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Spiro Agnew

Artist
Louis S. Glanzman, 1922 - 2013
Sitter
Spiro Theodore Agnew, 9 Nov 1918 - 17 Sep 1996
Date
1968
Type
Sculpture
Medium
Tempera on paper and bricks
Dimensions
Without Base: 57.2 x 43.8 x 7cm (22 1/2 x 17 1/4 x 2 3/4")
With Base: 60.3 x 61 x 22.9cm (23 3/4 x 24 x 9")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© Louis Glanzman
Object number
NPG.78.TC194
Exhibition Label
Richard Nixon’s selection of Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew to be the Republican Party’s vice presidential candidate surprised most of the nation. As Time magazine noted in its cover story of September 20, 1968, “Agnew” was suddenly “becoming a household word.” Nixon, however, had ample experience about the office of the vice presidency, having filled it for two terms under Dwight Eisenhower. He wanted a neutral candidate who had “some brains and enough strength of character that he wouldn’t fold up on you.” Moreover, he wanted a running mate who would not up-stage him. Agnew seemingly fit the bill. However, his overzealousness in labeling protesters and dissenters of every description as communists was worrisome even for Nixon, who had campaigned in much the same way for Eisenhower in 1952.
Cuando Richard Nixon seleccionó a Spiro Agnew, gobernador de Maryland, como candidato a la vice-presidencia por el Partido Republicano, la sorpresa fue grande en el país. Según comentó la revista Time en su artículo de portada el 20 de septiembre de 1968, Agnew de pronto se estaba “convirtiendo en toda una celebridad”. Por su parte, Nixon ya poseía vasta experiencia en el oficio de vicepresidente, habiendo desempeñado el cargo durantedos períodos bajo Dwight Eisenhower. Nixon quería un candidato neutral, que tuviera “un poco de cerebro y suficiente fuerza de carácter como para no traicionarte”. Además, quería un compañero de papeleta que no le hiciera sombra. Por lo visto, Agnew llenaba los requisitos. Sin embargo, su extremismo de declarar comunistas a todos los que protestaban o disentían, sin importar el trasfondo, resultaba preocupante incluso para Nixon, quien había usado una estrategia similar al hacer campaña por Eisenhower en 1952.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection