Rosalynn Carter – former US first lady ‘better at politics than her husband’


Mrs. Carter with her husband and daughter at the Democratic National Convention in New York City in 1976 – Photo: REUTERS

According to the Carter Center, first lady Rosalynn Carter passed away on November 19 at the age of 96. She was called “an extended version of me” by Mr. Carter, a prominent advisor in the president’s administration. Carter and is a tireless advocate for mental health.

“Rosalynn is my equal partner in everything I have ever accomplished. She gives me wise advice and encouragement when I need it. As long as Rosalynn is in this world, I will always know there is someone who loves and support me,” Reuters news agency quoted Mr. Carter as saying.

“Steel magnolia” next to her husband

Nicknamed the “steel magnolia” by the press, Ms. Rosalynn used to be very shy and often trembled so much that her “knees hit each other” every time she had to speak during Mr. Carter’s early political career. around the 1960s.

But by the time Mr. Carter announced his candidacy for president in December 1974, Mrs. Carter was already an “experienced” politician.

She numbers her husband’s jokes so he doesn’t repeat them to the same group. She also took a memory class to remember faces and names, as well as to write thank you letters to people her husband met during the campaign.

While in the White House, Mrs. Carter urged her husband to postpone controversial decisions until after he was re-elected.

“I’m more political than Jimmy, I care more about public popularity and winning re-election,” Mrs. Carter once freely admitted.

She campaigned for her husband to fire then-US Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Joe Califano.

She was unhappy with Mr. Califano for his anti-smoking campaign, worried that it would damage Mr. Carter’s reputation in the tobacco-producing state of North Carolina.

Ms. Carter also took a trip to Central and South America to convey America’s message on human rights.

Results: Ecuador committed to sign and ratify the American Convention on Human Rights; Peru’s military leader vows to relinquish power; Colombian president promotes negotiations on the Panama Canal.

Mrs. Carter’s idea of ​​holding Middle East peace negotiations at Camp David also led to one of her husband’s greatest achievements as US president.

The biggest regret in Mrs. Carter’s life was that her husband failed to win re-election in 1980.

“I wanted everyone to know that we were right, that what Jimmy Carter was doing was best for the country and that everyone made a mistake in not voting for him,” she wrote in her memoir.

The Carter family at the Democratic National Convention in New York City in 1976, at this time Mr. Carter was still governor of Georgia – Photo: REUTERS

First lady fights for mental health

While she was first lady, Mrs. Carter helped her husband establish the Presidential Commission on Mental Health.

In 1979, she became the second first lady to testify before Congress (Eleanor Roosevelt was the first) to speak about the need for reform in mental health issues.

After Mr. Carter ended his term as US president, he and Mrs. Carter continued to contribute to human rights and world peace through the Carter Center – a non-governmental organization headquartered in Atlanta, The state of Georgia was founded with the purpose of “promoting peace, fighting disease, and building hope”.

After leaving the White House, the Carters traveled to hot spots around the world, including Cuba, Sudan and North Korea. The couple also worked to eradicate Guinea worm disease and a number of other tropical diseases. In 2002, Mr. Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Carter’s most enduring personal legacy is her efforts to eliminate the stigma attached to people with mental illness and her fight for equality and access to treatment. This.

In 1999, then-US President Bill Clinton awarded the Carter couple the Presidential Medal of Freedom – America’s highest civilian honor.

According to Mr. Clinton, the Carters have “done more good for more people in more places than any other couple on Earth.”

On November 19, former President Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both praised Rosalynn: “Throughout her long and remarkable life, she was the unwavering voice of those who were overlooked and underrepresented”.

“Thanks to her advocacy for mental health, many people live with better care and less stigma,” the Clintons said.

“Melania and I join all Americans in mourning Rosalynn Carter. She was a devoted first lady, a great humanitarian, a leading champion of mental health and a beloved wife of her husband – President Carter – for 77 years”former US President Donald Trump posted on social networks on November 19.

Former US President George W. Bush and his wife Laura Bush called Mrs. Carter “a woman of dignity and strength”.

“There was no better supporter of President Carter than her, and their relationship was a great example of loyalty and fidelity. She left an important legacy in the cause of abolition.” eliminate stigma about mental health. We join the people in sending our condolences to President Carter and his family,” Mr. Bush and his wife said in a joint statement.

The article is in Vietnamese

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