My Favorite Convention


After accepting the nomination, Carter and Vice President Mondale waited a long time to be joined at the podium by Kennedy, who had decided to watch the address in his room at the Waldorf-Astoria, then leave for the Garden. He “could have made better time on a skateboard,” Carter’s press secretary, Jody Powell, later wrote. After everyone who was remotely known in the party had been called on-stage to congratulate the President, Kennedy at last appeared but would not raise his hand with Carter’s in a feigned show of unity. Carter would look over, Powell bitterly recalled, and “each time Teddy would dance away.” Even the balloons refused to cooperate; workers had to struggle to get them to drift down. The politically disastrous, theatrically wonderful grudge match was over, never to be repeated.