Since 1982 there have been only two recessions (’90-’91 and ’07-’09), and thanks to Volcker’s legacy, the U.S. economy performed better in the twenty years after Carter than in the twenty preceding him. Carter was a transitional president at a time when the New Deal coalition, which had coalesced in the 1932 election, was being eclipsed by a growing conservative movement. Jimmy Carter is much more highly regarded today than when he lost his bid for reelection in 1980. Carter was a new breed of Democrat — not a New Deal or Great Society guy who believed government should inflate the economy and be so federally expansive. Second, Carter remained an outsider to politics when he took office; he did not become a “Washingtonian”, and because he wouldn’t play that game, he frequently took policy positions that angered the interest groups of his own party (the Democrats). He supported the Equal Rights Amendment, which aimed to ensure that women were treated equally in society. Carter didn’t “lose Iran”. To date, the Unites States has given sixty billion dollars to Egypt, not to mention military aid, while Egypt continues to flout some of the Camp David Accords. His insistence on American leadership in the protection of human rights around the world helped to subvert the power of communist and other dictatorial regimes, and eventually led to the human rights initiatives of the 1980s and 1990s. But the single term served by the thirty-ninth president was one of the most consequential in modern history. In the eyes of most analysts, the Camp David Accords of ’78 and Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty of ’79 were Carter’s greatest accomplishments. Carter promoted individuals taking personal responsibility, opposed special interest groups feeding at the government trough, championed limiting the federal government and reducing the federal budget deficit, argued for greater local responsibility, advocated the deregulation of industries, and believed that welfare eroded the family and the work ethic. “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” returns to the same point over and over again — the 39th President of the United States had great taste in music, and was not afraid to use it. Reagan could have easily blamed Volcker for the bad economy, especially since Carter appointed Volcker in the first place. The economic purgatory of the ’70s was something never seen before or since in America. When people were asked the biggest concern facing the nation during Carter’s term, the number one answer was: “Inflation and the cost of living.” If Carter didn’t fix the inflation issue, or at least appear to be doing something about it, he would certainly lose the election. Low inflation doesn’t guarantee good economic times. Here’s how I score him: Peace (foreign policy). Indeed, his fatal flaw was captured in his infamous “malaise speech,” in which Carter lectured the nation on its poor morale (although he never actually used the word that would come to define it in history). Yet by Eizenstat’s own description, Carter was also priggish and pedantic, correcting grammar in memos “as if he were my elementary schoolteacher” and immersing himself too deeply in details, as when he requested world oil reserve estimates in square miles instead of barrels. Change ), The Last Good President: Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), The Understated Greatness of Rutherford Hayes (1877-1881). 2) Volcker wasn’t Carter’s first choice, he was kind of stuck with him out of desperation – After his malaise speech, and in an effort to boost his political chances, Carter removed five cabinet members, the Secretary of Treasury among them. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, Notice of Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity. “He has more than redeemed himself as an admired public figure by his post-presidential role,” Eizenstat writes. Today, most Americans are too young to remember Carter’s presidency firsthand and know him more for his active post-presidency, appreciating his energetic, Nobel Prize-winning efforts to help the downtrodden, monitor elections and search for peace in the darkest corners of the planet. He had a moralistic streak, striking a congressman off a Camp David invitation list because he was living with a woman outside marriage.