This video contains raw footage shot for "Five Day Bicycle Race," a project comprised of live in-studio commentary and taped edited coverage of the 1976 Democratic National Convention in New York City. Produced by independent videomakers calling themselves The Image Union (including many members of TVTV and Videofreex), it aired on Manhattan Cable for three hours per night for five days during the convention. In this video, we watch as the videomakers travel to the Americana Hotel in Midtown Manhattan to hear Jimmy Carter make an address.
00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with a blue screen.
00:30Copy video clip URL The videomakers give the date and deck number and introduce the crew.
00:53Copy video clip URL Cut to footage from within a taxi. Two of the videomakers are on their way to the hotel. They talk about their excitement about meeting Jimmy Carter. The cab driver comments on Carter’s visit. The driver says that Carter will lose the state of New York. When asked why, he replies, “Because people want to hear him. They want to talk to him. They want to see what he looks like. He’s hiding all the time.” The driver goes on to talk about his belief that all politicians are crooked. He laments New York City revenue problems as well.
06:02Copy video clip URL When asked what the convention will do for the city and its citizens, the driver says, “All the convention’s going to do is bring more people in, more traffic, and create more problems.”
06:33Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of two men advertising Jimmy Carter’s press conference at the Americana Hotel. The men are adorned in large pictures of Carter. One of the men talks about the event. This lasts for a few minutes.
08:32Copy video clip URL The videomakers interview a Jimmy Carter supporter. Adorned in Carter apparel, the woman shares her thoughts on Carter. “He’s a good man and he’s going to make a good President, I know that… I think this is going to be a country with feeling again… He’s going to be the same kind of President–when we had the Depression, we needed a man like Roosevelt to take us out of it, and I think Jimmy Carter is going to be the kind of person to take us out of what we got right now, with the mess that we’re in. He’s going to remind us that we’re Americans and that this is America.”
10:12Copy video clip URL Cut to the entrance to the Americana Hotel. The videomakers make their way downstairs to a convention hall. They speak with a Carter supporter about Carter’s arrival.
11:29Copy video clip URL Cut to an interview with a Carter supporter who talks about Carter’s leadership qualities. The interviewer asks the man about Carter’s stance on racial equality. The man responds by saying that Carter adheres to Democratic Party principles. When asked whether or not he would have voted for Carter, a Georgia native, fifteen years ago, the man replies, “I trust in a man that stands up as a man. I don’t care where he’s from. I don’t base trust on where a man comes from. I base it upon what I can gather by talking and being with him.” The man goes on to talk about his involvement in the convention. This lasts for several minutes.
14:47Copy video clip URL A radio documentarian from Pacifica Radio comments on Jimmy Carter’s campaign headquarters in New York. He explains how the campaign is shaping up and how campaign officials and volunteers are beginning to create buzz around the prospective Democratic presidential nominee. The documentarian also comments on the difference between New York and Georgia campaign volunteers. He eventually reaches a table of phone volunteers and asks them a few questions about why they are working for Carter.
16:34Copy video clip URL When asked for her reasons for volunteering for the Carter campaign, a woman responds, “I think he has the faith of God, which is very important in these times, and I think he’s a good man and would try to do the best he can for everyone, rich or poor.” Another woman attributes her liking of Carter to his governing of the state of Georgia. When asked about Carter’s born-again Christianity, the woman gets a little hesitant and says, “No comment.” However, she goes on to say that his faith contributes to his moral character. She also talks about her love for her volunteer work.
19:06Copy video clip URL Communications Manager Joe O’Connell talks about his reasons for volunteering. “In my opinion, Jimmy Carter is a combination of FDR and John Kennedy. The things I think, of course I know when he gets elected, he’s going to bring to this country a lot of programs. It’s going to start pushing the country again–start pushing it off of the dead center that we’ve been on.” O’Connell’s response gets cut off.
20:03Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of a Carter campaign volunteer. The videomakers quickly move on to speak with another volunteer who has worked sixteen out of the past twenty-four hours answering phones. “It’s been pretty interesting working down here you know? I just feel good about the whole thing because I only think, well, gee you know, when he becomes President I can say to my children I was a part of the whole thing. I was there helping it along. So I feel good about it. It’s the first campaign I’ve ever been in and I know he’ll make it.” She goes on to talk about her reasons for supporting Carter. “It’s just something in his face. Maybe it’s just the way he smiles, but he just seems to be a sincere person.” The woman also talks about her work as a special education teacher. One of the videomakers then asks if she believes Jimmy Carter could be mentally retarded. She responds that she cannot judge that because she doesn’t know him.
22:07Copy video clip URL Cut to an interview with a campaign volunteer giving her reasons for supporting Carter. She says, “He personifies goodness… and he could look you straight in the eye… Because people are seeking something decent. They’ve had so much rotten things, so many rotten things that they want something decent. He personifies decency. Even those that don’t know, they know there’s something he exudes and now they’re making up their mind.”
24:03Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of a group of New York men selling Jimmy Carter campaign buttons.
24:37Copy video clip URL Videomaker Bart Friedman tries to get some information out of a fellow press member about where he can get the best shot of Carter when he arrives to the hotel. The press member seems weary of Friedman and stays pretty distant from the conversation.
25:23Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of the front lobby doors at the hotel. A row of police officers block the front doors and do not allow anyone to leave. Carter will be entering the hotel through those doors later in the day. The videomakers speak with a few people, including one of the officers, about all of the commotion. The videomakers try desperately get outside for a better shot by seeing if they can tag along with some type of official at the event. However, their efforts prove to be a waste as almost no press can get through the front doors.
28:13Copy video clip URL Tape ends.