Tuesday, August 07, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3851, August 7th, 2018

Spiro Agnew (Photo: LuLac archives)
Since fifty years ago this week, Spiro Agnew was pulled from relative obscurity to the chance to be Vice President, we thought it fitting to have him featured in our centennial birth features. I remember being shocked when Agnew was tapped by Richard Nixon. But in a way it made perfect sense. Nixon needed a Southern strategy without actually having to pick a Southerner. Agnew, the Governor of a border state was perfect.
He was a military man, combative and was more than willing to be the bad cop in the Nixon-Agnew relationship. When Nixon won re-election in 1972, Conservatives in the party were touting him as a possible nominee for the tpp job in 1976. But then Watergate happened as well as Agnew’s own indiscretions.
Here’s a little bit about Spiro Agnew.
Agnew was born in November of 1918. He was the 39th Vice President of the United States from 1969 until his resignation in 1973. He was the second and most recent U.S. Vice President to resign the office, after John C. Calhoun in 1832.
Agnew was born in Baltimore, to an American mother and a Greek immigrant father. He attended Johns Hopkins University and graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law, and entered the United States Army in 1941. Agnew served as an officer during World War II, earning the Bronze Star, and was in 1951 recalled for service during the Korean War. He worked as an aide to U.S. Representative James Devereux before he was appointed to the Baltimore County Board of Zoning Appeals in 1957. In 1960, he lost an election for the Baltimore County Circuit Court, but in 1962 was elected Baltimore County Executive. In 1966, Agnew was elected the 55th Governor of Maryland, defeating his Democratic opponent George P. Mahoney and independent candidate Hyman A. Pressman.
At the 1968 Republican National Convention, Agnew, who had earlier been asked to place Richard Nixon's name in nomination, was selected as running mate by Nixon and his campaign staff. Agnew's centrist reputation interested Nixon, and the law and order stance he had taken in the wake of civil unrest that year appealed to aides such as Pat Buchanan. Agnew made a number of gaffes during the campaign, but his rhetoric pleased many Republicans, and he may have made the difference in several key states. Nixon and Agnew defeated the Democratic ticket of incumbent Vice President Hubert Humphrey and his running mate, Senator Edmund Muskie from Maine. As Vice President, Agnew was often called upon to attack the administration's enemies. In the years of his vice presidency, Agnew moved to the right, appealing to conservatives who were suspicious of moderate stances taken by Nixon. In the presidential election of 1972, Nixon and Agnew were reelected for a second term, defeating Senator George McGovern of South Dakota and former ambassador Sargent Shriver.
Beginning in early 1973, Agnew was investigated by the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland on suspicion of conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax fraud. Agnew had accepted kickbacks from contractors during his time as Baltimore County executive and Governor of Maryland. The payments had continued into his time as vice president. On October 10, 1973, after months of maintaining his innocence, Agnew pled no contest to a single felony charge of tax evasion and resigned from office. He was replaced by House Minority Leader Gerald Ford. Agnew spent the remainder of his life quietly, rarely making public appearances. He wrote a novel and a memoir defending his actions.
Agnew attended the funeral of Richard Nixon in 1994 and passed away himself in 1996.


At 5:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did you get Agnew's autograph?

At 9:42 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

How did you get Agnew's autograph?


I was living in Washington during the '72 campaign. At the time I was attending broadcasting school and living on Wisconsin Ave.
I got that at the Nixon Agnew Headquarters on a fluke. I stopped in just out curiosity and an acquaintance who knew him (she was living in the same housing complex I was in and we used to take the Friendship bus in together, I never knew where she worked) got it for me.
I later saw him in D.C. but never got close to meet him.
The complex I lived in was McClean Gardens. $125.00 a month for a room and a shared bath.
Now it is a huge complex and right across the street is Sidwell Friends School where Chelsea Clinton went. I hear the rents now are $2000 a month.
Here's a story, a guy I know from radio was in D.C. the night Agnew resigned. He claims he saw Agnew in his car and saw him (the radio guy who looked like your typical 1970s hippie with his flaming red hair) as he drove off. Claims the deposed Veep sneered at him.
I guess Ted wasn't signing that night.


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