Eugene McCarthy, 1916 - 2005
TIME magazine cover (22 March 1968)
Born: 29 March 1916, Watkins, Minnesota
Died: 10 December 2005, Washington City
After graduating from St. John's University, McCarthy taught high school until the start of World War II, then served as an intelligence officer. After the war he ran for Congress and served five terms before running for the Senate in 1958. He fiercely opposed the Viet Nam War and though he eventually lost to Hubert Humphrey it was "Clean Gene" that focused public opinion on the war and led to Lyndon Johnson's withdrawal from the 1968 presidential campaign. McCarthy retired from the Senate in 1971 and went back to teaching and writing, but he mounted presidential campaigns (not always as a Democrat) in 1972, 1976, 1988, and 1992. Always a maverick, his campaigns were fun to watch.
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
Eugene McCarthy quotes:
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- As long as the differences and diversities of mankind exist, democracy must allow for compromise, for accommodation, and for the recognition of differences. permalink
- Being in politics is like being a football coach; you have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it's important. permalink
Washington Post (12 November 1967)
- Broken things are powerful.
Things about to break are stronger still.
The last shot from the brittle bow is truest. permalink
"Courage After Sixty"
- Have you ever tried to split sawdust? permalink
NBC TV (23 October 1969)
- I can still smell the tear gas in the Hilton Hotel. permalink
- I may have been prejudiced against lawyer members of Congress, having run against one or two and having been threatened politically by a few others, and also because my own professional background was academic, principally in the liberal arts. Good lawyers, I asserted in campaigns, can be found in the yellow pages of the telephone books. Good historians, or political and social philosophers, are not so easily found or classified. permalink
- If any of you are secret poets, the best way to break into print is to run for the presidency. permalink
- I'm kind of an accidental instrument, really, through which I hope that the judgment and the will of this nation can be expressed. permalink
The New York Times (11 December 2005)
- In 1968, the party became a kind of unrelated bloc of factions ... each refusing accommodation with another, each wanting control at the expense of all the others. permalink
- In politics one may remain aloof and become irrelevant or get involved and get corrupted. permalink
- It is dangerous for a national candidate to say things that people might remember. permalink
- Let us pick up again these lost strands and weave them again into the fabric of America, sort out the music from the sounds and again respond to the trumpet and the steady drum. permalink
- Never say anything in a national campaign that anyone might remember. permalink
- Nixon is the kind of guy who, if you were drowning twenty feet from shore, would throw you a fifteen-foot rope. permalink
- No man could be equipped for the presidency if he has never been tempted by one of the seven cardinal sins. permalink
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