01x05 - The State of the Union is Not Good

Episode transcripts for the TV show "The Seventies". Aired: June 2015 to August 2015.
"The Seventies" is a documentary series that looks back on this remarkable and controversial decade. The Vietnam w*r, Watergate scandal, music industry, Iran Hostage Crisis, and the rise of foreign and domestic terrorism are just some of the events this series covers.
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01x05 - The State of the Union is Not Good

Post by bunniefuu »

I must say to you that the state of the Union is not good.

Will these people somehow translate politics into power and make a government work?

We are privileged to witness a significant achievement in the cause of peace.

What was once a distant foreign policy issue has become a domestic issue.

There is no malaise in the spirit of this country.

It's just Mr. Carter!

We can turn this country around and we can turn our economy around.

And the time to do it is now.

In just a few moments now, President Nixon will be appearing before the people perhaps for the last time as President of the United States.

Jail to the chief! Jail to the chief!

Good evening. I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow.

In turning over direction of the government to Vice President Ford, I know that the leadership of America will be in good hands.

In those first few days and weeks when Gerald Ford ascended to the Presidency, you could say if you were casting someone to play the role of a President to heal a nation, that Gerald Ford would have been that person.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Vice President of the United States, and Mrs. Ford.

Gerald Ford was one of the most popular people in Congress, conservative and Republican to the core, but always willing to talk, always willing to compromise.

My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

Part of what Gerald Ford wanted to do was move beyond Watergate.

And so to say, "our long national nightmare is over," was to try to tell the nation, "my main job as President will be to heal this country."

May our former President, who brought peace to millions, find it for himself.

David, what do you think?

I would guess that in his term we may see a little of what we were promised in the preamble to the Constitution but seldom see.

That is a little bit of domestic tranquility.

When Gerald Ford became President, he understood the public needed something completely different.

He seemed to be the right man for those times.

The change from Nixon to Ford is likely to give the nation's economy a psychological lift.

But it's going to take more than a new President to cure the economy.

It was an extremely difficult time.

Ford inherited the deepest recession since the 1930s.

But he was spending 25% of his time on leftover Nixon matters.

Ford's in a brand new job and faces this really consequential choice.

Pardon Nixon and try to put Watergate behind the country, or let the investigation run its course.

This year, especially the past few months and weeks, have been filled with extraordinary days.

Today was another one that historians will be writing about and thinking about for years to come.

I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States, do grant a full, free and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States.

Do you think President Ford's action is wrong?

It's wrong, absolutely wrong.

Ford did the generous thing.

I think the American people must forget about Nixon.

I think it raises as a political issue the whole question of equal justice under law, except for Presidents, who seem to get special treatment.

Good morning. We are about to see something which as far as we know, may never have been seen before in American history.

A sitting President of the United States testifying before a Congressional committee.

The subcommittee will be in order.

I had just just been out of law school for a few years.

I was the last person on that subcommittee to ask a question.

And I thought for sure somebody in the subcommittee would ask President Ford the tough questions about the pardon. Nobody asked the questions.

I would like to point out, Mr. President, that the circumstances of the pardon which you issued, the secrecy with which it was issued made people question whether or not in fact it was a deal.

Mrs. Holtzman, I repeat with emphasis that if we had had an indictment, a trial, a conviction, that the attention of the President, the Congress, and the American people would have been diverted from the problems that we have to solve.

Ford now looks very smart in history for issuing the pardon.

It did not look that great at the time. He took a b*ating for it.

Justice gone! Justice gone!

If we'd had a trial of Nixon, the country would have been stopped.

You've got to remember, Presidents are there to govern.

And we hadn't had much governing.

Wherever you look across the United States, plants are closing, industries are slowing down, businesses are failing.

At least 6 million people are out of work.

Unemployment in the United States is at its highest level in thirteen years.

Economically, the country began to pay a very heavy price for the long Vietnam w*r, for which tax increases had not been passed to pay for it.

We have stag-flation. It's a new disease.

It's stagnation with inflation.

The chuck steaks have gone up.

They're usually 0.68 a pound or around 0.79 a pound.

Now they're 0.94 this week, which is ridiculous. And I can't afford it.

