June 4th, 2011
05:33 PM ET

Letters to the President: #866 'Falling from on high'

Reporter's Note: Presidents rarely, in my experience, admit mistakes. Which is a shame, I think. Because when it comes to that subject, we’ve all had our share…

Dear Mr. President,

Is it just me or is it downright freaky to see John Edwards trotting around outside a courtroom facing charges? I know, I know, on any given day I suspect voters would be happy to see every soul on Capitol Hill frog-marched over to the Iron Bar Hilton. But it just seems odd to watch someone who competed for the same office you now hold and who was frankly, at one point, considered a much more likely winner than you, falling so very, very far from that lofty height.

Related: John Edwards pleads not guilty to conspiracy, campaign law violations

I understand that people make mistakes. We all do. I once wore argyle socks to a funeral for crying out loud. Still, it is hard to imagine that anyone entering the pressure cooker of a presidential bid could imagine that such activities would go unnoticed. Uh, especially if his “friend” is running around shooting videotape of him flirting with the camera all the time. Just saying…

People always make a big deal about how smart presidents are. Admittedly, they make a bigger fuss about some presidents than others, but I have found that they are all pretty sharp. You don’t get your name on the Oval Office door if you’re an idiot.

But presidents are also human. They miscalculate, they misunderstand situations, they guess incorrectly, and, sometimes, they just flat out make the wrong decision. You have probably done all of that already in your time in office. It is no shame, because, as I said, every president does. And every presidential candidate does, too.

What will happen to Mr. Edwards at this point is anyone’s guess, I suppose. And I guess at this point, since he is no longer in office, it is mainly his business. But when I watch a spectacle like this, I remind myself that there really is a lesson in it for us all: No matter how high and mighty we make think we are, we can still make dreadful mistakes with horrendous consequences. Our leaders are the same. And while dishing out forgiveness for anyone who has fallen may be hard, a world in which such forgiveness is too jealously guarded is pretty hard as well.

Hope your Saturday is going well. Me? All set for the big Game 2 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Call if you want to come over.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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