Skip to comments.McGovern Receiving Hospice Care In Sioux Falls (on his last legs)
Posted on 10/15/2012 7:24:21 PM PDT by markomalley
Senator George McGovern is receiving hospice care.
The family announced Monday afternoon that the senator is in Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls.
It was just in August when the former Democratic presidential candidate gave up his homes in Mitchell and Florida to spend more time near family in Sioux Falls.
His daughter told The Associated Press on Monday that the longtime South Dakota senator is "coming to the end of his life." Ann McGovern declined to elaborate, but noted her 90-year-old father's recent health problems.
Last October, he was treated for exhaustion after a lecture tour. Two months later, he fell and hit his head just before a scheduled interview for a C-SPAN program about failed presidential candidates who've had a lasting impact on American politics.
The 90 year old McGovern was a three term U.S. Senator from the 1960s to the 1980s. He also served in the House of Representatives.
Prayers for the family. He said some bad things about Reagan in the 80s, but prayers nevertheless.
Did not like his politics, but he was a WWII hero flying B17s! Prayers up for him and his family!
I think he figured it out later on. A letter he wrote to the WSJ in 1992 (this letter tempered my opinion greatly):
It's been 11 years since I left the U.S. Senate, after serving 24 years in high public office. After leaving a career in politics, I devoted much of my time to public lectures that took me into every state in the union and much of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
In 1988, I invested most of the earnings from this lecture circuit acquiring the leasehold on Connecticut's Stratford Inn. Hotels, inns and restaurants have always held a special fascination for me. The Stratford Inn promised the realization of a longtime dream to own a combination hotel, restaurant and public conference facility--complete with an experienced manager and staff.
In retrospect, I wish I had known more about the hazards and difficulties of such a business, especially during a recession of the kind that hit New England just as I was acquiring the inn's 43-year leasehold. I also wish that during the years I was in public office, I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender.
Today we are much closer to a general acknowledgment that government must encourage business to expand and grow. Bill Clinton, Paul Tsongas, Bob Kerrey and others have, I believe, changed the debate of our party. We intuitively know that to create job opportunities we need entrepreneurs who will risk their capital against an expected payoff. Too often, however, public policy does not consider whether we are choking off those opportunities.
My own business perspective has been limited to that small hotel and restaurant in Stratford, Conn., with an especially difficult lease and a severe recession. But my business associates and I also lived with federal, state and local rules that were all passed with the objective of helping employees, protecting the environment, raising tax dollars for schools, protecting our customers from fire hazards, etc. While I never doubted the worthiness of any of these goals, the concept that most often eludes legislators is: `Can we make consumers pay the higher prices for the increased operating costs that accompany public regulation and government reporting requirements with reams of red tape.' It is a simple concern that is nonetheless often ignored by legislators.
For example, the papers today are filled with stories about businesses dropping health coverage for employees. We provided a substantial package for our staff at the Stratford Inn. However, were we operating today, those costs would exceed $150,000 a year for health care on top of salaries and other benefits. There would have been no reasonably way for us to absorb or pass on these costs.
Some of the escalation in the cost of health care is attributed to patients suing doctors. While one cannot assess the merit of all these claims, I've also witnessed firsthand the explosion in blame-shifting and scapegoating for every negative experience in life.
Today, despite bankruptcy, we are still dealing with litigation from individuals who fell in or near our restaurant. Despite these injuries, not every misstep is the fault of someone else. Not every such incident should be viewed as a lawsuit instead of an unfortunate accident. And while the business owner may prevail in the end, the endless exposure to frivolous claims and high legal fees is frightening.
Our Connecticut hotel, along with many others, went bankrupt for a variety of reasons, the general economy in the Northeast being a significant cause. But that reason masks the variety of other challenges we faced that drive operating costs and financing charges beyond what a small business can handle.
It is clear that some businesses have products that can be priced at almost any level. The price of raw materials (e.g., steel and glass) and life-saving drugs and medical care are not easily substituted by consumers. It is only competition or antitrust that tempers price increases. Consumers may delay purchases, but they have little choice when faced with higher prices.
In services, however, consumers do have a choice when faced with higher prices. You may have to stay in a hotel while on vacation, but you can stay fewer days. You can eat in restaurants fewer times per month, or forgo a number of services from car washes to shoeshines. Every such decision eventually results in job losses for someone. And often these are the people without the skills to help themselves--the people I've spent a lifetime trying to help.