For many pensioners, the struggle is to find enough to eat.

From garbage, if necessary.

Inflation went through the roof.

People would come into my Congressional office and they'd be crying.

Americans were feeling poorer and poorer.

Their salaries weren't going up as quickly as the cost of milk and cheese.

Something was wrong with the system.

There is only one point on which all advisers have agreed.

We must whip inflation right now.

Unless every able American pitches in, Congress and I cannot do the job.

Gerald Ford is a conservative Republican, so he's trying to figure out how do you deal with economic problems without strong government? So he puts together this program which relies on voluntary action by Americans.

There was no program.

Basically the President was saying, "buy less."

The "win" buttons were part of the propaganda.

There were also pamphlets and posters.

I object to distracting people's attention away from the principal goals, the principal methods, of coping with inflation.

Are you suggesting, sir, that buttons and flags are trivial?


ABC News presents live coverage of the President's State of the Union message to Congress.

The President of the United States.

When he goes to give the State of the Union address, he is under tremendous pressure.

I remember being there, and it was palpable. You could feel it.

A lot hangs on this, this being his very first State of the Union.

26 years ago, a freshman Congressman who was out to change the world stood at the back of this great chamber.

As President Truman said, "I am happy to report to the 81st Congress that the state of the Union is good."

Today, millions of Americans are out of work, recession and inflation are eroding the money of millions more.

Prices are too high and sales are too slow.

And I must say to you that the state of the Union is not good.

Former California Governor Ronald Reagan is about to hold a press conference here in Washington, where he is expected to announce that he is a candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination.

One of the things that was a problem for Ford is the fact that his party was coming apart at the seams.

Reagan was able to mount a formidable challenge to Ford in the '76 Republican nomination contest.

I'm running because I have grown increasingly concerned about the course of events in the United States and in the world.

Reagan was the great two-term Governor of California, and he goes after Gerald Ford as being weak.

I am quite critical of our foreign policy right now.

Matter of fact, I think that it is almost anchor-less and almost aimless.

He's a good actor, but he also is a formidable challenger.

Ronald Reagan was challenging a sitting President in his own party, a relatively conservative President, and he was basically calling him a liberal sellout.

In the Texas primary, Reagan wiped out the President in a stunning victory.

In August of 1974, this country had some very difficult and formidable obstacles ahead of us.

We blew it in the right direction, young man.

And those of you...

This was the period of time right in the wake of Watergate.

Americans were very, very suspicious about government and about people who had spent too much time in Washington, D.C.

So Jimmy Carter could run as someone who called himself an outsider.

As a guy who wasn't tainted by Washington, D.C. and its corruption and its culture.

I remember when I announced for President, there was a major headline on the editorial page of the Atlanta Constitution that said, "Jimmy Carter is running for what?"

I'm running... I'm running for President.

Jimmy Carter?

Jimmy who?

I don't know who he is.

I picture him like one of us. One of the common people.

Jimmy Carter grew up in a very small town in the South, Plains, Georgia.

He had grown into a family of farmers. Became a peanut farmer himself.

And from Georgia, he really basically started his political ascent.

The idea that somebody from that region could aspire to that kind of national office...

You know, people didn't even try.

Yesterday about 50,000 Democrats in Iowa met in caucuses to choose delegates for their State Party Convention.

Former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter did extremely well.

The Iowa Caucus was something no one ever paid attention to.

But Carter and his team said, "hey, if we go and we win, the media is going to treat us like a serious political front-runner."

Mr. Carter is also deeply religious.

He prays in public and speaks openly about his religious beliefs.

Carter was a person who you thought would lead America to some kind of spiritual redemption, which at the time we really needed.

Nothing has happened tonight to change the feeling that Jimmy Carter is on his way to a kind of coronation in Madison Square Garden.

The battle for the Republican nomination turned out to be really close.

It was close enough to make the Ford people's fingernails sweat.

But by a whisker, Gerald Ford got the nomination.

When Ford was nominated, Reagan's supporters staged a demonstration on the Convention floor.

And it went on and on and on and on.

By the end of that Convention, it's clear that although Gerald Ford may be the nominee, Ronald Reagan has won the hearts and minds of conservatives.

