Argumentative Essay On Jimmy Carter

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As Jimmy Carter became President of the United States of America, he emphasized his background as a Washington outsider who aspired to “clean up the mess” in Washington. Carter skillfully campaigned by playing on the public’s anti-government mood by attacking the establishment of Washington while delivering uplifting speeches about spiritual and economic renewal. However, once elected president, these same qualities that won him the office unintentionally alienated both his political enemies and his own party. Carter’s public image suffered once he was elected to office, and improved once he left. It was shaped by his enemies and the way the press handled the scandals associated with his office and his dealings with international crises. Carter’s public image was poor not just because of the difficulty of the issues his administration faced, but because of his own poor handling of the media tools available to him.
The public’s perception of him was of great importance to Jimmy Carter when he ran for president, and improving that perception was certainly the goal when he and Mrs. Carter walked down Pennsylvania Avenue in his inaugural parade, clearly intending to show they were just normal people. It was also clearly a consideration when upon inauguration he ordered his staff size cut, the White House budget trimmed, and overall decreasing the pomp and majesty associated with the office. However, despite all his concerns about perception and his efforts to cultivate good first impressions with the American people, Carter was “unable to escape the view that he is inept and indecisive…costing him support both at home and overseas” (Beckman). An example of Carter’s indecisiveness can be seen in his eventual decision to delay...

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...roblems, as seen in the Camp David accords. However, sometimes the press’s treatment of Presidents is inaccurate: President Ford was ridiculed as being bumbling and clumsy, when he was actually a great athlete according to Carter, his personal friend (Stewart). As the election faded away and his loss of the Oval Office with it, American assessment of his administration continued to improve, and continues to do so to this day. Gallup surveys gave him a 69 percent approval rating in 1999, and 52 percent in 2011. While Carter may still be trying to rewrite his administration’s reputation as a failure, and it may still not exactly be a success, perhaps he can at least get his wish expressed in his interview with Stewart: “I would like my name to be associated with peace and human rights.” Personally, I agree with Stewart: “Surely, Jimmy Carter is entitled to that.”
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