In the second week of March, Shriver told Johnson he would accept the ambassadorship, pending the approval of the French government. Then he left with Eunice for a vacation in Spain. A few days later, on March 16, LBJ’s fear was realized: Bobby Kennedy announced that he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination. On March 22 Secretary of State Dean Rusk called Shriver in Madrid seeking reassurance that Shriver still wished the President to submit his name to the Senate for confirmation; he and Johnson were worried that Kennedy’s announcement might have caused Shriver to reconsider. But Shriver had made up his mind: he would go to Paris. Although Shriver accepted the appointment without any malign intent, some of those close to RFK saw his decision as an insult to their candidate. What’s more, Shriver, citing his diplomatic obligations, declined to work for the Kennedy campaign–even after Johnson withdrew from the race, on March 31. To some in the Kennedy circle, this was an unforgivable violation of the family code.
I remember watching a documentary about Sargent Shriver, and all I could think was this is Sam Seaborn.