January 4, 2007

George McGovern voted for Gerald Ford.

I wonder if Ford ever knew. And what exactly was it about Jimmy Carter that rubbed him the wrong way?

26 comments:

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Probably that he mispronounced "nuclear."

Maxine Weiss said...

"And what exactly was it....?"---Althouse

Ruth Carter Stapleton and Larry Flynt.

Peace, Maxine

Glenn Howes said...

Maybe he was in a room with Jimmy Carter for more than 10 seconds.

Joe said...

What is it about Jimmy Carter that would NOT rub anyone the wrong way?
I am not sure if he was a paid shill for Islamists in 1976, or if that was only later.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it was Carter's moral piety/willingness to wear his religion on his sleeve? Perhaps McGovern was smart enough not to trust someone who said, "I shall never lie to you?" Maybe he knew that Carter was never a nuclear engineer although he claimed to be.

When I was a teenager, I wrote to George McGovern (I think it was 1970) about something he'd written. Mine was not a particularly good letter, and it didn't agree with him. He was extremely gracious in his reply, a long hand-written letter wherein he didn't try to pretend we disagreed, gave my opinion more credit than was due, and encouraged me to fight for what I believed in.

As I wasn't a South Dakota resident, and would not be old enough to vote for him in the next election, he was very kind to take the time to send me anything more than the machine-written acknowledgement quite popular at the time.

Gerry said...

KING: Was he a good president?

MCGOVERN: Yes, I think he was. There's a consensus in the country that we've heard the last few days, from Republicans and Democrats, liberals, conservatives, those in the middle -- I think he perhaps now has earned the title unifier in chief. He's probably done a better job of pulling all the various elements of American politics together than any other person I know. And he deserves high marks for that.

KING: Are you surprised -- go ahead. I'm sorry. Go ahead.

MCGOVERN: I have to tell you something I've never said before publicly. I voted for him in 1976.

KING: What?

MCGOVERN: When he -- yes, I did. And at Thanksgiving dinner that year, I never said anything about this to Eleanor or to her five children. But I told them at Thanksgiving time I had voted for President Ford, even though he lost. And I told them why, because I thought he had come in at a difficult time. I didn't know President Carter very well then. And I just felt more comfortable somehow with Gerry Ford. Whereupon my wife Eleanor said, so did I vote for him.

We went around that table -- this is hard to believe -- all five of my kids voted for him. So they get seven votes out of the McGovern family for President Ford and Senator Dole, my long-time Republican friend.

I voted for Carter again in 1980. So with my brand of political luck, I voted against Carter when he won, I voted for him when he lost. But I can justify both of those votes.

KING: What a great story. Thank you, George McGovern, on the occasion of the passing of Gerald Ford.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0701/02/lkl.01.html

AST said...

What rubbed him the wrong way?

Probably Carters's sanctimony. Only a fool claims to be born again and then gives an interview to Playboy.

McGovern knew Gerald Ford. Nobody really knew Jimmy Carter.

One incident sticks in my mind about Ford. There was a story that some of his checks had bounced because they had been mailed out too soon by some mistake. At a press conference, a brash reporter accused him of "kiting checks." He stiffened and said "Young lady, we do NOT kite checks." End of story. I've often wished Bush would do that to the jerks in the White House press corps. Just let them know that some "questions" are illegitimate, unserious and just out of bounds.

Anonymous said...

George McGovern was my candidate in 1972; I worked hard for him as a 16-year-old. Bravo, George! Too bad he didn't tell anyone; he would've swayed me, and probably a lot of other voters. But I understand why that was impossible.

I think McGovern and his wife were just a couple of extremely decent people who recognized in Ford and his wife a couple of birds of a feather. Carter was closer to my ideology in those days, but he still made me barf whenever he said his ridiculous platitudes.

Ann Althouse said...

"So with my brand of political luck, I voted against Carter when he won, I voted for him when he lost. But I can justify both of those votes."

Wow, hey, me too! I thought I was the only one. I voted for every loser from when I started voting in 1972 until I finally got one: Clinton in '92.

