Jeff Pearlman

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Jimmy Carter has been hospitalized

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 1.30.05 PM

So Jimmy Carter has been hospitalized for dehydration. And while, for most of us, such a diagnosis isn’t a very big deal, America’s 39th president is 92-years old. And, at that age, pretty much everything is a big deal.

But here’s what I’m thinking about …

I love Jimmy Carter. Great president? No. Great post-presidency ambassador? Absolutely. He’s a kind, decent, honorable guy who has worked toward myriad good causes. So what happens if—heaven forbid—Jimmy Carter dies in the coming days? Or merely over the next three years?

Does Donald Trump, as the president of the United States, speak at his funeral? Would the Carter family want that? Would Carter himself have wanted that?

See, it’s one of the unspoken things that really drives me crazy about Trump. For as much political discord that has long existed in the United States; for all the differences in views and stances and styles and performances, presidents always respected presidents. It came with the office; an unspoken, “Yes, you’re allowed to slam me when you’re running for the gig, but afterward we’re all members of a stared experience club.” That’s how George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton came to be good friends; how Carter and Gerald Ford came to be the closest of friends; how George W. Bush and Michelle Obama developed a legitimate tightness. First Families went through this weird lifestyle, and they grasp the uniqueness only they would understand.

But Trump … Trump doesn’t give a shit. History matters not to him. The regal nature of the presidency is no more important than the fake gold railings he installed in Trump Tower. The living former presidents have shunned him, because he decided they are worthless, meaningless, not up to his standards.

So would Donald Trump speak at Jimmy Carter’s funeral?

Yes, but disgracefully.

  • Ted Mark

    I wouldn’t let him speak but he damn well better show up.

  • Bennett Kugler

    And you know this how? From CNN? What Trump did for the fallen soldiers from that mission several months ago was amazing. No fanfare, just showing up to pay his respects. Of course nothing on the CNN or MSNBC, NYT etc.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life