Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jimmy Carter in Tokyo

If Jimmy Carter is still alive at next year’s end, he’ll have spent more time living as an ex-president than any other in US history (he’ll break Hoover’s record of 31 years). Well I tend to be strongly red state, I hope he’s alive, not just for the 2012 elections, but for 2016 and 2020, so he’ll become our longest-lived president. I suppose it would be too much for Republicans to hope he’ll receive the Democratic nomination for all three elections, har har. The memory of election night, 1980 is not a fond one for Republicans. I do applaud Carter’s Habitat for Humanity work; his attempts to act as unofficial Secretary of State, not so much.

As an appreciator of irony, I’ll always treasure his response to a question following a Tokyo speech he gave while in office. A woman asked him, “Would you have married Rosalynn if she was black?” and he answered in the affirmative. Remember, this is the same Jim Carter who said, “I’ll never lie to you.” Pardon me while I have a giggling fit. Somehow, I rather doubt Carter’s parents, Mr. Earl and Lillian Carter, would have been happy about their son bringing home a black fiancé in July of 1946, though it would be a great idea for a comedy sketch.

Just to show generosity of spirit, I’ll salute the Carters for having the second-longest marriage in presidential history—George HW and Barbara got hitched six months sooner.

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