Is Jimmy Carter still alive? He is/was, as we all know, "a good man."
Mike Pence is also a "good man." So was Neville Chamberlain.
Joseph Biden, who is not a good man, has been chosen by Jimmy Carter to deliver the eulogy at Carter's funeral whenever that actually happens. We know this because Joe told us, which means we don't know if it's actually true.
Here's what Joe said:
“He asked me to do his eulogy. Excuse me, I shouldn’t say that. I spent time with Jimmy Carter and it’s finally caught up with him, but they found a way to keep him going for a lot longer than they anticipated because they found a breakthrough."
Joe should know, because they evidently found a breakthrough to prop him up for photo ops.
If Joe's speechwriters have trouble coming up with something for him to say over Jimmy, Andrew Ferguson has some suggestions:
Is it the very unseemliness of the death watch over poor Jimmy Carter that has forced everyone to talk balls?
We blather. We talk balls. We say anything to fill the silence that might call attention to the shabbiness of what we're doing. We say things like … oh I don't know … like, Jimmy Carter "moves humanity forward every single day." Or, maybe, that he had "the sweetest and best parts of our character." We might even describe Jimmy Carter as "probably the most intelligent, hard-working, and decent man to have occupied the Oval Office in the 20th century."
That first quote, which translated into concrete terms means "I really, really like him," comes from the former TV newsreader Maria Shriver. She's a Kennedy by birth and a Schwarzenegger by marriage, so words aren't really her thing. The second comes from the Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who uncorked his extravagant sentiment during a sleepy chin wag on MSNBC's Morning Joe. The third appeared in the New York Times from the left-wing historian and journalist Kai Bird. He's a fine writer. Words really are his thing. In fact he wrote a whole book about Jimmy Carter. You might expect him to know better.
Inevitably a kind of one-upmanship set in. Public commentators are so competitive. Mia Farrow went on Twitter—it's not clear she ever gets off—and called Carter a "great, great man." "Hold my beer," said the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, metaphorically. (He doesn’t strike me as a big drinker.) Carter, Kristof tweeted, was "a great, great, great man," thus beating Mia Farrow's two greats with a third. Maybe Twitter pays him by the word. (Thanks, Elon.) Kristof also tweeted that Carter "leaves this planet so much better than he found it," presumably by moving humanity forward every single day. It's helpful, too, that Kristof specified Carter was from this planet. There were moments back in the '70s when a lot of Americans were unsure.
Jon Stewart, the TV comedian, announced to a waiting world that "Carter is one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I've ever had the honor of meeting." Stewart has spent all his adult life meeting people in the television business, so I'm willing to believe him. But the record is pretty clear that more often than not Carter evinced the personal qualities we associate with all supernaturally ambitious, highly successful politicians: a warmth extending not much deeper than the epidermis, below which hums a circulatory system coursing with ice water. Stewart went on to add, "He's the best of us," which sounds like he'd been reading over David Ignatius’s shoulder.
While we'e on the subject, we have to ask: Is Joe Biden actually alive? Silly us: USA Today assures us he is.