Question: which famous American political figure recently said the following when speaking to troops fighting in Afghanistan?

“I must say, I’m a little envious. If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed. It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks.”

Was it:

  1. George McGovern (bomber pilot in WWII)
  2. John Kerry (Vietnam, swift boat pilot)
  3. Chuck Hagel, (Vietnam, infantry)
  4. Bob Dole (WWII)
  5. Wesley Clark (career military)
  6. Some other person with at least five minutes experience in a combat zone

Sorry. Trick question—because the correct answer is President Bush!

Mr. Bush didn’t say so, but he no doubt felt the same way (“a little envious”) in 1968 when he felt compelled to give up his opportunity for an “exciting”, “romantic” adventure in Southeast Asia so that some other young man could have the “fantastic experience”.

h/t Fred Kaplan


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