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4 Intriguing Possibilities From Past VP Shortlists

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Until Mitt Romney names his running mate, you're going to be hearing a lot about potential vice presidents. Here are four interesting names that came up in VP discussions during past campaigns.

1. Eleanor Roosevelt, with Harry Truman (1948)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been elected to four terms when he passed away in 1945 and left the office to Harry Truman. When Truman ran to keep the job a few years later, the public was already clamoring to see if he’d consider the ubiquitous Mrs. Roosevelt as a running mate. “Why of course, of course,” he replied, “What do you expect me to say to that?”

In 1947, the North Dakota State Democratic Central Committee passed a resolution endorsing a Democratic ticket of Truman and Mrs. Roosevelt, but she later denied ever considering the job, saying, “The simple truth is that I have had my fill of public life of the more or less stereotyped kind.” The spot eventually went to 71-year-old Alben Barkley, who was an energetic and rousing speaker despite being the oldest VP. Barkley was armed with an endless supply of folksy quips like this one: “A good story is like fine Kentucky bourbon. It improves with age and, if you don’t use it too much, it will never hurt anyone.”

2. Clint Eastwood, with George H.W. Bush (1988)

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As lasting as the Bush legacy turned out to be, Bush Sr.’s 1988 election didn’t always seem so rosy. At one point Bush was 18 points behind, and campaign chairman James Baker (later Secretary of State) knew they needed a shot in the arm. “We were way behind. Honestly, [Clint Eastwood] was suggested in not an altogether unserious – Well, he was a mayor. He was a Republican mayor.”

Indeed, one of Hollywood’s biggest badasses had recently made his foray into politics, quietly presiding over the sleepy art community of Carmel-by-the-Sea. He later said he knew nothing of his brush with Veepdom, but admitted, “I would have said, ‘I want to be the first part of the ticket…why would I want to play a supporting role?’”

3. Former President Gerald Ford, with Ronald Reagan (1980)

Reuters/Landov

When Ronald Reagan started his 1980 bid for the presidency, he really wanted to be taken seriously. One such serious presidential-type decision he’d have to make: who to name as his running mate. After considering expert advice, the Gipper narrowed it down to three veteran politicians: Howard “The Great Conciliator” Baker, George H.W. Bush (SPOILER ALERT), and former President Gerald Ford.

What could be more presidential than a guy who’d already been President? Ford allegedly agreed to run, but only if he would be given such vastly expanded power as vice president that he and Reagan would form a team of de facto “co-presidents.” The idea didn’t sit well with Reagan’s advisers, but Ford had a pretty strong team to make his case. Ford’s representatives in these negotiations included Henry Kissinger, Alan Greenspan, and Dick Cheney, who had been Ford’s White House Chief of Staff. Ford’s team allegedly wanted a heavy say on foreign policy matters; rumors later emerged that Kissinger would have become Secretary of State in the co-presidents’ cabinets.

Excitement about the so-called “dream ticket” spread like pork barrel spending among the political ranks, going so far as to reach Walter Cronkite, who couldn’t resist breaking the story, despite the fact that Reagan was already leaning towards Bush.

4. Donald Rumsfeld, with Gerald Ford (1976)

Though no one can deny the vastness of Donald Rumsfeld’s political clout, there was a time when he was a breath away from being a breath away from being the leader of the free world. In 1974, Gerald Ford had Rumsfeld on his short list for the vice presidential ticket before going with Nelson Rockefeller, son of a powerful Senator and, you know, a Rockefeller. Ford named Rumsfeld chief of staff instead, and he wasted no time proving that his job was more important than that of the uppity Rockefeller.

