Lead: In the summer of 1972 Senator Thomas Eagleton became the first U.S. Vice-presidential nominee to withdraw from candidacy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It was going to be very difficult for George McGovern to win anyway. President Nixon popularity was soaring. The struggle for the nomination had been long and bitter and the liberal Senator from South Dakota had had little time to devote to the selection of a running mate. With the Miami convention vote locked up on July 12th, exhausted McGovern staffers began the search. Senators Kennedy, Mondale, Bayh, and Nelson were asked but most, sensing a doomed candidacy, found a reason to refused. Even CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite was considered and at the last minute Tom Eagleton, the little known junior Senator from Missouri, was added to the short list. In the course of a short check of his background, McGovern’s aids learned Eagleton had been hospitalized for “fatigue and exhaustion” following one of his campaigns but an Eagleton staffer downplayed the treatment as not being serious. Such was not the case.

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