Jimmy Cardigan

My world has been shaken in the past few days by the discovery of perhaps the greatest political webs

By Tim Murphy

My world has been shaken in the past few days by the discovery of perhaps the greatest political website in the history of political websites: 4president.tv. It has stockpiled presidential campaign ads from the past four decades, in addition to bumper stickers, significant speeches, and webshots of old websites. Depending on what you’re in the mood for, you can watch Michael Dukakis jog through Boston Common, Paul Tsongas in a speedo, or Bob Dole talk about how he used to eat soap.Here’s Jimmy Carter:Text: For the president, the responsibility of the office never ends. Even at the end of a long working day, there’s a new piece of legislation to consider, or one more phone call to be made, or another cable to read. A cable from the other side of the turning world, where the sun is shining, and something is happening. It’s no easy task to have a continuing good effect upon America, and the whole world, but that’s what this job is about. President Carter.Analysis: Carter deserves credit for correctly noting that the earth revolves around the sun. Considering that the Catholic Church didn’t pardon Galileo until 1992, you could even argue that he was a man ahead of his time. But what about that cardigan? Time magazine which was actually alive and still a must-read in 1980, had this to say about the woolen, gray goodness:

Many who watched… seemed more interested in the President’s unusual costume than in anything else. Said one Wall Street executive: “I don’t like a President in a sweater.” The conservative Chicago Tribune found the sweater “a little too folksy to be real.” Some viewers also chided Carter for saying little new or speaking too soon. But, in sum, the relaxed and reassuring Carter style—and Carter’s cardigan—seemed to affect most Americans like a mild and warming breeze in a nerve-racking winter.

There you have it.