When Ford ousted Rockefeller for his re-election campaign, Rockefeller blamed Rumsfeld for poisoning the well. Really, Ford was reportedly tired of Rockefeller’s ambitious attempts at a “co-presidency.” The second time around, Rumsfeld was again short-listed and again dropped, this time to the considerably more relatable Senator Bob Dole. (Remember Bob Dole? Bob Dole remembers Bob Dole.) Maybe it was for the best, though; Rummy’s one-time rival, Rockefeller has since been quoted as saying, “I’ve known all the Vice Presidents since Henry Wallace. They were all frustrated, and some were pretty bitter.”

BONUS: 2 Who Actually Joined the Ticket

Gen. Curtis LeMay, with George Wallace (in 1968)

George Wallace’s political career was riddled with disappointment, including but not limited to four unsuccessful bids for the presidency, the last of which ended with an assassination attempt that left him paralyzed.

During the 1968 election, Wallace went a little rogue; he decided to forgo his usual Democratic alignment and run on the American Independent ticket, and chose for his running mate a decorated WWII hero named General Curtis LeMay. LeMay was a notoriously vocal advocate of nuclear armament, and he coined a now familiar phrase within his policy on the Vietnam War: “My solution to the problem [of North Vietnam] would be to tell them frankly that they’ve got to draw in their horns and stop their aggression, or we’re going to bomb them back into the Stone Age.” (He later insisted that he wasn’t advocating they nuke the Vietnamese per se, he just wanted them to know that the U.S. was capable of it.)

Following the release of Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film Dr. Strangelove, the media frequently and gleefully compared LeMay to the film’s most inflammatory characters: General Jack T. Ripper (played by Sterling Hayden), a paranoid, cigar-chomping psychopath who sets off a nuclear doomsday machine, and General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) a blindly patriotic, commie-hating hawk who shoots first and asks questions later. The comparisons didn't help LeMay’s political career or the ticket. Wallace/LeMay finished a distant third with 46 electoral votes.

Thomas Eagleton, with George McGovern (1972)

Thomas Eagleton was the first term Missouri Senator who ran alongside George McGovern on the 1972 Democratic ticket for 18 days. Eagleton wasn’t the campaign’s first choice; McGovern had been holding out for Teddy Kennedy, and settled for Eagleton at the last minute when it became clear Kennedy had other plans.

In their haste, campaign advisors took Eagleton’s word for it that he had nothing in his past they should know about. But newspapers soon began to report on his mental health history. He had been thrice hospitalized for depression, and had twice undergone electroshock therapy. In the scramble, McGovern rebutted that he was “1,000 percent for Tom Eagleton,” only to ask Eagleton to withdraw soon after. Nixon cruised to a second term, and the event set a new precedent for the candidate vetting process—all subsequent candidate background questionnaires have included detailed sections on psychiatric care.

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Don't Miss Out on Wednesday's Best Amazon Deals
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As a recurring feature, our team combs the Web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, August 23.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

GADGETS, TOYS, AND MEDIA

Zmodo 720p HD WiFi Wireless Home Security Camera System Two Way Audio Night Vision Motion Alerts 115 Degree Viewing Angle (4 Pack) - Cloud Service Available for $119.95 (list price $159.99)

1STPLAYER Firerose Ergonomic Waterproof Chroma LED Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard for $44.99 (list price $69.99)

Sades Over-Ear Stereo Bass Gaming Headphone with Noise Isolation Microphone for Xbox One PC PS4 Laptop Phone for $23.99 (list price $39.99)

Adjustable Cell Phone Stand, Lamicall iPhone Stand : [UPDATE VERSION] Cradle, Dock, Holder For Switch, iPhone 7 6 6s Plus 5 5s 5c charging, Accessories Desk, all Android Smartphone - Black for $11.99 (list price $49.99)

Anker SoundCore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Better Bass, 24-Hour Playtime, 66ft Bluetooth Range, IPX5 Water Resistance & Built-in Mic — Dual-Driver Wireless Speaker for iPhone, Samsung etc for $33.59 (list price $89.99)

IGIDIA IPX5 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speakers, Outdoor/Shower Wireless Speaker with Enhanced Bass(Blue) for $32.99 (list price $99.99)

TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones, Sweatproof Wireless In Ear Earbuds, Sports Magnetic Earphones with Built in Mic (IPX5 Splash Proof Rating, aptX Stereo, Up to 7 Hours of Talk Time, Ceramic Antenna) for $25.99 (list price $69.99)

TROND Prime Mini 2-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip with USB Charger (5-Port Smart, 40W/8A, Latest DoE Level VI Energy Efficiency), 5ft Power Cord, for Home, Office, Hotel, Nightstand & Dresser for $23.99 (list price $36.99)

elago AirPods Stand [Dark Grey] - [Charging Station][Long-Lasting][Cable Management] - for AirPods Case for $9.99 (list price $13.99)

Ideashop® New Vosicar Retro Leather Fashion Bamboo Wooden Watch Japan Movement Quartz With Genuine Cowhide Leather Band Casual Watches Creative Gifts For Men for $19.99 (list price $29.99)

Bluetooth Speaker, ELEGIANT Portable LED Lighting Speaker Stereo Magic Cube Mini Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker with Microphone for Smartphones iPhone iPad Samsung Tablet Laptop MP3 CD Player for $21.99 (list price $48.87)

Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine for $229.99 (list price $249.00)

Holga 120N Plastic Camera for $29.95 (list price $39.99)

KITCHEN

Aosbos Reusable Insulated Lunch Box Tote Bag (Macloon White) for $7.99 (list price $16.99)

Ceramic Cat Measuring Cups/ Baking Bowls for $25.95 (list price $34.50)

Greenco Chrome Paper Towel Holder, 6" W x 13" H x 5.75" D for $9.54 (list price $18.24)

LEGO Lunch Box, Blue for $13.99 (list price $18.51)

Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale Multifunction Food Scale, 11 lb 5 kg, Silver, Stainless Steel (Batteries Included) for $10.99 (list price $18.99)

ZENS Portable Travel Double-wall Glass Tea Set, 100% High Borosilicate Glass Teapot with Built in Infuser, 2 Clear Insulated Glass Cups, Yellow EVA Bag for Travel, Outdoor Picnic for Flower Tea for $49.99 (list price $69.99)

4 piece Japanese Cast Iron Pot Tea Set Black w/ Trivet (10 oz) for $23.99 (list price $39.99)

Now Designs Utensil Crock, Ivory for $11.19 (list price $14.00)

Talisman Designs Get Real Solid Beechwood Measuring Spoon, Woodland Design, Set of 4 for $11.99 (list price $14.99)

Zoku Fish Pop Molds for $19.99 (list price $24.99)

Jokari Hands-Free Baggy Rack Clip Food Storage Bag Holder, 2-Pack for $8.49 (list price $10.40)

Chef Craft 9 Piece Silicone Set, Assorted for $27.61 (list price $30.50)

Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker, 2-Way for $49.00 (list price $89.50)

HOME

Amrapur Overseas | Goose Down Alternative Microfiber Quilted Reversible Comforter / Duvet Insert - Ultra Soft Hypoallergenic Bedding - Medium Warmth for All Seasons - [Queen, Oatmeal/Dusty Blue] for $22.99 (list price $32.99)

GlowBowl A-00452-01 Motion Activated Toilet Nightlight for $9.86 (list price $24.99)

Luxury Modern 12” Silent Non-Ticking Wall Clock with Rose Gold Frame (Feminine White) for $39.99 (list price $99.00)

OXO Good Grips Toothbrush Holder for $15.99 (list price $19.99)

InterDesign Rain Dental Center Toothbrush and Toothpaste Holder/Case - Clear for $11.49 (list price $15.73)

Levoit Elana Himalayan Salt Lamp Natural Himilian Hymalain Pink Salt Rock Lamps(8-11 lbs,7.5-10" Height), Premium Quality Wooden Base,Touch Brightness Dimmable Control,3 Bulbs,UL Cord & Gift Box for $39.99 (list price $69.99)

