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Jimmy Carter -

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(generated from captions) THEME MUSIC all the way to the White House, From the peanut fields of Georgia one of the greatest triumphs Jimmy Carter had accomplished in American political history. WOMAN: He'd pulled off a miracle. In the fall of 1975, as a candidate. he was barely visible Six months later, presidential nomination. he has the Democratic Now, that is a miracle. CROWD CHEERS of what we wanted to hear - MAN: He offered a biography farmer, Main Street values, Plains. at the right time. It was the right message JIMMY CARTER: I'll never tell a lie. a new beginning... He had promised the nation of Watergate and Vietnam. ..to heal the wounds and compassionate A government as good and decent as the American people. OK, gang, let's go a round. with a huge lead in the polls, In the summer of 1976 the Democratic candidate could relax. (Crowd cheers) The press descended on Plains, about the peanut farmer eager to learn who might become president he called home. and the remote Southern town planned by the campaign committee. It was thought out and carefully was not really about issues. As Jody Powell said, "Our campaign where everybody knew each other "It was about blue skies "and no pollution. "That was it all the way."

you'd see blue skies, And so going into Plains, seemed to love Jimmy, you'd see everybody in town about him. everybody was enthusiastic So it was perfect. This is where he came from. This was who he was. clearly saw him as one of them. The people in that town That was a tremendous asset. When you're campaigning, every little something, every little picture in the paper, is free publicity. to impress the people So we were trying what the real Plains was like. and trying to let them know and steam-cleaned it, We went and took this empty depot homes and pictures off the walls. and we brought furniture from our and wanted to help. Everybody just cooperated surrounded by family and friends, Back home, his best qualities. Carter would display

on Sunday and there would be Jimmy, WOMAN: You would go to the church for the day and he'd have the lesson and he'd outline something.

and he had underlined, One time he came out the separation of Church and State." "The Baptists believe in So he was safe on Church issues. You might go out to the Pond House

come out and say and hear Jimmy Carter from a group of experts what he just heard and, like an A-student in a seminar, with great clarity. tell you what everybody said are you saying that... REPORTER: Following that up,

a tough question, And if you asked him you got those COLD blue eyes. with delight. And reporters would just shudder And that look... he'd be a tough sonofabitch. And so you could see he have all these people love him, So not only was he moral and did but he would be tough. MOTORBIKE REVS provided colour. Carter's eccentric family and was a born-again Christian. Sister Gloria rode a Harley Davidson Christian and popular faith-healer. Sister Ruth was a charismatic And holding forth across from the depot at his filling station Carter's hard-drinking brother. was Billy - MAN: My big advantage? Sam Donaldson was against me. (Men laugh) he was a sport. WOMAN: Brother Billy, and he was extremely colourful. He was a very good businessman much more learned and well-read And he was much brighter, than most people think. He read a book every day stashed in his attic, when he died. and had over 20,000 in his library, WOMAN: Smile, Billy. then he tried to live up to it. Billy ended up with a reputation, CAMERAS CLICK Of all the Carters, Miss Lillian it was the irrepressible who best reflected on Jimmy. she had lived life on her own terms. Since her husband's death, Always committed to helping the poor, and spent two years in India. she had joined the Peace Corps of Miss Lillian There's that wonderful story a woman from New York - when one reporter - came down to Plains, and said, you know, and Miss Lillian greeted her "Welcome to Plains. Would you like some lemonade?" "It's so nice to see you.

