Vice-President Spiro Agnew, Who Made Nixon Look Good: 5 Facts, from Sex to Bribes
Pretty big deal, right? But Spiro Agnew has been largely lost to history, remembered mostly for his odd name.
Richard Nixon picked the obscure Maryland governor as his running mate in 1968, and Agnew quickly became a rightwing favorite for his scorching attacks on the media and effete intellectuals, which sounds nothing like what the statesmanlike GOP is up to these days.
Agnew had hopes of becoming president, but Nixon grew to believe he wasn't worthy of the office and wished he could replace him. How convenient that the FBI came up with a criminal case.
Five things you might not know about Agnew:
4. Silence of the lamb
After his resignation, Agnew never talked again to a) Nixon or b) any reporter. He did write an autobiography that implied Nixon and his staff would have had him assassinated if he hadn't resigned.
3. Convenience is important
You're vice-president, but you're still getting your 5 percent kickback on Maryland construction contracts. You can't exactly go to some seedy bar to pick up your payments, and the kick-backers can't exactly write a check. What to do? According to the FBI, you just have the contractors come to your White House office and hand over the wads of cash. Classy.