President’s Day Special: Carter vs. Ford, 1976

Jimmy Carter, the 39th PotUS, circa 1976 election

Happy President’s Day to my fellow human beings in the US! Many of us are lucky to have today off as we bask in the glorious memory of former presidents Washington and Lincoln. This being a 70s-centric site, I thought we’d take a look back at the election year of 1976. Incumbent President Gerald R. Ford was facing off against the up-and-coming Governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter.

I don’t have to tell you how it all turned out (*Spoiler: Carter won*) but it’s fascinating to look at the two political combatant’s television advertising as they vied for the minds of the American public. A down-to-earth peanut farmer with a giant smile versus a quiet, ex-football player who was never elected by the public (Ford took over when Nixon resigned in ’74).

I was only nine-years-old during this election battle but I was fascinated by it. I collected Carter-Mondale pamphlets and pins and spent many hours watching the Democratic National Convention during the summer of ’76 on TV. What a strange kid.

Gerald R. Ford, 38th PotUS, circa 1976 election

Jimmy Carter TV Spot #1 (featuring Mary Tyler Moore):

Gerald Ford Spot #1 (“Steady Course”):

Jimmy Carter TV Spot #2 (Campaign Promo):

Gerald Ford Spot #2 (Campaign Promo):

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