The passing today of Senator George McGovern caused me to recall some of the presidential campaigns of the past. Yes, the presidential campaign of McGovern vs. Nixon was the most polarizing one that I remember. Differences of opinion about America’s involvement in the Vietnam War created a lot of bad blood. The issues of Watergate and its cover-up were revealed after the election. It seemed that Nixon wanted to derail the presidential campaign of Edmund Muskie who would have been a formidable opponent.
The first presidential campaign I can remember is the Kennedy-Nixon rivalry of 1960. I worked for the Democratic Club on Saunders Street handing our flyers for JFK. Tricky Dick came close to winning. The course of American history would have changed had he been elected in 1960.
Back in 1976 when I lived in New Brunswick, NJ I gave out flyers supporting Jimmy Carter. It seems amazing that he came from being an obscure former Governor of Georgia to become President.
Then in 2000 there was the Florida controversy that led to the election of George W. Bush over Al Gore.
The current campaign of Obama against Romney seems very dull to me. It seems that almost everybody has his mind made up. With the election based on the Electoral College rather than the popular vote the candidates are campaigning only in a handful of battleground states. For that reason I am in favor of abolishing the Electoral College. Back in 2000 Al Gore actually had more popular votes than George W. Bush.