CAMPAIGN 2016: Looking for a little wisdom from past leaders

I apologize for lying to you.
I promise I won't deceive you again,
except in matters of this sort.

Spiro Agnew
Former Vice President of the United States


Politicians have been lying to us for a long time. I know, you knew that.

Here's part two. Lying and media bashing go hand in hand. Here's how it works. 

The politician lies, stretches the truth or makes up facts — to get attention and to get votes. The media pushes back. The politician screams louder and accuses the media of bias and unfairness.

It's an old game. Spiro Agnew blasted the media for many things, including accusing him of corruption — such as taking bribes throughout his political career. Agnew screamed bias, corruption and worse back.

Turns out the media was right. Agnew resigned the Vice Presidency in disgrace.

 Carl Francis


Spiro Theodore Agnew (1918–1996) served as the 39th Vice President of the United States under President Richard Nixon — and is widely considered by historians to be among the worst Vice Presidents in our history.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Agnew was a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and University of Baltimore School of Law. In 1962 Agnew was elected Baltimore County Executive. In 1966, Agnew was elected the 55th Governor of Maryland. 

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At the 1968 Republican National Convention, Agnew was selected by Nixon and his campaign staff to run for Vice President. Nixon and Agnew defeated incumbent Vice President Hubert Humphrey from Minnesota and Edmund Muskie from Maine. In 1972, Nixon and Agnew were reelected for a second term, defeating Senator George McGovern from South Dakota and Ambassador Sargent Shriver from Maryland.

In 1973, Agnew was investigated by the Department of Justice on charges of tax fraud, bribery and conspiracy. He was charged with having accepted bribes totaling more than $100,000 while holding office as Baltimore County Executive, Governor of Maryland, and Vice President. On October 10 that same year, Agnew was allowed to plead no contest to a single charge that he had failed to report $29,500 of income received in 1967, with the condition that he resign the office of Vice President.

Nixon later replaced Agnew by appointing House Minority Leader Gerald Ford as Vice President. The following year, when Nixon resigned from the White House due to the Watergate scandal, Ford ascended to the presidency.

Agnew was the second Vice President in United States history to resign, the other being John C. Calhoun, and the only one to do so because of criminal charges.

Nearly ten years after leaving office, Agnew paid the state of Maryland nearly $270,000 as a result of a civil suit that stemmed from the bribery allegations.