2017 ASAKUKI Premium Touch Sensitive, Essential Oil Diffuser, 300ML-5 In 1 Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Fragrant Oil Vaporizer , Purifies and Humidifies The Air, Auto-Off Safety Switch, 7 LED Light Colors for $19.99 (list price $99.99)

Collapsible Storage Bin Basket [3-Pack] EZOWare Foldable Canvas Fabric Tweed Storage Cube Bin Set With Handles - Brown / Gray For Home Office Closet for $19.99 (list price $49.99)

SONGMICS Entryway Coat Rack with Storage Shoe Bench Hallway Organizer 18 Hooks and 3-Tier Shelves Metal Black URCR67B for $45.99 (list price $71.73)

Etekcity Air Mattress Elevated Raised Blow Up Bed Inflatable Airbed with Built-in Electric Pump, Height 22", Queen Size for $98.99 (list price $229.99)

SONGMICS Entryway Bamboo Shoe Bench 2-Tier Shoe Rack Organizer Brown ULBS04Z for $28.00 (list price $35.99)

OFFICE, SCHOOL, AND CRAFTS

KABB Modern Digital Mechanical Retro Flip Dоwn Clock wіth Internal Gear Operated (White) for $44.98 (list price $89.99)

Tomons Swing Arm Desk Lamp, Natural Wood Designer Table Lamp for Living Room, Bedroom, Studio, Study and Office - Green for $29.99 (list price $39.99)

Etekcity Dimmable LED Desk Lamp, 4 Lighting Modes, 5-Level Dimmer, Multifunctional Touch-Sensitive, 5V/1.5A USB Charging Port, Ultrabright Lamp for Office and Living Room (Black) for $25.99 (list price $49.99)

Shappy Multicolor Paper Clips Creative Animal Shape for Bookmark Office School Notebook Agenda Pad, 12 Stlyes, 60 Pieces for $8.69 (list price $13.69)

Bankers Box Classroom Magazine File Organizers, 4-Inch, Assorted Colors, 6 Pack (3381901) for $9.23 (list price $18.97)

OHTO Needle Point Knock Ballpoint Pen Horizon Eu 0.7mm Ballpoint Yellow Body (NBP-587H-YL) for $9.97 (list price $13.60)

OHTO - Tasche Black Fountain Pen - 0.5mm - Writing Color: Black for $12.70 (list price $18.50)

Pshine Large 48 Slots Colored Pencil holder- Pencil Case-Pencil bag-Pencil pouch-Pencil wrap with Zipper (Pink) for $10.99 (list price $14.99)

Shuttle Art 120 Unique Colors (No Duplicates) Gel Pens Gel Pen Set for Adult Coloring Books Art Markers for $15.97 (list price $29.99)

Post-it Super Sticky Notes, 3" x 3", Miami Collection, 5 Pads per Pack, 90 Sheets per Pad (654-5SSMIA) for $8.01 (list price $10.97)

Avery Rectangular Color Coding Labels, 1 x 3 Inches, Assorted, Removable, Pack of 72 (06722) for $0.98 (list price $4.99)

AT-A-GLANCE Monthly Planner, January 2018 - March 2019, 8-7/8" x 11", Black (7026005) for $13.71 (list price $21.59)

HEALTH AND BEAUTY

Dr. Tobias Omega 3 Fish Oil Triple Strength, Burpless, Non-GMO, NSF-Certified, 180 Counts for $29.97 (list price $44.97)

PURA D'OR Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo (Gold Label), Effective Solution for Hair Thinning & Breakage, NEW & IMPROVED PUMPS, 16 Fluid Ounce (Packaging May Vary) for $29.99 (list price $39.00)

Majestic Pure Teeth Whitening Activated Charcoal Powder - Natural Teeth Whitener with Coconut Charcoal, 4 oz for $11.95 (list price $31.50)

