Note: My daughter recently (December 5th, 2008) had the opportunity to conduct an interview with President Jimmy Carter. One of her questions to him was about Obama and ended up being about Obama’s speech today. So I thought I’d post an excerpt.
Kira: With the new president elect Barack Obama, what do you think about him being the new president elect and do you have any advice for him?
Jimmy Carter: Well, I have already talked to his major appointments - I have talked to the next Secretary of State and the next Security Advisor who will be in the White House with him and I have also yesterday talked with the person who is going to represent him and United States at the United Nations. So, I have already prepared him for some of the things that the Carter Center is doing that he might find helpful.
Well, I don’t think it is up to me to give him advice because he obviously knows more about the current situation than I do. But not to0 long ago somebody asked me if the new President could change the reputation of our country in the first hundred days he was in the office and I said he could change the reputation of our country in the first ten minutes that he was in the office. This was a reporter from The Guardian newspaper in London and they said how he could do that. I said we can make his inaugural speech on the stage. I will be on the stage with him by the way. I could say while I am President we will never again torture anybody, while I am President we will never start another war unless our own security is directly threatened and when I am President we will be the fore front of the whole world in protecting the environment against global warming or any other challenges and when I am President of the United States we will help to eliminate all the nuclear weapons in the world and while I am President we do our best we can to make sure our tax laws favor the working people and poor people instead of just the richest people in the United States. So I said if he will say these things in the first ten minutes, our whole reputation around the world would be improved.