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Fri Oct 25, 2013, 08:35 PM

1972 McGovern campaign, what would you have done ?

Re this thread: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3921089

I really don't know. My guess is that we DU'ers (if there had been a DU in 1972) would have eagerly voted for him. Was there any way in 1972 that McGovern could have won, or did the political zeitgeist doom him ? My dad voted for McGovern, but my brother and I were both too young. My brother was able to vote the first time in 1973 and 1976 for me. My first proud vote was for Jimmy Carter.

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Reply 1972 McGovern campaign, what would you have done ? (Original post)
steve2470 Oct 2013 OP
lostincalifornia Oct 2013 #1
steve2470 Oct 2013 #4
dflprincess Oct 2013 #24
lostincalifornia Oct 2013 #26
former9thward Oct 2013 #47
murielm99 Oct 2013 #52
book_worm Oct 2013 #78
WinkyDink Oct 2013 #82
MinM Oct 2013 #90
WinkyDink Oct 2013 #81
LiberalEsto Oct 2013 #2
GreenStormCloud Oct 2013 #11
LiberalEsto Oct 2013 #13
GreenStormCloud Oct 2013 #17
former9thward Oct 2013 #48
GreenStormCloud Oct 2013 #72
longship Oct 2013 #3
spanone Oct 2013 #5
ANOIS Oct 2013 #87
Gman Oct 2013 #6
Warren Stupidity Oct 2013 #7
GreenStormCloud Oct 2013 #70
Warren Stupidity Oct 2013 #75
catnhatnh Oct 2013 #8
former9thward Oct 2013 #49
WinkyDink Oct 2013 #83
Stuart G Oct 2013 #9
broiles Oct 2013 #46
GreenStormCloud Oct 2013 #10
grantcart Oct 2013 #55
GreenStormCloud Oct 2013 #71
chieftain Oct 2013 #12
OmahaBlueDog Oct 2013 #14
GreenStormCloud Oct 2013 #18
OmahaBlueDog Oct 2013 #21
GreenStormCloud Oct 2013 #74
MADem Oct 2013 #28
OmahaBlueDog Oct 2013 #31
MADem Oct 2013 #33
GreenStormCloud Oct 2013 #68
MADem Oct 2013 #79
Hippo_Tron Oct 2013 #51
MADem Oct 2013 #57
GreenStormCloud Oct 2013 #69
MADem Oct 2013 #76
MADem Oct 2013 #27
OmahaBlueDog Oct 2013 #29
scarletwoman Oct 2013 #15
Old and In the Way Oct 2013 #62
Tierra_y_Libertad Oct 2013 #16
CatholicEdHead Oct 2013 #19
gopiscrap Oct 2013 #20
RobertEarl Oct 2013 #23
former9thward Oct 2013 #50
CK_John Oct 2013 #22
dflprincess Oct 2013 #25
Blue_In_AK Oct 2013 #30
Eleanors38 Oct 2013 #32
Deep13 Oct 2013 #34
Drunken Irishman Oct 2013 #35
steve2470 Oct 2013 #36
Drunken Irishman Oct 2013 #37
Hippo_Tron Oct 2013 #54
Drunken Irishman Oct 2013 #59
MinM Oct 2013 #85
Hippo_Tron Oct 2013 #91
MinM Oct 2013 #95
nyquil_man Oct 2013 #38
steve2470 Oct 2013 #39
nyquil_man Oct 2013 #40
eridani Oct 2013 #41
bemildred Oct 2013 #43
eridani Oct 2013 #64
bemildred Oct 2013 #66
eridani Oct 2013 #86
bemildred Oct 2013 #88
eridani Oct 2013 #92
bemildred Oct 2013 #93
Hippo_Tron Oct 2013 #56
nyquil_man Oct 2013 #65
bemildred Oct 2013 #42
Douglas Carpenter Oct 2013 #44
treestar Oct 2013 #45
Hippo_Tron Oct 2013 #53
First Speaker Oct 2013 #58
Drunken Irishman Oct 2013 #60
MineralMan Oct 2013 #61
UTUSN Oct 2013 #63
LeftishBrit Oct 2013 #67
llmart Oct 2013 #73
book_worm Oct 2013 #77
WinkyDink Oct 2013 #80
DURHAM D Oct 2013 #84
steve2470 Oct 2013 #89
B Calm Oct 2013 #94
marym625 May 2015 #96

Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 08:41 PM

1. I voted for McGovern, and would again. However, if Bobby wasn't killed, he would have been the

Last edited Fri Oct 25, 2013, 10:30 PM - Edit history (1)

Candidate and the Democrats would have won

The media back then portrayed George McGovern as "weak" which he wasn't

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Response to lostincalifornia (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 08:43 PM

4. I guess that's the classic conundrum, how to overcome media bias

Even back then as a newcomer to politics, it was pretty obvious to me that the media was biased against him. Very little good coverage of him.

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Response to lostincalifornia (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 11:29 PM

24. If Bobby hadn't been killed he would have been running for his 2nd term in '72

and George McGovern would have been supporting him as well.

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #24)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 11:38 PM

26. You are correct

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #24)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:26 PM

47. No, a myth.

After the final CA primary Humphrey had a large delegate lead and was supported by most of the delegates at-large. Humphrey was going to be the 68 nominee for better or worse.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #47)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:50 PM

52. I absolutely agree.

I could not vote in this one, but I followed it closely. Humphrey would have been the nominee. We have since changed how we do things.

