Friday, October 22, 2010

the last book I ever read: Jimmy Carter's White House Diary (part four)

the fourth and final set of excerpts from Jimmy Carter's White House Diary.

November 20, 1980
“I met alone with Reagan in the Oval Office, and we had a friendly and unrestrained discussion. He listened primarily and made a few remarks, apparently excerpted from his basic campaign speech.”

December 12, 1980
“Nancy Reagan created something of a furor this morning when she said she thought it would be appropriate for me and Rosalynn to move out of the White House into Blair House early so she and Ronnie could decorate it before they move in.”

January 10, 1981
“We can’t find my two split bamboo rods – to me, two of the most valuable items I own. [They must have been stolen when our things from Camp David were repacked in the White House. The FBI helped look for them but had no success.]

January 20, 1981
“I made arrangements for the Secret Service to keep me informed on the way to the inaugural ceremonies. Reagan seemed somewhat disconcerted that no one was in the reviewing stands and there were a large number of ERA banners. He told a series of anecdotes that were remarkably pointless. The one he considered funniest was about an old man who was asked whether he slept with his beard under or over the covers, and then he couldn’t sleep. He suggested this might be a good punishment for Khomeini for seizing our hostages.
“I consider him to be affable and a decent man, remarkably old in his attitudes. His life seems to be governed by a few anecdotes and vignettes that he has memorized. He doesn’t seem to listen when anybody talks to him. He’ll have my support and my sympathy when he’s president.”

March 21, 1981
“[Egyptian] ambassador [Ashraf] Ghorbal called and wanted Jehan Sadat to visit Plains. He asked if I could arrange transportation from Robins Air Force Base to my home, and I told him I had a pickup truck. He paused several seconds and said, ‘I was really thinking more of a helicopter.’ I told him that former presidents didn’t have helicopters, but we would see what we could do.”

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