Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The 1970s Really Were Bizarre

RIP, Sargent Shriver, a great and patriotic American.

National Journal obit here. An appreciation here.

As far as the 1970s being odd: Sargent Shriver, Tom Eagleton, Jimmy Carter, Bob Dole, Spiro Agnew, Nelson Rockefeller, Gerald Ford, George McGovern, Richard Nixon, Walter Mondale. All held national office or were nominated as part of a national (major party) ticket over the span of 1972-1976. That's ten people, or two more than the maximum you would get from just two sets of completely different tickets in the two elections (as in for example 2004-2008). It wasn't just the clothes and the hair, folks.

(And play with this one: outside of Agnew, I might argue that all of the VPs or VP candidates would have made better presidents than any of the presidents or presidential candidates).


  1. President Bob Dole better than Gerald Ford? More entertaining, sure, but still. And President Tom Eagleton? Shocking supposition...

  2. Are you counting Ford count as a President or Vice President?

  3. As entertaining a thought as that is, I really don't think that works with the Republican tickets in 1972 and 1976. Though sure, it is a fascinating hypothetical to think of what a Rockefeller presidency would've been like.

  4. I was thinking of Ford as president. FWIW. I think he's clearly the best of that group of presidents, although that's not saying much. So that's the bar to top.

    Eagleton had a reputation as a pretty good Senator. Rockefeller? Well, I don't now.

    Dole's strength and weakness were the same: he apparently didn't really hold any issue positions strongly. I could see him turning into a Nixon, but I could also see him having encouraged a non-crazy, non-Nixonite conservative GOP if he was successful.


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