Useful Notes / Hubert Humphrey

"To those who say we are rushing this issue of civil rights, I say: we are already one hundred and seventy-two years late!"
Hubert Humphrey, speaking at the 1948 Democratic National Convention.

Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. (May 27, 1911 - January 13, 1978), served under President Lyndon Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States (1965-69). Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and Americans for Democratic Action. He also served as Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota (1945-49). Humphrey was the nominee of the Democratic Party in the 1968 presidential election but lost to the Republican nominee, Richard Nixon. After his loss, Humphrey would return to the Senate where he spent the rest of his life. He died during his term, suffering from incurable bladder cancer.

Humphrey was well known in his career for being extremely talkative as well as his early support for civil rights legislation. His image suffered incredibly during the Vietnam War, but would later recover sufficiently during his lifetime and afterwards.

Hubert Humphrey provides examples of these tropes in media:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal
  • Catch Phrase: "I'm Pleased as Punch!"
  • Egopolis: Humorously so in Minnesota. You can hardly go anywhere without seeing something named for Humphrey, including an NFL stadium!
  • Face–Heel Turn: To many Liberals over his public support of Johnson.
  • Long Runners: Not counting 1968 to 1971 (after he lost to Nixon for President), he served 30 continuous years as Mayor, Senator, Majority Whip, Vice-President, Running for President, and Senator once more.
  • Minnesota Nice: Was a genuinely friendly man, even with opponents such as Barry Goldwater. Very few people disliked Humphrey on a personal level after meeting him because he was simply very nice. He was nicknamed "The Happy Warrior."
  • Redemption Demotion: After losing the 1968 election, his return to the Senate saw him eventually recover his image.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive guy to President Johnson's manly man. Johnson was a boisterous, domineering loudmouth who enjoyed hunting and speeding along his ranch in a pickup truck. Humphrey was a gabby, yet sensitive man who was prone to tearing up. He also let Johnson dominate him during the extent of their working relationship. Johnson once took Humphrey hunting and told him to shoot a deer. Humphrey nearly broke down in tears over it. LBJ didn't give it a second thought.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Oh so much. Humphrey was once clocked at speaking close to 200 words per minute. Barry Goldwater, his political opponent, personal friend and predecessor as second-place finisher in the presidential election (to LBJ with Humphrey as the VP candidate), once said that he thought Humphrey had been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.
  • Two First Names
  • Undying Loyalty: At least publicly to Lyndon Johnson on Vietnam. Not quite in Yes-Man territory as he privately opposed the war and brought up the opposition frequently in cabinet meetings to the point where Johnson would not include him in meetings.
  • Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names: One of the best examples. His full name was Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr.

Hubert in fiction

  • Tom Lehrer serenaded the man with the track "Whatever Became of Hubert?"
  • Raoul Duke brings him up in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas...though he's in the midst of a Freak Out when he does:
    Duke: You people voted for Hubert Humphrey! And you killed Jesus!
  • He's a character in the play All The Way, focusing on Johnson's efforts to pass the Civil Rights Act. Humphrey is played by Bradley Whitford in the HBO adaptation. He is portrayed very sympathetically.