He needed to lose an election to realize it’s a bad idea to let American citizens be held hostage by Islamic fanatics for 444 days? Never mind the fact that he considers losing to Reagan the “biggest failure” of his presidency (see: economy, stagflation, gas shortages, Iranian hostage crisis etc.)….

(Politico) — Former President Jimmy Carter says his biggest failure during his term in the White House was that he didn’t get to spend another four years there.

“I guess my biggest failure was not getting reelected,” he said in an interview with Big Think, referring to the 1980 presidential election.

Carter, 86, said the loss taught him “not to ever let American hostages be held for 444 days in a foreign country without extracting them.” He added, “I did the best I could, but I failed.”

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) challenged Carter in the Democratic primaries “and then that cost me a lot of votes,” the former president said.

“I should have paid more attention to the organization of the Democratic Party,” Carter said. “I was not only the leader of our nation, but I was also the leader of the Democratic Party. And I think I failed in that respect to keep the party united.”