There is a lot of reminiscing going on these days. Not only of Reagan at 100 years but also of Jimmy Carter’s failure in Iran as it compares to his brother from another mother, Barack Obama.
Jimmy Carter’s weakness as a President is legendary. But many people think he is a good man. I do not. Let me do a little reminiscing of my own.
Back in 1988, as Reagan was leaving office, former President Jimmy Carter appeared on Larry King Live to talk of Reagan’s legacy. Imagine.
I was watching and became increasingly frustrated by his knocking of Reagan. It smacked of jealousy of Reagan’s success and bitterness over his own failures. So I decided to call into the show and to my surprise I got on the air to ask the former President a question.
My desire was to elicit from the former President some acknowledgment of the good accomplished by Reagan.
I said “Mr. President, you have been critical of President Reagan. Looking back on his eight years in office, what is his greatest achievement?”
Larry King nodded in approval “Great question! Mr. President?”
With a sour grin on his face like he just bit into a lemon while expecting a Georgia peach, Carter answered.
“He remained popular.”
That always struck me as the answer of a very small man unable to acknowledge the greatness of another man.
They say that great men stand on the shoulders of those who came before them. In Reagan’s case, he was standing in a hole.