When President Jimmy Carter asked Boston political consultant Michael Goldman to run his re-election campaign in Florida, his answer wasn't what you might have expected.
"I said, 'Are you crazy? I'm not gonna be the only person in Massachusetts who's not with Ted Kennedy. You've gotta be out of your mind.' I turned it down, and Kennedy lost, and [Carter] lost too."
It was that crushing defeat to former President Ronald Reagan that ended Carter's presidency. But it put him front and center as a great American diplomat.
"He had the ability over the last 45 or 46 years to re-create who he was," said Goldman. "Winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and going all over the world. Probably our best-known former president internationally."
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When a statement from the Carter Center on Saturday, Feb. 18 revealed that the 98-year-old former president was beginning hospice care at home after a long battle with cancer, political leaders on a local and national level spoke about Carter's valuable contributions during his presidency, and even more so after his presidency.
"May you continue your journey with grace and dignity, and God grant you peace," said President Biden in tribute to the former president.
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Goldman said Carter's legacy of public service was so stunning that no other president in American history will ever come close to matching it.
"What he brought to the world was a sense of what America wants to tell the world we are. Which is a country which cares beyond its own borders," said Goldman.