hall tonight, we remember a political icon this evening. george McGovern. He was a man of connions and conviction and he was a presidential candidate at a time when this nation was divided by war.... See More
hall tonight, we remember a political icon this evening. george McGovern. He was a man of connions and conviction and he was a presidential candidate at a time when this nation was divided by war. Here's abc's john donvan now. Reporter: When george McGOVERN WAS RUNNING FOR THE White house in 1972, at a campaign stop in arkansas, the kid who met him at the airport, that's right, bill clinton, a good enough way to show how that '72 campaign, and the legacy of george McGovern, impacts the democratic party even today. The son of a south dakota minister, a decorated pilot in world war ii, he was a liberal. He was the first u.S. Senator to oppose the war in vietnam. I will halt the senseless bombings of indochina on inaugural day. Reporter: Though he ran in '72, IT WAS THE '60s HE WAS Channeling. The youth-powered, rule breaking, establish-blaming assault on the status quo. We're wasting money on the war that we ought to use on building up our own country. Reporter: Liberal was in fashion. But his campaign was a mess. His pick for vice president, tom eagleton, was dropped once it came out he had been hospitalized for mental illness. There's not much cause for dancing in the streets of sioux falls, south dakota, tonight. Reporter: On election day, he lost every state but massachusetts, and the democratic party lost once loyal voters who would never return. So, by the time that kid who met him at the airport pulled the party to the middle, the word McGOVERN-ITE WAS A SLUR THAT Democrats would use against each other. As for the man, though, a kind OF LASTING RESPECT came McGove McGOVERN'S WAY, AS A SENATOR AND Afterwards when he made a cause of fighting hunger. To the end, he stuck to his views, whether they were in fashion or not. John donvan, abc news, washington.
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