A 29-year mystery solved: A Kennedy confidant stole Carter’s debate plans, and gave them to Reagan

Days before the 1980 presidential election, someone stole the debate briefing papers belonging to President Jimmy Carter and handed them to his rival, Ronald Reagan.

At that point, the race was considered tight, and many think Reagan’s performance in the subsequent and final debate made all the difference.

The culprit has been one of Washington’s great mysteries. And as with all Washington mysteries, someone eventually talked.

In a new book, “Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign that Changed America,” Reagan biographer Craig Shirley identifies the mole as the late political operative and onetime Kennedy family confidant Paul Corbin.

Politico has posted an excerpt from the book, which includes this:

Corbin first visited the Reagan-Bush headquarters in Arlington, Va., on Sept. 29, meeting with senior campaign adviser Jim Baker and then with [campaign manager Bill] Casey. He would make at least three more visits, signing in on Oct. 11, Oct. 25, and Nov. 3.

On Oct. 25, Corbin signed in at 9:35 a.m., gave his destination as “Casey” and picked up a check for $1,500. It was just three days before the big debate between Reagan and Carter.

On Nov. 3, the day before the election, Corbin picked up a second and final check from the Reagan campaign, this time in the amount of $1,360. He also spent nearly two hours meeting with Casey.

Carter’s debate briefing books had been assembled and copied in the White House starting the night of Oct. 23 and finishing around 11 o’clock the next morning. Copies of the briefing books arrived at the Reagan campaign’s headquarters not long thereafter. Reagan adviser David Gergen later recalled a package arriving at the Reagan-Bush campaign on a rainy Saturday, “probably Oct. 25” — the same day that Corbin met with Casey.

And you wondered why Carter was so cool after Ted Kennedy’s death this summer.

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50 comments Add your comment

Road Scholar

October 15th, 2009
11:43 am

Ah the honorable Ronald Reagan cheated! A man of scruples would not have been involved in any way! So, Conserves, the end justifies the means?

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

October 15th, 2009
11:49 am

Corbin was a “Fifth Column” operative for the Roman Anti-Christ (Google “Paul-Corbin Roman Catholic”), but Rome’s forces in America are not monolithic. When the Kennedy “horse” “died” Corbin switched to Reagan and “October Surprise” Knight of Malta Bill Casey – whose White House, even beyond JFK’s, was regarded as the first Roman Catholic administration: diplomatic relations established with the Vatican, Iran Contra in support of Rome’s latifundistas in Central America, etc.

That is the sectarian faction served by Scalia, ‘Bush v. Gore,’ 9/11 and the Babylonian pedophile priesthood.

Why else would Our Founder call it “the real Anti-Christ?”


October 15th, 2009
11:55 am

Once again unproven allegations passed off as fact. When did we move from facts to speculation?

sad brotha

October 15th, 2009
12:03 pm

“…the last debate made all the difference?”

If that is so, then I’m a Chinese fighter pilot!

Never mind the sky-high interest rates, Iranian fiasco affair, little Amy discussing Nuclear proliferation with her daddy, etc…

Give me a break on that one!


October 15th, 2009
12:22 pm

“The race was tight…” Oh really!

Reagan won over 90% of the electoral votes and carried approximatley the same (90%) of the states. So for the princely sum of $3,150 the Republicans “cheated” to win the election?

Left Loons will believe anything! Evidence this Reagan/Carter issue and the current Democrat Liar in Chief to see the Loons “feel” but ignore the facts.


October 15th, 2009
12:38 pm

Carter is an idiot and an embarrassment to GA! Please would he just go count peanut trailers and shut up!


October 15th, 2009
1:05 pm

JD – Reagan won the popular vote by approximately 8 million – you are entirely correct it wasn’t “close” – however, the electoral vote count difference was even greater – 489 to 49 I believe. Of course, this brings up some interesting comparisons to 2008. We keep hearing how President Obama doesn’t have a mandate. Shouldn’t pull to the left, etc, etc, etc, etc. And I am sure a large number of these arguments are made by you.

Now, Obama won by 10 million votes, so I’m guessing you would not classify this election as “close?” That you would agree with this “left loon” that maybe your righty anger at our current “liar in chief” should be set in a historical contest – a greater victory and even greater mandate for Obama to move the country left as Reagan did to the right?

Oh I See

October 15th, 2009
1:31 pm

Soooo…The logic being applied here is “Reagan won by a landslide, hence it was totally okay that he cheated.”