The partisan moderate said...

Ann, that has less to do with luck and more to do with you being a Democrat. Other than Carter, Republicans won every election from 1972 to 1992.

As for McGovern's claim, I always find it a little dubious though than when people claim after the fact to have voted against their party nominee. Although I am inclined to believe McGovern as he is known as a man of integrity, it is odd that he is choosing to announce his past support of Ford now. Suffice it to say, right now Ford is more popular than Carter and probably has a better legacy.

hdhouse said...

ann....pls define looser...sure you didn't vote for bush too? please. if there is a god.

Anonymous said...

Probably that he mispronounced "nuclear."

Bwah! But, damn you all, you've beaten me to the punch twice today.

Icepick said...

Wow, hey, me too! I thought I was the only one.

Ann Althouse: McGovern Democrat!

SteveR said...

Like Ford, McGovern has a dignity about him, no matter his politics.

Revenant said...

He didn't necessarily have anything against Carter. It could just be that he personally knew and liked Ford and Dole (both of whom he had worked with as a Congressman, and both of whom were widely respected for being friendly, honest, and decent men) and didn't know Carter.

I've always gotten the impression that even though the American *public* held the Nixon pardon against Ford, American *politicians* always viewed him in a positive light.

Ann Althouse said...

hdhouse said..."ann....pls define looser...sure you didn't vote for bush too? please. if there is a god."

Huh? Presumably, you mean "loser" and are not requesting looser definitions. And reread the comment. I said "until '92." I've voted for a Republican for president twice since I started voting in '72: Ford and Bush in '04.

Meade said...

"I've voted for a Republican for president twice since I started voting in '72: Ford and Bush in '04"

My voting record exactly except for '92 when I voted against Bill Clinton for the same reason I voted against Carter in '76 -- oiliness.

Joe said...

Ann said:
"I voted for every loser from when I started voting in 1972 until I finally got one: Clinton in '92."
Me too. You are not the only one. After 92, though, I have voted Republican.

The Drill SGT said...

George was the first guy I voted for in 72. I was back from Nam, and as a Californian, I already knew what a dirt bag Nixon was. Anyway, it wasn't till later that I found out that long before he was anti-war, he was a real hero as a B-24 pilot in WWII. Now I know he was also a good judge of character.

Troy said...

Maybe where McGovern was concerned Jimmuh had more than lust in his "heart" and he made McGovern felt awkward?

Nah. It was probably the sanctimony.

hdhouse said...

thank you ann for the clarification. I actually have a personal letter from Nixon to me when he was VP and just returned fromt he famous kitchen debate in Moscow and he got my first vote and Ford got my next vote so you can see I grew out of my GOP fixation rather well.

Voting with the minority is sometimes a good thing.

Anonymous said...

AST wrote: "Only a fool claims to be born again and then gives an interview to Playboy."

I am not impressed with Jimmy Carter the president or the ex-president, but I have never thought of him as a fool. Didn't Billy Graham have an interview in Playboy? Is he a fool as well? What does being a Christian have to do with granting an interview with Playboy?

Trey

James said...

I wonder how often politicians secretly vote for the candidate of the other party. Probably more than one would think.
Interesting tidbit: George McGovern is now the oldest living major party presidential nominee.

James Kabala

Nicolas Martin said...

Gene McCarthy, another of that era, also detested Carter, and ran against him as an independent. McCarthy said something like, "Carter has a very vague religion which he holds to very strongly."

Jeff said...

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Jeff said...

According to McGovern after Ford's death, he had wanted a pardon for Nixon before Ford considered it. According to wikipedia, he said that he was uncomfortable and didn't know Carter very well since he was a very new to the political spectrum, however, McGovern was a man who was always about peace and opposing Nixon's war crimes, and Carter is as peaceful as you can get, he voted for Ford because Carter hadn't shown off what he could do in the presidency, but i'm sure McGovern liked Carter for his peace efforts which McGovern loved so much.