Engineering the Victory

As Jimmy Carter's confidant, factotum and campaign manager from the first, Hamilton Jordan, 32, can be described as the chief architect of his boss's campaign. In an interview with TIME Correspondent John Stacks, Jordan (pronounced Jer-din) discussed his winning strategy:

Q. What was the critical ingredient in Governor Carter's victory?

A. The fact that the man—and his family—worked for four years, campaigned all over the country and understood the mood of the country and was able to address that in a positive way.

Q. What went wrong during the fall?

A. When you become as...