Home > 1968-2008 Campaigns, 1976 Campaign > 1976–“Grin” Cartoon–Emily Petz

1976–“Grin” Cartoon–Emily Petz

Georgia’s former Governor, Jimmy Carter with an outward Christian stance runs for the presidency in 1976. After the Watergate scandal, Carter used his outsider edge to forge his campaign. With his platform set, much of Carter’s campaign uses the promise of being the like average man, and made a point to use ads that illustrated his closeness to the voters.

Coming out of Carter’s home state of Georgia was a political cartoon that featured representations of both candidates. On the right, fittingly, is Gerald Ford. Hugging him on the left is the figure for Carter. A popular piece of campaigning for the Carter team was the button used to represent his head. With the slogan “the grin will win” a picture of a peanut with a large toothy grin was the center of the button. The smile was in likeness to carter’s own because he smiled so often during his campaign it was very well known. Prior to holding the office of governor, Carter was a peanut farmer so the peanut was a trademark for him during his campaign.  

As well the candidates are hugging, representing how close the race was. Both candidates were well liked and had their qualities that the people were looking for. However it seemed that the appeal of Jimmy Carter’s more wholesome image and washington outsider approach gave him the edge in the election.  People viewed him as much more moral, perhaps due to his very openly Christian views or the fact that he just wasn’t in DC to be corrupted like so many other politicians. Either way, Carter’s attributes along with Ford’s pitfalls helped him to obtain a term as President.

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