Political Elections, Political Figures

Spiro Agnew: Moderate Turned Rightist Henchman


In earlier times presidents were expected to act......well presidential. Often surrogates were given the task of delivering talking points that were more vindictive and partisan in nature. Spiro Agnew, the governor of Maryland, was asked by Richard Nixon in 1968 to be his vice presidential running mate. His political reputation as governor of Maryland was pretty centrist in nature. However as Vice President his political philosophy began to evolve quickly to the right, and indeed became to the right of Nixon. He developed a reputation of being The Nixon’s Administration figurative executioner of sorts. He was famous for his verbose flowery attacks against hippie university leftists, outspoken racial minorities and the counter cultural values espoused by the new left. It should be pointed out however that even Agnew’s most bombastic barbs were probably still tame compared to what Trump would sometimes utter as President. Was the evolution of his political philosophy sincere or was he acting out a role Assigned to him? I do not know. I guess many ask the same question of Trump as president, considering his Democratic Party leanings of his past. Agnew had no part in The Watergate Scandal, but resigned on October 10, 1973 due to an unrelated matter of receiving kickback bribes while governor of Maryland. He pleaded “nolo contendre” to these charges. I am no lawyer but I think it is kind of like pleading guilty while not actually physically stating so.

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