How to Lose a Presidential Election in the 20th Century

Presidential Election
David Hume Kennerly, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

5. I Beg Your Pardon?

Despite his constant denials, Nixon would eventually jump before being pushed out of the presidency. The damage to the trust in the office of the president was devastating. His successor, Gerald Ford would do as LBJ did, if not reluctantly, and seek to be elected on his own merits, but this time against a former peanut farmer and the current governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter.

Wearing more casual attire and carrying his own bags, Carter was a breath of fresh air for voters wanting a more honest and straightforward politician. He is even self-deprecating enough to name his campaign plane the ‘Peanut One,’ an allusion to Air Force One, the president’s plane. Gerald Ford was fighting an uphill battle as while president he presided over the worst economy in the four decades since the Great Depression, with growing inflation and a recession during his tenure.

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