I, too, cast my first Presidential vote for McGovern.

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #24)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 09:11 PM

78. Humphrey would have been the nominee regardless in 1968

People don't realize that there were only 12 primaries that year and HHH had the party machinery behind him and most of the delegates selected at party conventions went to HHH while Bobby and McCarthy split the primaries. Organized labor was also more strongly pro-HHH than RFK and black groups were strongly for HHH, too based on his record in the senate and as VP under Johnson.

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #24)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 09:23 PM

82. That's a lot of alternative reality being posited there.

 

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #24)

Sun Oct 27, 2013, 02:38 PM

90. Yep. RFK in '68 and '72

At the very least we know that Bobby was the one candidate in 1968 that Nixon did not want to face. So that made it 2 elections in a row where Nixon avoided the candidate(s) that his campaigns feared.

@BeschlossDC: Here Ted & Bob Kennedy with ailing father Joe watch 1967 World Series at Fenway -- @RedSox v @Cardinals : pic.twitter.com/xRLpJrzbef

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Response to lostincalifornia (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 09:22 PM

81. You do realize these were different election years, 1968 vs. 1972?

 

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 08:43 PM

2. That was the first campaign I volunteered in

 

as a college student. I only did minor stuff, addressing envelopes, answering phones, making signs.

I was extremely frustrated with McGovern's failure to bring up Watergate as a campaign issue. I think he would have received more votes if he had.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #2)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:03 PM

11. He did bring up Watergate. I remember the references in his speeches.

The public didn't care.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #11)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:08 PM

13. Not enough. He was too "polite"

 

Nixon was vicious, and unfortunately McGovern was a gentleman.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #13)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:14 PM

17. His own polling had shown that the public didn't care about Watergate.

McG had already scared the crap out of the public and ruined his own credibility. He had doomed himself.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #17)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:28 PM

48. Watergate was not yet Watergate at the time of the election.

Just very preliminary investigations.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #13)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 07:32 PM

72. We were in a war. Americans wanted a tough guy. N/T

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 08:43 PM

3. I was a precinct delegate and worked for McGovern.

In Detroit. McGovern took Detroit, probably easily. Sadly, MI went for Nixon, as did all but Mass.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 08:44 PM

5. i voted for him.

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Response to spanone (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 27, 2013, 02:36 AM

87. So did I.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 08:49 PM

6. We worked our asses off for McGovern

And didn't care that everyone said he can't win. It took several such 2x4's upside my head before I started to realize such expenditures of energy were better spent on someone that can win even though I might not see eye to eye with the candidate in everything or the candidate wasn't perfect.

Once the imperfect candidate won we had plenty of access to beating the hell out of them if they didn't vote right.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 08:52 PM

7. Goldwater was crushed in 64, the right reorganized and 16 years later won it all.

 

We gave up.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #7)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 07:25 PM

70. Won it all? In 1980 Democrats still held the House. N/T

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #70)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 07:54 PM

75. Sort of.

 

The alliance of Reagan Democrats with the republicans gave Reagan the votes he needed in both houses to enact his agenda. By 88 the country was far to the right, amazingly so when one considers where it was in 1964. We've gone even further right, in both parties since then.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 08:55 PM

8. He could easily have won the election...

LBJ had concrete proof that Nixon had committed treason by negotiating with the North Vietnamese to enhance his electoral chances but LBJ choose not to expose the evidence. It would be fascinating to imagine how history changes if Johnson decided differently....

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Response to catnhatnh (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:31 PM

49. LBJ had too many skeltons in his closet to expose other people.

When you get into that game it is a two way street.

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Response to catnhatnh (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 09:24 PM

83. You've forgotten Eagleton?

 

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 08:58 PM

9. I worked for Mc Govern and rang door bells and met people.

I started talking about "Watergate" and Nixon, and one person slammed the door on me. I am proud to have worked for the man who would have ended the war early. Still got some literature from that election..

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #9)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:22 PM

46. Me too and I gave more money than I could afford.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:01 PM

10. McGovern doomed himself.

The Eagleton mess was his own doing. It was like that cruise ship that hit the rocks a couple of years ago. He stood behind Eagleton 1,000% and dumped him, totally ruining his credibility.

He wanted to Federal gov't to give every single citizen a taxable check for $1,000 every year. Even Humphry, in the primaries, ripped him over that. I was watching the debate on TV. At the time our population was 200 million. Our entire federal budget was also about 200 billion, IIRC. HHH attacked McG, saying the cost of his program was as much as the entire budget, $200B. McG counter attacked, claiming HHH was off in his humbers and asking where he got that figure. HHH countered with, "Simple our population of 200M times 1,000 equals 200B." It made McG look like a dunce.

McG wanted deep cuts in defense, including nuclear forces, during the Cold War. That scared the crap out of lots of folks.

Nixon's Watergate spying was because they could not believe that McG was really that stupid. McG had to have a secret plan to spring on Nixon at the last minute and Nixon wanted to know what it was. Even with the Watergate burglars caught in the act, Nixon won 49 states.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #10)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 02:09 PM

55. It was my first campaign supporting a Democrat.

I remember early on talking to my neighbors who were long time Democratic pols.

I told them that I was hopeful that we could win.

I was rather shocked when they all doubled up with laughter. They said that he was proposing 100% inheritance tax and that it would be a miracle if he took a single state.

