I had the great honor of meeting Former President Jimmy Carter on a number of occasions. My favorite was hammering nails with him on the northside of Minneapolis at a Habitat for Humanity Project. A trained carpenter from his youth, Jimmy knew how to swing a hammer. He knew how to do a lot of things. Run a farm and a business. And nuclear subs. He negotiated the Camp David Accords. Created the Departments of Energy and Education. And the modern Vice Presidency with my friend Walter Mondale.
I remember when it was announced that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize, Rush Limbaugh went nuts in his usual way – with an angry screed that was breathtakingly inaccurate. “What did Carter ever do?! Did he actually broker any peace!? Did he even go to Africa!? Did he ever help cure any disease?!” Yeah. The Carter Center helped eradicate death from river blindness on the African continent.
We heard this past weekend that President Carter is going into hospice care at home, so we know we will lose him soon. Americans and the citizens of the world were fortunate to have had Jimmy Carter for 98 years.
He has been America’s greatest ex-president. By far!