Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 22nd 2015 Contents A32
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, August 22, 2015
History reserves special ignominy for presidents
denied a second White House term.
But as Jimmy Carter reflects on his life after
learning he has cancer, the 39th US President says
he wouldn t swap the personal reward of his expan-
sive post-presidency for four more years in office.
"My life since the White House has been per-
sonally more gratifying, although the presidency
was obviously the pinnacle of political success,"
Carter, 90, said in a moving news conference in
Atlanta on Thursday.
"If I had to choose between four more years and
the Carter Centre, I think I would choose the Carter
But he added: "It could have been both."
Carter admitted recently that he had no concrete
plans when he left office stung by the Iran hostage
crisis and a tepid economy.
"When we came home, I had no idea what I
would do with the rest of my life. I was fifty-six
years old, one of the younger survivors of the White
House," Carter wrote in his latest book "A Full Life:
Reflections at 90," which was published earlier this
Carter s first task back home in Georgia was
writing an autobiography that charted the achieve-
ments and disappointments of an unfulfilled political
career while he searched for a more permanent
Then, late one night, lying in bed after a few
hours sleep, he had a revelation---he would not just
build a presidential library, but would set himself
up as a freelance global mediator, statesman and
global health advocate who would work across
political and humanitarian divides.
"This was the birth of the Carter Centre" the
former president wrote.
The Carter Centre s work would eventually recast
the roles and expectations of ex-presidents, and
his move into global relief and humanitarian work
after the White House has been emulated by suc-
cessors like Bill Clinton and George W Bush.
Over the next three-and-a-half decades, Carter
would venture into global hotspots, negotiate with
rogue leaders like North Korea s dictators Kim Il
Sung and Kim Jong Il and launch a broad, global
He fought to eradicate diseases afflicting hundreds
of millions of people in tropical Africa, including
river blindness, malaria, and trachoma. He plunged
into civil wars and conflicts from Nepal to Ethiopia,
the Balkans and Sudan and across the Middle East.
He is credited with helping to peacefully restore
order in Haiti in 1994 after the overthrow of Pres-
ident Jean-Bertrand Aristide, averting the need for
American military action at a moment when US
bombers were already in the air.
The Carter Centre has monitored elections in
100 nations, and Carter and his beloved wife, Ros-
alynn, have also devoted a week of work every year
to the charity Habitat for Humanity, which builds
and renovates homes for poor families.
It was when he was on a trip to Guyana earlier
this year, that he first became ill. Doctors back
home diagnosed cancer on his liver, which has been
removed, and then found the melanoma in his
Carter said Thursday he still hopes that his med-
ical condition and radiation treatment will allow
him to travel to Nepal later this year for his annual
mission---his 33rd in a row---for Habitat for Human-
ity.Carter reflected Thursday that his role as pres-
ident---with responsibility for 350 million Ameri-
cans---and his humanitarian work called for different
But he said his time in the White House gave him
the contacts and prestige necessary to carry out his
Nobel-prize winning post-presidential vocation.
"We deal with individual people in the smallest
and most obscure and suffering villages in the
desert and in the jungles of Africa, and we ve had
programmes in 80 different countries on the Earth
for the poorest and most destitute people in the
world," he said. "And that has been, I d say, far
more gratifying personally because we actually
interact with families and with people." (CNN)
Carter: I'll be prepared
Former President Jimmy Carter talks about his cancer diagnosis during a news
conference at The Carter Centre in Atlanta on Thursday. AP PHOTO
Links Archive August 21st 2015 August 23rd 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page