The minx was able to meet Jack and Elizabeth Carter this morning at Java Jungle in downtown Reno (WEFI central). Being an admirer of his father, Jimmy Carter, I expected to like them and admire them, but even I was suprised by how impressive I found them to be. They are extremely down to earth, friendy, intelligent, and warm people. They easily circulated through the gathered crowd and talked about anything that came up. One thing that stuck out to me was the wonderful ease they have with each other–their warm relationship with each other certainly translates into an easy relationship with the people they meet.
Elizabeth Carter told me how they become Nevada residents–she literally bought a condo over the internet while they were living in Bermuda. They never even saw it until they moved in, although a friend did check the model out for them so they could make choices about tile and other finishes: “Its beige right?” We also talked about Sara R, who runs the Carter blog and coached Elizabeth on her answer for what a neurophysicist does: “synaptic elasticity.”
We discussed No Child Left Behind, Ensign’s voting record (96% with Bush), higher education, and the Carter legacy. According to Elizabeth Carter, it was after an appearance by Jimmy Carter at a conference on philanthropy run by Citibank on October 1st of last year, that Jack Carter decided to run for office. He felt the weight of being a member of the Carter family, known the world over for its incredibly generosity and social justice causes, nudging him into action. It wasn’t enough to be upset with what was going on in this country and in the world anymore. This is his way of giving back to a community and to a country that he truly appreciates.
After an hour or so, Jack Carter spoke to the gathered group about his strategy to win and what he believes in. According to Carter, they are going to let Shelley Berkley handle CD1 for them since its a Democratic stronghold and spend time hitting rural Nevada as much as possible. Their TV ads end this week, but a new crop of radio ads will begin next week. Then, they are not going to start buying TV and radio ads again until September.
He took questions from anyone that had one–imagine that(!)–and discussed healthcare, medicare, veterans issues, pulling out of Iraq, lobbyists, religion, and the lack of funding for Nevada cultural institutions with the group.
Jack Carter was very eloquent, and although he appeared calm, he was also clearly passionate about how important it is to change our current political situation. He spoke most passionately about reclaiming the Democratic mission which is, in the simpliest terms, to work for the working men and women of America. Iraq, healthcare, the environment–these are not Democratic and Republican issues, they are problems for the American people that need to be solved whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. He was authentic and sincere–just the kind of person we need to represent us in Washington. No to mention the fact that he can call up people like Madeline Albright for advice about Iraq without a second thought. Think of it this way–Jack Carter has incredible family connections all over the world much like Bush, however, he will use his connections for the good of the country and Nevada, because he approaches the world from a position of humility rather than arrogance.