Carter: Say, the Obama admin dropped the ball on Ebola, huh?

Noah called Jimmy Carter’s remarks about ISIS and the Obama administration’s bungling of foreign policy “the unkindest cut.” Call this the unkindest cut — take 2. Carter told CBS Atlanta on Wednesday that the White House blew an opportunity to get ahead of Ebola when it had the chance, although he thinks we’ve caught up to it now. Or, more exactly, he thinks it’s under control in the US now, when just a few weeks ago the Obama administration had scoffed at the odds of Ebola appearing here at all:

Just hours after an Ebola patient died in Dallas, and as word spread that another person may have come down with the dreaded disease, former President Jimmy Carter said this country was late in preparing for an Ebola outbreak.

“Everybody knows now that the United States and the international community got started too late …later than they should have,” Carter told CBS 11 News in an exclusive interview. …

In the interview, he said two weeks passed, after the Ebola outbreak, before the director of the Centers for Disease Control traveled to West Africa to assess the dangers and report back to President Obama.

Barack Obama seems to be learning belatedly what all of his predecessors from 1981 onward discovered — that Jimmy Carter is one of the worst former presidents in history. That’s apart from any judgment on his actual presidency, but only in reference to his 34-year career as a public second-guesser of his successors, or worse. His interference forced the Clinton administration to back down on North Korea when Clinton had leverage over Pyongyang, thanks to a public stunt of private diplomacy, interference which arguably gave Kim Jong-il enough breathing space to finish building his nuclear weapons. Other than the Israeli-Egyptian accord — one undeniable triumph for Carter of real lasting value to American and global security — he’s also been working off of the least-credible portfolio on foreign policy among American Presidents.

Until now, that is. Maybe he’s just happy to be out of the cellar.

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David Strom 6:31 PM on October 05, 2022