I found this in a transcript, and decided it was sufficiently exceptional to be saved as my first journal entry. Excerpted from an April 24, 2007 interview
with Charlie Rose (grammaticals and all):
What's the lessons [sic] of all this for you, the war in Iraq and what it means for the future? And what have you learned that you think would like to put in a note on the desk of [your] successor?
President George W. Bush:
I've learned that in order to make profound decisions that affect the future of the country, you must have a set of principles that are firmly etched in your soul, that you can't make good decisions if you chase the latest focus group or opinion poll, that you've got to believe a principle such as freedom is universal, and there is no kind of moral relativity when it comes to that subject, as far as I'm concerned. People deserve and desire to be free. And that history has taught us democracies don't war, so forms of government matter in terms of finding peace. But you have to believe principles in order to put up with all the noise, all the pressure, all the flattery and criticism that happens in Washington DC. That's one of the primary lessons I've learned as the president.
While he's definitely not a Ronald Reagan (see the balance of the transcript), this statement (which he probably memorized) is a lesson any presidential candidate should learn, hopefully before the elections, and definitely before taking the oath of office.