Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Not a 'Leaker,' but Simply a Decent Guy

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Not a 'Leaker,' but Simply a Decent Guy

Article excerpt

Like many of you, I heard and watched much of former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last Thursday.

It was not riveting television. It was not even nerve-wracking, as back in the day when we watched the courageous, yet nervous, John Dean, give up his president in the Watergate hearings.

No, Comey was pure vanilla, a flavor, in my estimation, we don't get enough of in public discourse these days.

Indeed, when Comey pre-empted his appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee by making his opening statement public before his testimony about conversations he had with President Donald Trump regarding Gen. Michael Flynn, and other Russia-related matters -- he in essence stole his own thunder.

When was the last time we saw a public official do something like that?

In the end, Comey came across as decent, intelligent, and most of all, credible. He was composed throughout his nearly three hours before the cameras.

"It's my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation," he said calmly. "I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russia investigation was being conducted."

Comey, from what I could tell, never wavered under questioning, never flinched, and even showed an occasional flair for wit ... and grasp of Shakespeare. His intellect, his poise were on display, even when he admitted to his own "leak" of a memo regarding one damning conversation with Trump.

Indeed, the more I watched, the more I listened, the more I wished it was Comey occupying the White House, and Trump the one on the outside looking in.

And yet this is not the way of our politics at the moment. Maybe it never was.

In general, we as a nation tend to favor noise-makers. We are suckers for loudmouths and screamers like Chris Christie and Donald Trump. Even good ol' Bernie Sanders. The intellects, the quieter ones, people like John Kerry and George H.W. Bush -- both war-time veterans I might add -- we can stomach for only so long before we spit them down the drain. …

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