Former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole has written a touching remembrance of former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern, who died yesterday, Oct. 21, 2012, at age 90.
"I am sure there are some who were surprised by the long friendship that George and I shared," Dole writes in his remembrance published in The Washington Post. "After all, before his death this weekend at age 90, he was a proud and unapologetic liberal Democrat and I am a lifelong Republican."
Dole continues, "Both of us were guided by the values we learned growing up in the plains of the Midwest — he in Mitchell, S.D., and me in Russell, Kan. Our lives were also transformed by the experience of wearing the uniform of our country during World War II.
"We would both come to understand that our most important commonality — the one that would unite us during and after our service on Capitol Hill — was our shared desire to eliminate hunger in this country and around the world."
Doles ends his piece: "There can be no doubt that throughout his half-century career in the public arena, George McGovern never gave up on his principles or in his determination to call our nation to a higher plain. America and the world are for the better because of him."
Dole’s entire piece is worth reading. Click here to see the piece.
One final note about McGovern. He ran for president in 1972 against Richad Nixon, who was seeking his second term. Nixon defeated him handily. McGovern’s biggest issue was that he was running as an anti-Vietnam War candidate.
On the public radio program "Left, Right and Center" on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, journalist Robert Scheer recounted this story about McGovern: "I once asked George McGovern, ‘When Nixon challenged your patriotism … why didn’t you poiint out that you won the distinguished flying coss [during World War II], that you flew 35 missions — the most dangerous missions over Germany? Why didn’t you bring up your patriotism when Nixon, who was a parade guard during the war and didn’t see combat, was challenging you?’
"And McGovern said he didn’t bring up his own war record because it would have been ‘unseemly.’"
Sen. George McGovern