Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush: Recent One Term Presidents

Facilitator:    Barbara McCornack, 493-0985, barbaram4@juno.com                                             Dates:           Thursdays, September 17 – November 5, 2015
Time:             1:30 PM-3:30 PM
Text:              None                                                Presentations: Required.

Presidential elections are won or lost for a variety of reasons. Since 1932, only two elected presidents were defeated in their campaign for a second term-Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush. In attempting to un- derstand why this happened, we will look at the personal and political backgrounds of these two quite different men that led them to be nominated by their respective parties to run for the presidency. We will then look at the problems they had to deal with during their first election campaigns.

The skills involved in the politics of campaigning do not always translate into the skills needed in the politics of governance. When elected, most presidents have an agenda of what they would like to get done, but there are many forces that they are unable to control—both at home and overseas. We will study some of these that arose during each president’s term of office. Then we will examine the problems in their run for reelection and why they lost. However, even though they did not win a second term, both men have continued to serve our country in a variety of ways.

Each class member will be expected to give a 25 minute report on a specific part of this topic, as outlined by the facilitator. Resources will be provided.