George McGovern is dead at the age of 90
McGovern represented South Dakota’s first district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1957 to 1961, and was a U.S. senator from 1963 to 1981, where he was a champion of his party’s liberal wing. — The Hill
“McGovern lost the 1972 presidential race to Richard Nixon by a landslide, carrying only Massachusetts. But his candidacy and opposition to the Vietnam War were embraced by a new generation of voters.
“The defining moments in McGovern’s life included not only winning the Democratic nomination for president in 1972, and not just the dismal loss to Nixon that followed, but also safely landing an airplane that the German army had tried to blow out of the sky,” reports South Dakota Public Radio.
“Nixon, who branded the challenger a supporter of ‘amnesty, acid and abortion,’ won 49 states that year, with McGovern carrying only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.
— Philip J. Crowley (@PJCrowley) October 21, 2012
“McGovern’s campaign never recovered after it was discovered that his running mate, Missouri Sen. Thomas Eagleton, had received electroshock therapy for clinical depression,” (The Hill).
In 2005 McGovern wrote this op-ed in the Los Angeles Times reflecting on the 1972 campaign:
As the candidate who lost 49 states to Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential election, I have always been pleased that among the precious few who thought I would have made the better president was Hunter S. Thompson, who went to his untimely grave saying that I was “the best of a lousy lot.”
Thompson’s position was that I was “honest” — except for one “wicked moment” when I attended Nixon’s funeral and said a few sympathetic words to his family and friends. “Yeah,” Hunter told me, “you went into the tank with that evil bastard.”