Reading the Kansas City Star account of Randa Hayes' resignation as director of the Missouri Business Development and Trade Division, reminds me of the way former U. S. Senator Thomas Eagleton handled a similar situation in 1972.
Mrs. Hayes was Randa Ismail and lived in Illinois when she apparently embezzled sorority money. In her resignation statement, she describes it as "a youthful indiscretion." She never told Governor Matt Blunt about this youthful indiscretion before he appointed her to an important post. You can say whatever you want to about her qualifications for the job (as noted in two earlier posts, her chief qualification appears to be that she was a successful fundraiser for Blunt last year), but she owed him the truth and instead embarrassed his administration (which is not an easy thing to do).
If you recall, in 1972, after South Dakota Senator George McGovern won the Democratic presidential nomination, he asked Eagleton to join the ticket as his vice presidential candidate. He asked Eagleton if there was anything in his past that could cause problems. Eagleton said no. It wasn't long after that when information about Eagleton's psychiatric treatment for depression, including electroshock therapy, was uncovered. After a firestorm of a couple of days, Eagleton left the ticket, and to all intents and purposes, McGovern lost any chance he had (and he didn't have much of a chance anyway) to unseat incumbent President Richard Nixon.
Of course, we have a much more enlightened view of psychiatric treatment today and Eagleton has to be commended for seeking help for his problems, but he owed McGovern the truth, he didn't give it to him, and it caused McGovern considerable embarrassment.
In a side note, I just finished reading political reporter Jack Germond's memoirs, "Fat Man in a Middle Seat," in which he details how Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts was indirectly responsible for the Eagleton fiasco. According to Germond, McGovern had originally intended to name Boston Mayor Kevin White as his running mate, but that selection was vetoed by the powerful Kennedy, whose support McGovern needed, because of personal differences between Kennedy and the mayor.
It is doubtful a McGovern-White ticket would have unseated Nixon, but it makes for interesting history.
As anyone who has read Watergate history knows, the burglary that set the investigation in motion came as part of an effort by Nixon's associates to guarantee his re-election, an effort which included discrediting stronger possible Democratic candidates, including Kennedy and Maine senator and former vice presidential candidate Edmund Muskie.
McGovern was the candidate Nixon wanted to face in the 1972 election.