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Kate Salley Palmer Cartoons

John West as the Sheik cartoon The Sheik

Camden native John Carl West served as State Senator, 1955-1966, Lt. Governor under Bob McNair, 1967-1971, Governor, 1971-1975, and United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, 1977-1981, under his friend, President Jimmy Carter. When asked why he accepted the Saudi post, West responded by putting both the job and the challenge in perspective – “To achieve peace in the Middle East might be one of the great accomplishments not just of the Carter Administration but of our generation and if I could be a part of it, a meaningful part, it would be of sufficient challenge to warrant me leaving the private sector that I was enjoying.”

SCPC holds the West papers.

Clinton Retirement cartoon Clinton Ex-Presidency

Many speculated on what the Clintons would do after leaving office, particularly given President Clinton’s relatively young age.

Hollings Campaign cartoon Hollings Presidential Bid

In April, 1982, Senator Ernest F. “Fritz” Hollings (b.1922), entered a crowded Democratic presidential primary field that included front-runner Vice-President Walter F. Mondale, Ohio Senator John Glenn, Colorado Senator Gary Hart, former Florida governor Reubin Askew, Senator Alan Cranston of California, former South Dakota Senator (and 1972 Democratic presidential nominee) George McGovern, and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. These contenders sought to unseat the incumbent Republican president, Ronald Reagan. Although Reagan was extremely popular personally, his first term had seen unemployment, inflation, interest rates, and federal deficits reach post-World War II highs. Hollings’ concern about these economic problems, particularly the federal budget deficit, was the primary motivation behind his run for the presidency.

Hollings’ campaign focused on three major issues: reducing the deficit, improving economic competitiveness, and strengthening national defense. From January 1983 through February 1984, Fritz and Peatsy Hollings traversed the nation promoting Hollings’ prescription for a strong, competitive, and prosperous America. Unfortunately, while his platform was credible and popular with the press (he was labeled “The Thinking Man’s Dark Horse” by columnist Bill Greider), the public did not embrace his message of tough choices and sacrifice. Mondale and Glenn, buoyed by good name recognition, emerged as the early front-runners. Hollings used his biting wit to try and cut into their leads. Referring to John Glenn’s inconsistency on the issues, he quipped that the Ohio senator and former astronaut was “orbiting the issues faster than he orbited the earth.”

After placing sixth in the New Hampshire primary, Hollings bowed out of the race with the classic line: “Well, nothing happened to me on the way to the White House...” But, all three of his major messages – balancing the budget, toughening trade policy, and beefing up conventional military forces – became central issues of the national debate. In particular, Hollings’ emphasis on balancing the budget demonstrated his remarkable foresight: though few were decrying the federal deficit at the time, in less than a decade it came to be seen as perhaps the single most important political issue in the United States.

SCPC holds the Hollings papers.

Dorn cartoon Dorn Wind-Up Doll

William Jennings Bryan Dorn (1916-2005) represented South Carolina’s Third District in the United States Congress for thirteen terms between 1948 and 1974. He campaigned unsuccessfully for governor in both 1974 and 1978. Unlike Pug Ravenel in 1974, Dorn campaigned energetically for Democratic nominee Dick Riley after losing the 1978 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and contributed to Riley’s election as Governor.

Palmer gave the original cartoon to Mr. Dorn, who liked it so much, he hung it in his bedroom, where it stayed until the moment SCPC staff took it down to become part of the Dorn Collection.

SCPC holds the papers of Dorn, Riley, and Ravenel.

Bertram's Discontent cartoon Bertram by the Birdbath

Some say service in the legislature spoils a man for anything else.

Jimmy the Juggler cartoon Jugglin' Jimmy

The Carter presidency was a troubled time in America, and while Jimmy Carter was widely perceived as a good man striving to deal with myriad problems facing the nation, he was not perceived as being particularly capable or decisive.

Property Taxes cartoon State Property Owners

Taxes are a major issue in South Carolina, particularly the property tax. Over the past twenty years, the state has struggled to find ways to fund public education without over-burdening property owners.

Rembert Dennis cartoon Rembert Dennis

Rembert Dennis (1915-1992) and Marion Gressette (1902-1984) were long time members of the state Senate and, in a legislative state, wielded great influence over South Carolina. Berkeley County’s Dennis served in that body from 1943 to 1988, while Orangeburg County’s Gressette served from 1937 until his death in 1984.

SCPC holds the Dennis and Gressette papers.

Reagan Campaign Bus cartoon Reagan Campaign Bus

South Carolina has become a key primary election state in recent years and, in 1980, a sputtering Ronald Reagan presidential campaign was being bested by George Bush in the early going. Many South Carolinians supported Texan John Connally, but Carroll Campbell signed on to chair the Reagan campaign in the state and helped deliver a major primary victory to Reagan.

SCPC holds the Campbell papers.

Riley Reapportionment cartoon Riley and Reapportionment

Reapportionment is defined as the redistribution of representation in a legislative body. In January of 1982, the date of this cartoon, South Carolina was wracked by turmoil over the apportionment of the state Senate. The following year, the Senate adopted a plan creating single-member districts, ensuring that blacks would be elected to the Senate in 1984 for the first time since Reconstruction. Shown here is Governor Richard W. Riley addressing the Senate. Senators Marion Gressette and Rembert Dennis are pictured in the front row. Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog are also seated in the Senate.

SCPC holds the Dennis, Gressette, and Riley papers.

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