U class of 1939 graduate announces presidential bid

Patrick Hayes

Eighty-three-year-old Beatrice Mooney wants to be the next president. She has for some time now.
Mooney has run for the office more than 10 times in past elections and announced her Republican write-in candidacy yesterday.
She has spent barely a few hundred dollars during the past two years campaigning.
Mooney, a University alumna, said she wants to be president for two reasons: to preserve abortion rights and to promote peace.
The nursing degree she received in 1939 is a benefit to her candidacy, Mooney said.
“I realize what nurses could do for peace in the world,” she explained. “That’s why I continue to run. I really think with a nurse in the White House, we could truly have peace.”
Although Mooney has never held public office before, she said she is the best candidate because of her nursing contacts around the world.
She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau nursing association, which meets biannually all over the world. The meetings have taken Mooney to Spain, Japan, Hong Kong and Jerusalem.
Thumbing through old photos of past marches and rallies, she described her lifelong commitment to political activism.
Born in 1913 in Chisago County while Woodrow Wilson was president, Mooney’s political life extends back to her childhood.
“I carried Herbert Hoover buttons for my father,” she said. “But children were taught to be seen and not heard in those days.”
She grew up in a house provided by the local creamery — a butter-making plant. Farmers from around the county would separate the cream from the milk they produced and bring it to her father.
After high school, Mooney enrolled at the University — when one quarter’s tuition was only about $50.
She later participated in peace songs and marches. She still participates in the Afton, Minn., summer peace march every year.
Mooney announced her candidacy so late because she only found her vice president, Deb Heiberger, two weeks ago.
“(Mooney) has a dream of seeing women — especially nurses — be president of the United States,” said Heiberger, who is also a nurse.
“I would do whatever she needed to help her accomplish that dream,” she added.
But Heiberger was not Mooney’s first choice for a running mate. Originally, Mooney pursued Republican candidate Texas Gov. George W. Bush to join her on the presidential ticket.
“I wrote to George (W.) Bush and I said I would like to run with him, but I’d like to be president for one term and then retire,” she said.
That was before Bush said he was running for president.
Yet, while she wanted Bush as a running mate, Mooney said she disagrees with him on abortion rights.
“I think someone with a more conciliating approach, and especially a pro-choice person, is needed today,” she said.

Patrick Hayes covers administration and welcomes comments at [email protected]