Republicans: Salesman for a Cause

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It is in that role of salesman that Barry Goldwater has caught popular imagination. At his worst, Goldwater can stumble and stammer through carefully rehearsed texts. Fortunately, he is far more likely to toss away his prepared speech and make the same pitch in gutsy, give-em-hell language that puts the essence of his conservatism in metaphors of the man in the street. He talks neither up nor down to his audiences: he talks to them with obvious sincerity, and in so doing demolishes the stereotype of the conservative as the square in the Celluloid collar. For even his political opponents agree that

Goldwater has that rarest of political attributes—star quality. A tanned, trim (185 Ibs.) six footer with searching blue eyes behind his dark-rimmed glasses, and a thinning shock of silver hair, Goldwater has more than his share of political sex appeal. "If Nixon had his looks," a lady Republican murmured after a Goldwater performance, "we never would have lost."

Eager to see and experience the world he lives in, Barry Goldwater is almost too versatile to be true; a businessman, politician, jet pilot, folklorist, explorer, photographer and athlete, he is as modern as tomorrow. Yet at the same time, there is in both the individualist Goldwater message and the self-reliant Goldwater manner an echo of the Old West. Appropriately, the man himself is heir to the spirit of a pioneering family in a state barely one generation removed from the frontier.

Family Man. A Goldwater—Barry's grandfather—was staking his claim in Arizona history before the wild old territory even had a capital. Born in Konin, Russia, in the early 1820s, Michel Goldwasser emigrated at the age of 27 to England, where he married and Anglicized the family name. Lured by tales of the California gold rush, he shipped out for San Francisco in 1852 with his younger brother Joseph, sold whisky and hard goods to the mining camps of Sonora.

By 1858, the brothers had drifted south to organize a pool hall, bar and smoke shop in Los Angeles' Bella Union Hotel. Next year, after word of new gold strikes in Arizona, "Big Mike" Goldwater hitched up his mule team and set off as a peddler serving the miners' camps. Frontier business proved prosperous; in 1860, Mike put up a trading post at Ehrenberg, a riverside site he named for a family friend. Mike opened a bigger store in Phoenix in 1870, sold out to establish another in Prescott; at one time or another, there have been Goldwater trading posts in such boom-or-bust settlements as Tombstone, Seymour and Bisbee, where the town's first lynch mob stopped at Mike's emporium to borrow a suitable length of rope. He retired to California in 1885, leaving the stores to his three sons, Morris, Henry and Baron.

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