Stockdale Says No More Politics

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

A reader from Boston asks, "Whatever happened to Admiral Stockdale, Ross Perot's 1992 presidential running mate?"

Sitting next to Al Gore and Dan Quayle during the vice presidential debates of 1992, Adm. James Bond Stockdale looked like an apple next to two bananas. He didn't fit.

His messy white hair, large black-rimmed glasses, and gruff voice exacerbated his lack of political savviness and experience, critics said.

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It was believed that Mr. Perot chose Admiral Stockdale because he was a prisoner of war in Hanoi, Vietnam, for eight years. A long-time interest of Perot's was a plan to rescue hundreds of American POWs still missing, although there was no substantial evidence of their existence.

After Perot lost, Stockdale went back to work as a senior research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, Calif.

Does he have any more political ambitions? "Ha! None whatsoever. I'm finished with politics," he says in his gruff voice from his home in Coronado, Calif. "I'm thoroughly enjoying retirement. Four sons and eight grandchildren keep me real busy."

The admiral is also working on a book with his wife, Sybil. They're keeping the subject secret. The couple coauthored "In Love and War" in 1984 (Harper and Row), which was made into an NBC television movie in 1987.

After 37 years of service, Stockdale retired from the Navy in 1979 with 26 combat decorations, including the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was inducted into the Navy's Carrier Hall of Fame in 1993.

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