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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Possible historical analogy?

I am having a vague recollection that during the 1980 campaign, held during the heart of the Iran Hostage Crisis, Jimmy Carter made noise about not campaigning outside the White House while Americans were being held hostage. The plan was immediately and roundly criticized and the plan eventually abandoned.

Does anyone else know what I am thinking of? Or am I completely misremembering?

Posted by Howard Wasserman on September 25, 2008 at 10:29 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink


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Bruce is right. It was in the primaries. My recollection is that the strategy was not immediately criticized. or at least not quickly abandoned. To the contrary, for a time it was quite successful. The hostage crisis rescued Carter from sub-Bush approval ratings and he built up a large lead over Kennedy. Kennedy came roaring back in the later primaries as people got sick of the hostage crisis and the administration's inability to resolve it. But like Clinton this year, it was too little too late

Posted by: Rick Esenberg | Sep 26, 2008 8:38:48 AM

There is a May 23, 1980 article on the NYT archives (behind a wall so I can't link here, but I just searched "carter & hostage & election & suspend") and it found it - which references Carter's temporary decision to not leave the White House until the crisis was resolved.

Posted by: j0lt | Sep 25, 2008 12:27:58 PM

Maybe it was during the primary fight against Kennedy?

Posted by: Bruce Boyden | Sep 25, 2008 12:05:03 PM

Carter's ploy was the original "Rose Garden Strategy" -- now known as the "Rose Garden Strategery".....

Posted by: MMF | Sep 25, 2008 11:28:29 AM

There was a heated, non-suspended presidential campaign in 1864. Of course, campaigns were different in those days, but no one ever suggested that it ought to be suspended even in the middle of the Civil War.

Posted by: Steve Lubet | Sep 25, 2008 11:17:45 AM

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