Reagan did great damage to Ford.

Look at the poll numbers. You'll see that Jimmy Carter starts surging, over 30 points ahead of Gerald Ford.

Ford had a weak position in the national race, so he challenged Jimmy Carter to a debate.

Mr. President, I would like to explore a little more deeply our relationship with the Russians.

Max Frankel asked Ford a question about whether the United States was accepting of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.

There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration.

Uh, I'm sorry, could I just follow...

Did I understand you to say, sir, that the Russians are not using Eastern Europe as their own sphere of influence?

Everybody's jaw just dropped. Are you alive? Are you aware?

What he meant to say was, "I will not accept any Soviet domination of Eastern Europe."

Governor Carter, have you a response?

Charitably, that was a momentary slip.

Uncharitably, it was a loss of touch with reality.

Clearly a huge moment where the country makes the judgment, you know what, maybe we do need to go in a different direction and replace the President.

Ford had never lost an election in his life.

Won fifteen straight terms in the House, and here all of the sudden, he's beaten by this one-term Governor of Georgia.

And he was crushed.

My voice isn't up to par.

Let me call on the real spokesman for the family, Betty.

It's been the greatest honor of my husband's life to have served his fellow Americans during two of the most difficult years in our history.

I think the real test comes now.

Whether these people who have taken apart the old system can somehow translate politics into power and make a government work.

That's their real test, and we're on the threshold of possibly the greatest change since the New Deal in 1932.

The parade has started.

He is out of the car.

This is a change in the schedule. He is walking.

Most Presidents in our time have wanted to do this.

But in recent years after our various tragedies, it has been discouraged and there has not been very much of it.

Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn get out of the car.

It was game-changing.

People looked at that and said "this is what we need.

A real person as President."

Carter was a man of the people.

Glamor was not what we were in the market for. We were looking for a redeemer.

I'd like to take a little look around, you know. I haven't seen it.

Supposed to have a meeting with some of the Cabinet officers in a few minutes.

Are you actually going upstairs, taking a look at the living quarters?

Yeah, for the first time.

President Carter knew he had four years to do things that he thought were important.

Fix the economy, try to bring some peace to the Middle East, fix energy, and some other things.

We will have available for public scrutiny and for Congressional action by April 20th a comprehensive, long-range energy policy.

The winter of 1977 is one of the worst the country had experienced, and this comes at a time the economy is still doing poorly.

The severe weather has already led to a serious shortage of natural gas.

Federal Power Commission estimates at least 200,000 layoffs due to industrial gas curtailments so far.

In the Dayton area, school districts must close for 30 days.

Congress will consider this week emergency gas legislation.

Good evening, President Carter is about to speak to the nation from the White House on the subject of energy.

Tonight, I want to have an unpleasant talk with you.

The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly.

We need to shift to plentiful coal, while taking care to protect the environment.

And to apply stricter safety standards to nuclear energy.

This difficult effort will be the moral equivalent of w*r.

The policies that he rolls out around the speech really don't go anywhere.

One of the key reasons for this is that Jimmy Carter really had poor relations with Congress.

For the producing states I think it would be a catastrophic, cataclysmic calamity.

What he's trying to do is prepare the public mind to accept only the Carter proposal and nothing else.

Carter alienated the powers that be in Congress.

So when Jimmy Carter begin to falter, he didn't have friends coming out and speaking for him.

In fact, I was getting calls from Democrats criticizing him.

I've always heard about the advise and consent role of the Congress.

So far they've been a little stronger on the advice than they have the consent.

Carter inherits a financial mess and there was no magic wand to cure it all.

He needed a big feather in his cap quickly.

It's almost a White House cliche that when a President is in trouble at home, his counselors advise a trip abroad.

A President on the road.

His first long overseas trip to the Middle East and Western Europe.

Mr. Carter met not only with Anwar Sadat of Egypt, but also with King Hussein of Jordan, King Khalid of Saudi Arabia, and the Shah of Iran.

The United States had always backed the Shah of Iran and that goes back to 1953 when in fact, America essentially put the Shah into power.

Iran is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.

Even though Western governments loved the Shah, they weren't really paying attention to the facts on the ground.

