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tv   The Presidency Stanly Godbold Jimmy Rosalynn Carter  CSPAN  February 5, 2023 9:30pm-10:31pm EST

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stanly godbold is professor emeritus of history, mississippi state university. he's the author now of two volumes of history, jimmy and rosalynn carter. the first the georgia years. 1924 through 1974.
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and now jimmy and rosalynn carter power and human rights. as i say, he was professor of emeritus at mississippi state. he's the author of three other books. alan gas, glasgow and the woman within and christopher gadsden and the american revolution and confederate colonel and cherokee chief. the life of william holland thomas. but it's biographies of jimmy and rosalynn that brings us here tonight. and, you know, i think there is probably better person to be in congress with stan lee than steve. steve has been to president carter since 81. he helped research and edit carter's book, keeping faith, and has really had a hand in every book too. carter has written or projects or classes at emory university, so sit back, enjoy its time to learn a lot about president and
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mrs. carter. steve stanley. thank you, tony. thank you, tony and it is really quite an honor for me to be invited to to come here. and i appreciate it. i especially appreciate it because i don't know what percentage of my life has been in the research room here but i would say pretty close to 30% now. well, start out back. in 1987. that's when research room opened at the jimmy carter library. you weren't here for that. that occasion, but was the year, i believe, when you decided to work on the carter's. what made you to take topic up? the summer of 1987, i was
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involved in a seminar on religion and politics in western society. i just finished a book and i was just looking around. another topic writing a presidential biography course was beyond my imagination. but that's something i happened to pick up a newspaper and of jimmy carter. i had attended writers fair in nashville, tennessee and wondered jimmy carter would be doing attending a writers fair. so i looked him up and how much he had written. and so i thought, well while i'm trying to decide what to next with my life, i to write a little essay about jimmy carter as a writer. so my interest in carter initially was as a writer, not carter a president and fight for the whole 32 years i worked on it. my interest in him remained to a
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large degree. carter as a writer. and he didn't disappoint because in 1987 he hadn't written very much. but eventually of, course, he wrote a lot of stuff. well, publishing a book on jimmy carter so unusual today, but your decision, write a joint biography of jimmy carter and rosalynn carter was and is exceptional. when and why did make that decision? well when i had a sabbatical beginning in about august 1990. and so that's when i came over to the library and because i was already interested, john carter as a writer. and so i just started looking to see what was available in the library. and of course i was a huge treasure trove of untouched primary materials. and i started reading little bit
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more about him and i didn't get very into it before. i really everything read rosalynn was involved in it. and so it occurred to me you could not write about jimmy carter without writing about rosalynn. and also now i know these years later you can't about rosalynn without writing about jimmy carter. but there was unique partner ship and almost everything we know today. all these years later, i would magnificent accomplishments. it is a result of that partnership that was just an unusual and people asked me when i was a newspaper recently that talks about the influence rosalynn had on jimmy and i don't like the word influence because it's not strong enough. she had more than an influence, although was involved in everything. she really i saw and i realized
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that i thought that, you know, why not give it a chance? so that's what i did. that's. that's great. well, as you say, started to come in here to the carter library in 1990. and i know came back many times. in fact, i'd like to see the statistics on this. i that he was in the research room more than any other researcher and ever. could be. well tell us how researched the the two books the two volumes not only at the carter center but in other presidential libraries and with interviews of other people too. okay. first of all, i'll talk about my experience at the carter library, because those were obviously of the happiest times in my life. i knew nothing about presidential library.
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i had written several books. i had been in university libraries. i've been library, congress, other libraries where you just walked in as researcher and you said, i want to see what you have on alan glasgow, i want to see what you have on. and thomas but you can't walk into a president library. i specifically for jimmy carter and say i want to see what you have, jimmy carter. so there was something so there's an orientation program which i've never forgotten because there weren't many people research at the end. and so they pulled out their top gun. well, second top gun, i guess martindale's the interview because they teach you how to presidential library. so martin was explaining to me. he was explaining all different kinds of records, executive subject records, difficult auctions and records and.
