Which probably happened more often than not, there at the Naval Academy; there were numerous midshipmen whose fathers were captains or admirals and so on and so forth, but John came from a special rarified navy lineage, and so you know, I remember--
Kall: So he came into the Naval Academy a child of privilege, who was able to get away with stuff that the average Naval Academy person who didn't have those privileges would never have gotten away with.
Butler: Well, that was said. Those were things that were being said at the time and I know that he did on at least one occasion have to go over and have a talk with Admiral Smidberg, the Superintendent of the Naval Academy, which was extremely unusual. I never heard of any other midshipman getting a --as we called it-- a "Dutch Uncle" talk at Navy, for being dressed down.
Kall: Do you remember what he did to cause that?
Butler: I don't; it was fifty years ago, so that one I can't remember, I'm sorry.
Kall: You know, you've talked about him being--engaging in brinkmanship and in wild, crazy kind of behavior, how do you think that would translate into his functioning as a president?
Butler: Well, that's a problem I have. Like I said, I really respect him and I have to say that I like him very much. He's a funny guy if you're ever around him, he's got incredible wit, he's funny, he's likeable; if you're with him for a few minutes, you're immediately going to like the fellow.
Kall: Yeah, the guy you'd like to have a beer with-- or a couple.
Butler: Yeah, exactly. "To have a few drinks with, and interesting"but for me, the only problem I have is that electing a person to be the President of the United States of America falls into a whole different category. It obviates anything like a former friendship or a former liaison or partnership, or family member or anything else; it has to be somebody with special qualifications. I don't see that John has those qualifications; he has a personality that concerns me were he to become president of the United States.
And the other thing is that it's not just his military service, but what has John done, how does he actualize, how does he take lessons from his military service in terms of how he sees the world today, and I think it's all wrong; I think his lessons from Vietnam are all wrong; he's helped lead us right back into another Vietnam in the Iraq War.
He's a bellicose kind of a guy, he's aggressive, he's a black and white thinker. He doesn't see nuances, just like George Bush doesn't see nuances; he thinks that things are black and white.
He does his campaigning-- the other day he was being interviewed asked a couple of questions, and he answered, "yes, yes and no." and then everybody clapped, but that's the wrong kind of thinking than we want in the President of the United States; we want somebody who sees the complexity of the World Order.
Kall: I'm curious. In his role in the Navy. Did he ever play a role as a leader?
Butler: When he came home, I understand that he was the Commanding Officer of a training squadron, a replacement aircraft squadron on the east coast; I believe that it might have been in Jacksonville, but in that squadron he was a squadron commander. And I understand that he was well thought of as a squadron commander. But there again, that job doesn't translate to President of the United States.
Kall: What's it involve being a squadron commander?
Butler: It's like being a CEO. They probably had multimillions of dollars worth of aircraft and supplies and material goods under his command and maybe a couple of hundred people, so it's tantamount to the military version, if you could draw somewhat of a comparison to being a CEO.