Reporter's Note: President Obama’s CIA Director quit this afternoon, just as I was writing my daily letter to the White House.
Dear Mr. President,
Just last week I was discussing with a friend how few scandals have plagued your administration. Sure, you’ve had a few low-lying dustups that have not looked particularly good, but few things with genuinely sharp teeth have appeared to threaten the reputation of your team. Republicans probably disagree with that assessment, but as I sit here I can’t think of anything poisonous.
Mind you, and with no offense, I don’t particularly attribute that to anything except luck. Most presidents, I have faith, try to pick out good people with whom to work. And yet, invariably, sooner of later someone strays into something less than savory and the Chief Executive is put in the difficult position of dealing with it.
And now here comes the scandal and resignation of your CIA Director David Petraeus, just at the end of your re-election week. Talk about spoiling the party. All things considered, I suppose you’re happier having it happen now than you’d have been if happened a week ago, but it can’t be pleasant either way.
I feel terrible for his family. People do foolish things all the time, but when they sit in high places the repercussions can sometimes seem much worse than they might be otherwise. The emotional pain, I am sure, is the same, but the scale of the embarrassment is much more grand. Despite a lifetime of honored work, he will now be known in large part for a big mistake at the end of his career. And despite decades of being married, his wife will now spend the rest of her life with the nation knowing he was untrue.
That’s hard for everyone, including some people who in many ways were not at all involved…like you. So I hope for all involved that the most painful days pass quickly.
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