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this just went on for about an hour. and they usually this in ten or 15 minutes. but i was pushed. it went out about an hour and then martin looks at that and and i must have a very blank look on my face. and he said you know, i have no idea what you're going to do when you walk through those doors. and, you know he was remarkably because i had no idea that those but i finished it. you know, i mentioned the name jody powell because i knew he was pretty close to a card. and i said, well, that start by looking at the at the jody pilot fact i did want to tell martin then that and i did want to say everything had that was available about jimmy carter and i did see a lot of it that's reason i was here so much. one one time i at the end of the year, i looking back on the year i had any statistic and i had
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spent 221 days out of the 365 in atlanta. and jeanie used to say, when i used the word home, i was referring to the house we, lived in stark, mississippi. i was about the carter library. the people were wonderful. some few of them are still out there. so wonderful to. see old friends that friendly and they were helpful. they became friends then they became family and then they became support. i mean, this book probably wouldn't be here had it not been for some of staff members who were so kind and helpful and i have to another researcher that was one of researcher here on regular basis when i was it was carl vivian, who was a professor of economics at georgia tech. and so he and i became fast friends. we referred to the library as our library because somewhere
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times had been over upset. and of course, we bonded our families bonded. and it was just a good situation. and so i reached the point where when it was time for me to come back to the library it was at work, you know, i, i was excited about, i was i was ready to get to get back when the first volume was published. i giving a speech in starkville and somebody wanted to know what did i enjoy most about. the carter library. that was one of the easiest questions anybody's ever asked me. i said, lunch. the staff. we had some really good lunches and sometimes i would be invited to go a long time. she would be invited to go to. i was over on the carter center side, so i wasn't at the jimmy carter library every day. but i'm glad that got to know stan lee during those early years. oh, we we had a mutual friend, i think, here in l.a. linda macias yes.
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and, and then some other from my ph.d. and days. so i feel chastened that your colleague smith at the junior, we had lots of things in common right off the bat and you gave a lot of help to a little bit later he was was the one course he was carter's assistant and when i reached a point wanted to get an interview with carter. of course you have to go through the proper channels and you've got get secret service clearance and all of that. but steve was the one who really did all the legwork that made that interview, which. in october 1994, i can the question included interviews before that that was mentioned briefly at our other libraries, i learned how presidential libraries work the long hours
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here. so when i went to other presidential libraries was fairly easy. and since the other libraries were not specific about jimmy carter, i didn't have to spend lots of years. there they they best one of the most helpful going was the ford library in ann arbor, michigan. and because most of the records on the seven down to 1976 election were not open yet. here. and they were open at the the ford library. so i saw in those folks were very good in and all of that. the kennedy library they were very friendly and fact the carter's in the kennedy didn't get along very well they and virginia and i were downstairs i had to check in downstairs when went up an elevator to the to the research room. and i told him i was working on
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biography of jimmy carter and i really thought they were going to turn me away. but i finally decided now that i was a legitimate person or a researcher, so they let us go in and it was a terribly long and after jackie kennedy had died, jackie kennedy onassis and. so they finally decided they had a collection of a local newspaper on the occasion when carter as president, derek, raided the kennedy library. and so they let me say that the local newspaper. yeah, they were they were it was a good source because local newspapers did have information. in and that was a no no that announced where the bush library area went. several george h.w. bush the first time they wouldn't let me see a good bit of stuff, but a lot of stuff closed because george bush was
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governor and then later most of the stuff i wanted to see in the bush library did not open until obama became president. and i'm sure there were political reasons. there were political reasons for that. the last time i went to, the bush library was as i wrapping up to research the so-called october surprise, the idea that the reagan camp had cut a deal with to hold the hostages until after the election and was told in no uncertain terms. i would not find anything about in the bush library. and they kept me under surveillance the whole time i was there. but found a lot of information i used anyway. but the last one i mentioned is the reagan library and the reagan library. when it first opened, it didn't
