Thomas F. Eagleton (September 4, 1929-March 4, 2007) spent 30 years in elective office serving the people of his city, state and nation. He was elected six times, five times statewide, without ever suffering a defeat, a remarkable record in modern political history. When he retired from the United States Senate at age 57 to return to his home town, he took with him the deep admiration and affection of those with whom he had served, those who had worked with him, and close observers of American politics from both parties. His unique stature was a reflection of his accomplishments in public office and the way he discharged his public service.
Five years after his death, Saint Louis University School of Law is presenting this program to remember Tom Eagleton's public service and to explore how our political system might attract able people of diverse views and partisan loyalties to public service. What attracts able people to public service? Does our political system as it currently operates deter such people from entering public life? What contributions did Tom Eagleton make and what were the qualities that defined him as a public servant? These are a few of the questions our program will consider.
During a first panel, some distinguished public servants will each address some of these larger questions. They include Walter F. Mondale, former Vice President of the United States (1977-1981) and Senator from Minnesota (1964-1976) (by video conference); Ira Shapiro, author of The Last Great Senate (2012) and former long-time senate staff member including Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and General Counsel to the United States Trade Representative; Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, Hon. Rodney W. Sippel, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, and Professor Murray Weidenbaum, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
A second panel consisting of many long-time Eagleton staff members and associates will discuss his contributions and qualities as a public servant. Confirmed participants include Mark Abels, Joyce Aboussie, William Buckley, Margaret Crenshaw, Hon. Edward Filipppine, Jack Lewis, Rindy O'Brien, Woody Overton, Ed Quick, Steve Roling and Michael Ryan.