And there were many people who were discontented with the Shah, in part because of his extremely oppressive policies.

Iran was seen as important for its oil resources, but also because the shah was an ally when it came to regional goals.

This was a natural alliance for the United States.

The President and the Shah of Iran spent a long time talking about the Middle East.

And it was brought up by other leaders in other countries.

Jimmy Carter saw the Middle East and the settlement of the conflict between the Israelis and Arabs as central to any kind of stability for the next generation.

Hopes for a Middle East peace settlement were never higher than they were last November, when Sadat went to Jerusalem to meet Begin.

And then after Begin returned the visit, the enthusiasm began to drop off.

While the world watched, Sadat and Begin took to bickering and negotiations broke down.

Jimmy Carter took advantage of Sadat's willingness to talk to the Israelis.

I think he thought he might be able to do something that his predecessors couldn't.

It was a huge gamble.
Good afternoon, the stage is set and the participants are now beginning to arrive here in the Washington area.

President Carter, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin will sit down in the lonely solitude of Camp David and attempt to work out a peace settlement for the Middle East.

Failure here would just increase the impression that is being reflected in the public opinion polls that Mr. Carter is a nice man, but an inept President.

There are hundreds of reporters here, largely interviewing each other.

What the three are discussing, whether the talks are friendly or tense, we just don't know because of the unprecedented secrecy.

By the end of the second day, Rosalynn says you could hear them screaming at each other at the top of their lungs.

Carter had to physically separate them. He had to block them from leaving.

The Middle East Summit at Camp David is a week old today, and there's still no official word on how those talks are going or when they might end, but their length already has given rise to reports of a stalemate.

Carter had a photograph made of the three men, and had made up copies for Begin's nine grandchildren, and had signed each of them, "Love, Jimmy Carter."

Very reluctantly, Carter went back to see Begin.

Carter handed him the photographs and he said, "I had hoped to write that, 'this is where your grandfather and I made peace'."

And Begin began to weep.

Carter went back to his cabin to tell Sadat that the signing was off, and the phone rang.

And it was Begin saying that he would sign.

We are privileged to witness tonight a significant achievement in the cause of peace.

An achievement none thought possible a year ago.

The peace treaty changed the tenor of politics across the region.

An Arab country which accounted for a quarter of the Arab world population recognized Israel's right to exist.

And it changed the dynamics of the Middle East.

Aren't we in bliss. What a picture, what a picture.

And the room of course has erupted in cheering.


As Menachem Begin said, "peace now celebrates a great victory."

The Camp David Accord was Carter's crowning achievement.

But it was very shortly thereafter diminished by the crisis with Iran.

Ayatollah Khomeini, the rebel priest, now exiled in Paris, has called on his supporters to depose the Shah.

Khomeini called for the building of an Islamic state not dependent on the West.

I don't think the United States, as a secular country, really understood that Islam, a religion, could oust a monarchy that had prevailed as a system of government for two and a half millennia.

We support the Shah, but we don't try to interfere in the internal affairs of Iran.

We did put the Shah in, but you're saying we can't keep him in?

I think that's a decision to be made by the people of that country.

Good evening. The Shah of Iran is in Egypt tonight.

His countrymen are deliriously rejoicing at his departure.

And all around the world, government leaders are trying to come to grips with the fall of the man known as "The King of Kings."

The old chant of "death to the Shah" was replaced today by a new one, "death to Carter."

We want Jimmy Carter to know that we want freedom and we don't want his human rights anymore.

Obviously, the source of energy for the 1970s was a core question.

The Iranian revolution is drying up our energy supply.

We're literally running out of gas.

Your attention please.

There has been a state of emergency declared on Three Mile Island.

At a nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the cooling system broke down this morning.

Some radioactive steam escaped into the air.

Radiation passed through the four-foot concrete walls and was detected a mile away from the plant.

This was the first big nuclear disaster at a time when the country was increasingly reliant on nuclear power.

And the federal government and the state government couldn't do much about it. It was scary.

It's the beginning of mistrust of nuclear power as the magic salve to the energy problem.

The President said today that he believes this incident will make it necessary to reassess the country's present nuclear safety regulations.

