Jimmy Carter - Peanut Farmer Turned President

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Jimmy Carter - Peanut Farmer Turned President

“President of what?” (Time, 1977, pg.5) if this is the reaction Jimmy Carter’s own family asked upon his announcement of running for president, how was he going to manage to get the country to vote for him? This ambitious decision was quite extraordinary considering Jimmy Carter had once been a peanut farmer until an accident permanently bent his thumb. The only form of political office he had held was one term as a Governor from Georgia. But Jimmy Carter realized after listening to the concerns and mood of the nation, this was an ideal time for an outsider, such as himself, to run for Presidency. America was exhausted from scandals, Watergate, from a decade of conflict, Vietnam War, and economic struggles. Jimmy Carter was about to take his plan of giving the country what it desperately wanted, and using this strategy to launch him into the role of President of the United States.


Instead of focusing his campaign on policies and programs, Jimmy Carter decided to focus on failures of the government. Undeniably his emphasis on morality in lieu of political issues gave him an edge since the race for president was on the trail of the Watergate scandals, Vietnam War, and the current economic issues. Carter made promises that people of the United States wanted to hear and needed to happen. He emphasized integrity, honesty and character while promising the public that he would not lie to them. Along with the promise that he would not lie to the American people was the promise to be good and to love. The traits and promises brought to the table were certainly part of his appeal, and enough to pull him through the beginning primaries.

Watergate Backlash

Despite the fact that Gerald Ford began his presidency as the first president not chosen by the American people, he started with high approval ratings. These ratings were rather short lived then spiraled downward when Gerald Ford on September 8, 1974, granted, Richard Nixon a full pardon for his offenses against the United States of America in the Watergate scandal. This shocking event caused many Americans to wonder if Gerald Ford himself had previously made this agreement to pardon Nixon from the beginning. Ford declared that his reason to grant the pardon as an attempt to put the scandals in the past and close the wounds, this decision only had the reverse affect.
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