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  • ♪♪

  • ♪ ♪ ♪ >> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

  • EVERYBODY.

  • MY NEXT GUEST IS AN MSNBC ANALYST AND "NEW

  • YORK TIMES" BESTSELLING PRESIDENTIAL BIOGRAPHER.

  • HIS LATEST BOOK, ON THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JIMMY CARTER, IS CALLED

  • "HIS VERY BEST."

  • PLEASE WELCOME TO "A LATE SHOW," JONATHAN ALTER.

  • JON, GOOD TO SEE YOU.

  • >> HI, STEPHEN.

  • >> Stephen: PEOPLE OUT THERE DON'T KNOW, BUT FOR REASONS WE

  • DON'T HAVE TO GET INTO RIGHT NOW, YOU WERE A PERSON WHO WAS A

  • GREAT RESOURCE FOR ME OVER AT THE "COLBERT REPORT."

  • YOU GAVE US PERSPECTIVE ON WHAT HAPPENS HAPPENING POLITICALLY

  • FREQUENTLY ON THAT SHOW.

  • AND YOU HAVE A REAL VIEW ON THE HISTORY OF THE POLITICS IN

  • AMERICA.

  • HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THE DEBATE WE SAW LAST NIGHT?

  • >> YOU KNOW, NO.

  • IT IS COMPLETELY UNPRECEDENTED.

  • IT'S ALSO AN EXTRAORDINARILY EMBARRASSING MOMENT FOR OUR

  • COUNTRY.

  • AND I KIND OF ACHE FOR OUR COUNTRY AFTER SEEING THAT.

  • YOU KNOW, THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING, AND THIS MAN IS, YOU

  • KNOW, A MENACE TO PUBLIC HEALTH, A MENACE TO OUR COUNTRY, A

  • MENACE TO DEMOCRACY.

  • AND THAT'S WHAT THE REAL ISSUE IS NOW, IS THAT HE'S MADE IT

  • CLEAR THAT HE WILL NOT ACCEPT THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTION IF

  • THEY DON'T GO HIS WAY.

  • WE HAVE LITERALLY NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT IN OUR WHOLE

  • HISTORY.

  • GEORGE WASHINGTON, AFTER A SECOND TERM, HE STEPPED DOWN AS

  • PRESIDENT.

  • AND THAT SET THE PRECEDENT, REALLY, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN

  • THE WHOLE WORLD, OF A PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER.

  • AFTER THAT, EVERY ELECTION, THERE WAS A PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF

  • POWER, EVEN WHEN IT WAS EXTRAORDINARILY CLOSE, WENT TO

  • THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THERE STILL WAS THAT TRANSFER OF

  • POWER.

  • >> Stephen: WELL, LET'S TALK ABOUT A PRESIDENT WHO IS MUCH

  • MALINED DURING HIS TERM, AND CERTAINLY HIS PRESIDENCY HAS

  • BEEN MALIGNED SINCE, BUT HE INVENTED THE POSTPRESIDENT.

  • ASK THAT IS JIMMY CARTER.

  • THE BOOK IS CALLED "HIS VERY BEST."

  • DO YOU THINK CARTER IS MISUNDERSTOOD?

  • >> YOU KNOW, HE IS COMPLETELY MISUNDERSTOOD.

  • I MEAN, IT STARTS WITH, YOU KNOW, THIS KIND OF LAZY-MINDED

  • ASSUMPTION, WHICH IS VERY COMMON AND UNDERSTANDABLE, THAT HE WAS

  • A BAD PRESIDENT AND A GREAT FORMER PRESIDENT.

  • IN FACT, HE WAS AN UNDER-RATED, MISUNDERSTOOD PRESIDENT.

  • AND, YOU KNOW, AN INSPIRATIONAL FORMER PRESIDENT, BUT HE HASN'T

  • HAD ANY LEVERS OF POWER, YOU KNOW, TO DO-- TO MAKE REAL

  • CHANGE.

  • HE'S HELPED ERADICATE DISEASE.

  • HE DID SOME PEACEMAKING.

  • HE'S BUILT HOUSES, AS PEOPLE KNOW.

  • HE'S MONITORED ELECTIONS OVERSEAS-- ALL GREAT WORK BY THE

  • CARTER CENTER.

  • HE REVOLUTIONIZED WHAT FORMER PRESIDENTS DO.

  • BUT HE DID SO MUCH MORE WHEN HE WAS IN OFFICE.

  • THE PROBLEM IS THAT HE WAS A POLITICAL FAILURE AND A

  • STYLISTIC FAILURE AT A CERTAIN POINT.

  • I ARGUE THAT EVEN THOUGH HE WAS A POLITICAL FAILURE AND GOT HIS

  • BUTT KICKED BY RONALD REAGAN IN 1980 AND MADE A LOT OF MISTAKES,

  • HE WAS A SUBSTANTIVE AND FARSIGHTED, EVEN VISIONARY

  • SUCCESS.

  • EIGHT OUT OF 14 ENVIRONMENTAL BILLS HE SIGNED.

  • HE SIGNED MORE LEGISLATION THAN ANY PRESIDENT, EXCEPT FOR LYNDON

  • JOHNSON, SINCE WORLD WAR II.

  • AND MANY OF THEM CHANGED-- MANY OF THESE BILLS CHANGED THE

  • COUNTRY IN FUNDAMENTAL WAYS.