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/29/opinion/la-oe-voegeli-populism-20101129

In his 1972 presidential campaign, Sen. George McGovern's proposal to impose a 100% tax on any inheritance over $500,000 (about $2.6 million today) got a hostile reception from voters, most of whom were unlikely to ever be affected by it. According to the less-than-respectful assessment from a McGovern advisor, the problem was that "it would wipe out the dream factor — every slob in the street thinks that if he hits the lottery big, he may be able to leave half a million to his family."


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Response to grantcart (Reply #55)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 07:30 PM

71. I had forgotten about that.

It would have crushed many small businesses and family farms. They would not have been able to pass on the business or the land for the farm.

America simply was not buying what George was selling.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:08 PM

12. Of all the things I have done in politics, the thing I am most proud of is working for McGovern.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:13 PM

14. Historian Stephen Ambrose said McGovern didn't use his war record well

In "The Wild Blue", historian Stephen Ambrose indicated that he thought McGovern could have made better use of his war service. He flew B-24s from Italy with some distinction. He was well liked by his crew, and by all accounts was an excellent pilot.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #14)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:22 PM

18. War records as a junior officer aren't much help.

Those only show personal courage, not management ability. War records as a general officer show management ability and are helpful.

Is being a good pilot a qualification for the presidency?

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #18)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 11:16 PM

21. Being a bomber pilot in WWII took several good qualities

Intelligence

Bravery

Physical Strength

The ability to give orders and have them be obeyed

The ability not only to willingly fly into danger, but to do so calmly

Judgement

If you get a chance, read "The Wild Blue." It's mostly non-political, but it gives a really good insight into George McGovern as a man who grew up in a religious family in rural SD during the Depression, and his experiences (and the experience of several other men) in WWII.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #21)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 07:40 PM

74. My father was a WWII veteran (Army).

He worked for minimun wage. He loved FDR & Truman, hated Ike, and for the first time in his life, voted Republican in 1972. McG's proposed defense cuts scared the crap out of him. He wanted an America so strong that there would never be another Pearl Harbor or another World War.

The major events that one goes through often color one's perceptions for the rest of your life.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #18)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 12:01 AM

28. Air medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, 35 combat missions? He was a war hero (see post 27).

Flying into harm's way, doing what you need to do to take the fight to the enemy, and flying outta there, keeping a cool head while they're trying to kill you, not once, but thirty five times, keeping the safety of your crew and the integrity of your aircraft in mind throughout, is the ultimate multi-tasking.

And let's make no doggone mistake--Nixon, his opponent, was in the rear with the gear. He did not go in harm's way the way that McGovern did. His record -- and his decorations, such as they were--bear that out.
http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq60-8.htm
Following his appointment, Nixon began aviation indoctrination training at the Naval Training School, Naval Air Station in Quonset Point, Rhode Island. After completing the course in October 1942, he went to the Naval Reserve Aviation Base in Ottumwa, Iowa, where he served as Aide to the Executive Officer until May 1943. Looking for more excitement, Nixon volunteered for sea duty and reported to Commander Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet where he was assigned as Officer in Charge of the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command at Guadalcanal in the Solomons and later at Green Island. His unit prepared manifests and flight plans for C-47 operations and supervised the loading and unloading of the cargo aircraft. For this service he received a Letter of Commendation from the Commander South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force for "meritorious and efficient performance of duty as Officer in Charge of the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command... " On 1 October 1943, Nixon was promoted to lieutenant.

From August through December of 1944, Nixon was assigned to Fleet Air Wing EIGHT. From December through March 1945, he served at the Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, Washington, D.C. In March, his next assignment was as the Bureau of Aeronautics Contracting Officer for Terminations in the Office of the Bureau of Aeronautics General Representative, Eastern District, headquartered in New York City. In that capacity he had temporary additional duty at various places, including Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Buffalo, New York City, and East Hartford, Connecticut. When he was released from active duty on 10 March 1946. He was promoted to Commander in the Naval Reserve on 1 June 1953.

While on active duty besides the Letter of Commendation, Nixon earned the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. He is entitled to two engagement stars on the Asiatic- Pacific Campaign Medal for supporting air action in the Treasury- Bougainville operations from 27 October to 15 December 1943 and for consolidation of the northern Solomons from 15 December 1943 to 22 July 1944. Nixon transferred to the Retired Reserve of the Naval Reserve on 1 June 1966.


The medals listed are not "personal" awards, they're "show up and you can have one" awards.

Plenty of "Greatest Generation" voters were active voters in that election. I do believe that McGovern would have helped himself if his war record had been highlighted. He was hiding out well behind the front lines, loading cargo, or sipping martinis in DC, he was taking the fight TO the enemy in dangerous combat missions and getting awards for getting his aircraft back home after getting hammered. Stack McGovern up against Nixon, and Nixon comes out looking like Gomer Pyle.

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Response to MADem (Reply #28)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 12:08 AM

31. McGovern could have also used his bomber experience as an argument to end the war in Nam

He'd served with distinction, and he knew better than most about the effects of bombing. No one could have accused him of having onvictions that stemmed from a desire to shirk duty or cowardice.

