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Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

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Louis to do what I could to get hold of some of those records to try to find out more about it, I was treated like someone who’d come up to the North Pole to blackmail Santa Claus, even by your people. So Anderson was left with a story that almost every journalist in Washington still believes to be true. You might know anything about Muskie or McGovern or even Gary Hart but the sheer excitement of the campaign trail as described by Thompson beats any sports show out there.

McGovern: I thought it was an effort to maybe bring some of his people back on board who otherwise would go for Nixon or sit out the election. There were two people in the campaign… in the sort of top echelon, who made the strongest possible case with George for unloading Eagleton. The selection of a replacement for Eagleton was one of the most heinous botches in the history of politics. Or, as history podcaster Dan Carlin often puts it: “I want a country that matches the marketing material.And despite those hours and hours of waiting around for seven seconds of mildly exciting activity, the Yanks can’t get enough of it. I think that element of indecisiveness, and the willingness – as he said in his interview – to do anything possible to forge a “winning coalition” didn’t do him any good at all. You said the candidates… the staff, and the press… were all on The Edge … is politics the greatest Edge you’ve discovered? If the election had been close Illinois would have been critical, and with Daley coming around there was at least a possibility that Illinois would go for McGovern.

But from that point on, I won steadily – until November 7th, when I made the invariably fatal mistake of betting my emotions instead of my instinct. I could see that he’d been crying… and… he’s not the kind of person you’d expect to see walking around in public with tears all over his face.What Nixon did was pick up a tremendous amount of mainly young, not necessarily liberal Democrats – but young, sort of educated, relatively sophisticated voters who would have stayed with McGovern, according to the polls… according to the answers they gave the poll-takers, if it had not been for the Eagleton disaster. Of particular focus is the manic maneuvering of George McGovern's campaign during the Miami convention as they sought to ensure the Democratic nomination despite attempts by Humphrey and other candidates to block McGovern.

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