As some of you may know, Melanie and I have been volunteering on a special project for the Democratic Party of Georgia. But more on that later.

I rescued this poster from Spring St yesterday, and brought it over to the new HQ. As Melanie was hanging it up, ( in the Joe Frank Harris suite, no less) I heard her give out a whoop and chuckle. The next thing I heard was;

“Did you know Bert Lance was the Chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party”?

Actually I did.

She then began to read the fine print at the bottom of the poster, you’ll note that according to whatever election rules that gave us the requirement “paid for by” it clearly says;

“Paid for by the Democratic Party of Georgia, Bert Lance Chairman”

Bert Lance!

When was the last time the name Bert Lance came up in one of your conversations?

Oh come on it  has to be decades ago! Earlier this week I was on a conf call and someone remarked  that it might be helpful if “someone” wrote out the history of the GA Democratic Party. Well here’s some history for ya! That and a couple dozen books that have been written on the subject.

In 1982 he was elected Chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party. He must have done a pretty good job because in 1984 Walter Mondale sought to name Lance chairman of theDemocratic National Committee, and was Mondale’s first choice for Vice President during his 1984 campaign. Yeah, that didn’t exactly work out for Bert..

Lance is credited with originating the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it“, when he was quoted saying it in the May 1977 issue of the magazineNation’s Business. The expression became widespread, and William Safire wrote that it “has become a source of inspiration to anti-activists.

Does anyone know where he lives now?

Tagged with:

14 Responses to Flashback

  1. Julez says:

    The man who actually had the job of DNC Chairman, 1981-1985 has passed away. They mention Burt Lance in the article.


  2. Mary says:

    Bert Lance lives in Calhoun, Georgia. He is one of my heroes…great friend of my father. Love this post. The Lance’s are a great family and continue to contribute to the banking business in Georgia…those were the days. I like to think that families like the Lance’s are still relevant in our party. In fact, we better consider it relevant. David Lance is currently the President of Greater Rome Bank…founded by my father, once a State Representative. Democrats…all. Mary

  3. Charlie says:

    I’m old enough to remember Bert Lance.

    …and the Punic wars.

  4. JMPrince says:

    Nobody expects the Punic wars! Which was the point, after all. But many thanks for the flashback & the restoration project. It’s always deeply appreciated.

    I looked up from the paper, and asked our darling waitress, the budding neuroscientist, about if she’d ever heard of the ‘Punic wars’. Nope. OK care to guess when? How about 1732′ she replied. I’ve got to imagine that outside of present company, only slightly more Georgians might be able to properly place many of our most revered and cherished political figures into their proper decades of activity.

    Worse? No one tells you that you’re going to be constantly battling the Civil War. Not theirs, but ours, & Incessantly:

    Why can’t things get done? We send the types of folks to Congress that make it perfectly impossible to get much done.

    • Ed says:

      Oh hai irrelevant, long-winded comment from left field.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      • JMPrince says:

        Hai, I’m an obscure some times philosopher who died before most people got a touch tone phone, but certainly before Nixon left office (1973).

        And you’re here to make an irrelevant Right Wing point, right? Or maybe add something? Just wondering. Perhaps read the ref, joker. It might do you some good. JMP

  5. Julez says:

    Good Grief JM, the title said Flashback… but I don’t think they meant to the Punic Wars!

  6. JMPrince says:

    Was reading the WSJ’s book reviews this weekend. In a remarkably self indulgent review of the Normandy invasion (Ca. 1944), the reviewer saw fit to mention the 2nd Punic War (Ca. ~218BC -201BC) among many others others. (Recall that’s the one with Hannibal & all those elephants in the Alps.)

    True, no formal peace treaty with Cathage was signed actually until 1985. Almost just about the last time we heard from Bert in any significant manner.

    And if you told almost anyone that the Italians had one of the most feared & well organized Armies of the world, they’d look at you and wonder. Italians? Romans? We’re they ever good at anything much beyond fashion & Papal indulgences & intrigues?

    It’s like that. I enjoy it because I happen to enjoy ancient history. Really all that needs to be said, mostly, is that we had it all, and then gradually fortune and the tides of time turned against us. It can be way more complicated than that, but ‘reasons’ are what most desired. And some of that can & should be sought, and some of that will remain for the poly-sci historians to pick up after us.

    I liked JFH. I liked that version of the ‘ol Zig-Zag Zell. Nevertheless we need to meet the current challenges of the day & electorate. Our past glories can reflect & aid in some of that. But for all too many voters, it’s all but ancient history.

    For the rest, there’s Wiki’s and all the usual places to look up:
    Someone might hire an oral historian for the DPG too. But that’s a bit self indulgent as well as this. JMP

  7. Tim cairl says:

    Not sure about political parties, 5he lance family would get support from either side I think

  8. David says:

    I think he lives in Gordon County, he used to come talk to one of those businessman breakfast clubs every year in Rome and speak on the current political environment.

  9. Julianal says:

    @Tim thanks.. I guess Ed’s wrong about the switch then?

  10. Tim says:

    I met Bert last season when his nephew i think? Jack Lance ran for state house in Blairsville. Their family is really and truly awesome, it was like something out of a southern hospitality story.

  11. Ed says:

    IIRC I heard he switched parties (quick: Name the other DPG chair who served in a high position and recently switched parties).

    Also, I have a Tell Bert Lance button from when he ran for something.