I was tutored many years ago by I think the finest public servant that I have ever known who is sitting in the front row of this room today, former congressman John Y. McCollister. John Y., I thank you.
Thank you, and not just for the shaping and molding of my career, which occasionally I know within your sense of evaluation I get off track, but nonetheless, you don’t have to agree publicly with that, John. But also, thank you for the service you have given this country, your distinguished service in World War II and your service to the county board, to the Republican Party, and to our country, as a very respected and highly regarded United States congressman.
Of course, on the day of the non-announcement, the AP reported that McCollister said the following:
It was a cautious statement, which is unlike the Chuck Hagel I knew. I’ve got to say I’m a little disappointed that he didn’t declare here and now, today, that he was a candidate for president.