Tom Donilon, Serving Democratic Presidents For 30 Years

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From President Jimmy Carter’s diary, Monday, August 11, 1980:

Monday evening the convention began. There were heated debates on the rules question. When the vote came we did better than we had anticipated, getting 1,935 votes–about a 700+ vote margin over Kennedy. He called me shortly afterward to say he was going to withdraw his name from contention. I asked him if he was going to endorse and be on the platform with me Thursday night. He said that would depend on how we worked out details of the platform. I pointed out there were a lot of differences between us and we couldn’t expect any substantial compatibility beyond what we already hammered out. He agreed and seemed to be in a good mood. Later, he announced his withdrawal from the campaign. This was a relief. It’s been a long, drawn-out, bitter confrontation between me and him.

Tom Donilon, a young computer and delegate management expert, did a superb job. As he walked through the crowd of people in our command headquarters, I could hear them shouting, “Donilon for president!”

For more on Donilon’s appointment as President Obama’s second National Security Adviser, see here.