And later, Obama demonstrates how to avoid making a Stanley McChrystal of himself while answering questions on the Rolling Stone profile that landed the general in such hot water.

I was in my office in the residence, in the Treaty Room. Joe Biden called me — he was the first one who heard about it. I think it was Sunday night, and I had one of the staff here send me up a copy, and I read through the article. I will say at the outset that I think Gen. McChrystal is a fine man, an outstanding soldier, and has served this country very well. I do not think that he meant those comments maliciously. I think some of those comments were from his staff, and so he was poorly served. And it pained me to have to make the decision I did. Having said that, he showed bad judgment. When I put somebody in charge of the lives of 100,000 young men and women in a very hazardous situation, they’ve got to conduct themselves at the highest standards, and he didn’t meet those standards.

There is not a lot you wouldn’t expect to come out of Obama’s mouth in the Rolling Stone interview, but as a broad canvassing of the issues and the president’s views on them, it’s worth the early read.

Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.