Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Cyrus Vance

Cyrus Vance was born this day in 1917. He died in 2002.

Nobody under 40 remembers who Cyrus Vance was. He was Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1980.

Hamilton Jordan was credited with devising the strategy that led to Carter's November 1976 victory. Early in the campaign, Jordan stated:

If, after the inauguration, you find a Cy Vance as Secretary of State and Zbigniew Brzezinski as head of National Security, then I would say we failed. And I would quit. You're going to see new faces and new ideas.

Why did Jordan single out Cyrus Vance as someone that Carter would never, ever appoint as Secretary of State?

Because Jordan was painting a picture of Carter as an "outsider," and Vance was your typical "Insider." Jordan wanted American voters to believe that Jimmy Carter had the vision and the courage to "clean house," bring change to America, repudiate the plans of the "Insiders" and take America in a New Direction.

Incredibly, some Americans still believe such campaign promises.

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