Jimmy Carter Fights a Rabbit

Jimmy Carter fights a rabbit

In August of 1979, Jimmy Carter was taking some time off before his campaign got underway. He was out fishing on a lake near his home in Georgia when he was approached by a rabbit swimming toward his boat. Jimmy used his paddle to bat away the rogue rabbit. As he said later, “there was nothing to it.” Unfortunately for Jimmy, two things happened to make the whole incident a big deal: 1.) Jimmy’s press secretary told the story so that it sounded like a huge rabbit had attacked the president in a fight to the death. 2.) The White House photographer happened to capture a picture of the whole incident that showed a large white rabbit splashing around with Jimmy Carter trying to hit it with a boat oar. When the news got wind of it, they printed the story. Because the White House refused to release the picture, they drew their own cartoons that only made the story worse. It’s often thought of as an incident that contributed to Jimmy Carter losing votes in the 1980 election. The photo is courtesy of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.

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