Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Carter’

Chris wondered:
You voted third party? What made Jimmy Carter unattractive?

Hey, I was young and foolish and headstrong. In 1976, I wanted to vote for Eugene McCarthy in the Democratic presidential primary. Remember him, the guy who challenged President Lyndon Johnson in the 1968 New Hampshire primary and received 43% of the vote, which prompted LBJ not to seek reelection?

But the Carter forces in New York State got Clean Gene knocked off the ballot. I had no idea how or why at the time, but I now wonder if it was because, as the Wikipedia states, he had quit the Democratic party. In any case, that anti-democratic behavior really ticked me off.

In the race between President Gerald Ford and the peanut farmer from Georgia, I opted to vote for McCarthy; I don’t think he was on the ballot in my state, though he was in about 2/3s of the others, so I wrote him in.

I rather liked Jimmy Carter as President early on. He was saying enough of the right things for me, especially when he talked about conserving energy. Sitting in the White House wearing a sweater, he called the energy crisis the Moral Equivalent Of War. But it wasn’t what the country, already feeling down after Watergate and Vietnam, wanted to hear; his plan was ridiculed as MEOW.

Still, it was the Iran hostage crisis that began on November 4, 1979, that did him in. Maybe not immediately. But as the news networks started delaying their late-night programming in favor of 15 minutes of news from Tehran – DAY 42, DAY 108, DAY 159 – it made him appear weak, and the failed rescue mission even more so.

When Senator Edward Kennedy and California governor Jerry Brown challenged him in the primaries, this just codified that feeling that Jimmy Carter was ineffectual. I worried about Teddy running, fearing that if he had won, he would die in office, like Presidents elected in years ending with zero, going back to 1840, and the fact that all of his brothers (Joe, Jack, Bobby) had died violently. Despite that, and despite Chappaquiddick, I’m pretty sure I voted for him.

Of course, a battered Carter prevailed at the Democratic convention and faced the Republican, Ronald Reagan, who I disliked intensely from when he was governor of California. He was also challenged by Congressman John Anderson of Illinois. But I didn’t vote for ANY of them.

I figured that if I were going to throw away my vote, I had to REALLY toss it. I had read the 1971 book The Closing Circle by Barry Commoner, where he “suggested that the American economy should be restructured to conform to the unbending laws of ecology.” I voted for him – he was on the ballot in New York – and he came in fifth nationally, behind the Libertarian.

So it wasn’t that I disliked Jimmy Carter, or thought he was terrible. It was that he didn’t excite me, inspire me. I also figured that if Reagan were to get elected, the Democratic Congress would keep him in check. HA!

Of course, in hindsight James Earl Carter wasn’t THAT bad a President. And he is is, by far, the best ex-President ever.

John Bayard Anderson

John Anderson, a moderate Republican congressman back in the day when there still were moderate Republicans, ran for President in 1980 against the incumbent, Jimmy Carter, the Democrat, and the Republican standard-bearer, Ronald Reagan. Of course, the former actor and California governor beat the former peanut farmer and Georgia governor by over 8.4 million votes cast.

Reagan also won an absolute majority of the voters (50.75%) to 41.01% for Carter. Anderson, who died recently, received 6.61% of the ballots. And 1.63% of the people, including, BTW, me, voted for someone else. So those who oppose the Electoral College – the system where all electoral votes go to each state winner – should be satisfied with the results, right?

But under the EC rules, was John Anderson really a spoiler, as some have suggested? 270 electoral votes are needed to be elected.

States won by Carter: DC-3, GA-12, HI-4, MD-10, MN-10, RI-4, WV-6 = 49 electoral votes.

States won by Reagan with more than 50% of the vote: AK-3, AZ-6, CA-45, CO-7, FL-17, ID-4, IN-13, IA-8, IA-8, KS-7, LA-10, MO-12, MT-4, NE-5, NV-3, NH-4, NJ-17, NM-4, ND-3, OH-25, OK-8, SD-4, TX-26, UT-4, VA-12, WY-3 = 263 electoral votes.