Interesting. Hagiography is fun!

Anyway, you Repubs go right ahead and keep worshiping at that Reagan altar. The rest of us will be over here affecting real change.


October 15th, 2009
2:06 pm


October 15th, 2009
2:06 pm

All the in-fighting between you two groups of idiots will only spell doom for our nation. Morons, all of you


October 15th, 2009
2:20 pm

I have no idea what Will Jones (see above) is talking about in his post (my feeble mind won’t allow me to process all that jibberish) but I’m sure glad that Reagan cheated and won. Our country wouldn’t have survived another 4 years with Peanut in the White House. And that comes from a Democrat!


October 15th, 2009
2:21 pm

Reagon won by a landslided, but I don’t see anything that proves he cheated. Obama also won by a landslide, discounting his affliation with ACORN, he probably didn’t cheat either. For all my liberal friends, measure the worth of a man by his accomplishments, if you do, you will find that Reagan did a lot of good for this Nation. As for Obama, its too early to tell what his legacy will be, and even thought I do not want to drink the cool aid he is serving, I will wait to see if he lives up to all the promises he has made to the American people. So far, I am not impressed, but I see no benefit for our country in attacking its leaders, though being critical the policies they are fostering on the American people is fair game, something some liberals never seem to learn. I say some because, like some conservatives, there are idiots in the barrel, but not all are filled with the hatred and fear I read about on line or hear on the radio or TV. Sometimes the other side has a better idea and we need accept for its value and not demonize it because of the source.


October 15th, 2009
2:28 pm

Isn’t it just like a lib/socialist, be mad a Reagan. Chances are he was not told about the book during his debate preparations. Why aren’t yall screaming your sputum-laced venom at the Kennedy spy for selling the books? Reagan’s guys weren’t going to turn their back on a “gift” from a Benedict-Arnold Kennedy turncoat.


October 15th, 2009
2:29 pm

Holy crap, Will Jones. What in the hell are you talking about?


October 15th, 2009
2:38 pm

Carter is an idiot, even thinks prex obozo deserves the “prize’ – the one I no longer regard as anything but a foreign policy gift.
If Kennedy’s spy is guilty, why are we talking about President Reagan?

Wait, do I care what this demoncratic rag prints anyway? They only take orders from demos/marxists to print what they tell them.
sorry ajc, you are almost as bad as obozhisownselfishness

Steven Daedalus

October 15th, 2009
2:40 pm

Reagan was the beginning of the end of America, it has never recovered and never will, we indeed have trickled down.


October 15th, 2009
2:40 pm

Good points to JVN and Producer.


October 15th, 2009
2:44 pm

Galloway is right that the race was considered very close going into the final debate in 1980. Polls indicated a significant number of undecideds, who were not satisfied with Carter but were uncomfortable with Reagan. Reagan did not “close the deal” with these voters until the last debate, so that debate did make a difference.

I don’t know whether the purloined papers made a difference or not; Reagan was not known for thoroughly reading his briefing books.

One thing Carter said in that last debate hit the nail on the head. When asked the greatest danger facing the world, he said nuclear proliferation. There were some skeptics then, but by 2004 that point was the one thing that Bush and Kerry could agree on. Carter was also right about energy policy.


October 15th, 2009
2:45 pm

If that’s true, thank God it happened, I don’t think the nation could have endured 4 more years of Carter.


October 15th, 2009
2:51 pm

Yea – I heard that Obama watched a college football game this weekend. They awarded him the Heisman….


October 15th, 2009
2:53 pm

Ya the election was a real nail biter – the Carter folks are delusional.

Chris Broe

October 15th, 2009
3:07 pm

Where does Deep Throat fit into all of this? Are you sure the secret package delivered on Oct. 25 wasn’t just a sixpack of Billy Beer?

ever wonder Y Reagan always looked down at his feet whenever he answered questions from reporters? “You’d look down too if you lived on a horse ranch”.

Nancy was the first Valley First Lady. For sure. Reagan was the first valley president, “Well, gag me with a spoon, for sure, for sure, Oh my god, The soviets are bugging the Galeria!”

Was the “there you go again” line really 30 years ago? OMG! Gag me with a spoon.

Shane, you should be ashamed

October 15th, 2009
3:11 pm

Shane, you’ve given us an example of when shooting off your mouth on-line is a very bad idea. Do you know how stupid you sound? No well-reasoned argument, nothing of substance, just an ignorant and disrespectful blurting of your opinion. Don’t come back until you grow up.