..of course, Sax Chamblis beat Max Cleland. John Kerry was a decorated serving officer while Shrub was in the "Champagne Squadron" in Texas. The public has odd ideas on Heroism.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #31)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 12:24 AM

33. Shrub could only beat Kerry by "swift boating" him--he had to tell lies about him.

And that slimy little shitheel Chambliss (if I ever see his face on the tv we all dive for the remote--talk about HATED in my house) painted Max as a loony vet with PTSD and suggested that he caused his own injuries. He also compared him to Osama bin Laden.

This is what actually happened:

When the helicopter landed, Cleland jumped out, followed by the two soldiers. They ducked beneath the rotors and turned to watch the liftoff. Cleland reached down to pick up a grenade he believed had popped off his flak jacket. It exploded and the blast slammed him backward, shredding both his legs and one arm.

David Lloyd, a Marine in a nearby mortar bunker, rushed to the scene, took off his web belt and tied it around one of Cleland's shredded legs.[4] When the medics arrived, Lloyd left to help another injured soldier – one of the two who had gotten off the helicopter with Cleland.

Lloyd claims that the unnamed soldier was crying. 'It was mine,' he said, 'it was my grenade.'

According to Lloyd, the private had failed to take the extra precaution that experienced soldiers did when they grabbed M-26 grenades from the ammo box: bend the pins, or tape them in place, so they couldn't accidentally dislodge. This soldier had a flak jacket full of grenades with treacherously straight pins, Lloyd says. "He was a walking death trap."[5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Cleland

Max Cleland has a silver star and a bronze star (they do not hand those out like candy), he was great at his job, and he was a war hero, too. Saxby Chambliss had nothing more substantial decorating his sorry ass than hemorrhoids.

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Response to MADem (Reply #28)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 07:08 PM

68. Poppy Bush was an expert pilot, and a sorry president.

I do not queston McG's military record. But it was made as a junior officer, not as a manager.

Before you attack me for saying that Poppy Bush was an expert pilot, ALL carrier pilots were/are expert pilots, especially those that flew from the tiny escort carriers of WWII. But his experience as a combat pilot didn't qualify him for the presidency.

Junior officer experience is not the same as general officer level experience, and veterans know that.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #68)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 09:13 PM

79. Expert? He panicked, he bailed out and left his CREW to die!

This was a topic of conversation on DU over nine years ago:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x994545

I don't mean to make too fine a point of it, but courage is courage, and it doesn't matter if you are a seaman recruit, a Lieutenant (j.g.), or a vice admiral.

And as someone who spent decades in uniform, I can tell you I've seen courage and cowardice at all paygrades. Most veterans who spent any amount of time in service know that. Rank does not grant qualities not already present in an individual. A shithead ensign will be a shithead admiral. A seaman recruit who is thoughtful and caring will be a master chief who is thoughtful and caring. Character isn't a function of salary or time in service.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #18)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:41 PM

51. They show that you won't send the peons to do something you wouldn't do yourself

And that was kind of a big thing with Vietnam.

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Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #51)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 02:24 PM

57. JFK was a junior officer who showed courage under fire, and it helped him.

He was running against Dick "In the rear with the gear" Nixon. Dick was actually senior to JFK in WW2 (Nixon left active service as an 0-4, LCDR, and was promoted to CDR in the reserves in the fifties), but it was JFK who saved his crew and was a "Profile in Courage," as it were.

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Response to MADem (Reply #57)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 07:20 PM

69. And the 1960 election was razor thin.

That was at a time when the country leaned Democratic at all levels. Ike was an interruption in a chain of Democratic Party presidents. His record as European theater commander made him popular enough to beat Stevenson in two landslide victories. Nixon was helped by having been Ike's VP, but the country was going back to Democratic presidents. JFK's heroism definitely helped him, but it wasn't the major thing.

The economy was stagnating and he campaigned on getting the country moving, and the economy improved under JFK. Nixon had to campaign on Ike's record as president.

I remember, as a teen, passing out JFK literature. He was my hero. At the time I knew the names of all the islands involved in his story. Damn Oswald.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #69)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 08:37 PM

76. My Navy family preferred the "courage under fire" guy to the "In the rear With The Gear" guy.

I'm not claiming it won him the election, but it helped. And every little bit helps--even giving a neighbor a ride to the polls.

Ike was courted by both parties--he was the genuine item, a non-partisan general officer. Of course, he presided during a period of relative calm--he could golf and have a heart attack, and the wheels kept churning.

Damn Oswald is right. I wonder what the world would be like if he'd lived...

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #14)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 11:42 PM

27. He didn't use it at ALL. And he wasn't just an excellent pilot! He was a war HERO.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2012/1021/George-McGovern-A-war-hero-who-fought-for-peace

George McGovern: A war hero who fought for peace
Former US Senator George McGovern was a war hero who inspired many in his opposition to the Vietnam War. Always a proud liberal, he was crushed in his 1972 challenge to Richard Nixon.


....The Army didn't have enough airfields or training planes to take him until 1943. He married his wife, Eleanor Stegeberg, and arrived in Italy the next year. That would be his base for the 35 missions he flew in the B-24 Liberator christened the "Dakota Queen" after his new bride.

In a December 1944 bombing raid on the Czech city of Pilsen, McGovern's plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire that disabled one engine and set fire to another. He nursed the B-24 back to a British airfield on an island in the Adriatic Sea, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross. On his final mission, his plane was hit several times, but he managed to get it back safety — one of the actions for which he received the Air Medal.


You don't get either of those decorations for hanging around the barn, and those missions weren't training ones, they were combat missions--he was a doggone war hero.

