Today, on NBC’s Meet the Press, host David Gregory asked Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to compare the “styles” and “temperaments” of Presidents Bush and Obama. Gates said Obama is “somewhat more analytical” than Bush, as Obama makes a concerted attempt to hear the views of every player involved in an issue:
GATES: I think that probably President Obama is somewhat more analytical, and he makes sure he hears from everybody in the room on an issue. And if they don’t speak up, he calls on them.
Q: A marked difference from his predecessor?
GATES: 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 before.
On CNN, former Bush counselor Ed Gillespie responded to Gates’ comments, saying “of course” Bush listened to everybody. But he acknowledged Gates’ key point and tried to explain why Bush didn’t call on others. “If they didn’t [offer their own view], you know, everybody has their own style. I’m not sure how much benefit you get from pressing someone who didn’t want to volunteer something.” Watch it: