Sunday, March 04, 2007

Thomas Eagleton

AP Photo
Photo: Associated Press

Thomas Eagleton, former Senator from Missouri (and the guy on the left), died today at the age of 77. The cause was not disclosed, but he had suffered from failing health in recent years.

In the 1972 election campaign, Eagleton was picked by Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern to be his running mate, but was dropped from the ticket after it was learned that he had been hospitalized for depression, including electroshock therapy. As I recall, it was in the days before the concession, that McGovern insisted he was behind Eagleton "one thousand percent."

While considered a liberal, Eagleton criticized forced busing (gasp!) as a means of school desegregation, and as a Catholic, also opposed abortion -- back when a liberal could get away with a thing like that.

In an interview with the Associated Press in 2003, Eagleton said he had no regrets: "Being vice president ain't all that much. My ambition, since my senior year in high school, was to be a senator. Not everybody achieves their ambition. I got to the level that I really had no great right to claim."

Eagleton is survived by his wife of just over fifty years, a son and a daughter.

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