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Response to MADem (Reply #27)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 12:03 AM

29. Listen to MaDem ^^

...and , again, read the book (or listen to the audio book).

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:13 PM

15. I'm proud to say that I campaigned and voted for him.

And I don't regret it one bit.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #15)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 03:27 PM

62. Me too...my 1st vote.

No brainer, actually. Dick Nixon or George McGovern? At least Massachusetts got it right.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:13 PM

16. I supported McCarthy in the primary but no nose holding was necessary for McGovern.

 

He was the only Democratic Presidential candidate that I voted for that didn't do injury to my nose.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:25 PM

19. Gone back to the 1968 rules committee to not change voting rules so drasticlly

Like they were so come 1972 it would not have come off as a extremely far left approach in 1972 to gain more of the center that was needed to take on Nixon at the time. Hubert Humphrey narrowly lost the convention vote and had a good chance to beat Nixon on a second head to head matchup he narrowly lost before.

/Have read The Making of the President 1972 1st Ed and that is what I got from the book.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:37 PM

20. THey should have leaked all the stuff about Watergate to the American public

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #20)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 11:24 PM

23. The Media covered up Watergate

 

Nixon's crooks did a number on the media.

In those days the anti-hippie religion was stronger then ever. The hippies were for McGovern so it made it real easy for the media to suck.

Not only that, Nixon had his 'secret' plan for ending the war which is what everyone wanted: The end of the war.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #23)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:34 PM

50. Watergate came about from the Media.

You are really re-writing history.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 11:19 PM

22. I voted for George, lost because of Dem factualism, it was one nasty campaign.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Oct 25, 2013, 11:30 PM

25. I will always be proud that the first vote I ever cast was for George McGovern. n/t

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 12:05 AM

30. McGovern was my first presidential vote.

I could have voted in 1968, but I was too upset by Chicago and boycotted the election. Youthful angst.

I don't know what the campaign could have done differently. I think it was just the times we were in then.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 12:11 AM

32. Seems like only a few yrs. ago. Mailings. Door hangers,

 

Yard signs. I remember fabricating the silk screen good for thousands of signs after the old one was ruined by using the wrong materials. Yuk! But there was solace in electing Sarah Weddington to the Texas House that same yr., and a sheriff who was of great help in reducing the pot possession penalties from 2 yrs - life to a minor misdemeanor. We did some good work for a bunch of lefty hippies.

And now it's on to Wendy Davis.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:04 AM

34. Talk about his military record and not pull any punches.

Wave the bloody flag over RFK and call Nixon a war criminal.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:13 AM

35. McGovern was never going to win that election...

But he coulda maybe made things interesting hadn't he botched the whole Eagleton saga.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #35)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:16 AM

36. I think that election, more than any election in the last 70 years, speaks to the issue of..........

"electability" versus "core principles". I think we all agree that McGovern was an excellent Democratic candidate. Was he electable in 1972 ? So far I'm not hearing anyone say he could have beat Nixon. Maybe the election could have been closer, but winning ? I'm not hearing that so far. If I'm wrong with my interpretation, someone please correct me. I wish he had beat Nixon, sigh.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #36)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:31 AM

37. Yeah. I see it impossible unless Watergate blows up in '72 and even then...

I know liberals don't want to hear this, but McGovern was probably the weakest major party candidate in modern American history. Great guy - hero, really, but he just was never going to be president.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #37)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 02:02 PM

54. Ed Muskie wasn't going to beat Nixon, either though....

And if we're talking weak general election candidates, Jimmy Carter probably wasn't much if any better than McGovern. '76 should've been a landslide for Democrats and Carter pissed away a huge lead and barely squeaked by. If not for Ford's "There's No Soviet Domination of Eastern Europe" gaffe, Ford probably would've won that election and Democrats would've been wondering how they could've blown it so bad in '76 rather than celebrating how they "took back the south".

As an aside, while I certainly would've voted Dem in both '72 and '76 and as much as I love Jimmy Carter for being about 20 years ahead of his time on alternative energy, a Ford victory might've been better for America in the long run because we might've been spared Raygun.

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Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #54)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 02:42 PM

59. Democrats stood little chance in '72.

'84 was another election no Democrat could win. Conversely, it's hard to imagine any Republican winning in '96 and '12 (despite how close that election was - demographics worked WAY against 'em).

Carter was a weak candidate. That's another thing liberals don't want to hear. He blew a 40 point lead in the polls, nearly lost the election, and did that all after Nixon was disgraced by Watergate and Ford dinged by his pardon. There was no reason for that election being close - and yet, it was.

But you're right, had Ford not dropped that gaffe in the second debate, Carter probably loses. You'r also right about Ford winning helping the country. He would've been term limited in '80, it's likely the economy would've gone into the shitter regardless who was president, which would have killed the Republican candidate, and Reagan unlikely ever becomes president.

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Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #54)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 10:07 PM

85. Edmund Muskie and George Wallace were only candidates CREEP was worried about...

CREEP (the Committee to Re-Elect the President) was concerned, rightly or wrongly, with two candidates. George Wallace was conveniently removed from that list by Arthur Bremer.

That left Edmund Muskie. Queue the Dirty Tricks Team...

