We would like to wish Jimmy Carter well.
He has lived a full and honorable life, but we would rather he not leave us yet.
On Thursday, President Carter, who is 90, held a news conference to announce that doctors have found four small spots of cancer on his brain, a form of melanoma, and he would immediately begin radiation treatment. He was composed and straightforward, as is his way.
We would have expected nothing less. Jimmy Carter has aged well. His presidency was a difficult one, and he was defeated for reelection in 1980 by Ronald Reagan after a single term. But he deserves much credit for a singular achievement, the Camp David Accord between Israel and Egypt, and he truly came into his own in the next chapter of his life. Twenty-two years after leaving the White House, now a globe-traveling humanitarian, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
That the United States has four living ex-presidents — Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — is somehow reassuring, a reminder of how power changes hands in a democracy, peaceably, simply as a matter of course. We like this ex-presidents club.
Carter’s doctors say he has a fighting chance, and we have no doubt he will fight. That also is his way. Behind the Southern drawl has always been a steely will. Carter says he’s “ready for anything and looking forward to a new adventure.”
But no matter what, he added, he has lived a “wonderful life.”
We wish Jimmy Carter well.
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