Monday, May 13, 2013

Very Strange Bedfellows 6

For my write-up today on Jules Witcover's Very Strange Bedfellows: The Short and Unhappy Marriage of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, I'd like to highlight what Witcover on pages 245-246 quotes Nixon advisor H.R. Haldeman as saying:

"We had a 90-minute flap with the VP regarding his seconding speeches, because he decided yesterday to have Dr. Joyce Brothers, the psychologist, be one of the seconders, and they went ahead and asked her.  This obviously would be a disaster, in that it would look like he got his own psychiatrist to prove he isn't nuts like Eagleton is."

Thomas Eagleton was Democratic Presidential candidate George McGovern's first running mate in 1972.  Eagleton was dropped from the ticket when it was learned that he had been treated for depression.  Nixon's Vice-President, Spiro Agnew wanted for Dr. Joyce Brothers to second his own nomination at the Republican convention, but Haldeman thought that wouldn't look too good, for it would look as if Agnew were comparing himself to Eagleton!  And I agree, that would be very tacky and insensitive!  Agnew was persistent in wanting Dr. Brothers to second his nomination, but Agnew agreed to drop the issue when he learned that the President agreed with Haldeman.

I didn't know anything about Dr. Joyce Brothers' political leanings.  She must have been a Nixon supporter.  In this column, she talks about what she believes are the strengths and weaknesses of various candidates in 1968, Republican and Democrat.

I learned something interesting about Eagleton while searching the web: he was a pro-life Democrat.  See here and here.

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