Outside editorial: Jimmy Carter should not be calling the kettle black

Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2007

This editorial appeared in the San Jose Mercury News:

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Those too young to recall the Carter years got a revealing glimpse of Jimmy Carter, the president, Saturday.

Honest to a fault. Smarter than the vast majority of those who have held the office. And way too willing to tell you so.

It shouldn't come as a shock that Carter, in an interview with the Arkansas Press-Democrat, called the Bush administration's foreign policy "the worst in history."

He's got ample evidence to make that case. But talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

There are plenty of historians who would argue that it's Jimmy Carter - not George W. Bush - who is the worst president in U.S. history. With good reason. Voters couldn't wait to send Carter back to Plains, Ga., after his bungling of the Iran hostage crisis. And for making his presidency synonymous with the word "malaise."

To his credit, Carter realized Monday that he had gone over the line of presidential protocol, saying his remarks were "careless or misinterpreted." The small slip shouldn't alter the strong case he has built as one of the best former presidents in American history. He richly deserved the Nobel Prize he won in 2002.

But at present, we're no more lusting in our hearts for a reprise of the Carter years than we are for a George Bush encore.

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