Jimmy Carter: A Life of Friendship (Pull Ahead Books)


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Ideas like, protecting the environment, putting human rights at the center of foreign policy, energy conservation, the Middle East peace process and perhaps most painful in today's political ridiculousness, a post-Watergate president who ran for office on the promise that, "I'll never lie the American people.

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But for all the success, Carter's presidency is rarely hailed. He micromanaged. He tried to do too much. He ruined the economy. He oversaw gas lines in America. Literally, lines of people in cars waiting to fill their gas tanks, Google it.

Jimmy Carter for Higher Office

And most terribly he couldn't free the American hostages from days of captivity in Iran. So how should we consider Jimmy Carter's presidency? Stuart Eizenstat had a front seat to it all. From to Eizenstat worked for peanut farmer, governor, candidate and President Carter, ultimately as his Chief White House Domestic Policy advisor.

Eizenstat has written an historical take on Carter's four years as president. One that Stu himself says is largely positive yes, but doesn't shy away from harsh criticism too. He was not a great president but he was a good and productive one. More on Stu. Before the Carter years, he had worked as a very young man in the LBJ administration. He now heads the International Practice at Covington and Burling. Stu's exceptional book gives insight and context to every crisis and challenge of the s.

We talked about many of them and most relevant for today, I asked him about how much of what Carter is being attacked by Trump and Trump's own approach to the presidency. Chris Riback: Let's start with your headline which I imagine will make some folks curious and may even make other shake their heads but here we go. You write that, "Jimmy Carter's presidency was one of the consequential in modern history. Stuart Eizenstat: You know his political idol Chris, was Harry Truman and he placed Truman's favorite slogan on his desk, "The buck stops here. And the reason I say that is that I do not ignore and I think the credibility of the book is based on the fact that I do not ignore the very real problems we had which can discuss shortly.

But, those have obscured the enormous successes, both domestic and foreign and let me very briefly summarize them.

Life at Ninety - Reflections of Former President Jimmy Carter (Book Review)

Stuart Eizenstat : He lay the foundation of the energy security that we enjoy today by three major energy bills in four years which deregulated the price of natural gas and crude oil and therefore encouraged maximum production. He placed conservation at the center of the nation's agenda for the first time on energy and he ushered in the new era of clean energy with solar and wind power.

He was a great consumer champion. He appointed consumer advocates, not industry stalwarts, to regulate industries and gave them a charge which he backed up with legislation. And that was to transform our whole transportation system. He deregulated trucking, railroads and airlines and really brought air travel to the middle class. Allowed competition for prices and new entrants like Southwest and Jet Blue which might not exist as we know them today.

And he began the deregulation of telecommunications, ushering in the cable era. Of banking and even Chris, with beer, reversing prohibition era regulations which had blocked the flow of local craft beers. He was the greatest environmental president since Theodore Roosevelt, doubling the size of the national park system through the Alaska Lands bill in a very, very tough fight. He followed through on his post-Watergate pledge for good government with major ethics legislation requiring disclosure of assets and employment going into office, limiting gifts while you're in office, limiting the revolving door after you leave.

He, in the area of good government, passed the Inspector General law which put Inspector General to root out, fraud, waste and abuse in every agency.


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Those still very much exist. And in addition, he had merit appointments for all judges. He created the Office of Special Counsel to investigate wrongdoing.

Jimmy Carter for Higher Office

Passed the foreign crop practices act. All of these brought a whole freshness and ethics to government. He and Mondale created the modern vice presidency out of an institution which was held in complete disrepute. He brought Mondale into all meetings, access to all secret documents and importantly for the first time brought the vice president's office into the West Wing just steps away from the Oval Office. And even on inflation, which rightly people associate with him as a negative. After trying everything possible and having inflation go into the stratosphere from the second oil shock of the s, Nixon had the same problems.

He appointed Paul Volcker knowing, because Volcker told him that he was going to choke the economy, squeeze inflation out.

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And that would mean higher unemployment, higher interest rates in the middle of a reelection campaign but he told all of us, he said, "Look, I'm going to do this regardless of my election consequences because I don't want my legacy in this area to be permanent high inflation. It benefited Reagan and the nation today. In foreign policy, his accomplishments were also stunning. The Camp David accords and the Egypt Israel peace treaty remain 40 years hence.

The centerpiece of Israel's security. The first peace treaty between Israel and its Arab neighbor.


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  • Jimmy Carter: a life of friendship.

He applied human rights as a centerpiece of his foreign policy, applying it to both military dictators and Latin America and to the Soviet Union reaching out to the Soviet Jewish movement. Passing the Panama canal treaty which was one of the bloodiest fights we had, Chris, and led to a new era in US Latin American relations.

It was he, not Nixon and Kissinger who actually normalized relations and took on with China and took on the Taiwan lobby. So all of these are enormously important and they've all been obscured by the problems he had. Chris Riback: It's an incredible list and yes, one of my first questions that I have written down for you is, I was just so struck by how much happened. You captured in the four years of the presidency and of course your book covers even more than that including your first meetings with Carter back in when he was I guess thinking about his first run for governor and I would love to ask you about that as well.

But I was so, so much happened and so yes, you just outlined and outlined all of those things in terms of accomplishments. Stuart Eizenstat: By the way the book is not just a dry recitation of these. It's got anecdotes and stories about how it happened. Humorous stories. I profile people in a very real way. They could come out of a Shakespearean play from villainous to heroic. Chris Riback: You don't need to tell me, I read the book.

centseartiras.tk Just wait, I'm going to ask you about the John Denver meeting. When you meet John Denver in the s that's a pretty good Stuart Eizenstat: I felt like as we say in the south, I was really high cotton. I knew I had made it when John Denver came in to talk about solar energy.

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Chris Riback: Yes, he was selling you on him and Robert Redford, that they would go and help you sell that solar energy. No, no, look at, I know the book has incredible tales.


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  4. It brings you, it's not a light book. You cover the territory which also made me think so much happened and Carter and you and the team tackled so much, those were and you just outlined the wins.

    Jimmy Carter: A Life of Friendship (Pull Ahead Books) Jimmy Carter: A Life of Friendship (Pull Ahead Books)
    Jimmy Carter: A Life of Friendship (Pull Ahead Books) Jimmy Carter: A Life of Friendship (Pull Ahead Books)
    Jimmy Carter: A Life of Friendship (Pull Ahead Books) Jimmy Carter: A Life of Friendship (Pull Ahead Books)
    Jimmy Carter: A Life of Friendship (Pull Ahead Books) Jimmy Carter: A Life of Friendship (Pull Ahead Books)
    Jimmy Carter: A Life of Friendship (Pull Ahead Books) Jimmy Carter: A Life of Friendship (Pull Ahead Books)

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