"That's what governors do."

Not presidents, apparently.

From the Presidental Debate on Oct 3, 2000.

MODERATOR: New question. We’ve been talking about a lot of specific issues. It’s often said that in the final analysis about 90% of being the President of the United States is dealing with the unexpected, not with issues that came up in the campaign. Vice President Gore, can you point to a decision, an action you have taken, that illustrates your ability to handle the unexpected, the crisis under fire?

GORE: When the action in Kosovo was dragging on and we were searching for a solution to the problem, our country had defeated the adversary on the battlefield without a single American life being lost in combat. But the dictator Milosevic was hanging on. I invited the former prime minister of Russia to my house and took a risk in asking him to get personally involved, along with the head of Finland, to go to Belgrade and to take a set of proposals from the United States that would constitute basically a surrender by Serbia. But it was a calculated risk that paid off. Now, I could probably give you some other examples of decisions over the last 24 years. I have been in public service for 24 years, Jim. And throughout all that time the people I have fought for have been the middle-class families, and I have been willing to stand up to powerful interests like the big insurance companies, the drug companies, the HMOs, the oil companies. They have good people and they play constructive roles sometimes, but sometimes they get too much power. I cast my lot with the people even when it means that you have to stand up to some powerful interests who are trying to turn the — the policies and the laws to their advantage. You can see it in this campaign. The big drug companies support Governor Bush’s prescription drug proposal. They oppose mine because they don’t want to get Medicare involved because they’re afraid that Medicare will negotiate lower prices for seniors who currently pay the highest prices of all.

MODERATOR: Governor Bush?

BUSH: I’ve been standing up to big business, big Hollywood, big trial lawyers. Was — the question about emergencies, wasn’t it?

MODERATOR: It was about — okay.

BUSH: You know, as governor, one of the things you have to deal with is catastrophe. I can remember the fires that swept Parker County, Texas. I remember the floods that swept our state. I remember going down to Del Rio, Texas. I have to pay the administration a compliment. James Lee Witt of FEMA has done a really good job of working with governors during times of crisis. But that’s the time when you’re tested not only — it’s the time to test your mettle, a time to test your heart when you see people whose lives have been turned upside down. It broke my heart to go to the flood scene in Del Rio where a fellow and his family got completely uprooted. The only thing I knew was to got aid as quickly as possible with state and federal help, and to put my arms around the man and his family and cry with them. That’s what governors do. They are often on the front line of catastrophic situations.

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