SOUTH Dakota's George McGovern flew 35 missions in World War II, was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross, became a history professor, won election to the House of Representatives in 1956, and to the U.S. Senate in 1962.
In 1972, he "helped engineer a turn to the left by the Democratic Party that turned away many of its traditional members in organized labor and big-city political machines," as Stephen Miller of the Wall Street Journal put it.
McGovern, who died Sunday at 90, took only one state and 17 Electoral College votes in that contest.
But he continued to make valuable observations, a couple of which loom large in the election before us.
In 1988, McGovern invested most of his earnings from the lecture circuit into the Stratford Inn in Connecticut. Thus, the regulator became the regulated.
He wrote from this new vantage point in a 1992 column for the Journal.
"In retrospect, I wish I had known more about the hazards and difficulties of such a business . . . "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," McGovern wrote.
"That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender."