Remember that one time when four-star general David Petraeus slept with his biographer and then resigned as head of the CIA? We were so young, so carefree back then. Petraeus now finds himself following in the footsteps of Mark Sanford and Elliot Spitzer — both of whom had widely publicized affairs — and slowly easing his way back into public life. Regardless of how you feel about him personally, it would be a shame to disregard Petraeus on issues he possess a unique knowledge of because of personal mistakes.
Public officials caught up extra-marital scandals usually follow these five stages of recovery:
Last night, Petraeus entered stage five. He openly apologized to an audience of 600 at the annual ROTC dinner in Los Angeles. Before giving his prepared remarks, he said he was sorry for causing pain to his family, friends, and supporters. Petraeus has come out of hiding to speek about the needs of veterans. In an op-ed he wrote for today’s Wall Street Journal, he discusses how we must better assist veterans returning home from war. The op-ed, in combination with his statements at last nights dinner are leading people to believe that he is vying for a comeback. According to friends, Petraeus has also agreed to support nonprofits associated with veterans needs and has been approached by organizations to give speeches.
The Petraues scandal was truly the Inception of all affairs. Many different players all loosely connected to one another in various odd ways, culminating in a disaster in the form of a Congressional investigation. He isn’t the first and he certainly won’t be the last public official to have an affair. His experience in the military and decorated status give him clout, and if he wants to use his years of knowledge and experience to bring attention to the myriad of issues that plague veterans returning home from war, then we should welcome him back into public life with open arms.