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/MinM/369

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Response to MinM (Reply #85)

Sun Oct 27, 2013, 07:10 PM

91. Nixon was a paranoid nutcase, his worries were over nothing...

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Response to MinM (Reply #85)

Mon Oct 28, 2013, 10:00 AM

95. The Canuck Letter

Latest version of the Watergate Chronology

20th March, 1971: Frederick LaRue and Gordon Liddy attend a meeting of the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) where it was agreed to spend $250,000 "intelligence gathering" operation against the Democratic Party.

27th June, 1971: Donald Segretti attempts to persuade Alex Shipley to join the espionage campaign against leading Democratic Party candidates, Edward Kennedy and Edmund Muskie.

9th September, 1971: John N. Mitchell and Gordon Liddy organizes the break-in of a psychiatrist's office to find files on Daniel Ellsberg.

24th February, 1972: William Loeb, the owner of the Manchester Union Leader newspaper, publishes an article claiming that Edmund Muskie had made derogatory comments about Americans of French-Canadian ancestry (the Canuck Letter).

25th February, 1972: William Loeb publishes an article attacking Muskie's wife. While defending his wife he breaks down in tears and it is believed marks the end of his chances to become the Democratic Party's presidential candidate...

...
7th October, 1972: Deep Throat tells Bob Woodward that the "Canuck Letter" that destroyed the presidential campaign of Edmund Muskie was a White House operation.

12th October, 1972: Carl Bernstein publishes a story in the Washington Post about the sabotage of the Edmund Muskie campaign...

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=3744&hl=muskie#entry27118

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 03:06 AM

38. McGovern had a path to 270, certainly,

but it would have required threading the electoral needle in a way no Democrat had before. With the Wallace '68 vote going to Nixon almost by default, the South was gone. McGovern would have had to go to the North and the West to win. Only FDR and LBJ had done well enough in those regions to win even without the South, although both had won states there.

McGovern's greatest strength was along the Canadian border and on the West Coast. Had he been able to strongly compete in these areas, he could have gotten to 270. I'm not sure the Democratic establishment was prepared for such a strategy, though. The focus then and for many years afterward was on winning back the South, as demonstrated by Carter and Clinton.

If DU had been around in 1972, I'd agree that most DUers would have voted for McGovern. However, Nixon won about a third of the Democratic vote, so I wouldn't be surprised if there had been at least a few closet Nixon supporters (gasp).

The last Republican candidate I would have considered voting for was Eisenhower and, even then, it would have been a tough vote to cast.

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Response to nyquil_man (Reply #38)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 03:09 AM

39. great post, thank you

I agree, the South in 1972 was a completely lost cause for we Democrats. If the campaign had highlighted his military war hero career much better and focused more resources on the West coast and north, he might have had a prayer.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #39)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 03:30 AM

40. This reminds me of something I saw years ago in a poli sci textbook.

It was a simulation of an election between McGovern and Goldwater. Because both candidates were perceived as extremists, the result was essentially a tie.

I did a quick calculation to test this. I took the average of the Goldwater/Nixon '72 vote and ran it against the average LBJ/McGovern vote. Sure enough, the result was almost a tie: McGovern 49.4, Goldwater 50.6.

But the electoral vote was a different matter. McGovern swamped Goldwater, 318-220. The map looked a lot like the 2000 map except that Goldwater won NM and DE and McGovern won OH, MO, WV, and SD.

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Response to nyquil_man (Reply #38)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 06:02 AM

41. A lot of the Democratic establishment actively worked against him

Why is it that lefties are more likely to line up with a primary winner they think isn't really very liberal? DLC types never return the favor. Higher level party officeholders get way more upset when Democrats endorse the occasional Green or socialist than they do when Democrats endorse Republicans (which happens far more often)?

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Response to eridani (Reply #41)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 07:56 AM

43. National party types tend to be most concerned with keeping their own power.

Which comes from the party. So they tend to view dissidents as traitors, it's all very territorial, giant egos running amok, you're with us or against us, etc.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #43)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 03:46 PM

64. My point was that not all dissidents are treated equally

Dissenting by endorsing a Green or a socialist gets you in far more trouble than endorsing a Republican. Why is that?

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Response to eridani (Reply #64)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 05:13 PM

66. It's more of a threat.

Same reason traitors are worse than loyal enemies. They are a bad example (from the loyalist point of view).

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Response to bemildred (Reply #66)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 10:36 PM

86. Greens, socialists and Democrats would have to be on the same side in order for

--the term "traitor" to apply. I suppose in a sense they are.

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Response to eridani (Reply #86)

Sun Oct 27, 2013, 07:42 AM

88. It depends on what your goals are.

If your goal is power for yourself, they are your worst enemies, your COMPETITORS for control of the progressive movement.

If your goal is to change policy by electing the maximum number of progressive people to office, they are your comrades in arms.

See?

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Response to bemildred (Reply #88)

Mon Oct 28, 2013, 03:47 AM

92. OK--not quite sure until now what point you were trying to make n/t

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Response to eridani (Reply #92)

Mon Oct 28, 2013, 06:01 AM

93. I am explaining why National Party types will NEVER support political insurgencies.

And often will help their "enemy" party put such movements down, as (for example, there are many) with McGovern, Anderson, Perot, Gingrich, and soon to be the Tea Party. Such movements are seen at best as temporary tools, and at worst as dire threats. They are never seen as potentially beneficial replacements for the current incumbents.

