Former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite was in San Jose last week to give a speech at the Commonwealth Club. Before he did, he gave an interview to the local CBS affiliate’s Hank Plante (video available here).
In fairness, Cronkite seemed very tired, and a little out of sorts. However, there were several moments during the interview when Cronkite forget simple things – like who the former tyrant and leader of Iraq was – and another when he stated that Barack Obama is in his twenties. Honestly.
With that in mind, here were some of the more interesting highlights first with his opinion of the Iraq war:
We should have gotten out a long time ago. This is a mistake, this entire war there, it's a disaster. And the earlier we get out the better…It's a terrible disaster. Look at the loss of lives of our young Americans there and those who have been maimed for life, for what purpose? No purpose we can define.
I think it’s already lost, the Iraq war, as far as our participation in it. We haven’t made any friends with that. We haven’t saved anybody from any worse existence than they had before. We’ve made it more difficult for all of them, and difficult for us. I think it was a mistake from the beginning. We ought to get out sooner rather than later.
As a result of Iraq:
I think we’re probably less safe. The entire Arab world has now put us down as an enemy. It's going to be a long time for us to take back any suggestion of friendship with those nations.
Then came the first memory lapse with the discussion still on Iraq:
It was a bad idea. A really bad idea. The idea of getting rid of – what was his name, I’ve forgotten his name.
Saddam Hussein, Walter.
And the next one, this time about Sen. Barack Obama:
I don’t think there’s a color problem with him quite honestly. I think he’s brilliant, he’s attractive. He’ll do well. The problem is not color, but age. He’s still young. Quite young – in his young twenties. That’s a little too early.
Yikes. That’s quite a brain…well, you can fill in the blank.