October 15th, 2009
3:20 pm

Democrats cannot hold a candle to Reagan and they know it. Still they try desperately to defame his great legacy as the walls are going back up around the world under their watch. Really pathetic.


October 15th, 2009
3:35 pm

Reagan was a brilliant man, and could have talked his way around Jimmy Carter with or without those briefs. Again, where is the proof that this even happened. It is someone living making comments of what happened between two dead people that can’t answer for themselves. Why does it even matter? Reagan was a great president despite some disagreeable things that happened during his presidency. Carter’s presidency is the poster child of failure, Obama soon to follow.

Dandy Vandy

October 15th, 2009
3:56 pm

Maccadave, didn’t you know that if it is written it must be true?

Loran, Whatayagot?

October 15th, 2009
3:59 pm

That was the beginning of the irrelevancy of Jimmy Carter, who has morphed into one of the most irrelevant people on earth! Each successive comment is more outrageous and irrelevant than the last one. It will be interesting to see what he chooses for his epitaph.

Billy Beer

October 15th, 2009
4:01 pm

Reagan was the beginning of the end in America? Give me a break! Had the Dem’s not blocked the “Star Wars Missile Defense System” that Reagan wanted we would not be worried about Iran, N.Korea or whoever now!

C.M. Thornton, III

October 15th, 2009
4:14 pm

Of course Obama cheated. He’s not even an American citizen. He’s a Kenyan born islamic sympathizer. The damn russians wont even shake his hands, for Christ’s sake…


October 15th, 2009
4:28 pm

yep, CM Thornton III,, you’ve figured it out. Obama was conceived, raised, trained and brainwashed as an undercover mole who’s sole purpose in this life was to go to all the best schools, be falsely elected as a Senator and then to dupe the entire Presidential Election staff, the CIA, the FBI, the NSA and the American people so that he can be elected President of the United States with the solitary goal to bring down the most powerful country on earth and turn it into a Socialist, Welfare, Islamic stronghold in order to conquer the entire free world !!! You’ve figured it out !!!! Wow,, you are putting a wrench in the whole plan !!!!!!

Shananeeeee Fananeeeeeee

October 15th, 2009
4:31 pm

A 9 month mystery has recently been solved too: Obama turns out to be a liar, a breaker of many campaign promises. Only thing this guy has done was get that nobel peace prize and even he knew he didn’t deserve it. Until recently when I heard someone had won that award I was impressed because I thought this was an award only the most deserving get, now for the rest of my life when I hear about someone winning this award I will be unimpressed and just yawn and turn the channel or flip the page. Mystery solved, Obammy was a fraud.


October 15th, 2009
4:43 pm

It’s hard for a dead guy to refute any allegations he stole Carter’s briefs.Another score for the Libs.

cletus T Rockafella

October 15th, 2009
5:40 pm

Seriously, too many idiots here, with the exception of will jones who is a drug addict. Nobody stole nothing, this is a non-story. Carter was the most useless, worthless president this nation had up to that point. He was an abject failure on all accounts. Reagan smoked him due to the multiple failures carter amassed during his ‘presidency’. Now, ol’ green teeth Jimmah, in the interim, garners a noble prize (big deal) and attempts to make himself relevant. The man has no honor, little intelligence in how government is run, and those who worked under him in Georgia for the most part hated him. Why does this guy even count for anything anymore? Jimmy Carter, nice guy that he is, is a loser when it comes to being a leader or a sucessful president.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

October 15th, 2009
6:52 pm

Reagan was “a brilliant man”??? That’s why he dodged WWII by bailing out on his National Guard Cavalry unit shipping out of Sanfran compliments of the rich man for whom he had “caddied” (Viz. “Dark Victory: Ronald Reagan, MCA, and the Mob,” Moldea), dyed his hair, and had Divine Providence cut off his line, which like the rest of ours began at the beginning of Creation?

Reagan was an “adult child of an alcoholic parent,” and a complete fraud of a man: a tool of the Roman Anti-Christ. Never wonder at his marriage to Jane Wyman in a cemetery with a closet-queen as “best man?” As president of SAG he was fronting for Organized Crime. The Mafia took over Hollywood and the Red Scare was to divert the Public’s “attention.”

