Jimmy Carter won the White House in 1976 by riding the wave of anger and disillusionment that followed Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon. Carter tapped into that anger with the slogan “I will never lie to you.” An angry electorate, disgusted with Nixon, decided that was reason enough to give Carter the presidency. He won, in large part, because he made it clear that he wasn’t Richard Nixon.
Pundits called Carter a political genius.
Four years later, however, he was a political pariah. Voters embraced Ronald Reagan because he wasn’t Jimmy Carter, proving that good slogans do not necessarily produce good government.