Your dress is beautiful." "How was your journey? Pouring on the Southern hospitality. on Miss Lillian and said, And the reporter jumped right in your son is running for president "Miss Lillian, "saying he'll never tell a lie. he's never told a lie?" "As a mother, are you telling me

white lies all the time. She goes, "Oh, Jimmy tells what you mean. What is a white lie?" The reporter said, "Tell me when I said welcome to Plains Miss Lillian said, "Remember

"and how good it is to see you? "That's a white lie." Well, now it's sometimes said are never really satisfied that parents accomplish... with what their children till he's in the White House. I won't be satisfied I know he will. Do you think he will? Then what will you do? and fish. I'll stay at the Pond House TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS

means a lot to our country... JIMMY CARTER: This election Carter began the fall campaign Gerald Ford against incumbent president with a 15-point lead. disillusioned, We've been disappointed, we've been kept out of government. We've been embarrassed. Sometimes we've been ashamed. of honesty and trust He returned to the themes his primary campaign. that had defined will say anything, anywhere, Jimmy Carter of the United States. to be President But as election day approached, to take a stand on the issues. he was pressured

he waffles and he wiggles. He wanders, he wavers, He isn't the man... He was a moderate to the moderates. to the conservatives. He was a conservative He was a liberal to the liberals. And in fact, he was all of those things. a fair government once again. We're going to have a government that's open and not secret once again. His standard line when asked about his foreign policy was that he wanted to provide a foreign policy "as good as the American people". Well, gee, that's great. But what in the world does it mean? You can depend on it. You help me. I'll help you. Thank you very much. The gist of what he presented was that he would be a centrist Democrat who had liberal values in his heart, as well as the desire for frugality and thrift and efficiency in government. And so he could appeal to people from all parts of the Democratic Party. But as Julian Bond said at one point, "The problem with this "is that his support was an inch deep and a mile wide." SOMBRE MUSIC Alarmed that support among liberal Democrats was eroding, Carter's young staff made a bold move. MAN: We did the 'Playboy' interview to show that being a born-again Christian was not a threat to more secular Democrats and young people. For five hours, Carter tried to explain his views on culture, politics and faith.

Toward the end of the interview, exasperated at not being understood, he said, "I've looked on a lot of women with lust. "I've committed adultery in my heart many times." If you read the interview, the "lust in your heart" line was to try to explain that he too was a sinner. But the language was, and I would see this all the time, Carter's language was germane to his world - like we all do - to our own cultural context. Here's a guy who is so moral but on the one hand he talks about he's lusted after women in his heart, and he talks about "shacking up".

And he uses language that's going to really enrage and turn off a lot of people. BRINKLEY: Do not underestimate what a crisis that interview and the "lust in my heart" caused Carter. It almost derailed the entire Carter campaign. They were in havoc over it. In retrospect, it's kind of amusing. It wasn't very funny at the time, trying to explain to people that Jimmy Carter wasn't some child molester, you know, I mean, or pervert. The 'Playboy' thing has been of great concern to me. I don't know how to deal with it exactly. By the time Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford met in the first of two presidential debates, Carter's lead had evaporated. The momentum belonged to Ford. Two weeks later, he blundered. FORD: There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford Administration.

I'm sorry. Could I just... Did I understand you to say, sir, that the Russians are not using Eastern Europe as their own sphere of influence? MAN: We knew that this was going to hurt. A lot of people couldn't see how a president would say that. It gave us about a week, as I recall, to pound away on this. And you could just feel people moving on that question. So what it did, I think, was rather than electing us, it stopped our slide. CROWD CHEERS By election day, the polls showed a dead heat. It was not until 3am that the networks announced the winner... ..by one of the closest margins in American history. CADDELL: I look back now and I'm just amazed. Going from total anonymity to being President of the United States in less than 12 months is unprecedented in American history.

If it weren't for the country looking for something in '76,

Carter could never have gotten elected. He would never have been allowed out of the box. BRINKLEY: He offered a biography of what we wanted to hear - farmer, Main Street values, Plains. It was the right message at the right time. And it didn't happen by accident. Carter created that message knowing that that's what would win the day. I came all the way through... ..through 22 months, and I didn't get... ..choked up until I... CROWD CHEERS AND APPLAUDS WALTER CRONKITE: This was not planned. It was not scheduled. And whether this is Carter's surprise for his inaugural... By golly, Bob. And how about that? The morning of January 20, 1977, Jimmy Carter surprised the nation. CRONKITE: ..approaching Pennsylvania Avenue...

