Political commentator and former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino has revealed a poignant lesson the late Senator John McCain taught her about the power of forgiveness.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) August 26, 2018
“One of the most important things I learned in Washington D.C. was the power of forgiveness, especially in politics,” Perino, who served as Press Secretary under President George W. Bush, told Fox News in a phone interview Sunday.
As you may well remember, things were never that cordial between the senator and the former commander-in-chief, particularly when they clashed heads in the race for the 2000 Republican nomination for president.
“President Bush and McCain fought bitterly,” Perino noted. “Terrible things were said by their supporters and in the media. There were ads that were run.”
However, despite their political disagreements, it never became overly personal between the two leaders. In light of our current political toxicity, Perino remarked on just how extraordinary this was; working together she said, must be seen as an essential element of a healthy democracy.
“I think its amazing when people can get past that and work together on issues like the tax cuts of 2001” Perino noted. “McCain became someone who President Bush would turn to often for support, advice, consultation, and for help to get things through Congress.”
Perino also highlighted McCain’s various other admirable qualities, including his stoic devotion to American troops and relentless work ethic.
“John McCain traveled tirelessly when he was well,” she explained. “When they had recess, he didn’t go on vacation, he went to visit the troops all over the world. He was a tireless advocate for that.”
Perino remarked that forgiveness can be an astonishingly powerful agent for change in Washington, particularly if it means that the staff working under various different competing politicians empowered to work together in order to bring positive change to the nation.
“I do think that forgiveness in poltics is in important, because it allows others to move on, including the staff,” she concluded. “If the leaders forgive each other, that means the staff can work together.”
A brilliant and timely message. One thing is for sure, we could certainly do with some more grace and forgiveness in our political world today.