Most people would run away screaming at the thought of working for a boss who humiliates subordinates in public, throttles them in private, demands constant flattery, spends all day watching cable TV and behaves in a wildly unpredictable way.
And yet, there is someone who is eager to work for President Trump.
Curious, but it’s a Democrat. And even curiouser, it’s a fellow member of the presidents club. And curiousest, it’s someone whom Trump has disparaged on Twitter as one of the worst presidents in history.
Miracles can happen. No one knows that better than Jimmy Carter, who defied all odds 40 years ago to leap from his peanut farm to the White House and defied all odds again two years ago to beat brain cancer.
The 93-year-old would like to pull another rabbit out of a hat — just not a killer rabbit — and enter into a productive partnership with Donald Trump over North Korea. When you think about it, though, it makes sense. One of the basic premises of the Carter Center is that you should talk to dictators.
The closest our two countries had come until now to resuming the Korean War was in 1994. Carter flew into Pyongyang on his own over the objections of President Bill Clinton and struck a deal with Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jung-un, and the man the grandson models himself on — right down to his hairstyle. North Korea secretly cheated on the deal by pursuing another path to a bomb just four years later.
So is it time for another Carter diplomatic mission, and would he do it for Trump, his polar opposite in so many ways?
“I would go, yes,” he said, wearing a big “JC” belt buckle and sipping coffee in his ranch house, which is chockablock with Carter family paintings and with furniture he made himself, including his four-poster bed. Rosalynn sits nearby, chiming in slyly at moments.
I told him that the big shots in Washington were terrified about the childish, bellicose tit-for-tat tweeting battle between the Dotard and Little Rocket Man.
“I’m afraid, too, of a situation,” he said. “I don’t know what they’ll do. Because they want to save their regime. And we greatly overestimate China’s influence on North Korea. Particularly to Kim Jong-un. He’s never, so far as I know, been to China.” (Who knows if he made a surreptitious trip.) Carter continued, “And they have no relationship. Kim Jong-il did go to China and was very close to them.”
He said that the “unpredictable” Kim Jong-un makes him more nervous than his father, Kim Jong-il, and that if the young leader thinks Trump will act against him, he could do something pre-emptive. “I think he’s now got advanced nuclear weaponry that can destroy the Korean Peninsula and Japan, and some of our outlying territories in the Pacific, maybe even our mainland,” Carter explained.
He said he has talked to Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, who is a good friend, including at Zbigniew Brzezinski’s funeral when McMaster asked to sit next to Carter, but has so far gotten a negative response.
“I told him that I was available if they ever need me,” he said.
When I asked about Trump’s souring our image in the world, Carter defended his successor.
SOURCE: Maureen Dowd
The New York Times