Former President Jimmy Carter is still receiving hospice care at his home in south Georgia, and President Joe Biden has announced that he will give the eulogy at his funeral.
At a fundraiser in California on Monday night, Biden spoke to supporters about his “recent” encounter with the 39th president, who he had known since he was a young Delaware senator working for Carter in 1976.
Biden added, “He requested me to give his eulogy,” and then stopped himself from continuing.
Sorry, I shouldn’t have said it.
Carter, the longest-living U.S. president at 98, said on February 18 that he would spend his final days receiving end-of-life care at home following a string of brief hospital hospitalizations.
Although Biden referred to Carter’s 2015 cancer diagnosis and subsequent recovery, neither the Carter Center in Atlanta nor the former president’s family has provided specific information about his status.
In Rancho Sante Fe, California, Biden remarked, “I spent time with Jimmy Carter, and it’s finally caught up with him, but they discovered a way to keep him going for a lot longer than they anticipated because they made a breakthrough.
A few months after taking office in 2021, Biden, 80, and first lady Jill Biden paid a visit to Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, who is now 95, at their home in Plains, Georgia. Carter, who had previously served as the governor of Georgia, startled the Washington elite by gaining the Democratic nomination in 1976, and Biden was the first senator from the United States to support him.
With Biden in office, Carter’s political fortunes have somewhat improved. Top Democrats distanced themselves from him, at least publicly, for decades after he left the White House because he only served one term and lost to Republican Ronald Reagan in a landslide in 1980.
Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, both presidents, didn’t have a close bond with Carter.
Also, the unlikely presidential candidates who occasionally visited Plains over the years tended to do it in private.
Yet as the Carters’ advocacy for democracy through The Carter Center and their global humanitarian work gained fresh recognition, Democratic leaders started traveling openly, returning to south Georgia in preparation for the 2020 election campaign.
Also, Carter once more discovered a true friend and ally in the White House with the election of Biden.
According to a few Carter family friends, the former president will have a state funeral in Washington, D.C., as well as a private funeral and burial in Plains.
At the state funerals for their predecessors, former and current presidents frequently give eulogies, occasionally debating opposing political ideologies.
In 1994, Clinton gave a eulogy at the funeral of Republican Richard Nixon. In 2007, Carter paid tribute to Gerald Ford, a Republican he had to overcome to win the presidency.
After their terms as presidents, the two men grew close, and they decided that the president still alive would attend the other’s funeral and pay respects.
Donald Trump, a fellow Republican who is now in office, participated in the funeral of George H.W. Bush in 2018, but only the older Bush’s son delivered a speech there.