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much information about carter, but for some reason that i know not what someone convinced and nancy reagan to open the papers on the 1980 election the election where when carter was defeated by reagan and where the october surprise took place the time it took place. i don't think nancy reagan knew was in those papers. i think somebody's food, because that was a vast collection of papers and of them weren't very complimentary of ronnie. and so it was he had there was a lot of have which had said that i'd like the reagan people not been i had not been totally honest about jeannie went with me as she often did but have friends in dallas that we were we had lived for a while. we had friends who wanted to go to we sometimes travel together. one of them was an attorney. the other one was i was a
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medical doctor. they were people who knew a lot research and i never forget it. the archivist on duty was a young woman named amanda. i don't remember the rest of her name, and when she saw all their help helpers, i brought some of them coming from texas and she teased for the rest of the time we were there for bringing a posse with me. but we had a it was a it was a good research. i didn't try to hide anything and a lot of papers related to casey and meese and the so-called truth squad of that election, you know, were available. and that's where i got a lot of the evidence that i'd like to use to to say as a professional historian, i'm ready to take a stand at that. a surprise did take place. even though there's some there's still some things that we'd like to know it. yes. so had i had found out of the country a president, library
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staff file, let's let's talk about of the themes of the book and the most important is the relationship between jimmy and rosalynn carter and how did it change the years from your first five m into your second volume? and did see much change while you writing the second vi? well, the first volume just goes his governorship and i grew they both grew up in plains well he's three miles away in archery three by three he has a part they as they said. and so they had very similar background except the car does were very family the smiths were not and they knew each other because jimmy was older he went to college. the naval and all of that and they got married when he had
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seen her before. but he he saw her on the church steps and his sister ruth set up a date and he announced that night to his mother that he was going to marry the mother. the carters didn't think she, of course, was good to marry to marry jimmy. but anyway they had the navy, they had the navy career. interesting story. college, rosalynn and i manage the home front, the budget while he was out, while he was out at sea and then they come back. rosalynn is very quiet. she's shy, but she's very brilliant. and when they took her took over the peanut business, she was the business manager. and if you really analyzed how that business went from not much income to actually it was a multimillion dollar business by 1976 so much of it because of
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rumsfeld's work as as a business and when he decided to run for the senate in 1962. rosalynn pitched in as and became an expert. but in the first book through the governor, she time rosalynn was very much there but. she wasn't nearly as much in the limelight as when he ran for president. and actually when he went became president, she was aggressive. she intended to be the first lady. if was going to take her. yeah. if joan mondale, for example was standing at the podium, rosalynn would stand beside her. but soon you would know who was the first lady and who was a very smart, very. and of course, the the media picked up on that the media couldn't believe rosalynn. they couldn't believe this
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petite, very pretty, very soft spoken. they couldn't believe that she was smart, that she was so tough, and she was aggressive. she she had to be aggressive at the first place because as miss lillian, because she had to stand to jim is mother. because if you remember anything, miss lillian, she's she's a very powerful and jimmy, of course her do that but she stood up to jimmy turf and she didn't care if the tv cameras were going if she wanted to disagree with him. so she emerged as a very strong person, very important in the campaign. she had her own and she had her own issues, health. but there were other things as well. and carter always the press and others that she was an equal partner. i don't think many people believe that. but once i got into the research, i discovered very quickly that she really was an
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equal partner. and what surprised that she was over and established the carter center and made it their co-chairs of the carter center. he's that chairman. and she called che. are they are they have equal in in the carter so she becomes she becomes more and more popular better now i think this is a place that i'd like to come at about carter's relationship not resting in his heart, but in a positive way. and with the use of women and his governing and especially in diplomacy the erosion course, it happens at six months or less into the president's. i went on a solo trip. latin america, and she had the authority of the president. she could anything said had the
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same authority as the president himself had said. but i had. so carter realized her value and her and her ability. but if you look at the camp david accords for example carter of color, rosalynn, is the reason the camp david accords ever even took place? it was her suggestion, her moment to do it. but when carter invited that monarch and began and anwar sadat come to camp david, he ordered them to bring their wives. he specifically wanted them to bring their wives. he wanted the wives to to be involved because would be a mirror of the way he did the way he did things. but also he knew how hard it was to go to get any kind agreement and he believed in personal diplomacy and he thought it would be much better if the wives were there to and
