Today’s the South Dakota Democratic primary, and there would be no better time for Barack Obama to announce this choice for his running mate: former South Dakota Senator George S. McGovern.
McGovern was right about Vietnam and Iraq. He spoke out in 1965 for recognition of the Cuban government, saying that sanctions wouldn’t work to bring down the Castro regime. He advocated opening relations with China years before Henry Kissinger made his secret trips for President Richard Nixon. He’s been a ceaseless advocate for ending poverty and hunger around the world, something that was recognized by President Robert Kennedy when he gave McGovern the reins of the Food for Peace office. He tried to warn the American public about Nixon’s role in the Watergate affair even before the 1972 election, but the voters didn’t listen.
He was bombing Nazis when Senator John McCain was still in short pants, he won a Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions in saving the lives of his men. And unlike McCain, he did his 35 missions in a slow, difficult-to-fly B-24 Liberator (sometimes known as “The Flying Coffin”) without getting his ass shot down.
It’s been 36 years since McGovern topped the Democratic ticket, taking on Nixon and the war supporters in his own party. He’s tanned, he’s rested, he’s ready.