Pithy Exchange Between Senators John Glenn and Howard Metzenbaum–Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
Said to be debate between Senators John Glenn and Howard Meztenbaum on the floor of the Senate.
Metzenbaum accused Glenn of never having held a real job.
Glenn responded by saying he had served 23 years as a Marine including 2 wars, flying 149 missions, having his plane hit 12 times by anti-aircraft fire plus his years in NASA and as an astronaut.
He asks Metzenbaum to go with him to visit wounded soldiers or the families of the Apollo astronauts who were killed and tell them those veterans didn’t have a real job.
Glenn then says he did indeed have a real job and asks Metzenbaum, “How about you.”
The eRumor closes with the comment that during World War II Metzenbaum was an attorney representing the Communist party.
This exchange did take place but not on the floor of the Senate, but the wording of Glenn’s words if fairly accurate.
It was during the campaign debate in 1974 when Metzenbaum was running for reelection and Glenn was challenging him.
Glenn and Metzenbaum had also run against each other for the same seat four years earlier, a race that Metzenbaum had won.
A few days prior to the debate, Metzenbaum made a widely publicized statement that said that Glenn had never met a payroll (he didn’t actually say that he’d never held a real job).
In other words, Glenn had been a military man not a businessman, like Metzenbaum, who had created a major newspaper and a nation-wide parking company.
Metzenbaum did not repeat that charge during the debate, but Glenn came prepared to respond to it and did it so powerfully that he also went on to win the election.
If Howard Metzenbaum represented the Communist party as an attorney during World War II, we have not found substantiaton for that.
Last updated 3/1/05
John Glenn on the senate floor
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2004 11:13
Some people still don’t understand why military personnel do what they do for a living. This exchange between Senators John Glenn and Senator Howard Metzenbaum is worth reading. Not only is it a pretty impressive impromptu speech, but it’s also a good example of one man’s explanation of why men and women in the armed services do what they do for a living.
This is a typical, though sad, example of what some who have never served think of the military.
Senator Metzenbaum to Senator Glenn: “How can you run for Senate when you’ve never held a real job?”
Senator Glenn: “I served 23 years in the United States Marine Corps.
I served through two wars. I flew 149 missions. My plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 12 different occasions. I was in the space program.
It wasn’t my checkbook, Howard; it was my life on the line. It was not a nine-to-five job, where I took time off to take the daily cash receipts to the bank. I ask you to go with me … as I went the other day… to a veteran’s hospital and look those men – with their mangled bodies – in the eye, and tell them they didn’t hold a job! You go with me to the Space Program at NASA and go, as I have gone, to the widows and Orphans of Ed White, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee… and you look those kids in the eye and tell them that their DADS didn’t hold a job.
You go with me on Memorial Day and you stand in Arlington National Cemetery, where I have more friends buried than I’d like to remember, and you watch those waving flags.
You stand there, and you think about this nation, and you tell me that those people didn’t have a job? I’ll tell you, Howard Metzenbaum; you should be on your knees every day of your life thanking God that there were some men – some men – who held real jobs. And they required a dedication to a purpose – and a love of country and a dedication to duty – that was more important than life itself. And their self-sacrifice is what made this country possible.
I have held a job, Howard! What about you?”
For those who don’t remember – During W.W.II, Howard Metzenbaum was an attorney representing the Communist Party in the USA.
He was a Senator!
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.