National Party types today would be the DLC, RNC, and their minions and adherents at the state and local levels. The old school "machine" politicians, Bush, Daley, Not the Tea Party, not us Libtards. I don't mean it as a slur, but it recognizes that the ambitions and goals and methods change at the national level, the incentives are different. At the national level, control of the party is the greatest source of power, and that is what is fought over. That is WHY one wants to be President, among other things, it makes you automatically head of one or the other party for 4 years, 8 if you get a second term.

Just because somebody agrees with you about policy or the Tea Party doesn't mean they are going to support you when you try to take their job.

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Response to eridani (Reply #41)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 02:20 PM

56. I look at this in two ways...

There's some cases where you have some Democratic member of congress (much fewer after 2010) representing a district that is insanely Republican on the national level. They take some very very conservative positions, avoid ties with the national party, and sometimes they endorse Republicans.

I don't mind these people being in the "tent". But you can't be on the fringes of the tent and trying to run the tent. And often times, these people have absolutely no desire to do that. Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah, for example, is never going to run for President. He's never going to try to become a member of the House leadership. He's a backbencher from a really conservative district who gives us another vote in the House and is certainly better on the issues than the alternative. He's fine being a member of the big tent and not leader of the tent.

Joe Lieberman, is an example of where you run into a problem with this. Lieberman was someone with a national profile and national ambitions who used that to actively work against the party's position and subsequently the party's nominee. The tent can be big, but not THAT big.

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Response to eridani (Reply #41)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 04:10 PM

65. There's a degree of self-fulfilling prophecy in their actions.

They declare that a more liberal candidate won't win. Then they refuse to lift a finger to help such a candidate win or, worse, work against that candidate, thus ensuring that they're proven right.

If McGovern had made a real race, thanks to the dedicated help of the old machine politicians like Daley or union bosses like Meany, it would have proven that precisely what they said wasn't true. It would have demonstrated that a candidate from the left of the party could at least compete on the national level, creating a paradox where the establishment used its power to dilute its power.

It benefited those old poobahs to sit on their hands and watch McGovern go down, not just in defeat but in a huge defeat. It enabled them to turn around after the election and say, "See? I told you he couldn't win." What none of them seemed to understand was that McGovern's nomination was proof that their power was already fading.

Why do lefties line up behind a primary winner who isn't very liberal? I think years and years of being told that a moderate, and only a moderate, can win is a pretty significant factor. 1972 played a big role in fostering that perception.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 07:51 AM

42. I voted for him, I still have buttons. I'd do it again.

You don't just vote for people because they are going to win tomorrow. I won't vote for a pol just because I think he has the election rigged, and boy was that election rigged. The state propaganda organs were in full howl after McGovern, it was the first time I really noticed them doing that to a Presidential candidate. They still hark back to it, as you point out, as a big win for them. And "Governor Moonbeam", who can forget such "journalism"?

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 08:39 AM

44. if America knew about the prairie populist, war hero, Methodist minister and history teacher that

he - Sen. McGovern really was - rather than a symbol of amnesty, acid and abortion - that he was not - I think he would have won. And if George McGovern had become President - he would have led America into a compassionate future and today we would be living in world with a lot less wars and a lot fewer hungry children.






One Bright Shining Moment - The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 09:02 AM

45. I would have voted for McGovern in the general

I was not old enough to vote in 1972.

So we'd be talking about the primary. Was there someone less liberal who might have won? During the primary, was there awareness that McGovern was a principled but losing choice? Things were different then. Had I any inkling that a 1970s equivalent of a Blue Dog would have beaten Nixon, then I'd be OK with voting for that. Imagine saving the country from Nixon's second term, including Ford's time served.

Though I guess it is all hindsight.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 01:50 PM

53. Nixon was probably unbeatable

Incumbent Presidents usually either win big or fall hard, and it all has very little to do with the challenger. The challenger only needs to present themselves as a viable alternative for a country that is ready to toss out the incumbent. If the country wants to keep the incumbent (as was the case with Nixon) there's nothing the challenger can do.

There's probably a million different things McGovern could've done to make the race closer. But the only way Nixon could've been defeated is if Watergate and the other shenanigans had come to light sooner.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 02:31 PM

58. Hunter Thompson said that McGovern lacked a "streak of Mick Jagger in his soul..."

...and I think that that was the deciding factor. For him to have won, he would have had to be somebody he wasn't. Somebody willing to go for the jugular against Nixon. Somebody willing to shamelessly utilize his war record. Somebody willing to go after Nixon, not just for Watergate--much was known before Novermber 1972; people just didn't care--but for the 1968 Treason regarding the Peace Talks. Somebody tough enough to discipline the Party during the convention, so that his acceptance speech didn't come at two in the morning. And of course, somebody who didn't pick Eagleton, for chrissakes. It *might* have come together for him, but the odds were against it. Essentially, he was too decent against a very indecent opponent.

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Response to First Speaker (Reply #58)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 02:48 PM

60. Elections are too important to leave to the tepidness. Ask Dukakis...

Who, unlike McGovern, actually had a legitimate shot at the presidency. I don't want to nominate someone who won't go for the jugular.

