Before Marco Rubio: A History of Florida Politicians Who Almost Were Vice Presidential Candidates
Kirk was Florida's first Republican Governor, and quite a controversial and colorful one at that. He described himself as a "tree shakin' son of a bitch." Kirk claims that he had at one point reached an agreement to run with Richard Nixon or Nelson Rockefeller should either get the Republican nomination. In fact, he sort of became obsessed with being selected as VP and didn't make it a secret, but Nixon chose Spiro Agnew instead.
"I tell you what: If Nixon had picked me, he wouldn't have had to resign," Kirk once said.
Stevenson decided to let the Democratic Convention pick his running mate for him, and Collins' name was included in balloting but he didn't make it past the first round.
Without much to back it up, there's also speculation Collins was considered by Kennedy in 1960. It makes sense as Kennedy clearly wanted to balance the ticket with a southernor. Perhaps if LBJ turned JFK down, he would have made a few calls to TLR. Collins did go on to chair the 1960 DNC that officially nominated Kennedy and Johnson.
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