Today, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter celebrate 75 years of marriage, way-long for any couple, but the longest for presidential twosomes — now well-ahead of the number-two pair, HW and Barbara Bush (73 years 111 days) and despite both being close to 100 seemed to keep-on, keeping on.
Jimmy Carter was not one of our better presidents, he’s accomplished way-more and proved his mettle since. leaving office in 1981 than those four-short years in office — he’s ranked No. 26 in the C-Span survey of historians published last week (which listed T-Rump as 41, and not the ‘worse,’ a travesty).
In actual, real history, Carter is way-most-likely the very last ‘real America’ president after just a bit more than 200 years of a certain norm which vanished with Ron Reagan and lives on through the nowadays.
Since I’ve a personal history with the Carters, I’ve figured over the years, Jimmy knew exactly how to reach the White House, but once there appeared to really not understand how to get shit done. Carter’s campaign in 1976 against Gerald Ford was right-on-point, from the Playboy magazine interview, where Jimmy revealed he had committed “lust in his heart,” to producng an image opposed to Ford/Republican years of grift and incompetent governing and ‘regular’ Americans. Of course, all went to shit in 1980.
I interviewed Rosalynn Carter at the Montofmnery, Ala., airport sometime during the summer of 1976 as a near-novice reporter for The Montgomery Advertiser (I posted about the interview with Rosie here and concerned this weird couple of pix:
There. I fixed it. pic.twitter.com/dmjLiX3oXk
— ? Deonardo La Vinci ? (@DeonardoLeVinci) May 4, 2021
Anyway, the Carters are one. hardcore-romantic couple — a sample via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last Sunday, and k-i-s-s-i-n-g:
The quick kiss they stole on a Habitat for Humanity build site in 2016 when they thought no one noticed them in their hard hats and heavy work clothes. The way they held hands to walk back for the evening service at little Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains hours after the tourists at his morning Sunday school class had all gone home. The nicknames that tended to slip out when they were among friends:
“Rosie,” he’d call her.
“My Jimmy” she’d call him.
Another quick historic moment about Jimmy Carter — six to eight months before that airport interview — late fall, 1975 — I was in the Advertiser newsroom one night (as police reporter my work hours were 4PM to 1AM) and talking with the News Editor at the Copy Desk, who’d once worked at the Journal-Constitution and knew Georgia politics, and he told me with great confidence the next POTUS would be James Earl Carter (Carter had announced his presidential bid nearly a year earlier, but who paid any attention)..
And I do remember after all this time answering, “Who?”
And to Jimmy and Rosie right now — Happy Anniversary!