Florida's ex-governor Reubin Askew and Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio) forged a partnership of political necessity after Walter F. Mondale, a Democratic presidential nomination rival, scored a few surprisingly one-sided victories in Florida county caucuses and threatened to steal Askew's sunshine in his own state.
Askew and Glenn filed a joint slate in Monday's caucus in Pinellas County, which includes St. Petersburg, to select delegates to the October state Democratic convention, which features a straw poll on the presidential candidates. Their effort to stop Mondale was prompted by the fact that he had scored overwhelming victories in the county caucuses in Broward (Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale) and Duval (Jacksonville) counties, and was virtually even with Askew in Hillsborough County (Tampa).
The result: The Askew/Glenn team stopped Mondale with their combined forces allowing them to win the Pinellas County caucus votes and hold Mondale to just a handful of the 86 county delegate slots.
"We just flat cut a deal with the Glenn people," explained Askew campaign manager James Krogh. " . . . . It's just a one-time thing." Added Glenn political director Joseph Grandmaison, "It's just the mathematics of the thing--if you win when you're together, and lose when you're alone, you go together."
Both called Mondale's early show of strength surprising, and gave the credit to organized labor.
The Askew/Glenn partnership was not out of fear that Mondale would win the straw poll at the convention, but to insure that they would not be embarrassed by a surprisingly strong Mondale showing. Askew is in no danger of losing the straw poll his home state because the delegates elected in the caucuses will comprise less than half of the total convention delegates and virtually all of the appointed delegates will be committed to him.