Jimmy Carter – Peter Bourne

Bourne was a friend/colleague of Carter. I thought that might be a problem, but it seemed to give a reasonably balanced view of Carter. It was much more detailed than I needed. Bit slow.

Bourne was a doctor. Went to Emory Medical School. Met Carter, decided to work for him on campaign for governor.

Carter ancestors lived in Sumter/Amercus/Plains for several generations.

Carter born in 1924. Father owned store, then peanut farm. Mother Lillian was a nurse. Father was rather hard on Jimmy, high standards. Mother sparked intellectual curiosity.

Early teacher “Miss Julia” played a role in Carter’s interest in education.

Carter aimed at Naval Academy early on (brother was in Navy). Didn’t make it first try, when to local Georgia State first. Met Rosalynn on trip home, she was attending Georgia State. Married.

Naval career: submarine school, influenced greatly by Admiral Rickover, Hawaii duty. Planned to stay there, but father died, had to go home. Rosalynn very unhappy about returning to Plains.

Carter worked on making the business a success, Rosalynn found happiness keeping the books.

Father Earl was part of the Talmadge machine, elected to state legislator. So Carter’s had some political background.

Decided to run for State Senate. Lost election, sued because of voting ‘irregularities” in Quitman County, won.

Carter ran for governor in 1966. lost.

Carter sought solace in his faith. Became more immersed; read Niebuhr, who emphasized the relationship between politics and faith.

Ran again in 197-. Won. Many that worked that campaign would serve on his president campaign/ presidential staff. Lance, Jordan, Powell, Rafshoon etc.

Dean Rusk suggested that Carter run for president, which Carter had already decide he was going to do.

Pat Caddell played a major role in Carter/Democratic platform.

Carter’s presidency was hampered in numerous ways.

  • no strong base of supporters
  • poor organization
  • poor choice for positions (too much stress on loyalty/familiarity)
  • refusal to “court” congress
  • no vision of what wanted to accomplish

Had some successes.

  • national energy program
  • emphasis on human rights
  • use of VP in meanful role
  • middle east “peace”

Playboy interview…

Iranian hostage …


After president activity. Habitat, Carter Center.