QQcute Cordless Waterflosser Professional Rechargeable Portable Oral Irrigator 3 Pressure Settings IPX7 Waterproof With 2 Interchangeble Tips Use at Home&Travel for $39.95 (list price $59.95)

Viva Naturals Cold Pressed and Hexane Free Organic Jojoba Oil - Golden, 4 oz for $12.62 (list price $16.93)

Purell 3903-36-CMR Advanced Hand Sanitizer, Travel Sized Jelly Wrap Bottles, Aloe (Pack of 36) for $24.08 (list price $41.34)

KEDSUM 6.8" 10x Magnifying LED Lighted Makeup Mirror,Bathroom Vanity Mirror with Strong Suction Cup,Rotates 360 Degrees,Daylight Color,Battery Operated for $19.99 (list price $39.99)

VIKTOR JURGEN Heated Hair Straightening Brush Hair Straightener-Fast and Simply Straight Hairbrush-Professional Style Hairstyling Tool for $17.95 (list price $99.00)

Blackhead Remover Mask, Anti-wrinkle Peel Off Black Mask, BONVITA Bamboo Charcoal Peel Off Mask and Brush Kit for Women & Men for Face Nose Acne Treatment Oil Control for $13.49 (list price $15.99)

Castile Soap (Unscented) 16 Oz. (473ml) [Health and Beauty]- 2-pack for $21.99 (list price $21.99)

OUTDOORS, GARDEN, AND SPORTS

Streamline Rainbow Color Wheel Umbrella for $23.99 (list price $26.81)

Stanley Growler Classic Vacuum Growler 64 oz and Adventure Stacking Steel Tumblers 12 oz, Hammertone Green - (4 Pack) Gift Set for $53.72 (list price $75.00)

80x60"Family Picnic Blanket with Tote, Extra Large Foldable and Waterproof Camping Mat for Outdoor Beach Hiking Grass Travel Naturalrays for $21.99 (list price $21.99)

Heavy Duty Swing Seat - Swing Set Accessories Swing Seat Replacement for $19.99 (list price $26.99)

Swimming Goggles, PHELRENA Professional Swim Goggles Anti Fog UV Protection No Leaking for Adult Men Women Kids Swim Goggles with Nose Clip, Ear Plugs, Protection Case and Interchangeable Nose Bridge for $12.99 (list price $16.99)

Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter for $15.99 (list price $21.10)

Intex Floating Recliner Inflatable Lounge, 71 X 53-Inch (Colors May Vary) for $14.59 (list price $19.99)

VicTsing Grill Cover, Medium 58-Inch BBQ Cover Waterproof, Heavy Duty Gas Grill Cover for Weber, Brinkmann, Char Broil, Holland and Jenn Air for $19.99 (list price $49.99)

APIE Portable Wireless Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker IPX6 Waterproof Dual 10W Drivers, Enhanced Bass, Built in Mic,water Resistant,Beach, Shower & Home for $39.99 (list price $159.99)

Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 FPV Explorers2 2.4Ghz 4CH 6-Axis Gyro RC Headless Quadcopter Drone UFO with HD Wifi Camera (White) for $49.98 (list price $58.98)

Eva Medical Pedal Exerciser Chrome Frame (Fully Assembled Exercise Peddler, no tools required) for $32.99 (list price $54.99)

ikris Garden Hose Splitter 2-way with Rubberized ComfortGrip for $7.99 (list price $29.99)

MeeQee High Power Monocular Telescope 10×42 Dual Focus Optics-Wide Angle and HD Zoom Monocular Scope, Waterproof, Low Night Vision Handheld Scope for Bird Watching/Hunting/Outdoor/Camping/Surveillance for $47.99 (list price $149.99)

TOOLS

Hitachi C10FCH2 15-Amp 10-inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw with Laser Marker for $99.99 (list price $159.97)

