Former White House staff member, Omarosa Maginault Newman, is out with a new book. She revealed, with no personal shame, that she had taped conversations while she worked in the White House, including with the president in the Oval Office and the chief of staff in the Situation Room. That is galling, despicable behavior. And even if Omarosa didn’t think that the president of the United States - the one who had given her the opportunity to try to achieve great things - doesn’t deserve better from her, I believe the citizens of this country do.
Flashback. In 2005, I was commissioned as a Special Assistant to the President as a deputy press secretary. In my first meeting with the chief of staff, Andy Card, he told me to remember that I wasn’t just serving the president or the Republican party, but the people of the United States of America. He told me the best way not to get a big head in the White House was to share it with others - to invite friends and family to experience it with me. And he also said to give thanks every day for working in the White House. That day I started saying a prayer of gratitude every time I walked into the West Wing, where the Marines guard the doors and open them to people privileged enough to be invited to work there.
Fast forward. In 2008, a former White House employee wrote a book critical and negative about President Bush. I was hurt, upset and angry. President Bush called me into the Oval. He said, I hear you’re upset about this book. I said yes sir, I am - because the coverage is terrible and I’m so sorry this happened. And he didn’t ask me to fight. He asked me to forgive. He told me no one would remember the book in about three weeks. He was right. On my way back to my office, he called after me and said, “Hey, I don’t think you’d ever do this to me.”
And with that, I was able to move beyond that book. I forgave and moved on with my work. That, President Bush said, is what working in the White House is about. It isn’t about the self but it is the people of this nation. They deserve the best work ethic White House employees can muster.
Omarosa chose not to do that. Her book will be forgotten. Her breach of confidence and ghastly disloyalty - to the country - will not be.