After serving as a Naval Officer for 7 years, Carter returned to plains, and in 1962 he entered state politics. 8 years later he was elected Governor of Georgia. As a governor, he strongly emphasized ecology, efficiency in government, and the removal of racial barriers. Jimmy Carter announced his candidacy for President in December 1974, and began a two-year campaign. At the Democratic Convention, he was nominated on the first ballot. As his running mate, Carter chose Senator Walter F. Mondale of Minnesota. Carter campaigned against President Gerald R. Ford, debating with him three times, and finally Carter won by 297 electoral votes to 241 for Ford. He was sworn in as president (at the age of 52 years, 3 months, and 20 days) n January 20, 1977.
Presidency By the end of his presidency, Carter could claim credit for an increase of nearly 8 million jobs and a decrease in the budget deficit, measured in percentage of the gross national product. But unfortunately, inflation and interest rates were at near record highs, and efforts to reduce them caused a short recession. Carter had several achievements in domestic affairs; he dealt with the energy shortage by establishing a national energy policy and by decontrolling domestic petroleum prices to stimulate production. He prompted Governments efficiency through civil service reform and proceeded with deregulation of the trucking and airline industries. He fought to improve the environment. His expansions of the national park systems included protection of 103 million acres of Alaskan lands. He created the Department of Education, bolstered the Social Security system, and appointed record numbers of women, blacks and Hispanics to Government jobs. In foreign affairs, in the Middle East, through the Camp David agreement of 1978, he helped bring amity between Egypt and Israel. He also succeeded in obtaining ratification of the Panama Canal treaties. He established full diplomatic relations with the Peoples Republic of China and completed negotiations of the SALT II nuclear limitation treaty with the Soviet Union. Although he may have succeeded in several things he also failed in some area, for example take the SALT II treaty. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan caused the suspension of plans for the ratification of the SALT II pact, and the U.S. embassy staff in Iran was kept hostage for over a year and Carter couldnt do anything about it. After Carter lost the 1980 presidential election to Reagan, he returned to Georgia, where in 1982 he founded the non-profit Carter Center in Atlanta to promote peace and human rights worldwide. The center has initiated projects in more than 65 countries to resolve conflicts, prevent human right abuses, build democracy, improve health, and revitalize urban areas. He, and his wife, Rosalynn, still live in Plains.