After Walter Cronkite died earlier this year, Frank Mankiewicz, the onetime Democratic operative, recalled in The Washington Post how he had proposed that George McGovern select the CBS anchorman as his running mate during the 1972 presidential campaign. Cronkite was, of course, one of the most admired men in America and a known skeptic of the war in Vietnam. And yet McGovern's others advisers unanimously rejected the Cronkite gamble, not just because they feared he would say no but also...

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