Former President Jimmy Carter, 98, has entered hospice care. The end is near, but his legacy—highlighted by his post-presidential work–will live on. Given where we are and how we got here, we’re not likely to see his kind again. Performance art was not his modus operandi.
I saw it up close when I did volunteer work for Habit For Humanity. On a project in Houston, I saw that—unlike other politicians who used HFH as a prop—he was all work. I was with a Secret Service guy trying to coax Carter down from a roof–where he was hammering away in hellish humidity–for some rest and hydration. He finally descended—once he had finished the job.
I also remember going to a nearby junior high for lunch. Carter was in line with everybody else, holding his tray, waiting his turn. “Would you like fries with that, Mr. President?” He was like everyone else, although he wasn’t. He will be missed.