Hundreds line up for Jimmy Carter


Click on pictures to enlarge and see captions.

By Richard Hine

Hundreds of people lined up Tuesday night (Oct. 26) at Kepler's bookstore in Menlo Park to exchange a quick smile with former president Jimmy Carter and have him sign their copy of his new book, "White House Diary."

At 86, Mr. Carter hasn't slowed down a bit, at least in the book-signing department. The 39th president was dispatching books at a rate of at least a dozen a minute, as the book buyers quickly traipsed by in front of a roped-off area where Mr. Carter sat at a table wide enough so people couldn't reach across for a hand-shake and slow down the process.

Mr. Carter did look up to give many of the buyers his trade-mark smile, and exchange a few words, including "hi, pretty girls" to some of the many children who showed up with their parents.

Dressed in a blue, open-collared shirt with khaki pants, Mr. Carter looked shorter and less presidential than he does on TV.

At one point, when the books stopped coming, he looked disappointed, but he didn't have long to wait. Later, when there was a longer break in the book feed, he got up and walked over to the press and photo corral (where many book buyers had gathered to take pictures) and made a few remarks.

"Thirty years later, President Obama is dealing with the same issues that I was dealing with -- the Middle East, health care, energy," he said. "Things don't change much."

Someone wanted to know the secret to a successful marriage. He said he wasn't an authority, given that his marriage "only stood the test of 64 years." But his advice: "Don't go to bed angry."

Asked his pick for the World Series, he said, "I'm pulling for the Giants." (I wonder if he says that in Texas.) "I have to admit that, earlier, I was rooting for the Braves," he added.

"What is the most important issue of the 21st century?" asked a reporter who apparently thought he was addressing the Oracle. Mr. Carter took the question seriously, and said he had been talking about this around the world. "The most important issue is the growing chasm between rich people and poor people," he said, to applause from the huddled assembly, who apparently agreed with him.

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Like this comment
Posted by ook
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 27, 2010 at 10:18 am

It was a great honor to see, if only briefly, a United States President. The transparency he provides in this publication of his personal diaries and writings should serve as a signal example to other public figures. Access to a record of thought and action is one of the most important services they provide to the development of our understanding. My hope is that subsequent Presidents will provide us with similar unvarnished views into their tenure.

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2010 at 1:14 pm


Sadly, the presidents since Carter have consistently rejiggered the law to protect not only their documents from the light of day, but documents of other presidents as well.

Like this comment
Posted by RUOOYFM
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 27, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Unvarnished View? In a pigs eye!

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Posted by oh, barf!
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2010 at 2:13 pm

ook--Probably people with short memories, or youngsters who do not read history books. 30 years after being humiliated by a landslide, as an incumbant, because of his incompetence. This is not exactly unvarnished and transparent. You make it sound like he was like this when he was in office. Hardly transparent, and certainly not unvarnished back then. Now, at the rate of $32.78 each, he breezes through a dozen books a minute, and by design they make sure the table is too wide for him to slow down the process to shake hands with his "admirers". At almost $400 per minute, I'm sure he can't wait to get to the next appearance.

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 27, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Wow. Because Carter had a tough row to hoe as president and has evidently grown personally since then, you would deny him the joys that follow the labor of writing yet another book, at his age of 84 or whatever?

Politics aside, it's amazing that at his age, he apparently is still on top of his game.

I will not deny you your feelings. I have similarly harsh views of Reagan, Clinton and Bush, so there. For example, the United States is a debtor nation, but has been only since 1980. Why, I wonder.

Like this comment
Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Sorry, totally off topic and adds nothing to the dialog here, but I just had to let RUOOYFM know I think his "handle" is a classic! Wish I had thought of it; it would make the greatest license plate on the road. LOL

Like this comment
Posted by Clark Kepler
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Mr. Carter signed over 1,000 copies of White House Diary last night and greeted even more people. This book signing was a truly wonderful occasion for Menlo Park. It was a long line and one's time with Mr. Carter was very brief, nonetheless, everyone in attendance was fantastic, pleasant, respectful, and somewhat giddy.

The Menlo Park Police officers were very helpful and their presence was much appreciated.

I ought to mention that we do have a limited number of signed copies on-hand.

Clark Kepler
Kepler’s Books

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Posted by oh, barf!
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Joe--I would not deny him the joys and right to reap the benefits of anything he has done or experienced. Free enterprise in this great country is still alive and well, at least for the time being. I just get a little nauseated and disappointed when people are mesmerized by somebody who was such a failure at what he is now selling. Now, if he was to promote his Habitat ventures, at least there is something of value. And I do hope I can keep up the same pace he does when I reach his age.

Like this comment
Posted by oh, barf!
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Clark--Congratulations on a great turnout. You deserve it! For all you do for Menlo Park, and the support you give to local businesses, I only hope that most of the $33,000 brought in last night finds it's way directly to you and your employees!

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Posted by ook
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 27, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Mission Accomplished --all bilious remarks are below the fold.

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Posted by Hey Jewd
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I think people should get a glimpse of the 'real' Jimmy Carter:

Web Link

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2010 at 5:59 pm

AIPAC has been vilifying and slandering Carter since he truthfully pointed out the current state of Apartheid in the Holy Land.

Americans are sick and tired of agents of alien governments like AIPAC and CAIR and their manipulation of US domestic and foreign policy.

General Petreaus publicly supports President Carters efforts to promote America First Interests in the Holy Land and the larger region.

Like this comment
Posted by Thomas
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 27, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Scratching my head regarding the anti semitic rants of "Oh Barf" and "Hey Jewd". They apparently have forgotten that President Carter spent a tremendous amount of time in bringing together Anwar Sadat & Menacham Begin that resulted in the Camp David Accords and the normalization of relations between Israel and Egypt that stands to this day. Both Sadat and Begin received Nobel peace prizes for this landmark agreement that changed the landscape of a united Arab front against Israel. While it is interesting to read the opinions of the detractors of President Carter, it is important that posters that are critical of his administration not omit facts that easily disqualify their statements that he is anti-semitic. The Camp David Accords were remarkable in bringing Eygpt and Israel together in a lasting peace and people should not forget that President Carter was responsible for making it happen.

Like this comment
Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 28, 2010 at 7:13 am

[Post removed. Third-hand references to comments that Carter is accused of saying 40 years ago. ]

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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