A quarter of a century has passed since 44 states said "No, thanks" to Jimmy Carter's offer to serve a second term,
My previous post on Carter will give you an idea about my opinion of the man.
George Will shows us that Carter has not changed. The ex-president has repeatedly accused Will of sabotaging the Carter-Reagan debates.
According to Carter:
Ronald Reagan won because he won the only debate. He won it not because of Carter's debate performance ("I had a discussion with my daughter, Amy, the other day, before I came here, to ask her what the most important issue was. She said she thought nuclear weaponry . . .") but only because Reagan had Carter's briefing book. And Reagan had it because this columnist gave it to him.
That's it. A single debate and Carter loses 489 to 49.
That last accusation, for which there is no evidence, is, as he has been told, false. But he is a recidivist fibber.
Carter sticks with his story regardless of the facts.
Last Oct. 21, on National Public Radio, he said: "We found out later that one of Ronald Reagan's supporters inside the White House had stolen my briefing book, my top-secret briefing book that prepared me for the debate. And a very prominent news reporter was the one who took the briefing book to Ronald Reagan and helped drill him on the things that I might say if he said certain things." Asked who that reporter was, Carter replied, "It was George Will, and it was later known that he did that."
This is typical Carter. He didn't lose the election because of his disastrous Presidency. It's because that rascally George Will stole his playbook.
Will gives us the real story.
Regarding your briefing book, I will tell you what I have told many others. When I got to David Stockman's house on the day he was preparing to play the role of you in the debate preparations, he had on his kitchen table what I gather was the briefing book. I do not know how he got it; more to the point, I do not know who thought having it would be helpful. Frankly, you deserved better. My cursory glance at it convinced me that it was a crashing bore and next to useless -- for you, or for anyone else
I had to laugh when I read that.