In short, `one-size-fits-all' rules for business ignore the reality of the market place. And setting thresholds for regulatory guidelines at artificial levels--e.g., 50 employees or more, $500,000 in sales--takes no account of other realities, such as profit margins, labor intensive vs. capital intensive businesses, and local market economics.
The problem we face as legislators is: Where do we set the bar so that it is not too high to clear? I don't have the answer. I do know that we need to start raising these questions more often.
Keep my name out of it.
He was never one of my favorite people, especially of my parents and grandparents.
My father died at Dougherty Hospice House on a cold and snowy day in December of 2010.
Mr. McGovern’s in good hands and hearts and may God bless him and his family. It’s not easy.
The man flew 35 combat missions in a B24 over Europe and won a Distinguished Flying Cross.I’ll respect him for that-even if his politics weren’t right later.
Despite his political career as a lifelong liberal, after his company went bankrupt in the 1990’s, he finally admitted the failure was in part due to the cost of dealing with federal, state and local regulations that made life difficult for small business.
My father is about the same age and we are now just asking that he be kept comfortable. My last good memory of him was when I visited in August and conducted a communion service at his bedside. I am an elder in my church and that is part of what we do.
guess how this will play out...
vote obama for mcgovern.
biden: george, stand up buddy...oh geez, what am i saying...
As I recall the story (from an Ambrose book) they were forced to drop their bombs and accidentally hit a farm house, killing the people inside. Seemed as though it really had a profound effect on him.
And I would add that compared to the scumbag currently infesting the White House, his liberalism was much more towards the moderate end of things.
At 90, McGovern is hardly relevant to 2012 voters. He only won one state when he DID run in 1972. No impact.
On second reading, you were being sarcastic. Some of us slow learners need a /s tag.
it’s a sarc reference back to the wellstone memorial kennedy “do it for paul!” and the stand up chuck comment biden made in 08.
I was flying combat missions in Vietnam in 1972 when candidate McGovern was vowing to go to Hanoi on his knees while he was actually in Saigon badmouthing the South Vietnamese government. Later that year during the campaign McGoo stated in Life magazine that he distrusted the U.S. military far more than the Soviet or Red Chinese militaries and promised to cut the U.S. defense budget by 25% if elected.
After his presidential defeat in 1972 and again after his defeat for Senate reelection McGovern expressed his smoldering hatred for the unworthy American electorate who rejected his enlightened leadership.
After his WWII service (motivated solely by our alliance with the USSR), McGovern worked for the Henry Wallace campaign in 1948 against Harry Truman. Wallace was a true believer in socialism who would have sold this nation down the river to the Soviets.
Screw McGovern! He gave comfort & encouragement to our North Vietnamese enemies and prolonged our POW’s imprisonment and torture. No, I’m NOT sympathetic to his current state!
Now flame away!
Romney should hired an actor to read this in a campaign ad. If he can get the family to agree. Mentioning all those Democratic names, as he does would convey a certain irony.
good and bad things come in threes.
Sen. McGovern, a misguided unabashed liberal while in office saw the light of the dangers of an overbearing, over-legislating government following his foray into the business world.
I must admit that as a youth I cast my first vote for him in 1972. It was too obvious to me that Richard, I am not....in fact, was !
Five years after his crushing defeat, while walking down Powell Street in San Francisco, crossing the street, I came face-to-face with him as he was crossing in the opposite direction. Our eyes met as we approached each other and I can say that up until that point in my life I don’t think I had ever looked into eyes that vacuous, that sad, that forlorned. Subsequently, after additional medical training with considerable psychiatry instruction I came to realize the depths of depression I was staring into that brief moment. I found out later about his families struggles, that too many of us share, of substance abuse and estrangement etc. and understood the stresses he may have been under that day.
This man, who was one election away from being the leader of the free-world, and a man who had vowed to end a war that took too many of our brothers (that by that time was a futile effort) appeared to be a broken man, spirit-less and all alone - no aides, no hangers-on, no friends.
I hope I was wrong - I hope he was just having a “bad day” I hope the rest of his life was more joyous. And now that his days are few, may God smile upon him and call him home in His Grace.
No matter his politics, he was an honorable man. If only it was possible to feel that way about the current members of his once honorable party.
I’m a local that remembers the funerally. I watched it live just a mile or so away from the doings.
My sarcasm was no one remembers McGovern. Guess that makes me old - and then I understood what you were implying. For the record - I was 12 when McGovern ran.
Jumpin’ Joe would still do it. Give your vote up for George! Ha! And wouldn’t it be wonderful if 0bama won just one state a la McGovern. A girl can dream!
