What a Difference

a few years makes.

They always say that the Presidency wears a man down. I think President Bush has been worn down more than most.

I also think that he has shown more fortitude than the world, especially America, will ever know. And even if they do know, they’ll never give him credit.

VP Cheney on the role of the President:

The stuff you need the president for is the hard stuff. And not everything they have is hard. They do a lot of things that are symbolic, and the symbolic aspects of the presidency are important. And they can inspire, they can set goals and objectives — ‘Let’s go to the moon’ — but when they earn their pay is when they have to sit down and make those really tough decisions that in effect are life-and-death decisions that affect the safety and security and survival of the nation, and most especially those people that we send into harm’s way to guarantee that we can defeat our enemies, support our friends and protect the nation.

True statements all around. Checks with chart. It can’t all be promises and dreams of candy canes and holding hands. Someone has to be ready to make the hard, often unpopular, call.

“I want Dave to know that I want him to win. That’s the mission. He will have as much force as he needs for as long as he needs it.

“When he feels he wants to make further reductions, he should only make those reductions based on the conditions in Iraq that he believes justify those reductions. These two concerns that we are discussing back here in Washington — about contingency operations and the needs of the Army and the Marine Corps — they are not your concerns. They are my concerns.

“I do not want to change the strategy until the strategy has succeeded. I waited over three years for a successful strategy. And I’m not giving up on it prematurely. I am not reducing further unless you are convinced that we should reduce further.”

I think history will show that when we look at the actions taken, without using the veil of villification so often employed by the media, we’ll find a man thrown into an incredibly difficult situation and doing the absolute best he can to do what he thinks is right. Not for himself. Not for his party.

For the American people and for the world.

We can only hope to have as much from any person who has been given the ultimate responsibility for our country.

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