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Look Who's Back for 2020

Democratic candidates are turning to him for advice
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 19, 2019 12:36 PM CDT
In this Tuesday, April 16, 2019 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar speaks during a roundtable discussion on health care, in Miami.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
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(Newser) – Jimmy Carter carved an unlikely path to the White House in 1976 and endured humbling defeat after one term. Now, six administrations later, the longest-living chief executive in American history is re-emerging from political obscurity at age 94 to win over his fellow Democrats once again, the AP reports. A peanut farmer turned politician then worldwide humanitarian, Carter is taking on a special role as several Democratic candidates look to his family-run campaign after the Watergate scandal as the road map for toppling President Donald Trump in 2020. "Jimmy Carter is a decent, well-meaning person, someone who people are talking about again given the time that we are in," Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in an interview. "He won because he worked so hard, and he had a message of truth and honesty. I think about him all the time."

Klobuchar is one of at least three presidential hopefuls who've ventured to the tiny town of Plains, Georgia, to meet with Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, who is 91. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, also have visited with the Carters and attended the former president's Sunday School lesson in Plains. It's quite a turnabout for a man who largely receded from party politics after his presidency, often without being missed by his party's leaders in Washington, where he was an outsider even as a White House resident. Carter is also a complex figure who says he voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primaries but warns Democrats against "too liberal a program." Meanwhile, his allies say they hope the 2020 campaign is part of bolstering his reputation as a president.

(Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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