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everything is written been written about camp david. god only knows how much has been written about camp david and. that was one of the hardest parts of my research is how much of it to believe, how much to believe, and how much not to even look yet. because i only had one one lifetime. but when i started looking at the involvement, the women and i stumbled across sadat its autobiography, a woman of egypt. and i promised, nobody can understand the camp david accords. they don't read her autobiography. so we know what went. sadat was getting ready to leave one time he called. he said, i'm coming. how? and she said, now, you know has been very good to you wanted to stay awhile why don't you stay a while longer and another. and i think i was telling that talking another another point that i think is important the photographs as we were earlier
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and this huge burly 100 photographs then chronological order they were chosen very carefully to suit the theme of, the book and reason they are in there, too, is if you can't bear to think about read all those pages, you can always look at the pictures and get a pretty good idea of what the book is all about and the typical camp david. but there's one that has been published before, but it shows rosalynn carter and alisa begin at camp david and that's that is now coincident that that book that photographs in the book because begging was the hardest person to deal with and wife was even harder to deal with and rosalynn spent hours and hours and hours with alisa with alisa back in trying to help the agreements. you know, finally, you know, finally word and one last the
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how they use of women when. in 1994 i guess when there was a military coup haiti and bill clinton was president carter goes down there with sam and colin powell to try to try to get a military coup, to leave before clinton sent in the troops and he succeeded doing that. but what fell through the cracks of history was the role cedras, his wife, you know, carter was even got to go and she called him and she called and carter said and carter agreed to to go and rest is history. i cannot tell you one anecdote about when i was in their living room on this tablet to och i don't know how time is right but
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anyway the how was the interview helped set up which was in it was in their living room and plains in october 1994. and i tell you details about that later. but i was sitting there, you, you know, i sitting on the couch rose and there sitting next to me carter was about where you are and every once in a while the telephone would ring and carter would excuse himself and go to the telephone, and then he would back. and when he came back is he was red in the face and was coughing a little bit. and i didn't know what that meant. and then it dawned on me what i was witnessing, an example of the famous carter temper, jimmy carter had, you know, he had to jimmy still has it, i guess, but he really had a temper, which he controlled and he'd got that self out. he'd be very angry with whatever he heard on the telephone and
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then did this several and rosalynn being the good wife she was as well as all the other things she was trying to cover for him. and so she just said the house has just messed up. and then i realized what was going on. carter hit negotiate with the white by mostly the state department. i think to get say said just move haiti to panama. the us government was to do that and something had gone awry and the move had not place and that's what they dealing with at that time. being the diligent researcher, i it suddenly dawned on me here i was sitting in his living room listening to his end of the conversation and probably nobody in the world would ever know about his and that conversation. but now they will, because i took good notes. and it's good. well, i'll ask you what
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surprised you during account as you researched? what did you learn that surprised you? you didn't expect it coming? okay. these are these are tough questions but they. did one word answer to that is virtually everything because. i went at that project innocently because i in a pre-cancer see notions of political opinions waiting in gas lines. i might have have i got rid of that because i wanted to look at primary sources first and fact that this elaborate filing system where the primary sources would be first in horror literature would be less and the kind of sense i'm not only old, i'm an old fashioned historian. my idea the best primary source is a written one. at the time that happened.
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and of course card is very helpful for that because he wrote all over the memo that so and so wanted to read those things and come to a conclusion. it, rather than anything else. and the long answer to your question is even though i lived through the carter era, i realized that anyone else and all of us nothing about him. i knew nothing. you know, i knew the media. i knew what was happening. but i knew almost nothing about what was really going on behind the scenes. and i didn't know anything about his partnership. with rosen, but that was that that jumped out pretty fast. and then two other things said. i learned that what kind of surprised i avoided pop psychology, even though i was writing a biography, at least i tried to add to avoid it. but thing it took me, i think, was it was bill ship that said took ten years to get to know carter to understand.
