Granddaughter Eulogizes Goldwater in HBO Special

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At this great distance in our history, everybody of every political shading can be extreme in the defense of Barry Goldwater and it's no vice.

It might not be a virtue, either, but it is quite remarkable how his image has survived, as reflected in a warm and friendly 90-minute biographical documentary on HBO, ``Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater.''

Granddaughter CC Goldwater produces with Tani Cohen and director Julie Anderson, programming the usual talking experts, beloved kin, newsreel clips and a plethora of engaging family footage shot by the Goldwater himself.

He was pretty well dismissed if not totally discredited by Lyndon Johnson's thumping victory in the 1964 presidential race. In the fiendish electoral competition Goldwater was vilified as a headstrong cowboy from Arizona and a nuclear bomb-dropper. But conservatism was not lost and ultimately achieved glory by Ronald Reagan's election.

Yes, boasting his elevated sense of outspoken independence (he had a very big mouth), he fumbled away his campaign and, yes, he wasn't the most attentive father. But otherwise he seemed a personable, well-rounded man full of curiosity who loved aviation, geology, archaeology, his ham radio and his still cameras (he had an excellent eye).

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