Jimmy Carter's presidency was many things to many people.
To Democrats, he was a winner. Out of the White House for eight years, the Democrats took advantage of the anti-Washington mood stirred up by Watergate and nominated the obscure Georgia governor.
He squeaked out a win over Gerald Ford, winning 23 states.
Election day was November 2, and it took most of that night and the following morning to determine the winner. Carter defeated Ford by two percentage points in the popular vote. The electoral vote was the closest since 1916; Carter took 23 states with 297 electoral votes, while Ford won 27 states and 240 electoral votes (one elector from Washington state, pledged to Ford, voted for Reagan). Carter's victory came primarily from his near-sweep of the South (he lost only Virginia), and his close victories in large Northern states such as New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Ford did well in the West, carrying every state except Hawaii.
Jimmy Carter campaigned in 1976 as a "Washington Outsider", someone different from the Washington power brokers. He also was not shy about broadcasting that he was a "born again Christian".
Close observers would notice the beginning of the Mainstream Media's disdain for Christianity during the Carter campaign and ensuing presidency.
Jimmy Carter has become the quintessential simple-minded, John Lennon Democrat: all he is saying is "give peace a chance". Carter has never let love of his country stand in the way of an almost desperate avoidance of the tag of "worst U.S. president. Whether it's his country, his countrymen or his country's interests, Carter is ready to throw any and all of them under his merry prankster peace parade.
Except Carter's never brought peace--with the lone exception of the bringing together of Begin and Sadat in a marriage of reality and convenience at Camp David.
Jimmy is remembered by many for the string of American sell-outs and giveaways he was responsible for during his term. Others remember the 21% interest and raging inflation rising so fast that soup cans sometimes had 5 different price stickers on them, the prices went up so fast.
During Carter's term, the "Misery Index" became well-known: that's the percentage of inflation plus the unemployment rate. When Carter left office in 1980, the Misery Index was at an all-time high of 21.98%.
When people grumbled about the Misery Index, Carter told them that the American people suffered from "malaise". This is a "sense of depression or discomfort". It wasn't long before a lot of people attributed their "malaise" or depression to Jimmy.
Jimmy coulda been a contender. Carter's first inclination in any test of wills is to grin and holler "Uncle!". The Iran Hostage Crisis was no different, just the most famous example of Carter's diplomacy at it's finest.
No hot spot in the world is immune to the "Jimmy Carter Touch".
No interest is so vital to the U.S. that it can't be high-jacked by Down-home Jimmy.
No enemy of America is off-limits to the Peanut Prostitute and his "paid by the Saudis" checkbook approach to solving the world's problems--if the problems of the world or the United States were defined as "whatever is in the interests of the people paying Jimmy's bills".
Foreign policy during the Jimmy Carter years usually consisted of three reliable Carter methods for dealing with International problems. If the first two didn't work--which happened the majority of the time during Jimmy's forgettable one term--then the former Georgia governor could always be counted on to turn to the one thing he knew would break any impasse.
This Carter "world withdrawal" strategy is the one gift he left the Democrat Party. It may very well be the legacy he has struggled so mightily to bequeath to history.
Carter was swamped in the 1980 election. He had a record to run on and Americans voters judged Carter with their votes.
By any measure, the election was a crushing rebuke of Carter and his policies.
The election was held on November 4, 1980. Ronald Reagan with running mate George Bush beat Carter by almost ten percentage points in the popular vote. Republicans also gained control of the Senate for the first time in twenty-five years on Reagan's coattails. The electoral college vote was a landslide, with 489 votes (representing 44 states) for Reagan and 49 votes for Carter (representing 6 states and the District of Columbia).
Carter has spent the 28 years since his electoral rejection by the American people in a variety of ways. Writing books, building houses, refereeing elections and trying to craft a legacy other than the one he left with the end of his presidency.
He has insisted on butting into American foreign policy, whether he was invited or not. Mostly he has a string of photo credits with various dictators to show for his trouble.
As well as a failed agreement with North Korea's dictator Kim, over nuclear materials and production.
His books mostly reflect Carter's viewpoint, as told by the largest benefactors of his Carter Center: mostly Sunni Arabs from the Middle East.
Jimmy Carter has taken a decided anti-Israel tone since the Carter Center funding as relied heavily on Middle Eastern sources.
His pronouncement of President George W. Bush as "the worst president" was amusing. Some thought that Jimmy was the victim of his wishful thinking's growing steroid habit.
Jimmy's anti-Israel stance increased this past week with his meeting with terrorist group, Hamas.
But regardless of his many fruitless efforts, Jimmy Carter is likely to be remembered in only one way.
At least by the people who had to live through the four long years of the Carter presidency.
* Cox and Forkum
* Worth 1000
* Mrs. Satan
* Angry Conservative
* United States Presidential Election 1976
* United States Presidential Election 1980
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