it in Congress if I hadn’t been on television, because can you imagine the general public voting for a college dean and not know who he is? Why, that’s unthinkable in politics. No matter what your qualifications, you have to have an image with the voters. They’ve got to know who you are. And people knew who I was, as a result of the six years I spent on that cameral downtown on Boush Street.

Sweeney: I also saw from those articles in the High Hat and Mace and Crown that you were perhaps the closest person on campus to the fraternities and the sororities.

Whitehurst: Oh, I loved them. I had a grand time. I sponsored the fraternity the first semester I taught, back in September of 1950. And ironically, stayed with that same fraternity until I became Dean of Students when I had to beg off as sponsor because of the other responsibilities. And I just had a ball. I was young, and just 25 years old when I went to the school to teach, and I just wasn’t that far removed from the students. It was another side of college life I had enjoyed as a fraternity member at W and L. so it was just fulfilling another aspect of it as the Division and the Old Dominion. I think fraternity life, fraternity membership, can mean a great deal to a young man or a young woman. I mean, not just the fun aspects, but working with other people, living with them, sharing responsibility with them for an organization. . . these things are all part of a university experience

Sweeney: Many of our people in administration this year we have two or three that are going back to teaching, and there’s always the complaint that when you go into administration, you lose contact with the students, and it’s just never the same. Did you ever regret becoming Dean of Students and wished to go back to the classrooms

Whitehurst: For six months I was miserable. I can recall so well that I found myself having to play the role of Simon LeGree. I was--sometimes referred to myself as Lewis Webb’s hatchet man. When the letters were sent out for those that didn’t make their quality point average, saying they couldn’t come back, old Bill Whitehurst signed them. They came in, I had these horrible, tearful’ sessions with students and parents. I found out if somebody misbehaved on campus I was the guy that had to be out and apply the penalty. The Dean’s role has changed, since I was a college dean. When I was there, it was a completely in loco parentis as the theme just as it was in thousands of other schools in this country. I discharged my responsibilities within that framework. So, I thought, "oh, this is awful!" and I remember going to see Lewis, and I said, "Mr. Webb, I’m just not sure I can hack this. It’s tearing me up." He said, "Well, you just stay with it for a little while longer, and if you decide that you just don’t want to be dean of students, then I’ll let you go back and teach, and keep your rank as full professor." And I realized I was being kind of foolish about it. And so, I determined that what I had been doing was looking over my shoulder to those great days when I could go into the classroom and play hero to all these students and you know, be a great lecturer and all that, and I thought this was so silly of me. I’ve got to really turn my attention to being an administrator and forget about the delightful aspects of purely being in the classroom. When I did that, I kind of turned the corner, and I still kept one class, to keep my hand in it. It was wise for me to do that, for one thing, it gave me a tidbit still of what I’d loved, but it also gave me the opportunity to still have my thumb on the student pulse, by having thirty or forty students in class.

Sweeney: Did you find your relationship with colleagues in the faculty changed when you went into the administration?

Whitehurst: Some yes, of course. I think there’ll always be a feeling of them and us between administrators and teaching faculty. I’ve seen it in every university that I’ve attended, and it’s no less at Old Dominion. And to deny it is just not to face up to facts. Nevertheless, it was not something that I felt fundamentally affected my relationship with the people I had taught with. Some would say why do you take this position, why do you take that position? But we never reached the point to where we weren’t speaking to each other, and I still went to their homes and they came to mine, and I regard them today as my friends.

Sweeney: It seems the number one issue that you were involved with in the 1960’s as Dean of Students were some problems with the SDS.

Whitehurst: Oh, yes! The SDS.

Sweeney: How did that all begin, and did you find that perhaps, that certain members of the faculty were using freedom of speech as a kind of excuse to cover certain student publications that might not have been acceptable to the community?

Whitehurst: Yes. Of course, you have to put everything in its context, and then it all seemed so radical. I didn’t want to stop freedom of speech, but some things were said which I felt were not proper, and in some cases where there was and emphasis placed upon ideas that. . . Now, how can I phrase this? At that time, it seemed unrealistic, disruptive, and so forth. I can not recall, however, wanting to squelch publication. That is, to eliminate completely. I remember talking to it was a husband and wife team who. . .

Sweeney: The Gayles?

