Ex-presidents normally get a sort of hazy glow of mass public acceptance—just look at the ongoing transformation of war criminal George W. Bush into a sweetly incompetent painter having trouble with a rain slicker. And yet despite this post-office depoliticization, Jimmy Carter has made a name for himself as a genuinely humble, genial man, devoting himself to charity work, international diplomacy, and human rights issues.
Even so, it’s sort of shocking to see this recent footage of him methodically shaking hands with every single passenger on a commercial flight:
It is not hard to draw a comparison between Carter and our current president, for whom humility is an inconceivable notion, nor, indeed, the billionaire-friendly post-presidential lifestyles of the Clintons and the Obamas. One man’s kite-surfing with Richard Branson is another man’s humble life on a peanut farm, perhaps.