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well i was a slow learner. it took me 20 before i realized this. and then i had 12 more to work on, but thing that really jumped out was his relationship with his father. you know, mr.. it was all over the place and and everything i picked up that he read, he made some reference, his father and almost all of his writings and throughout the rest his life. and then it occurred to me that the real formative period in his life was not necessarily and we knew much lately. and rosalynn, of course, we can't underestimate how important but the model he had and the person he became are what's mr. show the turning point in carter's life was really 1953 when mr. earl died. he comes back, leaves the navy, comes back, discovers all these things about. his father, he didn't know sharks in his early years. and then he moves forward from
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zaire and. it's an extremely important story that shows that is one of the main themes of my book, because don't think i don't take others have done and i'll have tell you one story related about it. earl carter was a highly successful business man. he and he was fairly he fairly well-to-do. but he a tough period his who i believe had been murdered so he he had grown up fatherless and he had a very hands attitude toward rearing his own children, especially older son jimmy, whom he nicknamed hot shot, mr. required hard work. he required perfection. and if you delivered it, you just did what you're supposed to do. you weren't get any reward for it. you just did what you're supposed to do. and and carter grew up that way
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because when carter becomes grown he does that too he requires hard work. he requires perfection that's why you survive because you were you were perfectly fit to be his assistant. and you required perfection. and if you did it. that's. but he wasn't going to catch you on the back later in his life. he kind of mellowed a little bit because that's that's you got to do and i love story that jody powell will tell jody powell was his press secretary and jody powell had a great sense of humor. jody powell had gotten by things with carter that other people did not. and jody power powell once told a story that when he was working in the white house that a couple saying something significant. diane, was like wetting your pants when you were wearing dark colored suit that you might feel all warm and comfortable, but would ever notice another one.
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i can't. is it some program was here i again i'm you've owned it i think it was the history conference saying that tim kraft i believe who worked in carter campaign had heard that he had heard that story and i happened to i don't know he must i got paid very well because he's really staying in the same cheap that we were staying in which is the one we're staying in and now and he was and he just laughed and he said he liked the story. they said, you know, the apple did not fall far from the tree. okay. here is a two part question. that's a tough one. how do you sum up and assess the carter's but also, what do you hope your readers will take away from this volume? okay okay. now, i would sum up by saying that theirs was truly an unusual
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partnership. it was an equal partnership, and it ended all of the very things they accomplished as president and in that long post, president resulted from that partnership that many of those things probably not would not have have happened. and i would like for the readers in a theme of the book to take that away to the subtitle of the book is power, human rights and if you look at what carter did as president in his post president the focus of everything he had to do with human rights, human rights, as is the umbrella under which everything came. and carter, as president had lots of offer niches to get us into war hostage situation. many other occasions cold war was going on. there were lots of chances could have gotten us into a war and he did not and and he put the
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national security of the nation ahead of human rights he'd never jeopardized national security either in asia but he managed to have the skill and the patience to work through all of those things and serve his four years without the going to war almost. anybody else in a position of power at that time would have used the military in a war like fashion and the tragedy of that is that that's one reason he's not a great american hero, that the heroes are the ones who to war, who lead the nation in. but he should be a great american hero, in my opinion, because he did not get the nation into war and. that would be by doing it. i mean, think about help that would take away from before i turn the audience there. you did a story about an interview, interviews that you
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wanted to tell. yeah, i will tell you story about the interview with them. oh, there are others, too. you know and i don't. they're not here. so there now are secret service people out there, i assume so i can get by with it. it took me four years to get to interview and i wanted to interview. i asked them for the logistics of partly i wanted to interview the two of them together in their home in plains because i was riding a dual biography, so i wanted to see them together and place a plane in the south and their lives. they are from start to finish. so i finally got set up and i was told linda right i was struggling to leave. i had exactly an hour and a showed up at the gate to the combat, to the compound i find that grandkids coming out to the to the compound this voice comes