That comes from a President who has been claiming that more nuclear reactors are needed to offset the demand for foreign oil.

The energy crisis which had been going on all decade only gets worse with Middle Eastern turmoil.

Californians sat fuming in their cars, waiting impatiently in long lines, wondering who and what had put them there.

Somehow there wasn't enough gasoline to go around.

But prices rose elsewhere and lines began forming, and Americans began realizing that California was not unique.

California was first.

People in this country always worry about the price of gas, but this was a worry about the availability of gas.

While the oil producers were getting ready for another price increase, the oil consumers were beginning to meet in Japan.

President Carter's state visit began today.

My information is that in the next few weeks, hopefully sooner, there will be an increase in supply of gasoline to the affected areas.

I think it's phony. I think they're trying to get the prices jacked up.

That's my personal opinion.

What was once a distant foreign policy issue has become a domestic issue.

A truck strike has driven food prices upward, slowed industry and resulted in v*olence.

The bloodiest episode in Levittown, Pennsylvania.

32 people were injured when motorists joined the truckers in protesting the fuel shortage.

The crowd of two to three thousand, mostly young teenagers, packed the intersection.

Then it turned violent.

Police brutality!

This is Levittown, Pennsylvania. This is the perfect, quintessential symbol of middle America.

And middle America is in torment about the gas crisis.

Sunday, July 1. Because of the gas lines, President Carter flies straight home from the Tokyo Economic Summit and announces a television speech to the nation Thursday.

Then to Camp David by helicopter, presumably to work on that energy speech.

But then, a sudden change.

The energy speech is canceled with no explanation.

Critics speak of indecision.

Carter decides that he wants to meet with advisers from all walks of life.

The latest group shuttled to Camp David includes Energy Secretary Schlesinger, several non-government oil experts and three Governors.

Well now he's been up there for eight days, and there is still no word on when the Camp David Domestic Summit will end and the President will come down from the mountain.

One almost expects the President to alight from his chopper carrying with him two tablets of stone.

Sources say Mr. Carter will address what he calls a malaise affecting the nation.

This is an ABC News Special Report.

Fifteens seconds, sir.

Stand by.

Good evening. I want to speak to you first tonight about a subject even more serious than energy or inflation.

It is a crisis of confidence.

For the first time in the history of our country a majority of our people believe that the next five years will be worse than the past five years.

Too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption.

Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns.

So the President has concluded his speech and what a remarkable speech it was.

It was almost a sermon.

Afterwards, he gets a bump in the polls.

People are like, "hey, this is good."

But then the op-eds begin to drip in.

I think the President and his advisers are making a mistake if they think out there in the country people feel there is a crisis of confidence in themselves.

They feel there is a crisis of confidence in the President.

It was analysis of the speech that really began to turn things for him.

And right after the speech he then basically fired his Cabinet.

When members of the Cabinet gathered at the white house this morning for a two-hour meeting with the President, they seemed to be in good spirits.

But by the time they left, things had changed.

Along with the senior White House staff, their resignations were requested.

Don't you think someone should come out and assure the country that we don't have to worry about this crisis?

I think... I think that... I don't think there is a crisis.

Don't the American people have a right to know who is running the government?

Well, they do have a right to know. They do know who's running the government.

The American public isn't confused about who's running the government.

The President is running it.

Sometimes perception is more important than reality.

And the perception became that Jimmy Carter made one big mistake after another.

The Shah of Iran is in a New York City hospital tonight.

An American government source in Washington says the deposed Iranian monarch is suffering from cancer and a blocked bile duct.

The Shah was admitted to this country on condition that he not engage in any political activity while here.

The present Iranian government was assured of that.

Meanwhile, tighter security measures have been put into effect at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran as a precaution against possible actions by anti-Shah fanatics.

Carter agreed to allow the Shah to come to the United States for medical treatment.

And at that point it was the match that lit this conflagration.

The American Embassy in Tehran is in the hands of Muslim students tonight.

Spurred on by an anti-American speech by the Ayatollah Khomeini, they stormed the Embassy, fought the Marine guards for three hours, overpowered them, and took dozens of American hostages.

