The president looks across the cabinet table at the vice president and has to realize, 'The only reason he's there is in case I die.
Had this been handled expeditiously, quickly, it might have been a story on the style page, or limited to the late night comedians and the cartoonists. There's simply no question they fumbled this one.
Cindy Sheehan had one glorious shining moment and she took advantage of it and the peace movement took advantage of her as it created the attention that the movement hadn't had previously.
I didn't think much of it at the time ... [but while] other people are burning flags, burning buildings and shooting each other, what the Joint Chiefs did is almost an object lesson in democracy. I would have thought at the time they got too hot under the collar.
The party needs him and, for all I know, the nation needs him. There hasn't been an African-American Democrat who has had an appeal broadly beyond his ethnic group.
If she had just gone home I think she would have been remembered importantly, but she didn't just go home.
He helped himself marginally. He gave a little backbone to a small percentage of wavering Republicans. But I don't think it had any effect on others he didn't have with him in the first place.
They took a story that was going to be laugh lines for late-night comedians and turned it into a front-page story. There was something in their attitude there that I think is going to have a lingering effect, about how a certain arrogance seemed to have crept into the White House complex.
That showed me he'll carry loyalty to a point - which is part of what presidents do.