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An Incredible Story: Jimmy Carter's Grandson Helped to Defeat Romney

Updated on November 21, 2012

“Every man’s life is a fairy tale,” wrote Hans Christian Anderson. And so is the life of James Carter IV, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter. Who would have ever thought that he is the person behind the discovery the videotapes of Mitt Romney’s campaign fundraiser, in which he said it was not his job to win over the 47 percent of voters who were committed to Obama and who wanted government handouts.

The story of Carter finding the videotapes is stranger than fiction. “Midway through a routine Internet search, he stumbled upon a video that didn’t seem right,” Josh Lederman wrote in The Huffington Post… “The young Carter had watched countless hours of footage of Republican Mitt Romney and made it his habit to search YouTube every few days for keywords like “Romney” and “Republicans.” The video clip, Carter explained to The Huffington Post, “was all blurred out at the beginning, and it was mysterious.” But it “piqued his interest and he traced down the source” and sent a message. First, he received no answer, but he discovered later a follower on Twitter by the same name as that of the video clip, Annie Onymous, and sent a direct message. After a “delicate effort,” trying to convince the person that he could be trusted to keep his or her name secret, he convinced him or her that reporter David Corn of Mother Jones Magazine could be trusted. That worked, and the videotapes were finally released to Corn, according to various news reports.

It is strange indeed that James Carter IV, before stumbling upon the videotapes, had drifted aimlessly through life for 35 years, not knowing what he wanted to do with his life. He “wafted from Centre College in Kentucky, to Georgia Southern, to Georgia State, shifting majors and working in snatches along the way,” according to Molly Redden of The New Republic. He is now midway through a Master’s degree program. But until he discovered the famous tapes, he had not found his niche in life. His Twitter bio says he was an opposition researcher, looking for a job.

After finding the videotapes, he claims to have found his interest in life. “I never really found the perfect fit for what I wanted to do until just recently, when I started doing this,” he told Redden. “I have just been floating around at the edges of this for a while.”

“The Romney videos confirms his place among those stars of the 2012 election…who dig up tantalizing videos” of the “most off-message or ideological whack,” wrote Redden. “And for the 35-year-old political scion, who has been drifting from job to job for the better part of his adult life, that’s a pretty big deal.”

It is also strange that President Obama was being compared to Jimmy Carter in terms of a second term as president, and Romney made light of his giving the green-light to take out Osama bin Laden, saying “Even Jimmy Carter would have approved the effort to take out bin Laden.” Although President Carter’s grandson admitted to The Huffington Post that Romney’s criticism of his grandfather’s weakness on foreign policy bothered him, he perhaps never dreamed that he would be the one to help pin Romney to the ground by showing, in his own words, that he was not concerned about 47 percent of Americans who, he said, take no responsibility for their lives and wanted government handouts.

The place of the May campaign fundraiser has been identified as Baca Raton, Florida, but the person who secretly videotaped the meeting will perhaps never be known. But it certainly seems strange that the person would give up the videotapes, since he or she was a supporter of Romney and had paid $50,000 to attend the fundraiser. Maybe the person was turned off by Romney’s far-right political views that the government—like Robin Hood, the legendary English outlaw of the 12th century—takes money from the rich and distributes it to people, he believes, that don’t want to work or take responsibility for themselves.

Whether the source knows it or not, any black person who came along in my time know that what Romney said here is code for taking from white folks and giving to lazy blacks who had babies so that they could get on welfare. So wrapped up in such nonsense, Romney never thought that blacks represent a much smaller percentage of the nation than his “47 percent.” In fact, 47 percent represents senior citizens who live on Society Security, retired veterans, the great number who live on Mac jobs, and others. He trashed the very voters who could have handed him the White House.

Maybe the person that shot the 68-minute videotape, perhaps a sensible and compassionate Republican, saw the future of the country with Romney as president and was frightened at the prospect. Apparently the person did not need money and, therefore, gave up the videotapes without a fee.

Maybe the aimless career of James Carter IV has come to an end, and he has stumbled his way into political history. At least he has found what he loves to do, has gotten the rare and coveted approval of his grandfather, and has gotten a lot of Twitter messages from people supporting him, saying “its poetic justice” that he uncovered the tapes.

What an incredible tale! An aimless drifter, a former president’s grandson, finds his way into history—and into a job—by finding information that helped to sink Mitt Romney’s political ship and deny him the presidency.


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    • mio cid profile image

      mio cid 5 years ago from Uruguay

      All I can say to Mitt Romney is "instant Karma's gonna get ya "Jimmy Carter has been republican's favorite punching bag for decades so it was only right something like this would happen.great hub!!!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Glad he found it and shared it. It was unbeliveable that a candidate would say that/