is the fact that he’s the only polltician ever to defeat Ronald Reagan. He did it over the course of a thrilling battle for the Republican presidential nomination in 1976. I can’t recall a closer race since.
Vice President Cheney was President Ford’s chief of staff. I was surprised to learn that he remembers 1976 (which after all ended in defeat for Ford) more fondly than any of the other presidential campaigns he’s been involved with. Cheney pointed to the exhilaration of the battle against Reagan, followed by the tremendous late surge against Jimmy Carter which nearly produced victory. Being so young may have contributed, as well.
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