MAN: I remember I was out there walking and you could hear Walter Cronkite over the loudspeaker saying, "The President is walking down the street." It was a major moment of the Carter presidency, symbolically. It was great theatre. Here was this tremendous breath of fresh air. He was gonna bring something new to Washington, bring new people in, new ideas. JIMMY CARTER: Our commitment to human rights must be absolute, our laws fair...

It was so different from what had come before.

People were looking for something that was simple, something that was pure. And it just struck a chord in the American people.

JIMMY CARTER: More is not necessarily better. Jimmy Carter was exactly what the American people always say they want - above politics,

determined to do the right thing regardless of political consequences, a simple person who doesn't lie, a modest man, not somebody with a lot of imperial pretences. That's what people say they want. And that's what they got with Jimmy Carter. TRIUMPHANT MUSIC The Carter team arrived in Washington full of confidence,

ready to take on the Washington insiders they had run against. CADDELL: I felt like the advance wave of the German Army arriving in Paris in 1940. This is a Democratic city, and they were terrified. I mean, terrified. You could feel it in the air. with the national political party. They did not have a lot in common with the Congress. They were a very close-knit band of brothers and they were intensely loyal to Jimmy Carter. And they were pretty cocky guys as well. There was clearly some degree of suspicion and maybe a little bit of resentment that, "Here come these folks, riding in here, "they didn't really pay their dues. "They're not us. They're not our kind of folks." And all of a sudden, they're in the White House. And, "We'll show them that this town is tougher than they think." His top people had no experience in Washington. And they were sort of contemptuous of Washington. Well, it's one thing to sort of run against Washington, but you have to live there and you have to govern there,

and you have to work with the people who are there. And it really doesn't get you anywhere to have this attitude if you want to get anything done. You get things done by power. You get power from having public support. My argument was that in order to maintain power, we would have to reinforce constantly the message of what we were doing. Good evening. Tomorrow will be two weeks since I became President... On February 2, Carter addressed the nation in a fireside chat on energy. The country had been through an oil scare in 1973. To head off a new crisis, Carter appealed directly to Americans to rally around a new program. All of us must learn to waste less energy. Simply by keeping our thermostats, for instance, at 65 degrees in the daytime and 55 degrees at night,

we could save half the current shortage of natural gas. If we learn to live thriftily

and remember the importance of helping our neighbours, then we can find ways to adjust. COUNTRY MUSIC Carter led by example. He curtailed the use of limousines, cancelled magazine subscriptions, unplugged television sets and put the presidential yacht, 'Sequoia', on the auction block. He turned off the airconditioners,

and it was so hot in the White House, people would come in there... (Laughs) It was unbelievable. It would be 100 above in there. To save on staff overtime, all White House functions would end at midnight. No hard liquor would be served. Jimmy Carter is a Low Church Protestant, where it's a sin not to have a hard wooden bench to sit on in church. And he brought that simplicity to the White House. We were all invited down to the White House every other Tuesday. We walked into the private dining room on the first floor off the East Room. We looked at the table and there were these little fingertip cookies. And Tip O'Neill looked at me and he says, "What's this?" I said, "I guess that's breakfast." So the president walked in, you know, walked around the room and shook hands with everybody. And O'Neill looked at the president and he says, "Mr President, you know, we won the election."

