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“What Kind of Temperament is Best?” TIME, October 16, 2008

TIME recently gathered four presidential historians–George Mason University’s Richard Norton Smith, Yale University’s Beverly Gage, and Russell Riley and David Coleman of the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia–to discuss presidential temperament: what it is, who had it and how much it matters in the White House. An excerpt of their conversation:

Gage: What people are trying to get at when they use the word temperament is something along the lines of instinct–how someone approaches a situation and particularly, I think, how someone approaches a crisis.

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