Nixon Enemies List entry for
George McGovern:

List and position:First, #6
Name as originally listed:George McGovern
Vitals:7/19/1922 - 10/21/2012
Category given:Senators

- known mostly for his failed presidential bid in 1972, when he won only Massachusetts and Washington, DC.

- The defeat was helped by Nixon's illegal campaign activities that later created the Watergate scandal.

- McGovern did not directly blame the Nixon "dirty tricks" for his loss: "It was an issue-oriented campaign, and we should have paid more attention to image."

- He also joked at the Gridiron Club in 1973, "Ever since I was a young man, I wanted to run for the presidency in the worst possible way — and I did."

- was first candidate to focus on Iowa caucuses, which turned out to be a winning strategy for him;

- Edmund Muskie was the favorite for the Democratic nomination until the New Hampshire primaries when the highly partisan Manchester Union-Leader attacked his wife's character and melting snowflakes caused reports of Muskie's highly emotional response.

- Muskie supporters had been a focus of the Enemies List until the N.H. primaries in February 1972 when McGovern became the likely nominee.

- a decorated bomber pilot in World War II

- The site of starving children around the air base in Italy started his interest in food assistance.

- was a history professor at Dakota Wesleyan before entering politics, first as the executive secretary of the South Dakota Democratic Party and then as an elected congressman in 1956

- ran for Senate instead of the House in 1960, but lost

- ran again for Senate in 1962 and won by 597 votes

- also briefly ran for president in 1968 (after Robert Kennedy's assassination) and in 1984

- Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham took time off from Yale Law School to work on McGovern's presidential campaign.

- promoted anti-poverty food programs, first as an assistant to President Kennedy in 1961, then in the U.S. Senate, finally as Clinton appointee to the U.N. in 1997.

- In 2000, Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

- wrote many books--the last one in 2011 was "What It Means To Be a Democrat" in which he wrote, "We are the party that believes we can't let the strong kick aside the weak."

- could never understand how his traditional South Dakotan values got him labeled as an extreme liberal.

- was the first to oppose the Vietnam War on the Senate floor in a speech in September 1963, during the Kennedy administration

- His opposition to the war was never motivated by liberalism, but by good policy.

- His pioneering opposition to the Vietnam War as a U.S. Senator was reason enough to get listed on the first Enemies List. When the first list was compiled in 1971, McGovern was not a strong candidate for the nomination.

- not to be confused with George McGovern, the team chaplain for the New York Jets and Mets 1990-1995 and for the N.Y. Giants since 1995, although Senator George McGovern briefly studied for the ministry 1946-47.


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