The Cost of Disowning Jimmy Carter

by Peter Beinart,  National Journal

It can’t be easy being Jimmy Carter. Although he left the White House 34 years ago, his name is still a political insult. W

When Republicans want to say something really nasty about Barack Obama, they invoke him. “I thought Jimmy Carter was bad, but he pales in comparison to this president,” John McCain told a Phoenix radio station last January. “Barack Obama is the worst negotiator that we’ve had as president since at least Jimmy Carter,” exclaimed Marco Rubio on Fox News Channel after Obama normalized relations with Cuba. Mitt Romney made the Obama-Carter analogy a major thrust of his 2012 presidential campaign.

Even more humiliating is the treatment Carter receives from his fellow Democrats. At the party’s convention in 2008, Steve Kornacki has noted in Salon, Carter “was pointedly denied a spot at the podium and allowed only a brief, non-prime-time video message. This led to one of the more awkward scenes from the Denver convention; while Carter and his wife walked onstage to wave to the crowd after the video, the podium was lowered into the floor—almost as if convention organizers were making sure he didn’t get any ideas.” Read the entire story.

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