Carter's Non-Endorsement
Several news sources are reporting that former president (and superdelegate) Jimmy Carter all but endorsed Barack Obama in a recent interview with a Nigerian newspaper. It’s always nice to have the support of a party elder and ex-president, but as these kinds of endorsements go, President Carter is actually a pretty interesting case. It is true that Carter is often credited with being a much stronger ex-president than sitting president, largely due to the various good works with which both he and First Lady Rosalynn Carter have occupied their time since leaving office. But the Obama campaign also knows that Carter has been no stranger to controversy in recent years.
Carter’s comments on Obama also reminded me of his odd non-endorsement of Howard Dean in 2004. You may recall that Dean made a surprise trip to Plains, Georgia, to meet with President Carter on the eve of the Iowa Caucus. Dean had previously drawn parallels between his own insurgent candidacy in 2004 and Jimmy Carter’s rise to national prominence in Iowa and New Hampshire in 1976. Yet, even with Carter’s pat on the back, we know how well Iowa worked out for Howard Dean.

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