CARTER: When's the last time you were here? Last time I was in the Oval Room. Carter presented his agenda to the Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill. Energy was Carter's number one priority. CARTER: The Vice-President... But it was competing with his long list of other legislation - bills on hospital cost containment, urban policy, ethics in government. You've brought enough for four years work. I understand. There was nothing in the package to grease the wheels of government. Some are of more priority than others. When Carter struck from his budget 19 multimillion-dollar water projects that had been approved by President Ford, Congressmen were furious. DREW: He was absolutely right to take it on - these sort of boondoggles and unnecessary, really pork barrel things. But he didn't know how to take it on. You have to build political capital. You have to build alliances. You have to make deals. LANCE: The quid pro quo was not in him. If you came to him and said, "We can get so-and-so to vote for us,"

he would turn a deaf ear. "He never understood how the system worked," Tip O'Neill would later complain. And although this was out of character for Jimmy Carter, he didn't want to learn about it either. If your job is to find the public good, to arrive at what the public good is, and then to articulate it, and then you become the voice of the people. And when you do that, it becomes very difficult to compromise. On one occasion when I was talking to President Carter I said, "Mr President, you know, I've had three presidents before you "and I'll have several after you. "I'm telling you from the vantage point

"of what I see in the legislative process, "you will be able to do and what you won't be able to do. "Now, you can accept that or not accept it." But Carter's attitude was members of the House and Senate are bad guys. Carter put O'Neill and the others like him in the same category with the corrupt Georgia courthouse pols that he had been fighting for much of his life. The same kind of back-scratching, featherbedding pol, worrying about the next election, worrying about their public opinion polls, coming in and not doing what was right. Often he wouldn't return phone calls of leading Senators. There was a kind of an abrasive attitude he had towards them. He never showed them the respect. So they all eventually got bitter and turned on him. DAN CARTER: Even if he had had a personality transplant and he had spent three hours a night playing poker with Tip O'Neill, I don't think that would have made the difference. I mean, he was faced with an extraordinarily difficult set of circumstances, which in part sprang not only from the political situation, but from his... the lack of a connection between his own views and those of his party. "There will be no new programs implemented "unless they are compatible with my goal "of having a balanced budget by the end of my first term," he pledged. But liberal Democrats, eager to resume the social agenda of Lyndon Johnson's 'Great Society', would not back away. There had been an eight-year period when there had been no Democratic president. There were a lot of pent-up and legitimate desires by constituency groups for more investment in a whole range of programs. Although he sympathised with much of it, all of his instincts were to cut budgets, reduce the deficit dramatically, but he was always under pressure from the left to have more spending. At a breakfast meeting, Carter berated the Congressional Democratic leadership for adding $61 billion in new programs to his budget. "The Democratic Party needs to remove the stigma "of unjustified spending," he said. "Mr President," Tip O'Neill reminded Carter, "the Democrats are the champions of the poor and the indigent." MAN: Carter thought that big social programs and large amounts of federal spending would bankrupt the country. He could see, I think, very clearly, the way the world was going and he knew that old era had to be phased out. Carter, looking back, was being very long-sighted in saying, you know, "We just don't have "an open-ended, never-ending amount of money to spend. "We have to get things in balance." Carter's commitment to fiscal restraint appealed to a growing number of Americans. "He brings to the office "a refreshing habit of plain words and simple manners," wrote 'Newsweek', "a mind and discipline of tempered steel, "and an insatiable appetite for work." Jimmy Carter had entered the presidency with only 51% of the vote. By June, he enjoyed an approval rating of over 70%. Then came an event that rocked the foundation of the Carter presidency. It was called the 'Lance Affair'. In July 1977, Carter's budget director, Bert Lance, was accused of financial improprieties at his bank in Calhoun, Georgia. A federal investigation cleared Lance of all illegal activity, but concluded that he had engaged in "unsafe and unsound banking practices". Bert Lance is a man of competence and a man of integrity, and that his services... Believing the affair was behind him, Carter stood by his friend. Bert Lance enjoys my complete confidence and support. I'm proud to have him as part of my administration... Carter had miscalculated. To the press, the issue was ethics, not the law. Sensing a scandal, they went on the attack.

