Writing for the Washington Post Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan titled their piece about Jimmy Carter The Un-Celebrity President, it turns out he is way more than that.
Those of us who remember the Carter presidency know that it was fraught and included a few major blunders and miscalculations. Now they may be viewed as honest mistakes. Since leaving office Jimmy and his wife of 70 years Rosalynn have led exemplary lives.
"The 39th president of the United States lives modestly, a sharp contrast to his successors, who have left the White House to embrace power of another kind: wealth."
When fifty-six-year-old Jimmy Carter returned home to Plains, Georgia, he found his peanut business, which had been held in a blind trust during his presidency, $1 million in debt, he had to sell. It was he decided to make money with his writing. He has written 33 books.
Carter famously said:
“Human identity is no longer defined by what one does but rather by what one owns.”
Both in their 90s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter own very little; some land, a ranch house they had built that will become a museum one day. They fly on commercial flights and have helped build or renovate thousands of homes worldwide with Habitat for Humanity. The Carters cost U.S. taxpayers the least of any former president.
"When Carter looks back at his presidency, he says he is most proud of “keeping the peace and supporting human rights,” the Camp David accords that brokered peace between Israel and Egypt, and his work to normalize relations with China. In 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts."
“I always told the truth,” he says.
Carter believes that the nation’s “ethical and moral values” are still intact and that Americans eventually will “return to what’s right and what’s wrong, and what’s decent and what’s indecent, and what’s truthful and what’s lies.”
But, he says, “I doubt if it happens in my lifetime.” This October 1 President Carter will be 94. It would be a fitting birthday gift if Americans could return to those values.
Humble, Honest and Moral - nice qualities in a President.