Talking With Jimmy Carter - Rolling Stone
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Talking With Jimmy Carter

For our fortieth anniversary, the editors of Rolling Stone have interviewed twenty artists and leaders who helped shape our time. We’ve been debuting exclusive audio clips from the Q&As, giving you unparalleled access to some of the most important personalities in history.

Today we present former U.S. president and tireless humanitarian Jimmy Carter. During his presidency, Carter was the anti-Bush, creating the Department of Education, strengthening social security and reiterating the country’s need to wean itstelf off foreign oil. Sitting down with veteran newsman Tom Brokaw for our fortieth anniversary issue, Carter talks about Vietnam, befriending Bob Dylan and Hunter S. Thompson and what’s on Jimmy’s iPods (he owns two). Listen to three excerpts from that interview, and for the full Brokaw-Carter pow-wow, pick up your copy of our fortieth anniversary issue, on stands now.

Carter talks about how the focus on drug policies have greatly differed since he held office: “We bragged to each other about who reduced the prison population the most. But with the increase of the drug culture, that trend has been dramatically reversed. Now politicians brag about how many prisons they’ve built.”

He didn’t exactly yell “Judas,” but Jimmy Carter had a similar reaction to Bob Dylan’s decision to go from acoustic to electric: “Well, later when he came back for performances when I left the governor’s office, we went to hear him. I was disappointed. I really cherished then and still cherish now the original Bob Dylan sound.”

Brokaw and Carter discuss whether or not America is ready for a female or black president: “I saw a poll a couple of days ago that was conducted by USA Today and Gallup, that showed that 94 percent of people in America claim that they would vote for a black and 88 percent for a woman. So either would be acceptable.”

Check back tomorrow for the next installment of our twenty-part audio interviews, featuring some of the most iconic and influential pop culture figures of the last 40 years. Want a hint at tomorrow’s interviewee? What Dead man told us this about a certain famous household in San Francisco:
“Life was extremely communal. The most important thing was keeping each other amused. That was job number one. We were on something of a gravy train. We made enough money from gigs to feed everybody and pay the rent.”

In This Article: Jimmy Carter


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