Category Archives: McGovern

The Luncheon Society/Former Senator Gary Hart on his memoirs, “The Thunder and the Sunshine”/NY-Prime House November 10, 2010/ LA-Napa Valley Grille, November 17, 2010/SF-Credo November 18, 2010

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Gary Hart has consistently trod the unbeaten path. As a young Denver attorney, he hooked up with George McGovern, the darkest of dark horses, and together rewrote the book on how to win the Democratic nomination. Two years later, Hart ran for the US Senate from Colorado, a state where Nixon had crushed McGovern two years before. He rode the post-Watergate Democratic tidal wave and entered the Senate at the tender age of 37. In 1984, Hart’s own presidential insurgency nearly knocked off Walter Mondale as he challenged Democrats to look to the future instead of their past.

By crafting a candidacy based on “the new,” Hart discovered the door which others, like Clinton and Obama, successfully opened in later contests.  Walter Mondale, on the other hand, represented the past and became a forlorn caricature that Republicans were able to lampoon to a 49 state winContinue reading

The Luncheon Society/George McGovern/One Market, San Francisco 8.24.09/ The Regency Club, Los Angeles 8.27.09

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Lincoln CoverGeorge McGovern’s Indian Summer. At a time when most have put down their pen or have simply placed themselves out to pasture, George McGovern still has a point to make.

With that, The Luncheon Society has become a welcome respite for those who are promoting their new book; a place where authors can engage in a long discussion about their work without worrying about the short attention span of a television audience or lose the flow of a great conversation because of a commercial break.

Over the years, The Luncheon Society has quietly convened over 200 times where ideas can bubble up and be passed around the table at over 40 restaurants like Palio D’Asti, located about a chip shot from the foot of San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica Building, or Napa Valley Grille a well-loved haunt on the edge of UCLA in Westwood section of Los Angeles, or The Blue Fin, situated in the Heart of New York’s Times Square where Jimmy Breslin mourned the loss of the neighborhood’s more grittier residents of hookers and vagrants gave way to tourists with cameras

George McGovern returned to The Luncheon Society after a 6 year absence for two gatherings, one in San Francisco and the second in Los Angeles. The latter took place just 36 hours after the passing of Edward Kennedy, who died after a valiant fight against brain cancer, was equal parts eulogy and a celebration of the issues they shared. Both gatherings served as a reunion for old friends from the McGovern campaign, others who served as volunteers, and still more like myself who were too young to participate and could only vote with our hearts and minds.

At 87, McGovern has outlived or outdistanced his rivals; he has endured the twin sadness of losing his wife Eleanor in 2007 from heart disease and daughter Terry after a long battle with depression and alcoholism, who tragically froze to death in a Wisconsin snow bank in 1994. One Luncheon Society member, who was the inspiration for a character in Doonesbury, remarked that McGovern didn’t look a day over 70.


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