Open thread - Jimmy Carter

Election Day, 1980.

Ronald Reagan was heading towards a historic landslide. President Jimmy Carter, buffeted by the winds of ill fortune, had been relegated to that most awful of statuses for a president: a one-termer.

It was the first election I followed, and the family was gathered around the old huge cathode-ray TV watching the results.

My mother, prompted by no one, says words to the effect of "We're screwed with this Reagan".

I don't think anyone can honestly say that Jimmy Carter was a great President, or even a very good one. He was of the middling kind. But the life he's fashioned afterwards has been one of the greatest post-political careers in American history.

His criticisms of President Obama chafe at me, as they seem petty and unfair. But his work with Habitat for Humanity, and for peace, are undeniable. He's had one of the greatest second acts in US political history.

As we've learned this week, he has been diagnosed with liver cancer. This is not a good diagnosis, even with the advances we've made. So, in response to that news, a space for an assessment of James Earl Carter.

This is your open thread.



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