The End of a Presidential Launchpad

It wasn’t a very good debut, to say the least. In February 1975, a little-known governor from Georgia named Jimmy Carter showed up in Des Moines, Iowa, to start an unlikely presidential campaign. His group rented a hotel ballroom and bought enough food for a crowd of 200. Three appeared.

So Carter started working in the streets and shops. Gerald Rafshoon, his communications consultant, told a story the other day that became famous. “Carter walked into a barbershop and said, ‘My name is Jimmy Carter and I’m running for president,’” Rafshoon told me. “And the barber said, ‘Yeah, the boys and I just laughed about it.’”

However, from that humble beginning, something really big developed. For the next year, Carter practically lived in Iowa and beat every other candidate in the ensuing caucuses, propelling him into the White House. Now, nearly half a century later, the Iowa launch pad is about to close. Along with that will be the romance of the perennial candidate who goes door-to-door in a rural area to emerge from the shadows and reach the heights of American politics.

By order of President Biden, the Democratic National Committee is move around the president’s main schedule to end Iowa’s status as the nation’s number one. The party’s Rules and Regulations Committee on Friday approved a schedule that puts South Carolina first, followed by New Hampshire and Nevada, then Georgia and Michigan, dropping Iowa from the original lineup. For the changes to pass, the full DNC still has to sign off early next year.

It’s unclear if Republicans will follow suit, but as my colleague Trip Gabriel wrote“one of the most idiosyncratic and consequential contests in American elections has come to an end.”

Carter’s breakthrough in 1976 spawned generations of campaigns of lesser-known candidates in the hope of repeating his brilliant success. Iowa had never been a force in primary politics up to that point, but Carter’s team found that George McGovern had taken the lead in second place on the state program in 1972. , decided to invest time and resources into it.

It was a humbling experience. Just having one reporter appear at an event is a big win. “Anyone with a keyboard and a tape recorder would put us in a trance,” Carter recalls Jonathan Alter of his biography.His best.” But, out of nowhere, Carter received 28 percent of the vote on January 19, 1976, placing him in second place behind the “uncommitted,” with 37 percent, but ahead of all the votes. flesh-and-blood candidate. He went on to win the New Hampshire primaries that followed.

Iowa is the proving ground for most of the candidates that follow. When George H. W. Bush defeated Ronald Reagan there in the 1980 Republican presidential race, he ecstatically declared that he had the “Big Mo” or momentum, only to lose in the 1980s. New Hampshire later. In 2008, Barack Obama let down the front-runner, Hillary Clinton, proving that a Black candidate could win in a predominantly white state and bringing credibility to a lost campaign. his underrated.

Iowa has picked the final Democratic nominee except twice since that original contest in 1976, the exception being in 1988, when Richard Gephardt won the caucuses only to lose to the nomination Michael Dukakis, and in 1992, when Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa himself ran for office. On the Republican side, it’s less influential. Incumbents running for re-election aside, no Iowa winner has gone on to win the GOP nomination since George W. Bush in 2000. But it’s always played a role in fielding the field. this.

One candidate in particular who didn’t like being screened was a senator and later vice president named Joseph R. Biden Jr. In 2008, Biden won less than 1% of the vote in Iowa and dropped out. In 2020, he finished in a humiliating fourth place when he was supposed to be the leader, even though he bounced back in the end.

It’s no surprise, then, that Biden may not feel overly committed to Iowa’s claim on the first ballot. South Carolina, his choice to open the contest in 2024, is where he returns to his 2020 campaign.

Iowa Democrats’ New App-Based Counting in 2020 Doesn’t Help was very unsuccessful that the winner didn’t show up for days. (According to its complex rules, Pete Buttigieg almost overtakes Bernie Sanders for most state equivalent delegates, key figures.)

And that’s the end of the Jimmy Carter scenario, at least for the Democrats. “When we decided to do it, it was one of the smartest things we did,” Rafshoon told me. Now, that’s just a story in the history books.

Related: Democratic Party new main calendar indicated that Biden plans to run for re-election.

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In many ways, books are the quintessential gift: They offer limitless variety, are easily wrapped, and can be tailored to suit the recipient. So it makes sense that they were one favorite holiday gift Jennifer Harlan writes as long as everyone has a vacation.

The Roman gift guide to the 1st-century poet Martial’s Saturnalia celebration includes a number of parchment texts, including works by Virgil and Cicero and Ovid’s “Metamorphosis.” In December 1851, just a few months after The Times existed, the newspaper proclaimed a “book-blooming season,” adding, “Holidays operate on books just as April is based on books.” the trees.”

To this day, the holiday book craze continues. In Iceland, it is called jolabokaflod, or “the flood of Christmas books”.


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