Sunday, October 21, 2012

RIP George McGovern

This morning, it was announced that we lost former Senator George McGovern, a South Dakotan that ran for president in 1972.  The United States of America would have been a better place had McGovern been elected in 1972.

I attended Northern Kentucky University for college from 2004 until 2007.  One of the things that NKU does annually is holds a Fall Alumni Lecture series in which they bring in American politicos.  My first such alumni lecture came in 2004 on the same day as the Vice Presidential Debate between John Edwards and Dick Cheney.

Being an election year, NKU had brought in both former Senators George McGovern and Bob Dole, both of whom had ran for president in 1972 and 1996, respectively.  A Democrat and a Republican.

Prior to the student lecture, I met both former Senators.  McGovern arrived first and I told him how he was indirectly responsible for my being politically active as President Bill Clinton worked for his campaign.  Clinton named Al Gore as his running mate.  Then-Vice President Gore named Joe Lieberman as his running mate.  The rest is history.

At the time, I wanted to be a future president of the United States of America.  I sat in the front row being the political person that I was back then...and to an extent, I still am.  I asked what one should factor in when deciding to run for for president someday.

"I'd start with something else first," Bob Dole responded.

McGovern mentioned how he considered running again in 1992 and that he spoke with former President Richard Nixon about it.  As we all know, McGovern never ran again for president.

Later that evening following the big alumni lecture was the Vice Presidential debate.  Sen. Bob Dole had an early flight but after signing books, Sen. McGovern stayed around to watch the debate in the Student Union Center.  I was within 5 feet of the former senator and, the politico that I am, I was in awe of his presence.

Being able to be in the same room, let alone within 5-10 feet of a guy such as George McGovern, while watching the Vice Presidential debate is something that I will never forget.


Bob Dole released a statement on the passing of Sen. McGovern: "Today the world has lost a great American. Senator George McGovern lived his life by serving others."

Over at Politico, former Senator Gary Hart paid tribute to George McGovern after saying days earlier: "If George McGovern represents the political losers of the world, then I
for one am proud to stand with him"

I, too, am proud to stand with Sen. George McGovern.

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