My readers are better than Wikipedia. Thomas Eagleton was selected on July 15, 1972. His first press conference was July 25, 1972. So ten days is the maximum delay in recent history so far. On the tenth day, he announced his history of bipolar disease. On the eighteenth he withdrew. The story has some truly eerie parallels:
Eagleton was an unlikely running mate for McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee. He supported a McGovern rival in the primaries, and according to the columnist Robert Novak, he spoke damagingly of McGovern off the record. But after Edward M. Kennedy and others refused McGovern’s entreaties, the call went out to Eagleton.
In a room with staff members, friends and even reporters present, Eagleton spoke on the phone with McGovern for less than a minute. McGovern’s aide Frank Mankiewicz subsequently asked Eagleton if he had any skeletons rattling around his closet. A terse denial inaugurated a latter-day industry of vice-presidential vetting.
By tomorrow, Palin will be in unprecedented territory. And, of course, the Eagleton delay should also be seen in the context of how much time the country still has to weigh its decision. When Eagleton was selected, there were a little under four months left till election day. Now there's less than two months. And they say the public has no right to know who could be their next president.
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