So if you add the states where the difference between Reagan votes and Carter votes is greater than the Anderson votes, the Republican easily hits 270. In Alabama, for instance, Reagan bat Carter 48.75% to 47.45%, a difference of only 1.3%. But Anderson only managed to scrape up 1.23% of the votes, with others garnering 2.57%. 9 electoral votes to the Republican anyway.

Anderson did very well in the Pacific Northwest, getting 9.51% of the vote in Oregon and 10.62% in Washington. Yet the difference between Reagan and Carter was 9.66% and 12.34% respectively, meaning those 6 and 9 electoral votes were destined for the GOP column.

Even Illinois, Anderson’s home state, fell into that column. Reagan, who grew up in the Land of Lincoln, got 49.65% of the vote compared with Carter’s 41.72%. Anderson’s 7.3% is less than the 7.93% of the major party candidates. 26 electoral votes solid for the Gipper.

This is not to say Anderson wasn’t a spoiler in some states. In New York, Reagan beat Carter by 2.67% but Anderson got 7.54% of the votes. AR, CT, DE, KY, ME, MA, MI, MS, NC, TN, VT, and WI theoretically COULD have gone to Carter if it weren’t for Anderson. It would not have mattered to the outcome.

herb-jeffries-08

The always curious Sharp Little Pencil wants to know:

Why do you think no one has made a movie about Herb Jeffries yet… and if they did, whom would you cast?

To the former, because I think most people don’t know Hollywood’s first singing black cowboy.

Tell you what: you write the screenplay and I’ll send it off to Jada Pinkett Smith. Actually, if there WERE a screenplay, I’d probably send it to Nelson George – I backed one of his Kickstarter projects – and he could get it to Spike Lee, with whom he has collaborated.

Maybe it’s because I just saw my niece singing with him, but I was thinking El DeBarge, of that singing DeBarge family, or Prince. If you needed a younger actor, maybe Jussie Smollett from the show Empire, which I’ve never seen, or Drake.

Who is your favorite ex-president?

My first strong awareness of an ex-President was Herbert Hoover (1874-1964), who I was SHOCKED to discover that he was still alive by the time I first learned about The Great Depression. I must confess that I was entertained by Richard Nixon, who tried REALLY hard to be an Elder Statesmen of the Republican Party, writing books, and pontificating, hoping that we’d forget about that Watergate thing.

My second favorite ex-President has to be John Quincy Adams Read the rest of this entry »

warrengharding

Presidents Day quiz

From JEOPARDY!:

PRESIDENTIAL MOMS
Rose Fitzgerald
Janet “Jessie” Woodrow
Dorothy Walker
Jane Knox
Hannah Simpson

PRESIDENTS’ MIDDLE NAMES
Hussein; Gamaliel; Abram; Earl; Alan

PRESIDENTS BY WON-LOST RECORD
The only one who went 4-0
2-0: He was twice too much for Adlai
2-1: 1-0 vs. James G. Blaine & a split with Benjamin Harrison
1-0, in a split decision over Samuel Tilden
One of the 2 who went 0-1

PRESIDENTS 101

The most recent left-handed president.
The first president to be born in a hospital; it was October 1924.
The first to hold an Internet chat with the public.
The first born outside the original colonies, in 1809.

ABC News ‘This Week’ Powerhouse Puzzler
Which four sitting Vice Presidents have been elected President?

ANSWERS BELOW

It’s a Scandal, It’s a Outrage

President Harding’s mistress wasn’t kidding, DNA tests show Read the rest of this entry »

librarian.mug

How a ’50s-Era New York Knife Law Landed Thousands in Jail.

Jeff Sharlet interviews Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King.

No matter how sincerely we think we get it, we don’t really get it. “A personal epiphany about race and gender, to my fellow white males.” And Please Stop Being a Good White Person (TM).

Donald Trump Just Stopped Being Funny. “Win or lose, Trump’s campaign threatens to unleash the Great American Stupid.”

About Josh Duggar’s Ashley Madison Account. Am I the only person who had never HEARD of Ashley Madison until this summer? Read the rest of this entry »

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