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McGovern remembered for '72 failed presidential bid

 

In this July 14, 1972 file photo, Sen. George S. McGovern makes his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach. At left is his running mate, Sen. Thomas F. Eagleton of Missouri, and at right, convention chairman Lawrence F. O'Brien.

In this July 14, 1972 file photo, Sen. George S. McGovern makes his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach. At left is his running mate, Sen. Thomas F. Eagleton of Missouri, and at right, convention chairman Lawrence F. O'Brien.
Photo by: AP Photo

 

 

Kristi Eaton and Walter R. Mears/The Associated Press

 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- George McGovern once joked that he had wanted to run for president in the worst way -- and that he had done so. 

 

It was a campaign in 1972 dishonored by Watergate, a scandal that fully unfurled too late to knock Republican President Richard M. Nixon from his place as a commanding favorite for re-election. The South Dakota senator tried to make an issue out of the bungled attempt to wiretap the offices of the Democratic National Committee, calling Nixon the most corrupt president in history. 

 

But the Democrat could not escape the embarrassing missteps of his own campaign. The most torturous was the selection of Missouri Sen. Thomas F. Eagleton as the vice presidential nominee and, 18 days later, following the disclosure that Eagleton had undergone electroshock therapy for depression, the decision to drop him from the ticket despite having pledged to back him "1,000 percent." 

 

A proud liberal who had argued fervently against the Vietnam War as a Democratic senator from South Dakota and three-time candidate for president, McGovern died at 5:15 a.m. Sunday at a Sioux Falls hospice, family spokesman Steve Hildebrand told The Associated Press. McGovern was 90.

 

 

 

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