‘He’s the good in the world’: niece says Jimmy Carter surrounded by loving family

PLAINS, Ga. — Leanne Smith was just a teenager when Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976 and through the years, it’s always been about family.

“To me, he’s the good in the world, you know? And Aunt Rosalynn, too,” Smith said.

Smith has nothing but good things to say about her Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Rosalynn.

Like Christmastime. She shared a photo with Channel 2′s Richard Elliot of one of the Carter family Christmas lunches in Plains.

They all had got stocking caps. Jimmy Carter’s said “president.”

“Christmas was probably our most favorite time of the year, and we spend every Christmas with them. Christmas lunch at my grandmother’s house, which is the house I now live in,” Smith said.


The Carter Center sent out a statement over the weekend saying the former president would receive home hospice care instead of additional medical interventions.

Smith said since then, he’s been surrounded by a loving family at the home he and Rosalynn have lived in since 1961.

“My mom and I, yesterday, took some food up for Chip and Amy and Jack. They were all up there, and we didn’t see him. They were resting, which, you know, is what you do at this time in your life,” Smith said.

Smith told Elliot that she wondered who will pick up Carter’s legacy moving forward and then answered her own question by saying “all of us.”

“It’s like what happens now? You know? Who carries on the legacy you know? You have to, then you have this dawning, this moment that you think, ‘Well, you know, we all have to,’” Smith said.

Smith said her Uncle Jimmy has done so much for Plains, it’ll be hard to imagine a Plains without him one day.