By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.
Wow! How long has it been since we've seen a president admit he was wrong? Dubya never came close. If his neck were on a boulder and muscled executioner wielded a cutlass above his head, Dubya would never admit he was wrong. Everyone else was wrong, but not he. Richard Nixon saw enemies in every corner, but he could not admit wrong. Even Bill Clinton never apologized to the country for lying about his encounters with Monica Lewinsky.
For the record, Bill Clinton was forced to admit wrongdoing, signing an "Agreed Order of Discipline" on his last day in office as president. It stipulated that he "knowingly gave evasive and misleading answers" about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, violating Arkansas legal ethics.
President Obama has committed no sin so large as that of any of these above-named predecessors, but he admitted yesterday in several TV interviews that he has bungled some of his cabinet appointments—most recently Tom Daschle, would-be Secretary of HHS who pulled out yesterday following revelations about $140,000.00 in unpaid taxes and hundreds of thousands of earnings as a drug company lobbyist.
That refreshing bit of candor deserves not to go unnoticed. Presidents are people like the rest of us--not better, not worse, just human. But it takes a strong sense of self to admit bad judgment to the world. And President Obama deserves credit for doing so.