There were a lot of journalists who very much wanted to prove that they could be as tough on a Democratic president

as they had been on a Richard Nixon. There was a real desire to make sure that it was clear that they were going to pursue this every bit as aggressively. One of the things people like to go after more than anything else is what they perceive as hypocrisy, so that you're judged by the standards that you set for yourself. And certainly Carter's talk about "I'll never tell you a lie," and emphasising honesty provided an easy opportunity. Carter's inner circle urged him to get rid of Lance.

But he was torn between loyalty to his friend and his own reputation. For weeks, he allowed the Lance Affair to fester. REPORTER: Do you feel you were drummed out? LANCE: My statement speaks for itself. I have no comment about being drummed out. I said in my statement that I had to analyse and question... LANCE: The day that I resigned, I came home and I was spent. I lay down on the bed crying about the situation, just from the standpoint of having run out of any adrenaline or emotion or anything else. And so we had all that horde of media out on the front yard that had been there constantly. I guess it was a suicide watch.

Any comment at all? DREW: Looking back, he wasn't that big a deal. But what it did do at the time... Always good to see you out. ..was give the first blow to the image that Carter was trying to project that his was a squeaky clean administration. Whether my own credibility has been damaged, I can't say. I would guess to some degree. An unpleasant situation... Carter's approval rating plunged 25 points. But, er, I just have to... It would have been better for the president if we had brought that to an end sooner. It threw us off our stride, it made it harder for us to talk about other things, and sort of played into questions about whether we could lead and run the country. CADDELL: Until that moment, we had been driving the agenda. Everyone danced to our tune. After that, we danced to everybody else's tune. And that hurt us with the public, because now Jimmy Carter's not in charge. APPLAUSE On May 22, 1977, before the graduating class at the University of Notre Dame, President Jimmy Carter unveiled a new foreign policy for the United States. Being confident of our own future, we are now free of that inordinate fear of communism... Carter had come to office with no experience in foreign affairs but determined to make his mark. In his first year alone, he met more than 40 heads of state, resumed talks on diplomatic relations with China and with the Soviet Union on arms control. He launched a new peace process in the Middle East and signed a new Canal Treaty with Panama,

transferring, after 75 years, ownership of the canal to the Panamanians. But it was a principle straight from his heart that would redefine America's role in the world. We have reaffirmed America's commitment to human rights

as a fundamental tenet of our foreign policy. MAN: That was his greatest speech - standing up for our own values and expecting then that the world would appreciate that and that we would be - he didn't use this phrase, but it's an old phrase in American history - like the beacon on the hill, the beacon of freedom and liberty and democracy. WOMAN: He will be remembered for putting on the agenda hereafter the whole issue of human rights. We now assume that the goal of a state is not only to protect its national security interests. It has an obligation to try to, uh, to deal with human suffering where it has the ability to do that. I feel very deeply that when people are put in prison without trials and tortured and deprived of basic human rights that the President of the United States ought to have a right to express displeasure and to do something about it. I want our country... His idea is that every child is a child of God and based on his faith, entitled to the stature and respect and the rights of what that means. REFLECTIVE MUSIC Initially, human rights was applied aggressively to friend and foe. Carter asked Congress to withhold military and economic assistance from Latin American dictators in Chile, Argentina, Nicaragua and decried their human rights violations. Cold warriors complained Carter was undermining American allies, paving the way for Soviet-backed guerilla movements to seize power.

But they applauded

when in an open letter to Soviet physicist Andrei Sakharov Carter promised to seek the release of political prisoners held in Soviet jails. BRINKLEY: The human rights campaign

was charging the Soviet Union with abuse of its own citizens, and they did not like that at all. We now know - now that the Cold War archives are open, and from looking at Havel in Czechoslovakia,

