But "there's a fine line between boldness and recklessness," cautions Bogle, a Republican who intends to vote for John Kerry. Boldness must be tempered by foresight and deliberation, Bogle says.
"We can't have a country run by philosophers," says Bogle, who chairs the board of the National Constitution Center. "But a good leader is thoughtful. He seeks the counsel of others and is capable of introspection. Before making a decision, he walks around it and tries to see it from all sides."
A sense of fallibility helps a leader, Bogle says. It inhibits arrogance, tames boldness so it doesn't lapse into recklessness.
"If you can't admit you're wrong, you have a problem," Bogle says, "because we're all wrong so often. Why is admitting it so awful?"
If only all conservatives were so rational.