In the first presidential election after the Watergate crisis and Richard Nixon's resignation, trust in government was the great issue. Early on, Jimmy Carter established himself as an outsider, appearing in ads wearing a work shirt on his Georgia peanut farm. "You know, everybody from Congress that's running for president is a lawyer..." he drawled.
Gerald Ford had been in Congress for years before serving as Nixon's vice-president after Spiro Agnew's resignation. While Ford was not involved in the Watergate scandal, his decision to pardon Nixon after succeeding him in office left a bitter association with many voters. Ford's ad campaign portrayed him as a decent man who had restored honor to the nation's highest office. His "Feeling Good About America" theme sought to reestablish good feelings between the presidency and the people. While he made up a lot of ground as the voting day neared, Ford lost the election.
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