This personal characteristic is very evident in the book, especially in the parts concerning most of his critics. Carter refers to Scoop Jackson as someone who “acted like an ass”, considers Russell Long as waste of time, and thinks of Helmut Schmidt as a paranoid child respectively (123, 164, 439). In essence, this part of the book makes the reader doubt Carter’s leadership ability as a result of his inability to deal with criticism positively. Reading this part of the book makes it a bit frustrating and one wonders how a president can be that close minded.
It is amazing how a thorough read of the book portrays Carter as a person who is very fond of passing judgments on others yet he cannot stand criticism directed at him. For example, Carter writes that Reagan is the type of person who does not seem to listen to anyone and that his thinking is mostly made up of a few memorized anecdotes and vignettes (513). Carter’s criticism of Begin as an individualistic person also shows how Carter fails to see such traits in himself but is very keen to notice them on others.
In yet another section of the book, the reader is exposed to Carter’s close-mindedness and his inability handle criticism. The two traits are made evident when Carter writes about his poor relationship with the media because he was always cynical and suspicious of the press (528). Carter directly accuses the news media of deliberately giving him negative publicity and fails to give rational explanations as to why he received such unsympathetic press coverage. Instead of admitting his mistakes, Carter claims that the negative press was because of his refusal to provide humorous comments at annual media banquets (529).