CHAPTER EIGHT

MEETING THE PRESS

In 1962, I conducted my first press conference. I was beginning my first run for election to the U.S. House of Representatives. I was twenty-nine years old and probably looked even younger. To most people in Illinois’s 13th Congressional District, I was a complete unknown. Facing reporters and cameras and talking in effect to hundreds, if not thousands, of people whose votes I was seeking was a totally new experience for me. It did not come naturally.

Fear of public speaking is often cited as one of the more common fears that people have. My view of how to handle it is straightforward and parallels my attitude about a lot of difficult tasks: Just do it!

After a few weeks on the campaign trail, my wife, Joyce, ...

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