To get Kennedy's endorsement Carter was forced to make many policy concessions to the liberal senator. OK, we don't have to go back that far.
But it was precisely that breakthrough that got Ford into trouble. Jimmy Carter. Walter Mondale, who had proven his chops as one of the younger foot soldiers in the passage of the Great Society, competed to be the representative of classic New Deal liberalism. Ford desperately needed such drama. September 21, 2010 12: In one public opinion poll, only 5 percent of voters considered Ford "experienced.
There was reason for Ford strategists to think the plan might work. Jimmy Carter: The Republican replied by accusing the president of mean-spiritedness, and that did stick.
With their relationship in tatters, Carter relished the thought of Kennedy running against him in 1980. Of course, in fairness, Kennedy -- while now revered as a saint -- was not the most sympathetic and beloved figure back in the day.
Three nationally televised debates failed to have much effect on the polls, but Ford made a bad gaffe of his own, claiming, "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. However, had he not pardoned Nixon, he might have faltered sooner. Submit Feedback.
Carter won with an interesting coalition of the entire Old South excepting conservative Virginia and northern industrial powers such as New York and Pennsylvania.
Kennedy spent most of his last years as an American icon, and deservedly so, far removed from the joke and the playboy and the dilettante he was portrayed as during much of his early time in the Senate. Bush in 1988, the winner has come from outside the Beltway, typically a governor touting executive experience. Public reaction to his candidacy revealed that exposure to his party was not enough to gain him wide recognition.