FMR. GOV. ED RENDELL: I think that there's no question that anybody whose been in the president's presence, President Obama, clearly understands that he thinks he is the smartest person in the room, and he probably is. So, that's true. Dick Cheney probably wasn't the smartest person in the room, but he thought the was.
ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC HOST: In that room, he might have been the smartest person.
RENDELL: I think that there are more checks and balances. I think the president, President Obama, does consult with people who he believes are in a position of knowledge, more so than Dick Cheney. I think Dick Cheney just thought, 'it's my way or the highway, period.'
Can you imagine if this current incident or incidents had happened in the Bush-Cheney era? What would progressives who are sort of soft-peddling it, what would they have done?
ALEX WAGNER, HOST: I don't know that all progressives are soft-pedaling it.
BOB HERBERT: A lot of progressives are soft-pedaling it. I do think that there would be just tons of outrage on the left if Bush, Cheney or any Republican were pursuing the same policies that Obama is pursuing in the war against terror.
HERBERT: I would like to push back against this because in our form of government, if the president or other insiders see things that make them believe, you know, they have to act in ways that are antithetical to our values, or to our laws, or to our Constitution, then the way to play that out is to have a discussion about it and to change the law, or change or amend the Constitution and that sort of thing. You shouldn't have that kind of power concentrated in person or just a handful of people. (NOW with Alex Wagner, June 18, 2013)