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Interview with Jay Beck, January 28, 2015

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:41 - Working at the Carter Center / Relationship with Hamilton Jordan

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Partial Transcript: Let's start by talking a little bit about the Center and your work here.

Segment Synopsis: Beck talks about the Carter Center's work with issues related to health and peace-keeping. Beck describes his relationship with President Jimmy Carter's Chief of Staff, Hamilton Jordan. Beck was best friends with Hamilton Jordan throughout high school, and they were college roommates. He talks about how Jordan came from a very political family that represented both sides of Georgia's political spectrum.

Keywords: 1966; 1970; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; President of Senate; Robert Jordan; Secretary of Senate; University of Georgia; county unit system; habitat for humanity; mental health

00:07:27 - Carter's relationship with Hamilton Jordan

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Partial Transcript: Well, Hamilton I guess first met Jimmy Carter when, in 1966?

Segment Synopsis: Beck says that Hamilton Jordan first met Jimmy Carter in 1966 when Jordan went to one of Carter's speeches. Jordan ran Carter's 1966 campaign for governor, and went back to school after they lost the election. Jordan returned to run Carter's campaign for governor in 1970, and then became Carter's executive secretary.

Keywords: Air Force; Albany, Georgia; Bo Callaway; Jimmy Gray; Peace Corps; The Newnan Times-Herald

00:11:47 - Carter's presidential administration

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Partial Transcript: I know you remember the Carter administration and his goals.

Segment Synopsis: Beck talks about Carter's plans to reorganize the government. Beck also recalls his own position as the Deputy to the Assistant to the President for Reorganization, and says that he was involved on the regulatory side of the reorganization process. Beck also talks about Carter's work to appoint more women and minorities into government positions.

Keywords: banking; education; energy; foreign oil; sea faring

00:16:26 - Carter's presidential campaign / Carter's inner circle

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Partial Transcript: Let's back up for a minute and let's talk about Governor Carter's decision to run for president.

Segment Synopsis: Beck talks about the presidential election of 1976 when Jimmy Carter decided to run for president. He says that the campaign included a lot of thoughtful planning to win states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Beck also discusses how Carter's "inner circle" were all from Georgia and had worked together for many years prior.

Keywords: Bert Lance; Bob Strauss; Democratic National Convention; Gerald Rafshoon; Hamilton Jordan; Jim McIntyre; Jody Powell; Richard Harden; peanut brigade

00:24:58 - Issues Carter faced / More about Carter's inner circle

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Partial Transcript: Well, as we look back, history was not very kind to President Carter during his term.

Segment Synopsis: Beck discusses some of the issues Carter had to deal with during his presidential term such as the oil crisis and the Iran Hostage Crisis. Beck says that after Carter lost reelection in 1980, Hamilton Jordan moved to Lawrenceville, Georgia and founded Camp Sunshine for children with cancer. Beck also discusses in more detail some of the people in Carter's inner circle: Jody Powell, Bert Lance, and Charlie Kirbo. Beck then talks about what Jimmy Carter is doing at the Carter Center today.

Keywords: Herman Talmadge; Mack Mattingly; National Institute of Health; Sawyer Miller; banking; cancer

00:34:13 - Hamilton presided over Carter's politics

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Partial Transcript: As you know Jay, the media in particular, politicians and the general public focus on the oval office.

Segment Synopsis: Beck talks about how Hamilton Jordan was the key person presiding over President Carter's politics. Jordan would assimilate the viewpoints of many different people and then he would write the last memo. Beck also discusses the contested Panama Canal treaty negotiation, but President Carter's belief in it being the right thing to do.

Keywords: Central America; South America; human rights policy; polls

00:41:41 - 1980 Carter re-election campaign

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Partial Transcript: Let's spend a minute on 1980.

Segment Synopsis: Beck discusses some of the issues that caused President Carter to lose the reelection race in 1980. He says that the media attention of the Iran Hostage Crisis caused him to lose votes. He also says that John Anderson's run as an independent candidate cut into Carter's votes.

Keywords: ABC news; Green Party; October Surprise Conspiracy Theory; Ronald Reagan; Teddy Kennedy; Theodore Roosevelt; economy