During a lecture at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, former White House advisor Stuart Eizenstat talked about his new book, “President Carter: The White House Years,” and compared Carter’s opinion of the news media with President Donald Trump’s relationship with the Fourth Estate.
“Even when it was brutal to him, Carter respected the role of the press,” Eizenstat said. “He never called them the enemy of the people. He viewed the press as an essential part of democracy.”
Carter held more than 100 town hall meetings with open admission and sought out views from outside the Beltway and the big cities. “A year and a half into his presidency, he set up meetings with regional and local press representatives to hear what they had to say.”
Eizenstat, the domestic policy advisor for Carter and deputy secretary of the treasury under Bill Clinton, spoke on the national day of mourning for George H.W. Bush. He talked about his personal interactions with the 41st president and presidential comparisons.
Carter, a Democrat, and Bush, a Republican, were “ferocious campaigners” who governed as moderates within their parties and sought bipartisan solutions, he said.
Carter and Bush both had to deal with “difficult economies” and both ended up being one-term presidents.
Eizenstat, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union in the 1990s, came to the Missouri School of Journalism at the invitation of Alfred Friendly Press Partners, which is based on the campus at Reynolds Journalism Institute.
He currently serves as a special adviser for Holocaust issues under President Trump.