Great presidential decisions are often ones that escape the boundaries of what a leader may have said in the past, or what his political advisers recommend, or what the conventional wisdom of the day seems to supports. That was true of Nixon in China, Kennedy in the Cuban missile crisis, Roosevelt in the Great Depression, Lincoln in the Civil War.
The leader who can deal with America’s problems today may be the one who’s ready to respond to complaints that his policies go against past positions with a simple statement: So what? I’m doing what’s right for the country.
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