The town of Peoria in Illinois has been serving as something of a barometer American public sentiment towards President Gerald Ford.
CU Peoria town band.
CU AND SV Children in crowd with banners.
LV AND SV President Ford leaves Government building. (4 shots)
GV ZOOM OUT Peoria.
CU Local newspaper printed. (2 shots)
CU Advertised dog food on shelves.
CU Man interviewed.
GV Street scenes in Peoria. (3 shots)
"Well, my own judgement, and I can only guess of course, my own feeling is that it is not really very wise and not really very effective. I think we have an image of a President, particularly at a time when he's appealing to us all to sacrifice for the energy crisis and so on, as a leader of all the people. And it's at cross purposes to a degree when he comes before us in the role of a politician for a party."
HUMPHRIES: "The crowd consicted almost entirely of school children brought in for the occasion. And the Republican candidate for the Senate earlier publicly disowned a statement by Mr. Ford in which the President warned that a huge Democratic victory would be a threat to world peace. Mr. Ford continues to plug the Republican line, all be it a little more subtly. Peoria is so average it is unique. It represents exactly Middle America in microcosm. It is so typical of what the statistics say of a middle sized town that when the market research people discovered Peoria, they descended like locusts and they've been here ever since. The local newspaper profits hugely from advertisements offering new products at least once a week, that the rest of America will never see. For instance, if Peoria likes this new brand of doggy-dinner. So will America. If not, it will be dropped. Mr. Ford is campaigning very hard to try and save the Republican party. What do people in Peoria think of that?"
HUMPHRIES: "But he's not taken too seriously when he warns of the desperate consequences which would flow from a huge Democratic majority in Congress. It's been suggested here that peiople have seen what happens when President is all-powerful -- and don't much care for that. So Mr. ford is not likely to influence the elections too much. In that respect, as typical America.
Initials VS 21.31 VS 21.47
This film also includes a commentary by John Humphries. It is transcribed overleaf, with a new introduction.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The town of Peoria in Illinois has been serving as something of a barometer American public sentiment towards President Gerald Ford.
The American President, taking over from the disgraced Nixon administration, has been touring the United States trying to rally support for the Republican Party, badly hit by the Watergate affair.
Many political observers have been looking to Peoria for an indication of the way the nation has been reacting to Mr. Ford in his role as a party politician.
Peoria is so average it is unique. It represents exactly Middle America in microcosm. It is so typical of what statistics say of a middle sized town, that when market researchers discovered it, they came to stay.
Each week the local newspaper advertises new products which the rest of America will never see. For example, if Peoria likes a new type of dog food, so will the rest of America. It not, then the product will be dropped.
BBC reporter, John Humphries was in Peoria recently to assess the effects of President Ford's campaigning. He found that the President had done little to eliminate the shadow of Watergate, and would probably have little to eliminate the shadow of Watergate, and would probably have little influence on the outcome of the Congressional elections. Humphries interviewed various people in the streets of Peoria. Following are the comments of one Peoria man:
SYNOPSIS: Peoria in Illinois is known as America's most average town. President Ford has been campaigning there for the Republican party -- without much success according to BBC reporter, John Humphrie.