I know people like to claim Obama is weak and blah, blah, blah - but he ruthlessly took it to Mitt Romney last year. We need that. We need Democrats willing to hit hard and, let's face it, McGovern and Dukakis just couldn't do it. They were too nice.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 02:56 PM

61. Well, I voted for him and campaigned for him in my

California district, too. I wasn't very hopeful of a win, though. That was a depressing election, to say the least. One of my least favorite elections to have participated in. I smoked a good deal of weed during it. Then, I quit smoking it in 1974, and never started again.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 03:34 PM

63. Ivoted for him(of course)but wrote him to drop out in primaries.A summary of the posts I agree with:

Wish I had kept his (campaign's) Reply. I said I admired him totally but that the most important thing was to BEAT NIXON and that I wished he would step aside and let whoever had the best chance to BEAT NIXON to be the nominee. He (campaign) answered (with the "I" pronoun) that he thought he had a good chance, hoped I would support him, and thanked. Maybe it was an auto-signature, but I wish I kept it.

That said, if we had been on DU, I would have been thoroughly chastised during the primaries. I'm glad to see that my reasons (no hindsight on my part) back then are so well reflected in this thread. I differ on the small point (below) that he was the weakest candidate we ever fielded since I think this would be DUKAKIS, whom I also voted for (OF COURSE).

And another thing: We still have some of the RULES CHANGES legacy of '68/'72 that work against us.

My thing is ELECTABILITY first and always, because even the worst Dem short of being treasonous and corrupt will accomplish more through appointments and finger-on-the-scale-of-policy by WINNING than the most NOBLE PURIST ever will by LOSING.

These are the posts that speak for me:



******QUOTE******

# O.P. DUers “would have eagerly voted for him”

# 13 – he was too polite – a gentleman

# 17 - McG had already scared the crap out of the public and ruined his own credibility. He had doomed himself

# 6 - I started to realize such expenditures of energy were better spent on someone that can win even though I might not see eye to eye with the candidate in everything or the candidate wasn't perfect.

# 10 - McGovern doomed himself.

# 55 - long time Democratic pols. I told them that I was hopeful that we could win. I was rather shocked when they all doubled up with laughter.

# 14 - didn't use his war record well

# 31 - could have also used his bomber experience as an argument to end the war in Nam

# 27 - He didn't use it at ALL. And he wasn't just an excellent pilot! He was a war HERO

# 19 - 1968 rules committee to not change voting rules so drasticlly. come 1972 it would not have come off as a extremely far left

# 34 - Talk about his military record and not pull any punches. Wave the bloody flag over RFK and call Nixon a war criminal.

# 35 - McGovern was never going to win that election... botched the whole Eagleton saga.

# 36 – more than any election in the last 70 years, speaks to the issue of.......... “electability" versus "core principles".

# 37 - the weakest major party candidate in modern American history. Great guy - hero, really, but he just was never going to be president.

# 44 - if America knew about the prairie populist, war hero, Methodist minister and history teacher that he - really was - rather than a symbol of amnesty, acid and abortion - that he was not

# 58 - Hunter Thompson said that McGovern lacked a "streak of Mick Jagger in his soul..." (WHOLE POST) ...and I think that that was the deciding factor. For him to have won, he would have had to be somebody he wasn't. Somebody willing to go for the jugular against Nixon. Somebody willing to shamelessly utilize his war record. Somebody willing to go after Nixon, not just for Watergate--much was known before Novermber 1972; people just didn't care--but for the 1968 Treason regarding the Peace Talks. Somebody tough enough to discipline the Party during the convention, so that his acceptance speech didn't come at two in the morning. And of course, somebody who didn't pick Eagleton, for chrissakes. It *might* have come together for him, but the odds were against it. Essentially, he was too decent against a very indecent opponent.

***UNQUOTE*****

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 05:17 PM

67. If I'd been American and old enough to vote, I'd have voted for McGovern - no doubt at all!

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 07:37 PM

73. Don't know....

but my very first vote was for Mr. McGovern and I'm still proud of that to this day. Those of us who were supporting him took a lot of crap from people when he lost by a landslide, but in the end we got the last laugh as Tricky Dick waved buh bye

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 09:09 PM

77. He probably wouldn't have won anyway, but...

Heck he even split the college vote with Nixon. But his team didn't handle the vice presidential nomination correctly. They didn't do enough digging and Eagleton wasn't about to tell the truth. I think it looked terrible afterward for him to ask so many people to be VP and publicly they turned him down. He wanted Teddy Kennedy, but Teddy told him he didn't want to be VP, and he should have accepted that and gone with somebody who actually wanted the job. Instead of losing 49 states he might have only lost 45. But since he did select Eagleton he should have stuck with him especially after the "1000 percent" statement. He could have turned a lot of people around about mental health issues after all Eagleton stayed in the Senate until 2002 and was an effective senator in all that time.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 09:21 PM

80. I voted for him. There was no way in Hades he was going to win. I think the result evidences that.

 

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 09:25 PM

84. That is easy - worked a booth at the fair and voted for him.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sun Oct 27, 2013, 08:59 AM

89. kick for more discussion nt

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Mon Oct 28, 2013, 06:09 AM

94. McGovern wanted to legalize marijuana and end the Vietnam War,

 

he was just too far ahead of the time I guess. . .

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue May 5, 2015, 12:07 AM

96. The amount of crap pulled by the repugs in that election was staggering

Adding to the fact he was running against a sitting president, we would have needed a much more likable candidate. I liked McGovern. Very much so. But he was not vibrant

We know better now, to some extent, not to fall for the bullshit. We're not running against a sitting president. Sanders has a great personality, coming off like a caring, intelligent uncle. And has an impeccable record.

We should never give up our morals and beliefs, our civil and human rights, for electability anyway. That's how we got where we are

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