How did I forget the merging of my two stories at the 2004 Democratic Convention in “Advising Obama — In a Dream,” yesterday’s post? When I heard that George McGovern was at the convention in Boston I scurried over to his delegation and found him. Somebody was standing at the end of the row where he was seated, probably to protect his privacy.
“I worked for Sen. McGovern in the ’72 presidential election,” I told the guy. “Yeah, you and everybody else in here,” he replied. I started talking about my campaign tasks in Montana and McGovern must have overheard me. I wasn’t going to take no for an answer; I wanted to commend for sticking up for his beliefs, not sugarcoating events or pushing fear, for being the most straightforward politician.
“Let her come over to see me,” McGovern told his protector. I sat down beside him. We chatted a bit about how he was doing before I said, “Back in 1972 when you came to Great Falls I advised you to ‘just keep telling the truth.'”
“We didn’t win, but my conscience is clear,” McGovern replied. Another sound bit of advice for President Obama — perhaps even more so because he did win.