The Iranians b*rned the United States flag and denounced the U.S. government, saying they would stay until the U.S. sends the deposed Shah back to Iran.

What I remember, and this was the second day, was that the provisional government of Dr. Bazargan, the Prime Minister, which was essentially the people we dealt with, had resigned.

At that point I remember thinking, "we are definitely in the soup," because there was no one to talk to.

There was no government for our government to talk to.

In Tehran it is Tuesday morning.

The hostages at the American Embassy, more than 60 of them, have spent another night, their ninth, as prisoners of their Iranian captors.

And today President Carter made his first public response to their ordeal.

I am ordering that we discontinue purchasing of any oil from Iran for delivery to this country.

High administration officials believe that through today's action they have removed a bargaining tool that can no longer be used in dealing with the hostages.

Other officials say candidly that today's announcement was also intended to dampen the outrage and frustration expressed by Americans over the country's seeming helplessness.

How they treated our diplomats was humiliating.

That put extraordinary pressure on Jimmy Carter.

The meeting is on, but there is nothing to suggest those meetings have produced any new ways of solving the crisis.

Any encouraging news from Iran, Mr. President?

Status quo, sir?

Yes, I'm afraid so.

The first sign of hope in two weeks from the American Embassy in Tehran.

The students holding the hostages there promised to obey an order today from the Ayatollah Khomeini to free all women and blacks.

The Ayatollah explained, "Islam has a special respect for women and the blacks, who have spent ages under American pressure and tyranny."

As he departed for Thanksgiving week at nearby Camp David, the President was apparently confident that at least some of those hostages will soon be free.

"We are thankful," said his statement, "the ordeal may be over for them and that they may be soon reunited with their families."

But it went on to urge that the authorities in Iran now move to secure the safe release of all those still being held.

What can you do? You bring pressure. You can bring sanctions, you can go to the United Nations, you can send emissaries.

But America can't do a damn thing.

Ted Koppel on ABC News, Walter Cronkite, "America, Day fifteen," "Day one hundred," "Day two hundred." It started wearing on people.

And Carter started becoming the symbol of lost American prestige.

Ronald Reagan is running officially.

He got in the race tonight in New York City at a fund-raising dinner.

And he taped a speech yesterday for showing tonight on about 90 independent television stations.

I'm here tonight to announce my intention to seek the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

The crisis we face is not the result of any failure of the American spirit.

It's a failure of our leaders.

The country is looking for optimism, looking for a new dawn, new beginnings.

And Ronald Reagan epitomized all those things.

Between '76 and '80, Reagan's building a coalition.

Bringing in Christian fundamentalists, and law-and-order Nixonian people.

Reagan is realizing in order to sell conservatism, you've got to do it with a smile.

And you've got to do it in a way that makes people feel good, not scold them.

We can turn this country around and we can turn our economy around.

And the time to do it is now.

We want Kennedy! We want Kennedy!

There are many Democrats who are worried that Carter is not going to win.

So Ted Kennedy, who was a Senator from Massachusetts, decides to take him on.

Today I formally announce that I am a candidate for President of the United States.

Many Democrats believed Carter had moved too far to the center and that he abandoned the traditional ideas of the party.

Jimmy Carter and Kennedy became the polar opposites within the party and Jimmy Carter on top of that had a feeling that the Kennedys felt they were above we Southerners.

It's a nasty contest. When someone asked Jimmy Carter in passing, "what do you think about being challenged by Ted Kennedy?"

Jimmy Carter says, "I'll whip his ass."

This is a special report from CBS News.

The 174th day of the Iran Crisis has brought a startling and tragic turn of events.

The United States mounted a m*llitary operation into Iran last night to rescue the American hostages. But it failed.

Eight helicopters took off from the deck of the aircraft carrier Nimitz.

The eight helicopters proceeded toward a desert staging area 200 miles southeast of Tehran.

Two of the helicopters experienced problems en route.

But once on the ground, yet another helicopter malfunctioned, leaving only five for the mission.

At that moment, the President scrubbed the mission.

In the rush to pull out, one of the helicopters taxied into a C-130 fuel t*nk.

Both burst into flames.

Eight of our men were k*lled. Four others suffered burns.

