Why Jimmy Carter Doesn't Hire Jimmy Carters

Peters, Charles

Why Jimmy Carter Doesn't Hire Jimmy Carters by Charles Peters An important point has been missed in the criticism of Jimmy Carterís cabinet and sub-cabinet choices. It is that Carter failed to...

...How do we know Mrs...
...True Davis, president of the bank and former ambassador to Switzerland...
...They arenít consciously evil...
...The demands of the first job are such that it was filled satisfactorily by the late Pede Mesta, who achieved recognition as the hostess with the mostest...
...Itís odd that Carter and his wife seem to See the virtue of having roots for themselves but not in others...
...But that concern didnít stop Carter from announcing the appointment of Patricia Roberts ďTwo for OneĒ Harris as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development . Expertise . Thereís absolutely nothing in Patricia Roberts Harrisí background to suggest she knows anything about housing or urban development...
...Boyle whs, of course, later convicted of Yablonskiís murder and is now in prison...
...They donít get upset at the theft of minersí pensions because they donít know any miners...
...People who stayed in their home town with their family and friends have tempered their ambition with other, countervailing drives, and that tempering process gives them a stability and a range of human contact that are lacking in the people who left home to take a Harvard scholarship and then went on to Washington or New York...
...Charming-have you ever talked to Mr...
...Income from the bankís dividends paid for the salaries and the expense accounts and the Cadillacs of the unionís officials...
...We need people who couldnít bear to ignore the problems of their friends or to betray their interests...
...The people out there also tend to be considerably saner than their Network counterparts...
...A fair number of Washington and New York and Boston lawyers have to get out of the Corridor at one time or another to try a case in the boondocks...
...If there is nothing in her background to suggest the expertise that is supposed to be lacking in people from the hinterlands, there is something in that background that demonstrates why itís such a terrible shame not to see fresh faces in Washington...
...One of the few sizable Network groups that has some idea of the talent out there is lawyers...
...But as Edward Bennett Williams always says, as he is pocketing his $100,000 fee, every citizen is entitled to be presumed innocent...
...What we need in Washington is people who do know miners-miners and farmers and factory workers and small businessmen...
...In January 1971, Mrs...
...In other words, the pension fund, instead of earning income to pay pensions to aged and disabled miners, was being used to take care of union officials in the style to which they y r e accustomed...
...Boyie at the board table...
...Harris joined Mr...
...She finally left the board in December 1971 not because she thought there was anything wrong with the bank but because she had been asked to join the board of Chase Manhattan...
...Harris did on the Credentials Committee for the 1972 Democratic Convention...
...It is that Carter failed to take advantage of his unique knowledge of the able people out there in the part of America that is beyond the Northeast Network-the people from Iowa and Florida and Ohio who worked for him in his long campaign...
...Usually such short-term employment is not even listed on resumes...
...Now these are typical Washingtonians...
...Harris for only one month...
...The excuse that is always given for not venturing outside the Network is that even if there are fine people out there, they just lack expertise...
...Assuming an easy victory is in the offing, they decide to relax and enjoy the trip, only to find-not always, but surprisingly often-some hayseed running rings around them...
...The Howard job was held by Mrs...
...Much of the bankís income, from which the dividends were paid, came from the minersí pension fund, which was deposited in a non-interest-bearing account...
...Elwood R. Quesada, former director of the Federal Aviation Agency...
...Clifford or Mrs...
...Harris joined the bank board all that was known about the murder was that one of the gunmen was the son-in-law of a union leader who had strong connections with Tony Boyle, and that there was enough evidence on father and son-in-law to indict both of them...
...Fourteen months before Mrs...
...Crosby Boyd, board chairman of The Washington Star...
...When distinguished columnists want to tell us what the people think, they talk to cab drivers, since they are the only ordinary people columnists come in contact with...
...So forget about the murder, forget about the fraudulent elections...
...Here are some of the other directors: Clark Clifford, former Secretary of Defense...
...Liz Carpenter, former press secretary to Ladybird Johnson...
...Harris knew about it...
...I had hoped Carter would realize that there were lots of people out there just like Jimmy Carter and Jody Powell, people who could hope to gain responsible positions in the national government only by participating in politics...
...At the time Mrs...
...At the time she accepted, she knew the bank was being used to defraud mine workers...
...Her most often cited credentialsambassador to Luxemburg and dean of the Howard Law Schooldonít qualify her to do anything...
...Mrs...
...But, while most of the Harvard ten will go to Network cities, most of the Ohio ten will stay in Ohio...
...I had thought this meant we might at last have a government that took advantage of the vast supply of talented people out in the provincesthe decent, intelligent, imaginative people who did not go to the right schools and had not become part of the Network...
...He had spent almost two years traveling all over the country, getting to know his supporters by spending the night in their homes...
...Hereís how the fraud worked : The minersí union, the United Mine Workers of America, owned the bank...
...But they donít know the masses...
...Mrs...
...We know because we wrote her a letter, pointing out the pension fraud and asked why she was joining the board...
...Carpenter...
...She didnít answer...
...Able-remember the job Mrs...
...Harris joined Tony Boyle on the board, Boyle had defeated Jock Yablonski for the presidency of the UMW in an election that was later overturned because of fraud...
...Ample evidence of that fraud had appeared in newspapers and magazines before Mrs...
...They simply havenít had the experience to support such a belief...
...The trouble with the Network is that most people in it, be they Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, donít really believe in democracy...
...The truth behind this phenomenon is that while a Harvard Law School class, taken as a whole, is a good cut above a similar class at Ohio State, there will be very little difference between the top ten students at either school...
...Harris accepted an appointment as a member of the board of directors of the Nationd Bank of Washington...
...If youíve gone to private schools and either been an officer or avoided military service, your actual experience with the people is rather slim...
...Itís really a loss, and not only because there are a lot of people in the rest of America who are just as talented as those in the Network...
...Just remember the interest-free pension account...
...They were the kind of people I had hoped Jimmy Carter would identify, but when I asked transition people if they had ever seen a talent search file with a note in it reading ďJimmy met this guy in Dayton and thought he was first-rate, letís find a place for him,Ē the answer was no...
...Charles Peters IS editor-in-chief of The Washington Monthly...
...They werenít going to be recommended by their fellow IBM or Rockefeller Foundation directors because the only boards they were on were Boise Cementís and Cedar Rapids Electricís...
...This is not to say that there are no scoundrels in the non-Network world...
...There are plenty...
...If they can accept the idea that kids as bright as Huck and Toni are born in Hannibal, Missouri every day, they assume those kids will naturally go for a scholarship at Harvard or Yale, go on to live in places like Washington or New York, and become certified Network members...
...Harris was not alone on the National Bankís board during 1971...
...Network people are elitists...
...But there are also plenty of good people who know their communities, who lead healthy, involved lives that bring them into contact with all classes, and who, simply because they arenít isolated like Network people, have some chance of caring about ordinary people and their problems...
...Harris didnít resign from the board then, and she didnít resign three months later when a federal court found the bank liable to the pensioners for $1 1,000,000...
...They donít sit around wondering how best to exploit the masses...

Vol. 8 • February 1977 • No. 12


 
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