On Saturday, the Tampa community said its final goodbyes to Sam Gibbons, the long-time Democratic Congressman who represented Tampa in D.C. for 34 years. Gibbons passed away earlier this month at 92, and yesterday one of his contemporaries, former South Dakota U.S. Sen. George McGovern, died at 90.
Today you can read about McGovern's life in many places. I would direct your attention to a New York Times op-ed written by SUNY-Albany political science professor Bruce Miroff. In 2009, Miroff wrote The Liberals' Moment: The McGovern Insurgency and the Identity Crisis of the Democratic Party.
It's a great book that looks back at the 1972 race against Nixon, when the McGovern Democrats were labeled the party of "acid, amnesty and abortion." We all know McGovern got smoked that year, but changes really came when the Democrats shifted their identity (losing some union people and other white working class voters), reflecting all of the social changes of the 1960s and becoming the party to stand up for gay rights, women's rights, and self-determination for Latinos and American Indians.
Of course there were a lot of bad things that happened during that chaotic year, symbolized by the fact that McGovern gave his nominating speech at the DNC in Miami Beach at the non-so-prime time hour of 3 a.m. (compare that to this year's conventions, which were timed to end exactly at 11 p.m.).
For a more personal recollection of the importance of George McGovern in '72, check out Howard Altman's piece in today's Tampa Tribune.
Back to 2012. There are boatloads of polls coming at you each and every way. Nationally, the race is a toss-up. Well, in virtually every poll except for Gallup. What's up with that? On Sunday, Gallup's Frank Newport visited Fox News to explain.
And what's the latest with the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections race? Find out here.