Great Moments in Campaign History: From the South, Not For the South

In 1968 and 1972, Richard Nixon’s campaign had hedged a challenge from the racial right embodied by George Wallace by employing the so-called “Southern Strategy:” a series of policies with coded racial undertones (think “states rights” versus “civil rights”). However, Ford’s more amiable demeanor didn’t take well to that type of campaign, and with the nomination of folksy Georgia governor Jimmy Carter, he found himself against the wall in the South. While this ad only featured Strom Thurmond’s talking head saying that Carter may be from the South, but wasn’t for the South, in the context of South Carolina’s right-to-work laws, it was an pretty obvious nod to Southern segregationists that Ford may be more sympathetic to their frustrations.


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