Whitehurst: That’s it. I couldn’t think of it. I’m glad you remembered The Gayles. And I remember his having put some information out that was . . . well, of such a radical vain that I was worried that it could adversely effect his own career. Now, things are different today, and you have to keep this in context. But then, they had folders on students; they were dossiers really, but if a student got in hot water it went on his record. And then, sometime later he might be an applicant for a federal job or any kind of employment and they would come to the school and they would say, "Tell us about this person." You would go to a folder and say, "Here’s his record." I remember talking to Gayle about this. I said, "Son, I have no objection to your ideas, per see. It’s fine by me if you want to spout them or your friends, I said, but when you make such a large image like this, I'm afraid of what it’s going to do to you." He said, "Are you telling me I can’t publish it?" I said, "No, I’m not telling you that."

And I said, "You put some circulars out over in the student center and somebody picked them up." I said, "No, put them back. He has a right to leave his literature out." But I tried to make him see that, on the basis of what I knew, that later on he could regret this, what was perhaps a youthful impulse.

You know, it’s like somebody joining the Communist Party in their youth, and then in their older age, recognizing they had done something very foolish. This doesn’t completely acquaint with that, but there’s a parallel. And he had said, "Nothing doing." I said, "Okay, but you’ve been fairly warned. I said I’m not out to get you; I’m just giving you some Dutch uncle advice." I learned later that it was his wife who was the real leading force. I met her and boy, she was a real revolutionary! This couple ultimately went to Canada.

So those were times that. . .it was the ferment time of radicalism. You know, really starting to hit the campuses, and the Vietnam War was just on at that time. It was still popular, and it was looked upon as a patriotic adventure. And of course, by the time I left, why, the full mood of the late sixties was beginning to hit Old Dominion, and it was becoming something else. Then, of course, we have evolved completely from that spirit of in loco parentis now, where the universities just have practically a hands—off policy with regard to the student behavior. So, I think you have to see things as they were. I hope I wasn’t remembered as a censor or a tyrant, because I tried to just be pragmatic about it.

Sweeney: Did the honor system, which you placed such a great stress on fit into this concept —— it was a new idea then and was having some problems, and it’s had some problems in recent times. We just don’t know whether still it’s going to work out or not. What do you think is the basic value of the honor system?

Whitehurst: Well, I think that anything that inculcates the spirit of trust, that persuades young men and women that they have an obligation to. . .respond with intellectual honesty in an academic environment, and that’s purely what we’re talking about, ought to be fostered. There's something eles aboout it, it's almost an intangible thing. The student knows that it's his choice to do this. That in all the academic discipline that's around, and here's an aspect that is totally based on his own self-discipline or the desire of his classmates to create this kind of an environment. That’s noble. Now, the military schools in this country possess it, and they fiercely cling to it. They punish severely those who will not abide by it. Perhaps because of the peculiar kinds of institutions they are, it finds an easier home there. But if you make a mockery of it, and if you say we’re going to have it and it’s abused, then it fosters characteristics that are an antithesis to the kind of character and spirit that the honor system purports to breed. I hope I’m making myself clear on this. I’m just kind of rambling, I expect.

We had some tough times, we really did. We had some students who weren’t capable of judging other students. They weren’t mature enough to do it. It was a very difficult thing for them. They never should have accepted the appointment to honor council or the election to it on the basis that it was like any other student job, and it wasn't. And we had some tough cases.

I remember one or two where boys was just as guilty as he could be of a particular offense — theft. One girl just bent over backwards, just looked the other way. She couldn’t bear to convict him and expel him from school. She was as guilty as he was of violating the honor system.

Sweeney: Did you. . .I know that you spoke in the community from the 1950’s on, and you spoke to just a bewildering variety of groups. Did you find that this took too much of your time? Was it a strain to do this, or did you feel. . .I mean, it seems so obvious that this is a good thing to do as a preparation for politics, yet I’m sure you weren’t thinking about politics in the 1950’s. So I just wondered what your motivation was to fulfill all these speaking engagements.

Whitehurst: I just like to talk to people. I’m afraid there’s just no other answer for it. I was invited —— it’s flattering to be invited to speak to a civic club or to a church group. And it’s true. I really didn’t have any idea of running. There was no master plan such as, "I’m going to do this in 1968, I’m going to run for Porter Hardy’s seat." I had no idea of ever doing a thing like that. I just was given a chance to go into the community and speak, and Lewis encouraged me to do it, and I... it was flattering, by golly, there’s no other word for it. And I enjoyed speaking, so when the opportunities came, why I accepted them and I’m glad I did.

