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December 17, 2006

A Jimmy Carter vignette

This article has been around for nearly a month, but I just came across it again. It's a memory refresher on the delightful Jimmy Carter.

My favorite vignette is this:

Former New York mayor Ed Koch, in his 1984 bestseller Mayor, recounted a conversation he had shortly before the 1980 election with Cyrus Vance, who'd recently resigned as Carter's secretary of state. Koch told Vance that many Jews would not be voting for Carter because they feared "that if he is reelected he will sell them out."

"Vance," recalled Koch, "nodded and said, 'He will.'"
My personal favorite memory, not in this article, is that Carter's UN ambassador, Andrew Young, "contrary to US policy and statute, . . . met with a representative of the Palestinian Liberation Organization." There was great public criticism when this became known, and Carter at first did nothing, even though tremendous anger was growing among blacks at this criticism of Young, much of the anger directed at the Jews, who were thought to be responsible. At the end of about three weeks, Carter forced Young to resign and did absolutely nothing to dispel the notion that the Jews were responsible.