Yes, aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war. Wipes out his WWII record. My father and uncle also WWII combat vets and then career Army and Navy, respectively. Their five sons also vets from Vietnam through Gulf War I. We kept the faith and a belief in America. McGovern betrayed our country—that is his real legacy.
While I never agreed with his politics, I have some strange connections with McGovern. He spoke at my high school graduation and after the graduation came to my parent’s home for a reception. I still have a photo of him standing with me. I used to date a girl who worked in his field office in Pierre, SD and now he is in a hospice only a few blocks from my home. Funny how things are connected sometimes.
I also cast my first Presidential vote for George McGovern, and have a genuine Mcgovern-Eagleton button stashed somewhere.
Young and naive, they say. Four years later I proudly voted for Gerald Ford and have never again cast a vote for a democrat on a national ticket, and given the state of their party, likely never will.
“In battle, as in his political life, he was always flying overhead and never putting his ass in the fight when it counted. “
You might want to research the rate of death for bomber crews.
He was drafted as a private, flew 35 dangerous missions. Left as first Lt. Nothing elitist or “walked away” or about that.
Nixon, Ford, Kissinger walked away from those same 50,000 dead Americans, too.
McGovern was not responsibile for our entering that war, or for the conduct of it.
for what it’s worth...he did his duty in WWII
McGovern was a sincere man though a foolish liberal and that would include terrible harm he did during the Vietnam war. He was a terrible presidential candidate ah, that was a time when republicans could do in a liberal democrat.
Many years ago I was in the Senate gallery got to see Barry Goldwater come in slowly with his cane, anyway McGovern wanted a farm aid bill but it had come out of committee with a comma in the wrong place, and he was being worked over by Robert Byrd and other democrat leaders. They insisted it go back to committee but they wouldn’t agree to support the bill once the comma was corrected. McGovern seemed a very sincere man, not afraid to confront them, but he was outmatched and out maneuvered by them.
Don’t you wish someone would forward this to Obama? He knows not the first thing about business, but hates capitalists and capitalism. He couldn’t run a successful lemonade stand.
I believe what McGovern favored was giving every American $1,000. Imagine if we could get off that cheaply today. His ideas were contemptible as were all liberal ideas, and yes he caused aid and comfort to the enemy and harmed our soldiers and allies with his leftism.
But I think he was misguided, not insincere. In contrast I think today’s liberal democrats are complete blood sucking phonies. Think Chuck Schumer. McGovern was not that type.
You bring back for me another McGovern obscenity that proved he was anything but the misguided humanitarian some here on FR think him to be.
It was the spring of 1975 and with McGovern leading it, Congress had cut off aid to the South Vietnamese goverment. The North Vietnamese Army immediately launched its massive final invasion of South Vietnam. As part of the evacuation of our allies, the Air Force launched “Operation Babylift” to get the kids of our Vietnamese friends out first. A C-5 Galaxy crashed during this effort.
While the airlift was in progress, Senator McGovern made a speech that Operation Babylift should be canceled so that the children of our Vietnamese allies would be left behind to “build socialism in the new Vietnam”! He would go on to praise the communist takeovers in Laos and Cambodia and ignored the bloodbaths that followed.
McGovern is a mean spirited man whose agendas cost the lives of millions in Southeast Asia and made 58,000 of our military die in vain.
It is said that Stalin on his deathbed saw the gates of Hell gaping before him, the fate of those who fail to repent their deeds on Earth. I doubt McGovern thinks he ever made a mistake in his life, other than his abortive foray into capitalism. No pity here.
I am also a Viet Nam Vet, USMC platoon leader, and was on the ground in I Corps along the DMZ when McGovern unexpectedly and un-invited showed up in Paris and disrupted the peace talks process. The North took this as a signal to fight on, America will loose out to the internal strife at home. The North stated this after the war.
There is a LOT of American service men's blood on McGovern's hands. He can go to hell and richly deserves it.
Thank you for your service. God bless the Marine Corps!
I flew Hueys & carried our wonderful “grunts” to all kinds of LZs. The infantry is the tip of the spear in any war. We chopper pilots were in awe of them.
Have you read “Trial By Fire” by Dale Andrade? The best account of our last full year in RVN and the Easter Offensive I have seen so far.
George McGovern backstabbed us in Vietnam and wanted communist victory. He will not be missed.
Thanks for the correction!
My own feelings exactly.
It is at times such as this that I am reminded of our common humanity...