Rep. Ronald V., Dellums (D-Calif.) was nominated for president here tonight, using his symbolic candidacy to give an impassioned speech against the MX missile, the draft and economic policies that hurt the poor.
The 44-year-old representative from the radical-activist San Francisco Bay area said he spoke not to seek votes but in an effort to "energize" the Democritc National Convention and orient delegates toward liberal issues.
"You cannot defeat Ronald Reagan by being anti-Ronald Reagan. You cannot defeat Ronald Reagan by moving to the right. We must move to the left," Dellums said.
Dellums announced his candidacy Monday, saying he thought that critical issues involving the poor and disaffected were being ignored at the convention. i
But his speech tonight was full of praise for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Dellums said Kennedy's emotion-charged speech to the convention on Tuesday night, a speech that sounded traditional progressive Democratic Party themes, had won him over.
"I'd like to thank Sen. Kennedy for reaching out to my heart, making me cry, making my children cry," Dellum said, prompting cheers and shouts from Kennedy supporters on the floor.
In his speech, Dellums, describing this as "perhaps the most dangerous moment in modern life," urged the delegates to reject war and inflation-combating policies that caused a rise in unemployment; and he urged them to battle against the resurgence of Nazis and The Ku Klux Klan.
"What American people want are new ideas, new orientation, a sense of idealism and of hope," he said.
The symbolic nomination of Dellums provided a forum for the left reminiscent of the alliances that flourished in the early 1960s.
After his speech he withdrew his candidacy.
Speeches nominating Dellums were made by Alice Tripp, a prairie populist from central Minnesota, and Jerome Grossman, a ban-the-bomb liberal from the Boston area.
Grossman, a Democratic national committeeman and the retired president of the Massachusetts Envelope Co., said he was an old friend of Dellums.
Tripp had never met the congressman before this week. She said she came to the convention seeking to have her name placed in nomination, but after getting only about 50 signatures on nominating petitions -- far short of the 333 needed -- she joined forces withe Dellums.
She helped him with delegates in farm states, and he, in turn, gave her the opportunity to speak on primetime television about her battles against a big power project in Minnesota.