  • THE PRESS JUST WASN'T PAYING ATTENTION TO IT.

  • >> Stephen: I KNOW YOU SAT DOWN WITH THE PRESIDENT MANY

  • TIMES FOR THIS BOOK.

  • HE COOPERATED WITH THIS BIOGRAPHY.

  • >> HE DID.

  • >> Stephen: WHAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT THE MAN?

  • I KNOW HE'S IN HIS 90s NOW.

  • WHAT DID YOU NOT EXPECT?

  • >> WELL, YOU KNOW, I THINK A LOT OF IT WAS JUST THE MODESTY OF

  • HIS LIFE, AND THE FACT THAT, YOU KNOW, HE AND ROSALYN, THEY SLEEP

  • ON A MURPHY BED WHEN THEY'RE IN ATLANTA.

  • THEY SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME IN PAST ON THE ROAD TRAVELING TO

  • 120 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES DOING GOOD WORKS.

  • BUT, YOU KNOW, IN ATLANTA, THEY SLEEP ON A MURPHY BED AT THE

  • CARTER CENTER.

  • AND, YOU KNOW, HE CUT THE GRASS FOR A LONG TIME, UNTIL QUITE

  • RECENTLY, AT THEIR CHURCH.

  • AND THEY'RE VERY ACTIVE IN, YOU KNOW, LOCAL THINGS-- CHURCH

  • SUPPER ON PAPER PLATES.

  • THINGS ABOUT THEIR LIVES.

  • MRS. CARTER GAVE ME THE LOVE LETTERS WHICH HE WROTE HER FROM

  • THE NAVY.

  • WHICH ARE VERY STEAMY.

  • >> Stephen: REALLY?

  • >> YOU KNOW, AND THEY ARE QUITE A BIT BEYOND JOHN AND ABIGAIL

  • ADAMS IN THEIR EXPLICITNESS.

  • >> Stephen: ARE THEY IN THE BOOK?

  • >> THEY'RE IN THE BOOK.

  • >> Stephen: I THINK YOU MOVED SOME PAPER.

  • WE HAVE A SEXY PEANUT FARMER IN HERE.

  • >> AND SOME AWESOME STUFF I FOUND OUT ABOUT HIM.

  • AT ONE POINT HE WENT DOOR TO DOOR AS A MISSIONARY, AND HE

  • CAME ACROSS A BROTH EXPEL TRIED TO CONVERT THE MADAM.

  • HE IS NOT INTOLERANT OF PEOPLE NOT AS RELIGIOUS AS HIM.

  • HE BECAME FRIENDLY WITH BOB DYLAN.

  • GONZO HUNTER HELPED MAKE CARTER PRESIDENT.

  • ONE OF THE REASONS I WANTED THAT ANDY WARHOL OF HIM ON THE COVER

  • IS THERE WAS A TIME WHEN HE WAS VERY COOL, AND I THINK A YOUNGER

  • GENERATION IS KIND OF REDISCOVERING HIM NOW, IN PART

  • BECAUSE HE IS THE UN-TRUMP.

  • >> Stephen: HIS 96th BIRTHDAY IS TOMORROW.

  • OTHER THAN BUYING THIS BRILLIANT BIGRAPHY OF JIMMY CARTER, HOW

  • CAN PEOPLE CELEBRATE IT?

  • >> FIRST OF ALL, THANK YOU FOR THE COLBERT BUMP.

  • >> Stephen: YOU GOT IT.

  • >> SO I THINK THE WAY TO HONOR HIM IS HE IS ASKING FOR PEOPLE

  • NOT TO GIVE RIGHT NOW TO THE CARTER CENTER, BUT TO GIVE FOR

  • COVID RELIEF.

  • THERE ARE A LOT OF COUNTRIES THAT THAT ARE IN REAL DANGER AND

  • DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES WE HAVE, EVEN THOUGH WE'VE SUFFERED

  • WORSE THAN ANY OTHER MAJOR COUNTRY.

  • AND, ALSO, HE FEELS REALLY STRONGLY, BECAUSE HE'S MONITORED

  • ALL THESE ELECTIONS, ABOUT THE INTEGRITY OF ELECTIONS, AND I

  • THINK HE WOULD URGE PEOPLE TO BE POLL WATCHERS, TO, YOU KNOW,

  • BRING FRIENDS TO VOTE FOR BIDEN, NOT JUST YOURSELF.

  • MAYBE USE THE CALL TOOLS SO YOU CAN CALL INTO BATTLEGROUND

  • STATES TO GET OUT THE VOTE.

  • AND I THINK THAT THE GREATEST 96th BIRTHDAY PRESENT THAT

  • ANYBODY COULD GIVE HIM WOULD BE TO WORK THEIR BUTTS OFF FOR JOE

  • BIDEN AND SAVE OUR DEMOCRACY >> Stephen: HIS BOOK, "HIS VERY

  • BEST," IS OUT NOW.

  • THE MAN IS JONATHAN ALTER, EVERYBODY.

  • WHEN WE COME BACK, ONE OF MY WRITERS HEADS OUT INTO THE WILDS

  • OF COVID PARENTHOOD.

  • STICK AROUND.

♪♪

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Jonathan Alter: The Best 96th Birthday Present For Jimmy Carter Is To Get The Vote Out For Biden

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/23
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