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From the Archives

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I came across this while doing some actual work. Here’s a jaw-softening moment from April 2003:

Mr. Brokaw. Can you imagine being FDR and running World War II all those years–Truman, Korea? All the years that Vietnam went on and 57,000 lives were lost.

The President. I know.

Mr. Brokaw. Now that you’ve had your own—-

The President. One month.

Mr. Brokaw. —-one month, but your own time on the crucible, to know what the country would go through?

The President. It’s a very interesting question, because–yes, I know, I can’t imagine what it would be like to have been through the Vietnam war as the President of the United States. I hope I would have done it differently. I hope I would have had a clearer mission and given the militaries [sic] the tools and their strategy necessary to achieve a mission, as opposed to politicizing the war the way they did. But you’re right, it’s a strain on the country.

When you’re right, Mr. President, you’re right.

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