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on and asking me name and i told them that my name and so the gate opened didn't see anybody i just drove in and what it was is that was the secret code for that time, if i had been early or later, wouldn't have worked and i was slightly early. so i drove in part, started walking up to the front door. i didn't see anybody and then all of a sudden guy appears beside me who course was the secret service agent demanding the id, making sure i was who i said i was. i knocked on the door this very large african american mom. i opened the door. it turned out that mary fitzpatrick, prince who had been amy's nurse and nanny at the governor's mansion and in white house and nobody else was, they association me into the living room. i sat and in a matter of moments you jump, the car shows up, and he didn't speak to me. he said, you're ernie no. and course i was terrified
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because i was i had always heard that if you are born mid and late, he's not going to waste his. on you. he died. they didn't waste time. they just used and i. i didn't know what would happen if you were early. so i told, i apologized and tell him i'd be glad to wait until, you know, and he kind of laughed, you know, he was kind of he sat down and then the kansas session was going very. i rosalynn showed up about 15 minutes late and and of course, we had a i was asking i had write down that question and it was one of the easiest interviews ever had because pretty soon was a lot more at ease then i am now. and i was calling them jimmy and rosalynn and, you know, and they were answering the he liked my questions because i was still interested in carter as a writer and that was right before he his volume of poetry. and so i sort of got on the ground level with a discussion
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of it and he and he had been quizzed umpteen dozen umpteen dozen. i times about it. and then that that was up. and so i'm getting ready to leave and carter said, oh, you don't have to go. could stay longer because i had to go the phones and i had spent days researching the question i didn't want ask him things that people had asked him. i didn't want to waste the time on something i already knew i wanted to be original and i planned an hour and that was it? and he said, you stay. so i start asking more questions. except i should tell you i didn't ask the question and carter took the sheet of questions from my hand and read them and started answering them as he went down the list because it'd be a great waste of time for me to ask the question. and at the beginning of they had a view, rosalynn comes in, he wants give rosalynn a copy of the questions and tell her to go
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in another room and answer because that would save time. and i said, please, i want to i want to have you here together. and and rosalynn started telling me, talking about ted kennedy, whom i think she loves terribly, might have recovered from it. but then she so she started telling me something about ted kennedy that jimmy didn't want her to tell. so just gives her a stern look and rosa, he only has hour and rosalynn gave him a stern look back and proceeded to tell the story and. boy, was that informative about the kind of stuff i was trying to learn. i could i could give other stories, too. but we ran short of to whenever i would get the second hour and, i was running out of questions, you know, and he was still the library when they visit. but right before i left my
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office and and start at the university had a graduate student in my office name is ken vickers. and i said, ken, what would you like me to ask you, jimmy, you know, just kind of joking and ken said, well, why don't you ask him if willie nelson really smoked and dope? the white house roof and i had nothing else to ask him at that point. so i said, did willie really smoke dope on the white house roof? and i can't remember, jimmy said. he kind of laughed, didn't deny it, but rosalynn spoke immediately, and she said, oh, his wife wrote me a letter for that. she didn't want that to become a part of the public record because with the passage of time, that's it. yes, it's it is well known. the relatives had just published a book helping yourself help others and she was going down to her, which was in this lillian's on main street and so she told me could come down there and get a copy of the book. so i did and i had to pay for
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it. and give it to her and and sat there at the kitchen table for hour or so, just just chatting with her carter as i left telling me that i could send him a few more questions if i wanted to, that i could, i could writing them in written questions and he would answer. he said two or three. i sent 15, he answered 14 and i knew with a middle man and that to me a fair amount. and if i didn't want to let the audience questions, i could respond. some of that answer. and now i'm going to open up to questions. but you have to wait for the microphone to come to you. so anybody in the audience going to ask a question or should i ask more? this is your chance. yes, right up.
