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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How Jesse Helms Made the Reagan Revolution Possible

Helms was key to securing Reagan victory in N.C. primary 35 years ago

WINGATE (By John Dodd, Carolina Journal Online) -
Thirty-five years ago, on March 23, 1976, voters in North Carolina helped shape the course of history. Their decision to support the presidential hopes of former California Gov. Ronald Reagan in the Republican presidential primary kept Reagan in the race for the 1976 GOP nomination and opened the way for his 1980 election as the 40th president of the United States.

Why did North Carolina voters choose Reagan instead of his opponent Gerald Ford? Ford, after all, was the sitting president. Primaries had been held in six other states, and Ford won every one of them. How did Reagan win in North Carolina?

While the full answers to those questions offer rich lessons for campaign strategists, the single most important reason for Reagan's victory was obvious. In North Carolina, Reagan had the promise of U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms' support. That promise meant something.


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