Carter was Southern Baptist and fired 70,000 Roman Catholic CIA sinecures (the outfit which helped Hitler’s SS get to Latin America through the Vatican’s basement and the Croatian Roman Catholic priesthood – Google “Operation Ratline”), and assassinated John Kennedy (Viz. ‘Hunt v Marchetti/Liberty Lobby’).

Rome’s bankers of the Fed and Wall Street – the ones getting the record bonuses now after Bush started the Welfare Fascism bailout – “evened it up” by jacking up interest rates to drive him out of office.

Corbin’s theft of the playbook put Fascism “over the top” that November.

George H.W. Bush, one of JFK’s assassins with Nixon and the CIA, had “changing of the Guard” lined up with Bush Family pal Hinckley as the Manchurian Candidate, but he failed and the party had to be cancelled.

But don’t be dismayed any fascist traitors reading this, after Scalia and the papists on the Court cheated L’il Bushie in to commit 9/11, Rome’s “Fifth Column” has managed to suck great wealth from Our Country.

Americans: Read the Founder’s prophetic wisdom and know the Whig Theory which guided their creation of America is yet true: History unfolds as a result of the conflict between Rome – and everyone else. They believe and teach that they “own the world.”

Stay stupid…lose your freedom. Rome, the Wall Street of Slavery for 2,000 years, will get you to give it back to king and pope in the blink of an eye. Look at our fellow Americans in Virginia willing to vote for a dyed-in-the-wool fascist Roman Catholic Bob McDonnell for Governor of Virginia, or Atlantans willing to vote for Roman Catholic carpetbagger and Bush cousin, Mary Bush Norwood for Mayor?

Support The New Secular Order. Obey the three Mottoes of The Creed. May G-d bless America.

Death for Treason – Bush and Cheney must hang, and Bush’s father must hang for his role in President Kennedy’s assassination.

G-d fearing readers: pray of the words shared here and see if it isn’t The G-d’s Truth.

Jeffersonian Exegesis http://theamericanfundament.blogspot.com


October 16th, 2009
11:16 am


The POINT was the article attempted to lay the blame for Carter’s defeat on the $3,150 purchase of his “playbook”. In other words, why spend tens of millions of dollars on a campaign when 3 grand wins for you? Or so the Democrats would have you believe.

As for the Liar in Chief, catch this:


George C. Wilson

October 16th, 2009
11:29 am

What did Reagan do doing his term? He gave tax breaks to the rich and deregulated so many things that has led to our present economic misfortune.In foreign policy he had to be dragged by Gorbachev to end the cold war. Something that the Republicans now mistakenly give Reagan credit for.Think of how far ahead we would be had Carter been reelected.This is especially true in the area of a energy policy.

Chris Mathews is covered in his own spittle

October 16th, 2009
12:47 pm

I am shocked by this news. I thought Bush did it. Who knew it was a fellow democrat that threw Carter under the bus? All things being equal, Reagan would have won no matter what. Carter was a miserable failure and by 1979 that was clear for all the world to see.


October 16th, 2009
4:57 pm


You and I have known each other a long time. I’m quite sorry that your career has brought you to this dry well of investigative reporting. Once you were better than this. I’ll hang on to that memory because you and I know that what you purport here is leftist propaganda. Good Luck, ole pal!


October 17th, 2009
6:49 am

roadscholar, The story does not say Reagan bought the notes. It does say that Kennedy’s side cheated. That would not be a surprise, it wasn’t Reagan that left an innocent young woman to die in the back of his car because he was more interested in concocting a story to cover his rear. It wasn’t Reagan that needed his daddy’s money to get him back into college after getting caught having someone else take an exam for him.

cletus T Rockafella

October 17th, 2009
7:47 am

A better question is why Mr. Galloway allows the promotion of blogs on HIS blog. Will jones obviously suffering from alcoholism and drug abuse spews the same trite drivel and garbage each and every post.
The question I have is this: Is Mr. Galloway posting as Will jones?


October 17th, 2009
11:53 am

As one who was alive and followed the news and actually voted in 1980, Reagan’s election was far from certain in September and October of 1980. As bad as times were (Iran, inflation, interest rates, malaise, etc), polls showed the race too close to call prior to the debate (the fact that Reagan wasn’t ahead by 20 points shows that much of the public had not yet embraced the Great Communicator). The election did not turn until the weekend before the election and when it turned against Carter, it turned in a tidal wave. The fact that Reagan routed Carter and the GOP trounced the Dems nationally on Election Day doesn’t erase the fact that the race was close 2 weeks before. If a football game is tied with 4 minutes left to play, if one team winds up winning by 2 touchdowns it is still a true statement to say “Boy, the game was close with 4 minutes left to play”. In my opinion, Reagan did not need the briefing book to beat Carter in the debate and any Democrat who thinks otherwise is delusional. Why his closest allies felt it necessary to cheat and to buy the book is a mystery and perhaps offers insight into their comfort level about the election in mid-October of 1980. In the end, the public’s disgust with Carter about Iran and the economy outweighed uncertainty about Reagan.


