WASHINGTON - In this Face the Nation "Political Playback," host John Dickerson connects the 1980 Democratic convention between incumbent President Jimmy Carter and Senator Ted Kennedy to the current Democratic race between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Carter, whose presidency was plagued with high unemployment rates and gas prices, was extremely vulnerable heading into the 1980 Democratic convention. This opened the door for Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy to make a presidential run. Kennedy, hoping to become the second Kennedy to win the White House, started his presidential campaign by stumbling in an interview with Roger Mudd.
Kennedy's liberal message picked up steam, but he headed into the Convention with fewer delegates than Carter. Kennedy failed to sway Carter's delegates, but spoke on the convention floor where he delivered his most famous address. Though the two would eventually shake hands in the end, Kennedy was never forgiven by the Carter campaign for weakening their candidate before his battle with Ronald Reagan in the general.
After Carter's loss, the Democratic Party vowed to never self- destruct in that manner again. Fast- forward to the current Democratic race between Clinton and Sanders as many Democratic insiders fear that the nightmares of 1980 could come back to haunt the eventual Democratic nominee.