Before and during his Colby College speech Sunday, Lovejoy Award recipient Bob Woodward spoke on various topics in American politics.

* On how an upcoming round of negotiations about the “fiscal cliff” would compare to previous failed talks:

“I think it’s necessity,” he said. “If they don’t fix this, we could crash. I think of it as a moment of profound peril. I think (President Barack) Obama realized that. I think (House Speaker John) Boehner realizes that. I think (Vice President Joe) Biden realizes it. I think Senator (Mitch) McConnell and Senator (Harry) Reid realize it.”

* On the recent resignation of Gen. David Petraeus following a revelation he had carried on an affair:

“He’s a very careful person normally, and in this affair he obviously was not. I think he did the honorable thing. I think he realized the CIA director cannot be in that situation. But it is interesting that a president of the United States can hang on. President (Bill) Clinton was impeached and not convicted and stayed in office. There is a lot of Puritanism in America, and I think frankly it was common sense on the part of Petraeus. He made a huge mistake and got out of the way.”

* On the effect of the resignation on the Obama White House:

“I think the White House and Obama didn’t want him to go because he’s been a pretty good CIA director and he’s been such a high-profile person. He’s one of the few people in public life in the last 10 years who has been in the spotlight and not been burned in the spotlight until now. The CIA can sink a presidency, as in the Bay of Pigs, or it can help a presidency a great deal. Having someone of that independence, that stature, held in high regard by a lot of Republicans, had insulated Obama.”

* On whether the public knows the whole story behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks:

“I think most of the questions are answered; but if we keep at it, we might learn something more.”

* On Obama’s recent revelation that he enjoys the television program “Homeland”:

“I think it’s an excellent show. It’s got twists and turns you wouldn’t expect. I think it speaks to Obama’s taste.”

* On being seated next to Al Gore during a Washinton, D.C., dinner:

“Dinner next to Al Gore, to be honest, is taxing.”

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