The morning of the day that Pete Buttigieg suspended his campaign for president, he and his husband Chasten stopped in Plains, Georgia to have breakfast with Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn.
Maybe no event could be a more fitting coda.
Among all the presidents of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Jimmy Carter holds a special place. The political qualities of his presidency are still being debated. The quality of his humanity, evidenced by decades of enlightened, faithful and humble service, are towering. His life and longevity are a gift and a model to us all.
Pete and Jimmy are separated in age by almost sixty years. In terms of spirit and love for people and country, they might as well be brothers. Just as we needed Jimmy Carter to help wash away the Nixon years, we need Pete Buttigieg, or someone like him, to help wash away the Trump years. All of us who support him know that there is no one on the scene right now quite like Pete.
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have been married for 73 years. To hear Pete talk about his marriage to Chasten in the speech announcing the suspension of his campaign, he has every intention of being married to Chasten for the rest of their lives. Having seen them together, and knowing Pete’s honesty and thoughtful earnestness, there is every reason to believe that. And to believe in the real possibility that we will thankfully have Pete in our national future for a long time to come.