Sweeney: You defended Old Dominion College then admission policies in the early sixties. You said, "We’re like a midwestern school; we take everybody, then we flunk a good number out after the first year." And there was a feeling that this... well, some people on the faculty said this was hurting our academic standing. Do you think, in retrospect that that’s a good admissions policy?

Whitehurst: I think it depends on the school. Everybody, well, not everybody, but many people say that all students ought to have an opportunity to go to college. And I think that, within certain limitations, that is true. You have to remember what our school was then. It was a small community college, depending upon local students. We had no dormitories until what-the late fifties and very early sixties. I expect it was the early sixties before we had them. So, if the school was to survive, we had to be less choosy about our admissions standards then, say, William and Mary in Williamsburg. So, it’s a kind of supply and demand syndrome that’s involved here. And furthermore, it was the spirit of the people who founded that college, that it be a school available to students who could not go away. Well, Lewis encouraged this, and I encouraged it. And I’ll tell you why I encouraged it.

I was a very poor student in public schools, as I mentioned earlier. I graduated from Maury High School in a third quartile of my class in 1942. I had a 77.68 average when I finished. I took one math course at Maury three times. I don’t think I’ll ever learn to work logarithms. What would be the chance for a student like me? If we had a tight enrollment policy, they would say that's just too bad. We adopted a policy eventually of having a student come to summer school to take English and another subject and we would see how he did if he could cut the mustard there. If he could get a C in each one, we would take him in the fall.

I like that policy. I think it puts it square on the back of the student, and I think there’s a need for such a school. I don’t think it will lower your academic standards. Far from it. You’re saying to the student, "If you think you can hack it, come on in." Obviously, if you take all the people who think they can, but can’t you’re going to have a pretty good mortality rate. And we did. Although, I don’t think it was excessive, and we saw a lot of students through who were given a chance. We’ve got doctors practicing in the city and lawyers practicing in this community who had the opportunity to go to that school and make it. They never would have otherwise. I think that’s a justification for it.

Sweeney: Well, a final couple of questions about that political year of l968. Did the Vietnam War and the student’s discontent in 1968, was the basic reason you decided to run for Congress?

Whitehurst: No. I gave you the basic reason. I just felt that if I didn’t do it, all the rest of my life I would have been just having that question in my mind: "What would have happened had you run?"

There are some things here that are hard to give an explanation for. Down deep, something said to go for it -- give a try for it.

I had voted for LBJ as I mentioned, in 1964 and I was disappointed with his stewardship. I had some things to say that I didn’t think I could say as an impartial news analyst. That’s what I was supposed to be down there at WTAR. And so, I wanted to say those things.

The adventure of running was there. It was a new experience, and much of my life has been like this. I’ve done things when I’ve said, "Well, I haven’t tried that -— I wonder what that would be like? I’d like to try that." Life can be rich for us if we make it that way. I’ve enjoyed the things that I’ve done. It was a tough thing, I’ll say this to you. Debating Bingo Stant was one of the most horrendous experiences that I’ve been through. He was tough; he was a real good debater; he’s the strongest candidate I’ve ever run against, and he ate me alive in several of those debates. I mean just chewed me up and spit me out! That was a very humiliating experience for someone who had held hundreds of classes in his hand. I remember two weeks before the election I told my wife, I said, "I’m so out of it and so weary and so beaten down that if I ever decide to do this again, if I lose this election, break both my legs, because I ought to have my head examined." But of course I won. And now I find it a great honor and a great thrill to be in Congress and wanted to stay.

Sweeney: One last question is after your political career is over, would you like to return to teaching, possibly at Old Dominion?

Whitehurst: I don’t know. That all depends on how soon my political career is over. It could be this fall, after this impeachment vote. So, I’m not really sure. I’ve got some business opportunities that have been offered to me. I’m 49 years old and Jim, what I guess I’m saying is that I’m going to have to start looking at a period of time in my life that’s about thirteen or fourteen years away. I don’t expect to work all my life. I expect to have some, I hope, dignified old age to enjoy, and I don’t want to be hustling for a dollar or having to worry about it. So, I might go back to teaching. I’ve thought about it, especially these days when I’m so harassed. I’ve remembered those golden times. But I also remember those golden times and what it was like to pull my belt in and do without a lot of things. I’m not sure I want to go back to that either. Thank you very much.

Sweeney: Thank you very much.

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