Joshua M. Glasser has just published “The Eighteen-Day Running Mate: McGovern, Eagleton, and a Campaign Crisis.” The book is published by Yale U. Press. In July 1972, the Democratic national convention chose Thomas Eagleton for vice-president, and George McGovern for president, and certified the names of the nominees to all 50 states and D.C. The following month, Eagleton resigned from the ticket and the Democratic National Committee met and chose Sargent Shriver as the replacement.
The publication of a book on this topic is a welcome development. New and minor parties, and independent presidential candidates, frequently don’t know who their vice-presidential candidate will be until late in the campaign. This was notably true for John B. Anderson, who declared as an independent in April 24, 1980, yet who didn’t choose his v-p until August 27. Unfortunately, the First Circuit, and the Massachusetts Supreme Court, both ruled recently that there is no constitutional right for a newly-qualifying party, or an independent ticket, to make a late decision on the vice-presidential selection. The failure of some states, and some courts, to give flexibility for vice-presidential substitution is an obvious violation of Equal Protection, and having this book in print will make that point easier to explain. Thanks to PoliticalWire for the news about the book.