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i think i came of age politically during the iran-contra hearings and i remember hearing them refer little bit to the october surprise and george h.w. bush's role in that. do do you mind sharing some of the points that you said kind of validated the october surprise as something that actually i don't mind sharing it and thank you for that question because that's that's one of the major things researched and researched and put in the book is still controversial and controversy generates discussion and question what happened to our kids. i say if i can sum it up quickly, the iranians still hold 52 american hostages, and carter was trying desperately to get them out without losing military force. don't. he said he would do it if he had. and nothing seemed and nothing seemed to be working.
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they were afraid that the democrats would pull it out to. the surprise by getting the hostages right before the election, which would mean that carter would have been reelected and statistically, carter in the polls, carter and reagan were neck and neck carter occasionally a little a little bit ahead. and this one of the things i learned about in great detail in the reagan library what all they were to make certain that carter did not get hostages out because if he had reagan a good chance that reagan would not would not have would not have won the election, that i was surprised. gary, what's his name? because sig wrote the book for the carter side. but there's lots and lots and lots of other evidence now. there's even recent biography, reagan, that at it, i think we have seen full blown and reagan
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biographer trace after death the term so what they did and is they set the republican campaign william casey ed meese. they said i'd say went to paris to meet with representatives of the ayatollah to the allies if the ayatollah would hold the hostages after the election and reagan get elected, then reagan course was going to give them all the that they wanted they needed in their war against iran that's against iraq. that's a bit simplistic. there were other things going on, too. and so we know that casey was there. i think they had a witnesses that george h.w. bush, who was then candidate for vice president to reagan, was also they secret service record
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of where he was on that day is missing. you know we've seen some recent of how secret service records can be missing and all the proof he and his friends came up to prove that he was not there. it didn't work. the proof he was there is still not to set in concrete. i think there are no credible witnesses where that's all we need. i was hoping for a deathbed confession from him. and if he did, i doubt if he did that he who didn't make it down the living person from the american side i know who was probably there was robert gates. he had a low, low level position in the cia at the time, and he came close to admitting it. he was vetted for whatever advice. secretary of defense, i know, i guess where there's lots of that took place and we know now that
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casey had a meeting in madrid with another representative as ayatollah casey's. the pages of casey's diary and journal from those days so far is missing. and if we ever find that i believe where we are because i mean i've researched much history you you claim you never go find it but if somebody keep looking long enough and they're in existence okay that was and what i didn't put in the book because i didn't write a whole book. this subject is some of the low, low level people in the campaign, one of whom was what's his name is it paul manafort and his friend were very involved in it and they were involved at a level i can't understand, but they had all to do with foreign money and and all of that. they were extremely involved. it and when it all over reagan of both of those men any
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position they wanted in his administration this was published in an article in the l.a. monthly and they turned him down because said, oh, they had been making a lot more money doing other things. okay as you refer to the iran-contra scandal, the truth of the matter is, that's when it really began and that's when it really began. because when the bush was trying to get well when reagan was president and the scandal came out that he was whatever it was, weapons you know, for hostages which was illegal. and then and they went back to the early part of reagan's presidency and the embryo of all of that was end. it was in october it was in the october surprise. it really exploded and when bush h.w. bush was up reelection.
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and what he served from. 1989 to 93. he didn't he didn't get reelected but when he was up for reelection, that's when when it really exploded because people that really dug he had to see had happened to see what had happened and actually. yeah, and this book, the chapter is called a surprise october. it really has two chapters because the first chapter is a part of the 1980 election and. then the next chapter is a part of the 1993, when it was when, it was really exploded. you also have a lot of good information. the footnotes, actually, the back notes. yes. that's the longest. he's a scholar. that's a lot. well, i was so i was so anxious to prove it because it is i'm sure some of the reviewers are going to take issue with, but also anxious to prove it. so i wrote a long a long
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footnote, you know, citing all the sources, the validity of them and all that of thing. but we the story of the inauguration, reagan was supposedly the hostages were held to the moment carter was no longer president. there's a story behind the story on that, too. but you got something you got to leave something in the book. you know, for you to read. but that was actually a plane, an plane at that moment that took off someplace in turkey, headed for tehran with the weapons that the reagan people had promised them. tony, do you have a question? yes. to. it. you've got to really know president and mrs. and all of their work. i'm just curious, could a 1976 jimmy carter win election to the presidency in 2024 politics?
