Archive for February 13th, 2009

Character Counts


I’m neither a political reporter, nor the son of a political reporter but I can identify when a good move has been made.  Yesterday, New Hampshire Senator, Judd Gregg, withdrew from the nomination for Commerce Secretary.  In a press release Senator Gregg cited a few reasons for this:

“I couldn’t be Judd Gregg and serve in the Cabinet. I should have faced up to the reality of that earlier,” Gregg said. “I’ve been my own person and I began to wonder if I could be an effective team player. The president deserves someone who can block for his policies. As a practical matter I can contribute to his agenda better–where we agree–as a senator and I hope to do that.”

When asked about how his withdrawing from the nomination may effect President Obama Gregg stated:

“The fault lies with me,” Gregg said in an interview with Politico, refusing to discuss any conversations he has had with Obama himself. Asked if he felt the decision would be an embarrassment for the president, Gregg said, “I may have embarrassed myself but hopefully not him.”

It takes great character to own up to your shortcomings and to take full blame for a change in desire.  Senator Gregg showed that he stands on his beliefs and that he would not be able to fully endorse some of the policies that President Obama would want to see fulfilled through the position of Commerce Secretary.  While the job could bring with it the blinding prestige of being part of a presidential cabinet it also would bring with it the staggering weight of carrying out policies that Gregg would have disagreed with personally.  Senator Judd Gregg knew his limits.  He knew when to say when.

Again, I’m not big on politics but there is a take-away here for me and for anyone paying attention.  Are you striving for a position or appointment for what it will give you rather than what you can bring to the position.  Have you made compromises in order to get where you are now?  What are the things that you have gone forward in that you should not have?  How has that changed who you are?  Have you set your integrity on a shelf in order to accomplish things you should not have?

In everything that I do, I want to first and foremost be true to who I am.  I never want to compromise in order to get ahead or receive personal gain.  My prayer is that I will always hold to this conviction.