Jimmy Carter: “Obama can change our reputation in ten minutes”

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.

23 comments on “Jimmy Carter: “Obama can change our reputation in ten minutes”

  1. Interesting reply to whether or not and how a new president could change the reputation of the United States.

    I really hope newly inaugurated president of the United States, President Barack Obama, provides Americans with the confidence and stability needed, though I do not believe that the Obama-Biden transition will change “the world” per ce, but the hope and confidence that they carry with them will surely be reinstated to the majority of Americans and/or Obama supporters in need of change, while living on the edge of a recession.

    The Arabs have a famous saying: “Believe in God, but tie your Camel”

    Cool interview. Go Kira!

  2. Thanks for sharing.

    As a note: In my current position and from a personal perspective, I never indicate who I vote for (or have voted for).

    But, for certain, today is an exciting day for some people. (We do have to admit not all are happy, but that’s okay).

    In these economic and war times, I am glad that our president is a great communicator and listens. Why? Because he gives people hope.

    I believe Obama will do his best to lead the country and he will find any advice from experienced leaders, like Jimmy Carter, to be very helpful.

    Thanks again for sharing.
    War Eagle!

  3. What’s interesting here is that Carter casually rattles these themes off. To me, Obama articulated them in a more scripted manner. Bottom line is that his crew is all about being buttoned-up., except for the Clintons, who have a track record of being sloppy with information. How much will “script adherence” get in the way of “free knowledge for free minds” during the 100 day honeymoon? Maybe Kyra’s next interview should be with Amy Carter to get the answer to that?

  4. I think to a large extent, America changed its reputation the moment it elected Obama. What’s happened since then has been merely solid incremental steps after that one giant leap.

    For what it’s worth, I’d say it never would have happened without Wikipedia and Google, the two most prolific enablers of honest public discourse since Gutenberg made literacy a talent worth having.

  5. Sorry. I love Obama, but I don’t think US reputation abroad could be changed in 10 minutes. The damage done is profound. We all hope it could be done fast, but don’t overestimate the new guy that much.

    Daniel from Buenos Aires

  6. I’m an Egyptian.. So maybe i can be a spokesman of many Arabs and Egyptians.

    What president Carter said to Kira, is really what Arabs hope to happen. Added to this, they hope that he takes a positive action towards the Palestinian-Israeli problems.

    I can ensure that Arabs do love president Obama, that’s not because they do or dont understand politics .. But just because of his Islamic origins.
    So they believe that he will really give Arabs their rights .. Whatever they are.

    They believe that whatever president Obama did, it will be much better than what George W. Bush did!

    When president Obama won the election, Arabs did believe that the reputation of the USA will be changed by being much better than before.

    President Obama is a smart man and a good politician.
    He was able to gain the trust of all major forces; such as Israelis, Arabs, and black Americans which form a huge percentage of the whole Americans.

    I just wish that our wishes come true ..

  7. While I respect him as a man,I think former President Carter forgets his inability while in office to do any of these things he seems to think Obama will do. President Obama has a wonderful opportunity to change the world, and I hope he will, but he cannot change our reputation around the world with one speech. We all want a world without nuclear weapons, torture, and war. Why anyone would think Mr Carter has the answer to finding this world is beyond me. A good man, but he had his own problems while in office!

    PS Jimmy D…my Aunt Nellie was your grandmother, and I loved her more than everything!!!

  8. I give our most industrious ex-President writer activist much credit, but I consider his First Ten Minutes hypothesis to be mostly hyperbole. That said, whatever inspires an inspirational speaker (as President Obama is capable of when he wishes) to inspire others, even if not everyone is equally moved, is laudable.

    And — Nice job landing the interview and summarizing Mr. Carter’s views.

  9. Jimmy Carter is an exceptional man and a true American hero. His advice to Obama was right on the money and I am pleased to see that Obama has done exactly as Carter would have, or may have, suggested.

    More than just our image, the promise and actual persona of our nation is incredibly important. Without solid credibility and unquestionable desires for good we cannot motivate our enemies to change, and our friends to follow. Truth is you cannot possess a stick big enough to control the world. You actually need more.

  10. Before I read the wikipedia article of you Jimmy Wales. It is stated there that you admire Ayn Rand and endorse the economic system of the Austrian School. That made me wonder, because Obama is a supporter of the keynesian economics with socialist tendencies. The keynesian system tries to give us a solution for the world economic crisis but can’t because it is quite the cause of it.

    In my eyes Barack Obama is a great change to George W. Bush – but unfortunately only externally. He has the same political stances like he, as well as McCain, Hillary Clinton or the other neoconservative politicans!

    As I said before he doesn’t want to change the economy for the benefit of the people, he wants to keep the old system and add socialist components. In addition he wants more unnecessary wars for example against Iran or Pakistan and policing the world by increasing the number of troops worldwide drastically. The other stances are restricting civil rights, build up the surveillance state, starting a world government by helping to create the North American Union, disarm the people so they are unable to defend themselves against a corrupt government, control the inhabitants and so forth.

    Quite contrary there was Ron Paul as a presidential candidate who is also influenced by Ayn Rand and the Austrian School of economics. He is a constitutionalist who defends the civil rights and propose only war when the country is really attacked, that means no false preemptive wars. He wants to make the politicians activities more transparant and is against a North American union. You should look up his wikipedia article, he would really make a content-related change. His message of freedom should be spread.

    I wonder why you don’t endorse him?

  11. dear chip of your dad, jimmy,

    I am very pleased to see you follow in your fathers footsteps. a daughter does in fact take after her dad. nothing is better than to complement your father in the manner that you are doing. You are indeed an affirmation to something important to this world, the ability to temper knowledge with a touch of class.

  12. Obama is a fraud. Millions of Americans need jobs and yet he fails to approve a vital oil pipe line.

    We are trillions in debt and he refuses to cut spending.

    His brand of Chicago politics will be scrutinized by history. And if fair minded scholars evaluate him, he will be called a failure.

  13. Too funny… the second worst President in recent history is giving advice to the worst President in American history. Our debt has made us weak… our rules, regulations, and poor economic policies has made it impossible for private enterprise to create jobs… and without “real” jobs that pay taxes, we are on a spiral of more debt, more poverty, and fewer jobs. Obama, the President of Food Stamps, Class Warfare, and Union Thugs.

    President Obama…. Carter’s second term….

  14. Why can Comrade obama’s minions change the definition of “Forward” as it has been since 1844?

  15. When I read the opposite views that are given, i am amazed how we live together in the same country and avoid a civil war. the right is like a bully who robes and beats the weak all day long trying to subjugate them to his will and needs. the left is like a mother teaching her children to be fair and decent with everyone. What is more amazing is the right is 48% of the population and claims to be Christian.

  16. I give our most industrious ex-President writer activist much credit, but I consider his First Ten Minutes hypothesis to be mostly hyperbole. That said, whatever inspires an inspirational speaker (as President Obama is capable of when he wishes) to inspire others, even if not everyone is equally moved, is laudable.

    And — Nice job landing the interview and summarizing Mr. Carter’s views.

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