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no, i don't think he'd have a chance. i know. i could. i mean, partly american politics has changed so much. and i really my daily way. but i also think that carter. one thing that's interesting about is there's only one carter that's not our old. carter. the new card. the new new carter. like heard about about nixon the times have changed, but carter has not changed. and i believe given the current status of the democratic party, i think that carter would have a very hard time part that he would probably be perceived as to. he really was a very liberal. but i don't take a doubt that he could. i doubt that he could. i wish he could. i wish he were young enough and able enough. but. question here. okay. and wait for the for the mike,
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tony, are such good question. i don't know if i can follow that, but steve was asking you earlier that over that over time as you were researching them, what changes did you see in the carter's? my question is, it was at least a 32 year process, maybe longer. what changes did you see in yourself as a historian, author and a person? both of are good questions because 32 years is a big block of time and so grow up, get married, have kids and she's still that you know. and of course you know during the 32 years i had a job i had a family i all the things that people do the change in carters was the partnership i think that partnership became more and more solid. rosalynn did more and more stuff, you know, you know, own her own and so there's a
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historian that changes me where there were probably real because i was still old fashioned enough where i wanted to see. and i think you've my storage closet at home. all a wall of falling and categories primary sources, newspapers, secondary sources, topics, biography. yes and all and all that. so was still diligent there? lots and lots, lots of material, maybe not knowing exactly what i was going to do with it, but i was going about i was going to to have it all. i didn't waver in my determination to a detached biography, you know, not based upon, you know, what was going on, what, what the what the media was going say.
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i got discouraged. lots of times and and which threatened quit. and i had some friend i had my support group at the carter library of. course i had jeannie, of course i had you had fred there and i. but you that my inspiration actually came from jimmy carter. sometimes i would think, you know, this i can't possibly go through all this stuff and write this and. then i just tell myself, you, if jimmy can be president, i can write a book about it. well, you spent the time needed to write the book, but still are there questions that you wish you could still answer, or what questions? if you left for other scholars to answer? okay, i, i think i answered a lot of stuff. yes, but of course. i work hard as a historian.
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one wants from a book like this is they would written for history is not written for carters or anybody else. well in one world there's people to read it and find topics that they need elaboration. one topic that i came up with with conversation recently, it's in the book. but if you look at for important women in the story, look at rosalynn carter, look at john sadat, look at alice bacon and look at the oppressed iran. if look at those four women and start comparing them, one of the first thing you will notice is how much they are like, how much they are like with similar interest. i rosalynn actually had the press to the white house and you know before all the problem they just they compared what they were doing and their two countries to brag about progress in education and look at the
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rest of the story what happens i mean that would be just a magnify set story be a great movie for somebody, somebody to. but i would say the post-presidency say i think i have about eight chapters on it. the post-presidency they're still so much to learn my chapters on the introduction to it and in the post-presidency you're not only have the carter center, you have the rosalynn carter institute for caregivers and which, you know, those are items need a lot more research and study. it's it's a huge topic there's lots of space for a lot more carter scholars you. are to take prerogative and ask you one final question if president and mrs. carter had been able to join us here tonight what, would you say to
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them, well, i'm glad you asked that question because i actually wrote them a personal, handwritten note and invited them and the reason i did that. i really wish they had been here. and i know a little bit about current condition. it would be unlikely they be physically, physically able. and i told them that i wish they could be here because we would have in the audience who knew the answer to the questions. but i would. i think to sum it out quickly, i simply say thank you. i think that i think were not only this country, but the world owes them a huge debt. and we all, from many generations to come. yes, the book commander rosalynn carter power and human, 1975 to 2020. the second volume a cappella books. copies of both books for sale in the lobby.
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stanley going to be signing those as well. it's a great opportunity to to get those especially with the holidays coming up. i think we've all learned a lot more about president and mrs. in the past hour. let's thanks stan lee and and steve for 2020 and for. join us the office thank you a
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