Down and Out

Friday, July 27, 2012


As the country waits for Mitt Romney to choose his running mate, OTM looks back at the textbook case for the importance of vetting vice presidential nominees. For 18 days in 1972, Thomas Eagleton was presidential candidate George McGovern's running mate–until the press dug up some information on his personal life. In this interview from 2007, Brooke speaks to Clark Hoyt, the cub reporter for Knight Ridder that broke the story and abruptly ended Eagleton's bid for office.

Original Air Date – March 9, 2007


Clark Hoyt

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [1]

Stacy Harris from Nashville, TN

Senator George McGovern provided the biggest disservice to both himself and Senator Thomas Eagleton by "deselecting" McGovern's first vice-presidential candidate. Sargent Shriver was a great selection but McGovern's clumsiness undermined Shriver's as well as McGovern's own candidacy.

It's hard to evaluate Eagleton's own lack of disclosure using the same yardstick we would use today. 1972 was a far different time and the stigma of mental illness- even that which has been properly addressed as it was in Tom Eagleton's case- is not much less today than it was 40 years ago- even given a "more enlightened" meda.

Indeed, Tom Eagleton did all of the RIGHT things in terms of seeking (and presumably benefiting from) treatment. What more do we want from someone who has experienced mental illness?

Additionally, the incident begs the question of how many candidates in the history of American elections have been mentally ill yet have successfully hidden their illnesses? Could we even say that, having elected presidents Nixon and Clinton, that these men had very different mental illnesses, both of which- leading up to impeachment proceedings- became known to the American people?

Had Woodrow Wilson's physical illness been known he would likely have not been allowed to serve out his term. And had FDR's physical limitations been known it is quite possible he never would have been elected in the first place!

So- these discussions cut both ways.

P.S. I wish Clark Hoyt would have mentioned the motives of his tipster source.

Stacy Harris
Publisher/Executive Editor/Media Critic
Stacy's Music Row Report

Jul. 29 2012 03:15 PM

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