Jimmy Carter Rabbit Incident
Not the worst moment of his presidency. Not his best either. But a story that got its own entry on wikipedia must be something. While home in Plains, Georgia, President Jimmy Carter set out on a solo fishing expedition when he came under attack by a swamp rabbit. The rabbit, which had been swimming near his boat, attempted to board the vessel despite Carter’s efforts to shoo it away with his paddle.
After returning to Washington and telling his disbelieving staff who insisted that rabbits couldn’t swim let alone threateningly approach a person, Carter ordered a print of the images taken by the White House photographer who had been seated ashore. The media got wind of the story after press secretary Jody Powell mentioned it to an Associated Press writer and the story became to some an amusing metaphor for Carter’s presidency.
The Washington Post put the bunny story on page one complete with a cartoon takeoff of the famous “Jaws” movie poster entitled “Paws.” Despite the White House not releasing the photo, the media ran with the story for a week. (The photo was finally released by the Reagan administration and now you can easily access it through Carter Library.)