Commentary Magazine


Can Obama Be a “Superior” Ex-President, Too?

Jimmy Carter has been an annoyance to every one of his successors. He’s played footsie with dictators, made common cause with Israel’s enemies, made Osama bin Laden’s book list, and demonstrated the peevishness that was not yet fully in evidence during his presidency. He then pronounces that he is “superior” to all his successors. Sensing that is a bit much for Saint Jimmy, he backpedals, explaining, “What I meant was, for 27 years the Carter Center has provided me with superior opportunities to do good.” Not much better is it? Frankly, on this one even Bill Clinton has the right to be offended.

Carter, as one of the wittiest commentators points out, now insists in his diary (on Osama bin Laden’s nightstand no doubt!) that he would have won in 1980 had it not been for those darn hostages and the pesky Ted Kennedy. (If, alas, the latter were true, we’d finally have something to praise Kennedy for.) But truth be told, those were the least of his problems. “Had he not also, in other words, been the worst U.S. president ever, before, that is, the Advent of Barak Obama, he would have been re-elected.”

Having “surpassed” Carter in so many ways (e.g., disdain for Americans, cluelessness about our enemies), one can only imagine that Obama in his ex-presidency will be characterized by the same humbleness, wisdom, and love of the Jewish state that has marked Carter in his. Carter has managed, arguably, to be a worse ex-president than president. For Obama, that will be a challenge.

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