Friday, February 6, 2009
THE FIRST MISTAKE
"I Screwed Up"
It was bound to happen, and the specifics were predictable. And yet there is something refreshing in the way Obama owned up to it. (See my entry for December 24th: Obama's First Mistake.)
To be sure, it took the New York Times, among others, to call for Daschele to withdraw his nomination after many days of unsuccessful damage control. And it followed hard on the heels of Geithner's tax problems. But the response was candid, efficient, even acknowledging the nature of the fault. Perhaps it is a new era in politics, but also Obama is still riding the wave of hope, and he gets an easy pass.
This was brought home in today's Times, when Brandeis University's president paid him the ultimate compliment of imitation. Referring to his own "mistake" of announcing the close of the Rose Museum on the Brandeis campus, he said "I screwed up." Maybe he will get away with it as well.