The bodies of the d*ad have not yet been returned.

The Ayatollah Khomeini seemed to enjoy stage-managing in this grisly theater as the bodies were shown.

The soldiers obviously took no joy here.

It was my decision to attempt the rescue operation.

It was my decision to cancel it when problems developed.

The responsibility is fully my own.

Why do you want to be President?

Well, I'm... Uh...

Kennedy should have been prepared to answer that question.

In some ways, he'd been preparing to answer that question his entire life.

And instead, he gives mud. A stammering, halting answer that instantly told people this guy does not know why he wants the job.

There's more natural resources than any nation in the world.

The interesting thing is that after it became clear that Kennedy couldn't win, he became a great candidate.

There is no malaise in the spirit of this country.

It's just Mr. Carter!

Kennedy's primary challenge has a big effect, because many Democrats are not that enthused about their candidate once the Convention takes place.

Live from New York City, the 1980 Democratic National Convention.

The Democrats have had their first day of the Convention.

Senator Kennedy lost the first and decisive fight.

Jimmy Carter is the nominee of this party.

I congratulate President Carter on his victory here.

I am confident that the Democratic party will reunite on the basis of Democratic principles and that together we will march towards a Democratic victory in 1980.

People are cheering Kennedy on.

The enthusiasm for what he has to say is much more than the response that Carter gets.

In good times and bad, in the valleys and on the peaks, we've told people the truth.

Carter then wants Kennedy to come onstage and they can hold up their hands together to show that this party is unified.

But when Kennedy comes up, he doesn't really do that.

There will be no pictures in tomorrow morning's paper, and none for posterity.

Of Ted Kennedy holding Jimmy Carter's hand aloft.

Well, this is slightly awkward.

Kennedy did not win, could not win. And yet he had ripped the party apart when what they needed to win that election was full Democratic unity.

We love Reagan!

Thank you!

This country needs a new administration with a renewed dedication to the dream of an American.

An administration that will give that dream new life and make America great again.

Ronald Reagan will call Carter out for this whole idea that we live in an age of limits, and say no, America's future is just as expansive as it ever was.

Next Tuesday, all of you will go to the polls.

I think when you make that decision, it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago?

This is continuing ABC News election night coverage.

It is beginning to look like, well, the word is landslide.

The word is landslide for Ronald Reagan tonight.

If they're not breaking out the champagne at the Reagan headquarters now, it's only because, well, they can't find an opener.

Jimmy Carter, though beaten at the polls, did not act like a beaten man.

He said he didn't feel the people had turned against him personally, but had voted their frustrations over America's lost dominance in world affairs and lost preeminence in economic affairs.

Mr. Carter showed a flash of anguish only once, when he said his wife had seen one of the moral majority preachers on television this morning say that the American electorate had acted to put a true Christian in the Oval Office.

We knew that Reagan had won the election.

The Iranians told us that certain gloating feeling that they were responsible for Jimmy Carter's defeat.

Mr. Carter is back in his office burning the midnight oil.

And perhaps that's characteristic of the Jimmy Carter Presidency.

He's doing it here on his last night in Washington.

Up until the last moment, right before he actually has to shake Ronald Reagan's hand during Reagan's inauguration, Jimmy Carter is doing everything he possibly can trying to get those hostages home.

Jimmy Carter was perceived in Iran as the ultimate ally of the Shah.

And they didn't want to give any rewards to Jimmy Carter.

We had to wait until Ronald Reagan had taken the oath of office before the plane was allowed to fly out of Tehran to Algiers Everything was delayed, despite the agreement, to make sure that Jimmy Carter didn't get any credit for the freedom of the hostages.

It was a bittersweet moment as Jimmy Carter, private citizen, left Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington to go home to Georgia.

Luck is a big factor in a Presidency.

And Jimmy Carter had some very bad luck.

Because of the blow-back from Vietnam and Watergate, it will be recognized that Jimmy Carter inherited a national and world situation that was almost completely unmanageable.

A few moments ago on Air Force One, I had received word officially for the first time that the aircraft carrying the 52 American hostages had cleared Iranian air space on the first leg of the journey home and that every one of the 52 hostages was alive, was well, and free.
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