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Discussion 6: Jimmy Carter as a Case Study of Presidential Failure?

Jimmy Carter is generally identified as a relatively unsuccessful president  when it comes to domestic policy (in the foreign policy arena he had some significant successes, but also the Iran hostage crisis). How should we understand his struggles? Was he mainly trapped by a difficult context? Or did his own approach and possible failings also matter?

Please explore Carter’s presidency in relation to these questions and domestic policy. Among the points you might want to consider:

1. Pick out one or two examples that you think shed light on Carter’s experiences. This can be a particular policy area, but also some dimension of Carter’s approach to governing. For instance, what was his relationship to Congress, and why?

4. What do we learn by comparing Carter with Reagan in relation to OSHA?

*Please use page numbers in citations.