Monday, March 3, 2008

President 39 - Outsider

In this tug of war between outsiders and insiders, Jimmy Carter is pivotal. This man from Plains was unlike anything that had been seen before. While other outsiders such as Franklin D. Roosevelt could point to experience as Governor of a major state, Carter's main qualification seemed to be his lack of experience. Yes, he was Governor, and could claim to have streamlined the executive branch, but in retrospect, we can see that Carter's experience as Governor of Georgia did not prepare him for life on Pennsylvania Avenue.

In my view, Carter's greatest failure wasn't in Iran, or Afghanistan, but in Washington DC itself - namely, on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue at Capitol Hill. One would think that having Democrats in the White House and on the Hill would lead to extremely productive years, but there was a certain enmity between the President and Congress that was never completely overcome. Perhaps the Georgia legislature was weak - I don't know - but Carter probably would have had more success with O'Neill if he had sent Billy down as an official representative.

Carter's greatest success, without question, was the Camp David accords, but that was the result of personal negotiation, coupled with a lot of patience.


[mrontemp business] | [mrontemp politics] | [mrontemp technology] | [mrontemp tags]

Sphere: Related Content