Lech Walesa in Poland - that it was the Carter's human rights policy that gave heart to the underground resistance movement. But the biggest challenge to Carter's human rights policy would come in the Middle East. Iran, because of the great leadership of the Shah... ..is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world. Carter was aware of the brutality of Iran's secret police and of 2,500 political prisoners held in Iran's jails. But the shah, installed to the throne in a US-backed coup in 1953, had long been a trusted ally. New Year's Eve, 1977, in Teheran, Carter reaffirmed America's support. Strategic considerations trumped human rights in Iran because the perception of the United States was, first, that Iran was a secure source of oil - and it certainly was an important source of oil - that it had one of the most powerful military establishments in the world - which was nonsense, but the shah was saying he was going to have the second-most powerful navy. Iran, of course, bordered on the Soviet Union. There are circumstances where you have to have a situational morality. You cannot go in with the notion "This is an absolute value. "We're going to push it all the time." I would like to offer a toast at this time... ..to the great leaders of Iran, the Shah and the Shahbanou... ..and to the people of Iran and to the world peace that we hope together we can help to bring. (People yell) One week after Carter's visit, anti-shah demonstrations broke out. When Iranian secret police fired on the demonstrators and killed several students, religious leaders called the shah's government 'anti-Islamic'. DREW: Iran was a very complicated situation, and the shah was very useful to us. At the same time, something else was going on. Something very powerful was going on in Iran. And, as I recall, we kind of missed it.

We knew there was some resentment, and we knew somewhat of the history of the country,

but we were not conscious, nor were we informed, of the intensity of the feelings. (Crowd mutters angrily) LAIDBACK COUNTRY MUSIC Since the days of Plains and peanuts,

the marriage of Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter had blossomed into a full partnership. Sometime before Carter became president, he realised what a valuable advisor to him Rosalynn was. She was a major player in the campaigns. And she did have good rapport with the people. And she, of course, was ambitious in her own right. She wanted to be more than a fashion plate and somebody who gave teas. The first year Jimmy was in office, I became so frustrated. Every night, Jimmy would get off the elevator at the White House and I'd say, "Why did you do this?" or "Why did..." One day he finally said, "Why don't you come to Cabinet meetings? "Then you'll know why we do these things." So I started going. It was always on my calendar.

And I just listened. I didn't participate, but I listened.

And then I knew why they... why the decisions were made. The first child to live in the White House since the Kennedy years, nine-year-old Amy had the run of the place. She rollerskated down the marble hallways, played in a tree house her father built for her

and even got a new dog, named Grits. BRINKLEY: She was the apple of her father's eye. President Carter hadn't spent much time with his three sons when they were growing up, so he tried to put lots of attention and energy into Amy. In keeping with Carter's populist image, Amy was sent to public school. The media made much of the fact that her best friend was the daughter of the cook at the Chilean Embassy. She was such a shy, intelligent girl.

It was very hard always having that media glare. And I think, after the White House, she's tried her best to stay out of the limelight. STEADY APPLAUSE One Carter did not shy away from the glare of the media. Back in Plains, Billy capitalised on his brother's fame. He made money on the talk show circuit and marketed his own brand of beer. The president tolerated his brother's antics. "He enjoyed the popularity," he wrote, "and presented the other side of the Carter family -

"full of fun and laughter." (Audience mumbles)

In 1978, the first signs of a gathering economic storm were becoming visible. The stock market was at its lowest point in three years, the trade deficit growing, unemployment on the rise. The most serious problem that our nation has... ..is inflation. And it's getting worse. It's absolutely imperative that Americans commit themselves, all of us, to a common sacrifice to control this rapid increase in prices. Carter inherited a no-win economic situation. I see him as the last presidential victim of the war in Vietnam. Every war this country has fought, once it is over, the economy has to readjust to a peacetime economy. I call on the private sector... And what always happens is runaway inflation. Carter implored labour and business leaders to keep wages and prices down

and pressured Congress to cut back spending.

I believe the American people will understand... But inflation kept rising, his words falling on deaf ears. MAN: He has this enormous determination to go after and do what he thinks ought to be done.

The capacity to explain, persuade, inspire, mobilise, energise the whole country... I do not have all the answers. Nobody does. ..that was far more tenuous and uncertain. CARTER: But I want to let you know that fighting inflation... He thought people would just follow, but that didn't happen. And I want to arouse our nation to join me in this effort. There were growing doubts about Carter's leadership. The president, most Americans believed, was too mired in details, was ineffective with Congress, had attempted too much and delivered too little. MAN: This is a classic case

where first impressions often sets in with people. And the first impressions of that first year were too many things - lack of priorities, a lack of accomplishment. The fact is we actually had a good legislative record. But we had thrown so much up that, in comparison to that, it...the accomplishments seemed to pale. ROSALYNN: I would sometimes say, "Why don't we do this in your second term?" He'd say, "What if I don't have a second term?" I think he felt that way all along - if something needed to be done, it needed to be done. With an approval rating of only 33%, 'TIME Magazine' concluded, "He has the potential for growing in the office, "but he does not have a great deal of time left." LAIDBACK MUSIC Nestled in the mountains of Maryland, Camp David was Jimmy Carter's refuge. It was the place he and Rosalynn repaired to on weekends to get away from the pressures of Washington. In September 1978, Jimmy Carter would enshrine Camp David and himself in history. MONDALE: He had spent a lot of time studying the Middle East. He felt very deeply that we should try to find peace over there. And, boy, he really bet his presidency on that. GLAD: He was already very low in the polls. He had practically nowhere to go but up. But he still could possibly win a second term.

And if he failed, that would... that would certainly write him off. SOMBRE MUSIC Since the creation of the state of Israel, every attempt to bring peace to the Middle East had failed. Refugees, land disputes, terrorism plagued the region. Four wars, the last in 1973, had left a bitter legacy of hate and mistrust. Everyone urged Carter to stay away

from what seemed an intractable situation, but he would not be deterred. "I slowly became hardened and as stubborn "as at any other time I can remember," he wrote. The Middle East for years had been, and was then, the place where you thought, "If we're gonna end up blowing up the world, "that's where it will start. "If there's gonna be "a nuclear confrontation between the superpowers, "it's gonna come out... come out of the Middle East." So finding, you know... finding a way to tamp that down was, to him, extremely important.

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat took the first step toward peace in November 1977

when he became the first Arab leader to set foot on Israeli soil. Carter seized the opportunity. The following September, he welcomed President Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to Camp David to negotiate a treaty

that would lay the foundations for peace in the Middle East. GLAD: He brought all of his skills and all the best sides of himself to the whole operation. And all of the potential in Jimmy Carter was out there at...at Camp David. It was really an extraordinary time. SMITH: He had studied things so carefully. He knew the population of every village, er, in the West Bank and Israel. Hard to think of a president in our history who had that much capacity to absorb and retain detail. GLAD: He made a mistake at the very beginning. He thought and told his aides, you know, "We're just going to bring together Begin and Sadat. "And they'll talk and they'll get to know each other "and they'll understand each other." Well, he got them there. And it turned out after the first three meetings they were practically never talking to each other, and things were going downhill very fast. "It was mean," Carter later recalled. "They were brutal with each other." Face-to-face discussions became an impossibility. On day three, the expected deadline for an agreement, Carter had accomplished nothing. "There must be a way," he kept saying. "There must be a way." That night at dinner, alone with Rosalynn, he arrived at a solution. If the two men could not talk to one another, they would have to talk through him. He decided that, essentially, the Americans would draft their proposal and put the proposal on the table.

