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
July 27, 1974
by James R. Sweeney, Old Dominion University
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?
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
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
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
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
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?
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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?
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.
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
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?
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?
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,
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
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.
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
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?
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
last question is after your political career is over, would you like to
return to teaching, possibly at Old Dominion?
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.