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"Fuzzy as a Georgia Peach": The Ford Campaign and the Challenge of Jimmy Carter's Southernness

"Fuzzy as a Georgia Peach": The Ford Campaign and the Challenge of Jimmy Carter's Southernness Essa y .................... “Fuzzy as a Georgia Peach” The Ford Campaign and the Challenge of Jimmy Carter’s Southernness by Zachary J. Lechner With much on the line—but virtually nothing to lose—Ford undertook a halting , intermittently bold, and ultimately ill- fated campaign to undermine Carter’s regional credibility. “Peanut Crusher” poster from the 1976 Republican National Convention, courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum. 62 merica’s bicentennial was supposed to be a year of triumphant celebration. Although the nation could look back proudly on its founding, the present looked grim. Americans, after all, were still reeling from the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon’s  Asubsequent resignation from the presidency, and many were feeling beaten down by a dilapidated economy beset by the confusing problem of stagflation—high unemployment, high inflation, and weak consumer demand. 1976 was also an election year. Running as the incumbent, Nixon’s replacement and pardoner, Gerald Ford, presented himself as a steady hand: not flashy, but competent, and capable of leading Americans out of their economic funk—at some point. His challenger, Democrat Jimmy Carter, suggested he would do more than oe ff r competent leadership, regain Americans’ trust, and fix the economy. He would also usher http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

"Fuzzy as a Georgia Peach": The Ford Campaign and the Challenge of Jimmy Carter's Southernness

Southern Cultures , Volume 23 (4) – Jan 19, 2018

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488

Abstract

Essa y .................... “Fuzzy as a Georgia Peach” The Ford Campaign and the Challenge of Jimmy Carter’s Southernness by Zachary J. Lechner With much on the line—but virtually nothing to lose—Ford undertook a halting , intermittently bold, and ultimately ill- fated campaign to undermine Carter’s regional credibility. “Peanut Crusher” poster from the 1976 Republican National Convention, courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum. 62 merica’s bicentennial was supposed to be a year of triumphant celebration. Although the nation could look back proudly on its founding, the present looked grim. Americans, after all, were still reeling from the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon’s  Asubsequent resignation from the presidency, and many were feeling beaten down by a dilapidated economy beset by the confusing problem of stagflation—high unemployment, high inflation, and weak consumer demand. 1976 was also an election year. Running as the incumbent, Nixon’s replacement and pardoner, Gerald Ford, presented himself as a steady hand: not flashy, but competent, and capable of leading Americans out of their economic funk—at some point. His challenger, Democrat Jimmy Carter, suggested he would do more than oe ff r competent leadership, regain Americans’ trust, and fix the economy. He would also usher

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 19, 2018

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