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George McGovern at 90

July 20, 2012

The grand old man of American liberalism turned 90 recently and was feted at a party in Washington, D.C.  Sen. George S. McGovern is best remembered as the anti-Vietnam War tribune who lost the 1972 election to Republican Richard Nixon in a 49-state landslide. (McGovern won only Massachusetts).

But McGovern had a career emblematic of mid-20th century American politics: He was a World War II hero aviator, and a Congressman and Senator who represented the best values of Prairie Populism. A strong advocate for the farmers of his home state, South Dakota, McGovern and a Republican from a farm state, Bob Dole of Kansas, were instrumental in establishing the federal Food Stamp program that both helped feed the poor and increased the market for the surplus farm crops of the Midwest.

Jack Farrell of  National Journal, has an account of the gathering for McGovern.

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