“Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ‘72″ by Hunter S. Thompson. Page 371.
The other vice-presidential finalists were rejected for a variety of reasons that don’t really matter much now, because the point of the whole grim story is that McGovern and his brain-trust were determined from the start to use the VP as a peace offering to the Old Politics gang they’d just beaten. It was crucial, they felt, to select somebody acceptable to the Old Guard: The Meany/Daley/Muskie/Humphrey/Truman/LBJ axis – because McGovern needed those bastards to beat Nixon.
Which may be true – or at least as true as the hoary wisdom that said a maverick like McGovern couldn’t possibly win the Democratic nomination because Ed Muskie began the campaign with a lock on the Party Machinery and all the pols who matter.
So, now that Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, he must choose his running mate. A CNN poll shows that 22 percent of Hillary supporters would stay at home and another 17 percent would vote for McCain if Clinton is not named as VP. So, the selection of Hillary is obvious, correct? Or, will the selection of a Clintoncrat dissuade young supporters of Obama that he really seeks change from the past 28 years of Bush/Clinton?
Which leads to this quote on page 174:
“I’ve always thought that the blue-collar vote had to be a source of his strength,” said Frank Mankiewicz, McGovern’s main strategist. “It always seemed to me that McGovern – not as the anti-war candidate but as the ‘change’ candidate – would appeal more to Middle America than he would to any other group. They’re the ones with the most to gain from change and they’re the ones who get screwed by the way we do business in this country.”
With Clinton’s already strong support among the blue-collar vote, and the increasing probability of recession due to rapidly increasing oil prices, an Obama/Clinton “Change” candidacy in the face of a crumbling economy may be the surest thing this side of a New England pro sports franchise.