Judy Woodruff Recalls Last Interview – Upnewsdaily

Judy Woodruff Recalls Last Interview – Upnewsdaily

Rosalynn Carter was a first lady “who saw her role as going well beyond the essential, warm and welcoming host to being a close and trusted, yes, adviser” to her husband Jimmy Carter, PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Judy Woodruff recalled on Tuesday.

Woodruff was among the speakers at a tribute service for Carter, who died on Nov. 19 at age 96.

Carter’s husband, former President Jimmy Carter, 99, attended the service, as his daughter Amy held his hand for much of the service. Carter himself entered hospice care earlier this year, in part to be near his wife, with whom he was married for 77 years.

Also attending the service was President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, former President Bill Clinton, and all of the living former first ladies, including Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama and Melania Trump.

Woodruff recalled first meeting Rosalynn Carter in 1970, when she was campaigning for her husband’s gubernatorial bid in Georgia. Woodruff said that she sensed a “weariness” on Carter’s part, “I was only a cub reporter for an Atlanta TV station, so that was understandable.”

“I’m happy to say the weariness melted away,” Woodruff said. “It may have taken about 40 years for that to happen, but it had by the time she invited me to attend a luncheon in Washington where she was receiving an award for her work on caregiving. She knew that we had a son with disabilities and that caregiving is essential in our lives.”

Woodruff credited the Carters for being ultimately responsible for she and husband Al Hunt’s first meeting, at a Plains, GA field during the 1976 election in which the candidate organized campaign vs. news media softball games.

“There was always something genuine about Mrs. Carter, a groundedness and a quiet self assurance despite what she later wrote about her early struggles with public speaking,” Woodruff said.

During Jimmy Carter’s presidency, Rosalynn Carter took an active role in major initiatives and legislation, including lobbying for support of a mental health bill and another effort to promote childhood immunizations. She also took on diplomatic missions, representing her husband in meetings with foreign leaders, and advised her husband as he pursued the Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt, Woodruff said.

Her final interview with the Carters was in 2021, when the couple was celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary.

“I asked then how they thought President Biden was doing early in his term,” Woodruff said. “President Carter was very specific on issue after issue, and quite complimentary of the new president. Mrs. Carter said simply, ‘It’s a great relief to have him in office.’”

CNN and MSNBC carried the service, while Fox News referenced the tribute service but generally stayed with other stories, including the hostage release in Gaza.

Others who appeared at the service included Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, who sang John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The couple has been friends with the Carters through their work with Habitat for Humanity.

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