You wouldn't have an Egyptian and an Israeli proposal, you would have an American proposal. "I must admit that I capitalised on the situation," Carter later wrote. "It greatly magnified my own influence." Carter devoted himself to drafting an agreement. With more than 50 issues to be resolved, the work was painstaking. He was remarkably tenacious, persistent, persuasive, tough-minded. Tough both with Sadat on some occasions and with Begin on other occasions. BRINKLEY: That people trusted him as an honest broker came to play in a very magical and important way. He's seen as somebody who's not a cheat or a liar. He is somebody who puts his money where his mouth is. "My world became the negotiating rooms, "the study where I pored over my notes and maps of the Middle East," he recalled. "Between sessions, I craved intense exercise "and lonely places where I could think and sometimes pray." ROSALYNN: He had things scheduled after the first week and I was going into Washington to do some of the things he was supposed to do. Um....and when I would leave to go in, they would say, "Don't smile, because everybody will think it will be alright. "Don't look grim, because they'll think it's failing." That was hard. It was from the depths to the heights all the time at Camp David. One minute you would think it was gonna pass and everything was so exciting. And then, at another...another time, it would be...just hopeless.

POWELL: It always seemed to me that the odds were...against success. It always seemed like a long shot. And so I was...I spent a good bit of my time thinking about, "How are we gonna deal with this thing if it collapses?" Shuttling back and forth between Sadat and Begin, Carter began to put together an agreement. A framework for negotiations in the Middle East which would address the fate of the Palestinians and the future of Gaza and the West Bank... ..and a separate peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Israel would return the Sinai territories occupied since the 1967 war. Egypt would recognise the right of Israel to live in peace. On September 14, day 10, Carter turned to the issue he knew could derail any progress made so far - the dismantling of Israeli settlements in the Sinai. MAN: Carter was unable to get Begin to make any concessions that would really have locked up an agreement, to the point where Sadat just got fed up and said, "Well, I'm going home," you know. "I'm just not going to wait here any longer." And literally sort of had his coat on and was out the door. Carter begged Sadat to stay, appealing to their friendship and mutual trust, and reminding him of Egypt's good relations with the United States. Sadat decided to remain at Camp David. Saturday, September 16, Brzezinski wrote in his diary, "The President is driving himself mercilessly. "He has single-handedly written the proposed document "for the settlements on the Sinai." Carter presented the formula to Begin. At first, he called the demands on Israel "excessive", "political suicide". But in the end, he relented,

agreeing to submit the question of the Jewish settlements to the Israeli Parliament. Jimmy Carter saw a picture of the three major participants on his desk, and he told his secretary to find out the names of Begin's grandchildren. And so then he wrote little notes, putting in the names of all the grandchildren. He went over to Begin and said, "You know, this is not just for us. This is for our grandchildren. "And let me give this to you." And Begin was profoundly moved by this. PORTENTOUS MUSIC The Camp David Accords were hailed as a monumental triumph of diplomacy. "With his brilliant success and inspired leadership, "Carter has taken a first big step "toward realising the promise of his presidency," was the verdict of the press. These negotiations provide that Israel may live in peace within secure and recognised borders. And this great aspiration of Israel has been certified, without constraint, with the greatest degree of enthusiasm, by President Sadat, the leader of one of the greatest nations on Earth. APPLAUSE BRINKLEY: There will never be a history of the Middle East written

without Jimmy Carter's name in the index. 100 years from now, 200 years from now, people will be talking about the Camp David process that began in those Maryland mountains.

BOURNE: Camp David was the plum of his administration. This was the crowning glory, and it enshrined him in history. TRIUMPHANT MUSIC To these two...friends of mine, the words of Jesus. "Blessed...are the peacemakers, "for they shall be the children of God." APPLAUSE

Sadat and Begin were awarded the Noble prize for their contribution to peace. Camp David became the touchstone for all future negotiations on the Middle East. Yet Carter's great success did nothing to improve his standing with the American people. MONDALE: There was something about how we had slipped in the eyes of the American people that prevented us from getting what should have been an enormous lift out of this incredible diplomatic feat. We thought, "Boy, this shows we can get things done." "It does bring peace in a crucial area." And there was no movement at all.

It was very dispiriting. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre www.auscap.com.au