A Brief History of Democratic Statesmanship

Speaking at Columbia University in 1959, a student challenged the 33rd President [Harry Truman], a Democrat, on dropping the second A-bomb. ‘The reason I asked this,’ the student said, ‘was that it seemed to me the second bomb came pretty soon after the first one.’ After speaking testily of ‘Monday morning quarterbacks,’ Truman said simply: ‘I was there. I did it. I would do it again.’

Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal

KERRY: I think George Bush rushed to war without exhausting the remedies available to him, without exhausting the diplomacy necessary to put the U.S. in the strongest position possible, without pulling together the logistics and the plan to shore up Iraq immediately and effectively.

TIME: And you as Commander in Chief would not have made these mistakes but would have gone to war?
KERRY: I didn’t say that.

TIME: I’m asking.
KERRY: I can’t tell you.

TIME magazine, March 7, 2004

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