We have, for example, John Kennedy’s magisterial:
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Or Franklin Roosevelt’s request that a declaration of war be passed by Congress:
No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us…
While President Obama is loath to assume the mantle of commander-in-chief, how does his team inspire or explain to Americans his approach?
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