What’s the difference between Obama and Bush?
If you want to know if there’s a difference between working for President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush, ask the man who’s worked for both: Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Gates faced that question on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
Gates, a former CIA official, first responded without really responding. “That sounds like the subject of a good book,” Gates said, and declined to say whether he plans to write one.
When pressed, the Pentagon chief said, “I think that probably President Obama is somewhat more analytical and we makes sure he hears from everybody in the room on an issue and if they don’t speak up, he calls on them.”
And how does this differ from Bush, who had a reputation for delegating details and avoiding policy homework?
“President Bush was interested in hearing different points of view but didn’t go out of his way to make sure everybody spoke if they hadn’t spoken up.”
Asked how long he might stay as defense secretary, Gates replied, “Well, I think that’s probably up to the president.” He seemed to tip his hand ever so slightly when asked if he would stay until the end of Obama’s current term.
“That would be a challenge,” the guarded Gates said.