October 17th, 2009
5:12 pm

JVN thank you for you wise words. I am sick of those who have no respect for either side of the political debate no matter what the issue might be. The journalism of our day has turned into hate and disrespect. Many of the politician D and R are attempting to move a country forward and yet the hipe from both sides clouds the issues. Lets stop yelling at each other and find solutions to some fairly serious problem that we have in our nation.

John Hendricks

October 17th, 2009
6:14 pm

Reality Trains comments are exactly right. I was a volunteer in Ed Clark’s campaign (libertarian) and I remember the 1980 campaign well. What we didn’t know then, and weren’t to learn until years later, was about the October Surprise wherein Reagan and Bush met with the Ayatollah and arranged for the hostages to be held and then released on the day they took office, the Iran Contra affair wherein the administration was running drugs and selling arms to terrorists, the Reagan administration was behind the crack cocaine epidemic in the ’80’s, Reagan tried to get the war on terror going in the 80s with his “America is standing tall against terrorism” campaign that had to be dropped suddenly when it was learned that Reagan’s administration was selling arms to the terrorists. I could go on and on, but I think it’s a waste of time because people who buy into the left/right political paradigm, and are partisan as either Republicans or Democrats, (as I once was) are living in a completely false reality and are not easily swayed from their delusions.

John Hendricks

October 17th, 2009
6:20 pm

One final word, please. In retrospect I consider the election of Ronald Reagan, who ran on a platform that was IDENTICAL

John Hendricks

October 17th, 2009
6:22 pm

One final word, please. In retrospect I consider the election of Ronald Reagan, who ran on a platform that was IDENTICAL to the Libertarian Party, to be the second greatest political disaster of my lifetime. The first being the assasination of JFK. I supported Reagan in 1980.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

October 18th, 2009
6:41 am

Right, “John Hendricks,” we must analyze history by understanding political-economic “factions” as Jefferson and Adams taught us in their “postroad correspondence.”

By ordering us out of the papal fiefdom of Vietnam and ending Rome’s bankers’ franchise controlling our money, President Kennedy “bucked” the “military industrial complex/Roman Anti-Christ” and, after assassinating him with impunity (Nixon, Bush1 and the Knight of Malta-led CIA), the knowable sectarian faction of traitors pursuing fascist plutocracy managed to cheat a draft-dodging closet-queen into the White House, compliments of only the votes of the Roman Catholics on the SCOTUS … to commit 9/11.

Obama knows this – read in “Audacity of Hope” as he “wraps his mind” around the concept – and is trying to guide America back to the Constitution, as the Republic was intended by Our Whig Founders, and stay alive while doing it.

We, the sovereign People, must “get out in front,” to protect him, and demand that Bush and Cheney be tried and fried, and Rome’s “Fifth Column” expropriated and extirpated.


cletus T Rockafella

October 18th, 2009
8:33 am

“Obama knows this – read in “Audacity of Hope” as he “wraps his mind” around the concept – and is trying to guide America back to the Constitution, as the Republic was intended by Our Whig Founders, and stay alive while doing it.”

If THIS doesn’t prove will jones is an alcoholic and/or a drug abuser, I simply don’t know what does.
Here, a known socialist, who hates the Constitution is allegedly trying to bring America BACK to the Constitution. What garbage and lies. Will, find yourself a hospital and check yourself in. You are brain damaged.

Common Person

October 22nd, 2009
6:53 am

What the hell has Will Jones been smoking? After reading his rantings (above) I think he must be either grossly delusional or on some sort of illegal substance. Whichever, he needs help with his thinking! I have never heard such garbage! Go back to bed Will and get some apparently much needed rest, oh and read a few truthful books…learn some real facts before you open your mouth again.

Pretty Boy Floyd

February 2nd, 2010
12:34 am

oh no the secrets out about Paul Corbin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pincus Kobrinsky

February 2nd, 2010
10:19 pm

He stole the articles for Reagan’s campaign. But in the great depression he was pink.