Dorothy “Dot” Padgett organized the Jimmy Carter presidential campaign effort known as the Peanut Brigade. Forty years later she wrote a book about it, Jimmy Carter, Elected with Pocket Change and Peanuts, telling the story of an army of loyal supporters, friends, neighbors, and elected officials who joined the Carter campaign across the country knocking on doors, standing at factory gates, walking streets, asking voters to vote for Jimmy Carter for President. Padgett’s eyewitness account tells the story in an earthy, honest, and often humorous southern voice.
During the Carter administration (1977-1981), the former PTA volunteer, served as chief of Protocol in the State Department. Still active at 96, she is a member of the Georgia Council for the Arts and the Metropolitan Mental Health Association and is a Life Member of the Carter Center Board of Councilors.
She lives in historic Douglasville, GA (her hometown) where she serves as an advisor to the American Chestnut Tree Restoration project in Douglas County.
Jimmy Carter Elected President with Pocket Change and Peanuts
How does a peanut farmer become Governor of Georgia and President of the United States? Only in America could such a story be true.
In 1975, Governor Jimmy Carter announced he would run for President. An army of loyal supporters including friends, neighbors, and elected officials, known as the Peanut Brigade, joined his campaign. The brigade was organized by Dorothy “Dot” Padgett. They traveled across the country, joining Jimmy and his wife Rosalynn, knocking on doors, standing at factory gates, walking streets, asking voters to support Jimmy Carter for President. With their help, Carter was elected in 1976, the 39th President of the United States.
While the basics of this story are well known, they have never been told from the perspective of a “soldier” in the Peanut Brigade. Dorothy “Dot” Padgett tells the story with an earthy, honest, and Southern voice. Humor and insight abound in this direct telling of how a peanut farmer from Georgia became President of the United States.
Kai Bird, Pulitzer prize-winning historian and journalist, and author of The Outlier, The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter, praised Padgett’s book and cited it in his book saying, “Dot’s book is filled with anecdotal detail and color about those early years of the campaign.”
The 480-page book includes a foreword by President Jimmy Carter and a list of the 500 +- members of the Peanut Brigade.