BOSTON (CBS) – One of my favorite questions to ask of politicians is – what’s the biggest mistake you’ve made so far, and what did you learn from it?
I’m pretty sure none of them like the question – who wants to talk about their mistakes?
Some of them are ready for it, and answer it thoughtfully. Others are not, and do not.
I’ve even had a few admit they can’t think of any mistakes they’ve made.
Those are the ones to watch out for.
In politics as in life, you cannot succeed unless you’re able to acknowledge your mistakes, identify what went wrong, learn from them, and avoid repeating them.
In no office is this more true than the presidency, a job for which there is no truly adequate preparation, where the tough decisions come at you fast, and mistakes are often hard to clean up. Successful presidents tend to have people around them who can help them understand their blunders and overcome them.
That’s why the prospects for success for the Trump presidency took a hit on Friday with the appointment of a flagrant yes-man to be White House communications chief.
Here’s what Anthony Scaramucci tweeted on Saturday as he deleted old tweets that were either critical of Trump or advocated policy positions that are now at odds with the president:
“Past views evolved and shouldn’t be a distraction. I serve @POTUS agenda and that’s all that matters.”
This, along with other signs of severe sycophancy, suggest Scaramucci will not give the president what he desperately needs – some help acknowledging and correcting his chronic mistakes.
And if he won’t do it, who will?