James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. (born October 1, 1924) is an American politician who served as the 46th Governor of Georgia, the __ Vice President of the United States, and ran as the Democratic nominee in the 1980 Presidential election. A progressive Southerner like his good friend and superior in the White House Neill Wallace, Carter was regarded as a rising star within the Democratic Party and as a case-in-point example of a South that was beyond the integration debates that had framed the 1950's and as an example of the spread of liberalism in the prosperous, enlightened 1970's following the conservative 1960's. He enjoyed a 91% approval rating as Governor of Georgia, a position he held from 1971 until 1978, the first Georgia Governor to win reelection to a consecutive four-year term.
Nominated as a compromise choice for Vice President by Wallace following the sudden assassination of Adam Eisler, Carter passed the Senate with ease and was sworn in on September 17, 1978. As Wallace's unpopularity increased, Carter and Wallace privately decided that Carter, regarded as "untarnished" by the spending mishaps of Eisler and the decisions to escalate the disastrous wars in Ceylon and Brazil, would run in 1980 and Wallace, who was weary of the Presidency, would let his term expire in 1981. However, despite running against the very President he served under, Carter came across as cold, dull and pessimistic in the midst of an economic depression in which the Democratic brand was severely tarnished and coudl not run well against both strong liberal opposition within his own party and the more optimistic, charismatic campaign of Elizabeth Shannon and Robert Redford.