In the 1980 U.S. presidential election, President Jimmy Carter was swept out of office, losing 44 states while being bogged down in the Iranian hostage crisis. However, since leaving the White House, Carter has been on a hot awards streak.
When “Argo” won the top Oscar, Jimmy Carter became the first U.S. President to make an appearance in a Best Picture (in the form of brief narration that closes out the film). Funny, because “Argo” focuses on the Iranian controversy that helped sink Carter’s re-election efforts. Another bit of irony: the man who beat Carter in 1980 was former Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan.
Of course, Carter didn’t receive an Oscar when “Argo” prevailed, but back in 2007 he took America’s top music award. He reaped the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio version of his book “Our Endangered Values.” He was nominated again in 2008 for “Sunday Mornings in Plains,” but lost to fellow Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama (“The Audacity of Hope”). In 2010, he was nominated for “We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land,” losing to Michael J. Fox (“Always Looking Up”).
In 2002, during “The West Wing’s” third season (which went on to win the Best Drama Series Emmy), Jimmy Carter appeared in a special documentary episode alongside former Presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton. This segment also won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Program.
As far as I’m aware, Jimmy Carter has never been involved in a Broadway production, but given his winning ways, it might be wise for someone in New York to look into it. Perhaps a musical on the Camp David peace accords?
ABOVE: when I visited Plains, Georgia, in 2010, I got to meet this award magnet president and I happened to stumble across this other award that he won. It’s not part of entertainment’s EGOT, but it’s probably nice to have as well.