Q: Tell us about Dick Thornburgh.|
WS: Well, Dick Thornburgh was, I think, clearly tested for the first time as
governor at Three Mile Island and, in my opinion, came out with flying colors.
I watched him under the most stressful and difficult situations. You're
feeling the responsibility for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of
people on your shoulder in a way that I couldn't feel as lieutenant governor.
He felt it as governor -- a flurry of contradictory and misinformation and the
necessity and the clamor for decision. And he was magnificent. He was a
trained lawyer/prosecutor. All along, there were two kinds of main principles
he worked on that he made very clear from the beginning. One is that, "We're
gonna get the facts and we're not gonna speculate. We are gonna relentlessly
find out what the facts are. And, second of all, when we know them we're gonna
tell people what we know and we're gonna tell people what we don't know. We're
not gonna pretend we know everything. We're gonna keep people informed
without unnecessarily scaring them." And it was the keel to the ship of state
in that time. He really kept us afloat. I can only imagine the pressures
that he was feeling internally. Whenever someone would come and say,
"Governor, this has happened," your natural instinct is to say, "Okay, we're
gonna do this." But his natural instinct was, "Are you sure? Who says this?
What do we know," and ask 10-20 questions. And we invariably knew twice as
much by the time he was done than we did when he started.
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