Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter to skip Biden nomination
ATLANTA (AP) – Former President Jimmy carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter will not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. This is the first time the couple, 96 and 93, will miss ceremonies since Carter was sworn in as 39th president in 1977.
A spokeswoman for the Carter Center in Atlanta said the Carters had sent Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris their “best wishes” and “look forward to a successful administration.”
Biden was a young senator from Delaware and ally of Carter during the Georgian’s tenure in the White House.
The Carers spent the coronavirus pandemic primarily at their home in Plains, Georgia, where they both grew up and returned after leaving the White House in 1981.
Separately, former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura will attend the inauguration in person. Their spokesperson, Freddy Ford, said: “The President and Mrs. Bush are anxious to return to Capitol Hill for the swearing-in of President Biden and Vice President Harris.
The announcement by Bush, a Republican, came a day before Congress convened for a joint session to confirm the Electoral College vote won by Biden. President Donald Trump’s Republican allies in the House and Senate plan to oppose the election results, a long-drawn-out effort that is almost certain to fail.
The Bushes also attended Trump’s inauguration in 2017. Ford added that “witnessing the peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of our democracy that never gets old.”
Carter, a Democrat, became the longest-serving US president in March 2019, overtaking former President George HW Bush, who died the previous November. Carter survived a diagnosis of melanoma that spread to his brain in 2015. He has since suffered several falls and hip replacement surgery. He no longer teaches Sunday school at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, as he has for decades, but still participates in church activities via video amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carter was the first former president to confirm his intention to attend Trump’s inauguration in 2017. The Carers sat in the aisle, next to former Presidents Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, and former Presidents George W. Bush and Laura Bush. The elder Bush was the only former president at the time not to attend Trump’s inauguration. The Carers traveled to Washington for the funeral of Elder Bush.