McGovern Remembers Shriver
January 19, 2011, 5:55 PM
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL -
While most of the nation mourns Sargent Shriver as the founder of the Peace Corps, South Dakota's George McGovern remembers Shriver as a dear friend and former running mate. Shriver died Tuesday of Alzheimer's at the age of 95.
In the summer of 1972, McGovern's presidential campaign was engaged in some serious damage control after his running mate, Thomas Eagleton, revealed he had been hospitalized years earlier for depression. McGovern replaced Eagleton with Sargent Shriver, who had been a leading figure in the war on poverty in the 1960s, as well as an in-law to the politically-connected Kennedy family. McGovern credits Shriver's enthusiasm for re-energizing a campaign that few thought could make much headway against President Nixon's bid for re-election.
McGovern says Shriver never doubted that the Democratic ticket could win the White House in 1972, despite the long odds of unseating incumbent Richard Nixon.
"He insisted on that. He said, 'We've got to do the best we can,' and I agreed, I felt that Nixon was vulnerable if we could just get our message across," McGovern said.
Before choosing Shriver to replace Eagleton as his running mate, McGovern considered several other political heavyweights.
"Walter Mondale of Minnesota, Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, Ed Muskie; there were a number of people, but I think they all thought we didn't have a chance," McGovern said.
McGovern says Shriver was a vigorous campaigner who brought the McGovern message of peace in Vietnam to the rest of the country.
"I tried to get to all 50 states. I didn't quite make that, but when I couldn't go, he went, and so that was an important part of the campaign," McGovern said.
McGovern lost to Nixon in a landslide, but says Shriver remained hopeful right up to the end. McGovern says it was that spirit of optimism that he'll remember most about Shriver.
"He always maintained a cheerful countenance. I don't know how he did that, but he did," McGovern said.
McGovern last spoke to Shriver about a year ago and says that cheerfulness was evident even then, as he was battling Alzheimer's.
© 2010 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.
12/6/2013 7:22 PM
Leroy Harold ‘Bud’ Anderson, 75, was last seen at 3:30 p.m. Fareway Foods on W. 41st Street in Sioux Falls. Anderson is driving a 2008 gra...
12/7/2013 1:12 PM
Leroy Harold ‘Bud’ Anderson has been located safe and sound in Stickney, SD.
12/10/2013 4:48 PM
A former Sioux Falls man faces multiple charges in connection with an alleged sexual assault inside a porta-potty near Kinnick Stadium in September.
12/9/2013 11:29 AM
Authorities arrested a father and son after making a sizable meth bust in Sioux Falls.
12/11/2013 11:47 AM
A former Sioux Falls car dealer is facing several charges in Iowa City, Iowa, for trying to force a coworker to perform sex acts in a porta potty duri...