Former President Jimmy Carter is on the publicity trail as he pushes his new book -"White House Diary." He sat for an interview with 60 Minute's Lesley Stahl. Fairly standard Stahl interview - she all wide-eyed and giddy to be in the presence of a Democratic politician - and more than pleased to help Carter booster his overblown ego.
As the interview revealed, the most interesting tidbit for a political junkie was this:
But when all is said and done, and many will be surprised to hear this: Jimmy Carter got more of his programs passed than Reagan, Nixon, Ford, George H. W. Bush, Clinton or George W. Bush.
"I had the best batting average in Congress in recent history of any president, except Lyndon Johnson," Carter said.
"And yet, as I say, there's the sense that you were a failed president," Stahl said.
"I think I was identified as a failed president because I wasn't re-elected," he replied.
Mr. Carter is not perceived as a failed President due to his inability to secure a second term in the White House. He is perceived as a failure because of the havoc he caused in the lives of everyday Americans. Soaring mortgage rates, winding lines at gas stations, gas rationing, soaring energy prices, and the failure to secure the release of our fellow Americans held hostage in Iran for so very long. That is what Americans remember from the days of Carter. For most Americans, it was a very difficult time.
Those with warm and fuzzy thoughts about the late Senator Kennedy will no doubt flinch over Carter's hatred for the man:
"The fact is that we would have had comprehensive health care now, had it not been for Ted Kennedy's deliberately blocking the legislation that I proposed," Carter says. "It was his fault. Ted Kennedy killed the bill." Carter despised Kennedy for daring to challenge him in his run for re-election. Kennedy was a hardball politician who thought of no one else but his own legacy and this included taking American politics down into the battleground trenches it has devolved into today. Just as Kennedy is the father of vicious Senate confirmation hearings now standard, he also employed the tactics of vanity politics. Just as the hard left politicians deny any Republican president reform of failing social programs or entitlements, Kennedy denied Carter his health insurance reform. Kennedy, reflecting upon his political career at the end of his life even admitted his regret for not supporting former President Richard Nixon's bi-partisan health care reform legislation.
Jimmy Carter, however, waiting until after the death of Ted Kennedy to accuse him of sabotaging his health care reform legislation is quite an eyeopener, even for the headlines Carter has produced in the past. Carter knows what his legacy will be - the worst American President in modern times - and is desperate to change its course. The only hope he has is if President Obama continues on with his current course of governing. Then, he may not be the worst, just the second worst.
Also mentioned from the world of Carter delusion was the statement that he believes he "probably" crafted a better post-Oval Office role for himself than other ex-presidents have." That in an article at The Hill.com Imagine that. Carter is so self-absorbed that he thinks his years as an former president are superior to others. That would be hard to prove, especially in light of the fact that he set the precedent of bashing a sitting president, which was not the practice out of respect. His nasty remarks in the form of criticism of President G.W. Bush and even Bill Clinton erase any goodwill felt towards him for his work with Habitat for Humanity or other non-profits.
Past presidents go on to remain active in voluntary public service and public politics. Two superior examples are both former Presidents Bush and Bill Clinton.
He made the self-congratulatory remarks at the beginning of the week former president Clinton has the annual Clinton Global Initiative conference in conjunction of the United Nations session. The timing can only be seen as deliberate here, too.
Americans come away seeing a very angry old man. That's a pity, given the opportunities in life this man has been presented.