I see on twitter that Jimmy Carter will go on Piers Morgan tonight to whine about how Barack Obama isn't nice enough to him.
This naturally got me thinking about what sitcom character most resembles Carter...no, resembles isn't exactly it. Captures the idea of Jimmy Carter? Helps explain Carter? It's somewhere in there.
My first thought, perhaps because I've been watching quite a bit of 30 Rock, was Jenna Maroney, who nicely captures Carter's constant emphasis on himself. Jenna, too, was ambitious beyond her talents (although she is talented, right?), and could be quite vicious on behalf of herself. They're both Southern, too.
On the other hand...how about Diane Chambers? Diane may not have been quite as all-about-me as Jenna, but she's fairly close, and I like that her ambitions usually end in disaster, which fits better. Diane is smart, too, and Carter is certainly smart. Diane, too, gets the sanctimonious side of Carter, including that Diane is sometimes right. Self-centered, sanctimonious....that's also George Costanza, no? I don't quite see him as Carter; neither the nebbishness nor the sarcasm really fit.
I really like Carter as a show-biz narcissist who thinks of his narcassism as virtuous. That rules out, say, Larry Sanders, who knows (at least one one level) that he's a horrible person. Or Tracy Jordon, who knows (again, on at least one level) that he's preposterous. Which is why Jenna really appeals to me. She seems to honestly believe that it's all about her, and it should be all about her. Not that Jimmy Carter has that level of bluntness -- he doesn't at all. But it's what he should be self-aware about.
But maybe someone has a better idea? If not, Jenna is my frontrunner for now.