Close associate of Jimmy Carter discusses some parallels between Carter, Bush ahead of Wash U event | St. Louis Public Radio

Close associate of Jimmy Carter discusses some parallels between Carter, Bush ahead of Wash U event

Dec 3, 2018

Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat (at right) is the author of the book "President Carter: The white House Years."
Credit Stuart Eizenstat

U.S. diplomat and attorney Stuart Eizenstat recently published a 1,024-page book on the one-term presidency of Jimmy Carter, for whom he served as a chief adviser, and he’s headed to St. Louis this week to talk about it.

But in conversation with host Don Marsh on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, Eizenstat also offered some thoughts on another one-term presidency he observed closely – that of George H.W. Bush, who died Friday.

“He was in many ways, somewhat like Carter, a ferocious campaigner, but who did, when he was in office, what he thought was the politically right thing rather than the politically advantageous thing,” the former ambassador to the European Union said of Bush. “It’s not coincidence, perhaps, that both were one-term presidents.”

Eizenstat’s new book, titled "President Carter: The White House Years," will be the focus of his presentation during a Washington University event on Wednesday evening.

“It’s particularly meaningful to be in Missouri, because President Carter’s political hero was Harry Truman, and he placed his famous slogan ‘The Buck Stops Here’ on his Oval Office desk,” Eizenstat said. “And although both left the White House widely unpopular, Truman is now recognized more for his achievements than his faults.”

He said he hopes his book will contribute to “a similar reassessment” of Carter.

“I’m not nominating him for a place on Mt. Rushmore, but I believe that he was the most accomplished and most underrated one-term president we’ve had,” explained Eizenstat, who also served in various roles during the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama administrations. “Almost 70 percent of our legislation was passed [during Carter’s administration], and he had an enormous impact on both domestic and foreign policy of a lasting nature.”

Related Event
What: A Fresh View Of A Historic Presidency: An Evening With Stuart Eizenstat
When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Where: Edison Theatre at Washington University (6465 Forsyth Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63105)

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex HeuerEvie HemphillLara Hamdan and Xandra Ellin give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.