Sargent Shriver, RIP

Sargent Shriver died today at the age of 95. He was best known to the world as a second banana: JFK’s brother-in-law, Ahnuld’s father-in-law and McGovern’s 1972 running mate after Eagleton crapped out and everybody else turned the hapless nominee down. But Shriver was the first Peace Corps director and one of the leaders of the Great Society’s war on poverty. He was also a stand-up guy and, according to one of my relatives who met him, a helluva ballroom dancer.

4 thoughts on “Sargent Shriver, RIP

  1. I’m barely old enough to recall the Eagleton debacle. About five or six years later, purely a random chance thing, I came across Hunter Thompson’sFear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail…at the New Iberia Public Library, of all places…and thereabouts began my political awakening.

  2. After the Eagleton disaster, McGovern courted other Senators at Allen Ellender’s funeral in Houma. He was turned down 5 or 6 times including by such heavyweights as Humphrey, Kennedy and Ribicoff.

  3. “…after Eagleton crapped out…” “…the Eagleton debacle…” “…the Eagleton disaster…”
    My aunt Mary worked for many years as a staffer/executive secretary for a series of Congressmen. She was back in Wisconsin visiting at the time Tom Eagleton withdrew from the nomination. And I can remember her sitting in the living room at our house, looking so sad, telling my mom what a shame it was what was happening to Eagleton, because he was such a nice, nice man. I think of it every time I see a toss-off or joking reference to him.

  4. Eagleton might have been a nice guy, but it was still a debacle. I’m sympathetic as to his mental health issues, but he should have been honest with McGovern.
    He was not.
    And…not that I like citing Bob Novak — may he rot in hell — but he claimed it was Eagleton who was the source for what became the “amnesty, acid, and abortion” slur.
    Sure, blame McGovern too — he was woefully unprepared, and from what I’ve heard, he was foolishly hoping to the end that Ted Kennedy would take the spot. Last night on the Lawrence O’Donnell show McGovern also claimed he wanted Shriver all along but couldn’t get in touch with him (he was overseas)…while I admire McGovern tremendously, I’m wondering if that’s more rationalization after the fact…

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