Jimmy Carter Rabbit Episode
Carter was alone in a small fishing boat when a swamp rabbit, a species of large cottontail, began swimming toward his boat. He turned the frightened and agitated rabbit away with a paddle. Several months later he jokingly mentioned it to press secretary Jody Powell, who repeated it offhandedly to a reporter. To Powell's horror, The Washington Post headlined "President Attacked by Rabbit." Carter was lampooned by turns as crazy, weak, and ineffective. The Iranian Hostage Crisis that began two months later, and haunted the rest of his term, seemed to confirm to his critics what the rabbit story suggested.
One writer later observed that the beginning of the end for the Carter presidency was August 30, 1979, Today in Georgia History.
Folk singer Tom Paxton parodied the rabbit incident in "I Don't Want a Bunny Wunny," which appeared on his 1980 album The Paxton Report.