Peace At Any Price

January 18, 1971 – South Dakota Senator George McGovern, in a televised speech, announces his candidacy for President of the United States and promises to bring home every American soldier and improve the economy by reducing military spending.  At the time, McGovern ranked fifth in the polls for the Democratic nomination, far behind leader Edmond Muskie of Maine who had run with Hubert Humphrey in 1968 as the Vice Presidential nominee.  McGovern had been a war hero in World War II and went on to earn a Ph.D in history and became a history professor.  In 1956 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.  He was reelected in 1958, but lost his bid for the Senate in 1960.  In 1962 he won election to the Senate and soon became known as an outspoken liberal and increasingly vocal critic of the war in Vietnam.  He was involved in altering the Democratic procedure of nominating a President which increased the number of primaries and reduced the power of political bosses.  His early announcement was meant to close the gap between he and Muskie who was considered more moderate, and more electable.  Notables in his campaign would include Bill and Hilary Clinton who managed the McGovern campaign in Texas.

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Filed under 1970s, Politics, Television, Vietnam

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