Pet Grooming Brush Effectively Reduces Shedding By Up To 95% Professional Deshedding Tool For Dogs And Cats (Blue) for $14.97 (list price $31.97)

BlueFire 1200 Lumen Top CREE XML-L2 LED Flashlight Portable Adjustable Focus Zoom Handheld Water Resistant Flashlight Torch for $14.99 (list price $14.99)

NoCry Safety Glasses with Clear Anti Fog Scratch Resistant Wrap-Around Lenses and No-Slip Grips, UV Protection. Adjustable, Black & Green Frames for $9.39 (list price $10.49)

Kensun AC/DC Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator with Digital Display for Home (110V) and Car (12V) - 30 Litres/Min for $69.99 (list price $79.99)

Prime-Line Products U 10827 Door Reinforcement Lock, 3 in. Stop, Aluminum Construction, Satin Nickel Anodized Finish for $16.97 (list price $17.99)

Wheeler Scope Mounting Kit Combo, 1-Inch/30mm - 545454 for $76.39 (list price $99.99)

Shappy 3 Pack Security Wall Mount Indoor and Outdoor Mount Bracket Adjustable for Arlo, Arlo Pro, Arlo Cam and Other Compatible Models (Black) for $9.99 (list price $13.99)

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TopTenRealEstateDeals.com
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This Just In
A Connecticut Farm Purchased by Mark Twain for His Daughter, Jean Clemens, Is Up for Sale
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TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

Mark Twain—whose wit was matched only by his wanderlust—had many homes throughout his life: a small frame house in Hannibal, Missouri; a Victorian mansion in Hartford, Connecticut; and "Stormfield," a country estate in Redding, Connecticut, just to name a few. Now, the Connecticut Post reports that a farm adjacent to Stormfield, purchased in 1909 by Twain for his daughter, Jean Clemens, is up for sale.

“Jean’s Farm,” as Twain nicknamed the home, is priced at $1,850,000. In addition to a storied literary legacy, the refurbished five-bedroom estate has a saltwater swimming pool, a movie theater, and a children’s play area. It sits on nearly 19 acres of land, making the property “well-sized for a gentleman's farm, for horses, or as a hobby farm,” according to its real estate listing. There’s also a fish pond and a 19th-century barn with an extra apartment.

While scenic, Jean’s Farm has a bittersweet backstory: Jean Clemens, who had epilepsy, enjoyed the pastoral property for only a short time before passing away at the age of 29. She lived in a sanitarium before moving to Stormfield in April 1909, where she served as her father's secretary and housekeeper and made daily trips to her farm. On December 24, 1909, Jean died at Stormfield after suffering a seizure in a bathtub. Twain, himself, would die several months later, on April 21, 1910, at the age of 74.

Twain sold Jean’s Farm after his daughter’s death, and used the proceeds to fund a library in Redding, today called the Mark Twain Library. But despite losing a child, Twain’s years at Stormfield—his very last home—weren’t entirely colored by tragedy. “Although Twain only spent two years here [from 1908 to 1910], it was an important time in the writer’s life,” historian Brent Colely told The Wall Street Journal. “Twain was always having guests over, including his close friend Helen Keller, hosting almost 181 people for visits in the first six months alone, according to guestbooks and notations.”

Check out some photos of Jean’s Farm below, courtesy of TopTenRealEstateDeals.com:

Jean’s Farm, a property in Redding, Connecticut that author Mark Twain purchased for his daughter, Jean Clemens, in 1909.
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

 Jean’s Farm, a property in Redding, Connecticut that author Mark Twain purchased for his daughter, Jean Clemens, in 1909.
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

Jean’s Farm, a property in Redding, Connecticut that author Mark Twain purchased for his daughter, Jean Clemens, in 1909.
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

Jean’s Farm, a property in Redding, Connecticut that author Mark Twain purchased for his daughter, Jean Clemens, in 1909.
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

[h/t Connecticut Post]

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