Armitage makes a strong argument that military experience is not necessarily a prerequisite for America’s top post.
Question: Should the President have military experience?
Armitage: I don’t think it’s necessarily the case. Abraham Lincoln didn’t have military experience and he did a pretty good job as Commander-in-Chief. So . . . Franklin Delano Roosevelt the same. I’m not one who thinks that necessarily would be the judge of a good presidency. I’m more inclined to think that those presidents who have been judged great by history are primarily presidents who have suffered great hardship in their own lives. I mean George Washington lost more battles than he won. Abraham Lincoln – entirely self-made and failed politician. Theodore Roosevelt a weakly child who built himself up through intent of his own will. Franklin Roosevelt, who lost the use of his legs and simultaneously developed a spine. So I think that being in the military or from the military is not a prerequisite. Perhaps something more closely to look at is what hardships has one overcome in their life? And how does that shape you to be able to be both empathetic and steely when you need to be?