Via Greg Hengler, I’m … kind of torn on this one. On one hand, it plays into every fear among the conservative base of the GOP about Mitt Romney. On the other hand, the statement from the man formerly known as the worst American President in modern times makes it very, very difficult for Team Obama to succeed in using the advice given by the only other Democratic President in the last 40+ years to paint Romney as The Mostest Radicalist Scariest Right-Winger Since Barry Goldwater Nearly Nuked The Nation. I’d bet, under the circumstances, that Mitt Romney will be happier than Barack Obama with Jimmy Carter’s assessment of the general election in 2012, or at least less unhappy:
I had to laugh out loud at Carter’s assertion that politics has gotten more polarized since his term in office. Democrats in 1980 tried using the same strategy Bill Clinton gave to Obama, only they used it against Ronald Reagan. It didn’t work, since the nation wanted a significant change from Carter’s fecklessness and economic malaise more than they feared Reagan’s commitment to conservative principles. The polarization continued all through Reagan’s two terms in office, perhaps hitting a peak in the awful Robert Bork confirmation hearings and vote in 1987. The difference was that there were fewer counterweights to liberal media outlets that fueled it.
The question that Greg asks is still a good one: If Jimmy Carter is comfortable with a Romney presidency, it’s a safe bet that a lot more Democrats will be, too.