Jimmy Carter Says Obama Will Be 'Outstanding'

Former President Jimmy Carter heaped praise upon President Obama, saying that he has skills to excel in the Oval Office.

"Well, more than a year ago, we took a poll on our family vacation, and 26 votes we had, and all 26 votes were for Obama in the primary and also in the general election," Carter told PBS's Charlie Rose on Wednesday. "So we have been very excited about him and monitored everything he has done and said, just about. And I have been exhilarated that he has been elected. I think he will be an outstanding president."

Carter said that Obama told him personally that h would begin work on the Mideast peace process immediately after being elected, instead of waiting until later in his presidential term.

"And apparently he has done that already, with his public statement, his telephone calls. I think the first four calls he made were to the Middle East region. And then he's appointed an outstanding special representative over there or a diplomat to pursue peace in that region. So all of those things really appeal to me," Carter said.

Carter also said he thought Obama will be an innovative and aggressive president.

"He seems to be reaching out on a bipartisan basis more than we have had in the last few years. And in addition to that, his reputation as a young African-American has inspired millions of people around the world," Carter said. "My wife and I have been in about 125 countries since we left the White House, and almost everywhere we go, there is an excitement to see this young man be elected president. So I feel very good about it. It's obvious."

When asked about Obama's core skills, the former president said that he brings his intelligence and his ability to be flexible, calm and inquisitive.

"So I think in many ways, his basic characteristics are good," Carter said. "And I think there is one other thing. I believe he will always tell the truth. I have confidence in him to do that, and I trust that I am not going to be disillusioned about anything."

Carter said he specifically trusted Obama's support for a balance of tax cuts and government spending in the economic stimulus.

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