Some of us who look at the increasingly erratic behavior of Joe Biden, his performance in Kissimmee gave a new meaning to the word cringe, remember that almost 50 years ago the Democrats covered up another problem until it was almost too late. Not too late to win an election, the Democrats lost the 1972 presidential election 60-40 and they lost every state aside from Massachusetts.
What it was too late for was to salvage any credibility at all from the Democrat ticket of Senator George McGovern of South Dakota and Senator Tom Eagleton of Missouri. The issue, like today, is that the Democrats put on their national ticket, and the press covered up for them, a man with a history of mental instability. Today all can see that Joe Biden is seriously impaired. But no Democrat or member of the leftist press will admit the obvious: Like in 1972, there is someone on the ticket who likely cannot fulfill the duties of the office they were nominated to hold.
Hunter Thompson, in his classic campaign book “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72,” put it this way about Eagleton, “Half of the political journalists in St. Louis and at least a dozen in the Washington press corps knew Eagleton was a serious boozer with a history of mental breakdowns- but none of them had ever written about it, and the few who were known to have mentioned it privately clammed up…”
This was before and after Eagleton was on the ticket as veep. Why did they do it? At this late date, who knows? If it is intentional this time it’s to give Kamala Harris the top slot after a respectable interval. In 1972 it was probably peer pressure amongst the press not to criticize a Democrat for any reason and institutional loyalty to the DC political/media class. As Thompson said, “Any Washington political reporter who blows a Senator’s chance for the vice-presidency might as well start looking for another beat to cover- because his name will be instant mud on Capitol Hill.” The only thing that’s changed is that this time it’s the Democrat presidential nominee, not the veep.
The whole Eagleton situation was handled with the grace and humanity we’ve come to expect from Democrats. First they denied it, though a lot of DC knew it to be true. Then they admitted it, but presidential nominee George McGovern said he was behind his running mate “1000 percent.” Oh, George was behind him alright, with a dagger.
All the while poor Eagleton, who after so many years of keeping this out of the press now sees it splashed across every headline and topping every TV news broadcast, went dark and executed the classic stonewall, hoping it would all blow over. Privately he was tearfully imploring McGovern to keep him on the ticket. McGovern assured him he would.
Then after one emotional late night phone call between McGovern and Eagleton, the presidential nominee and his staff decided to drop Eagleton like a live grenade and replace him with a Kennedy in-law named Sargent Shriver. He and McGovern were clobbered in the general election. Shriver is best known today as the father of Maria Shriver and thus eventual father in-law of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Is the same fate that capsized Eagleton waiting for Biden? If so, the Democrats better hurry. Biden is in no shape to debate Donald Trump at the end of the month.