With the Paul Ryan announcement, writer Joshua M. Glasser's book is timely as well as impeccably researched.
By Adam Kirsch, for The Barnes and Noble Review
According to one senator who has been through the process, being vetted as a vice presidential nominee is like having a colonoscopy using the Hubble Telescope. Certainly it's a safe bet that before Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate, his team checked out every aspect of Ryan's life – personal, professional, financial – that could potentially embarrass the campaign. What Romney didn't want – what every presidential candidate in the last forty years has worked hard to avoid – was to tie himself publicly to Paul Ryan, only to find that Ryan had some terrible secret that would necessitate dropping him from the ticket. In short, he didn't want to end up with a Thomas Eagleton problem.
Eagleton is the tragic figure at the center of The Eighteen-Day Running Mate, the timely and impeccably researched new history by Joshua M. Glasser. In 1972, Eagleton was a forty-two-year-old rising star in the Democratic Party – a senator from Missouri with good looks, energy, charisma, and strong liberal principles. George McGovern, the senator from South Dakota who was that year's Democratic nominee, knew that Eagleton desperately wanted to be on the ticket.