Early in his presidency, John F. Kennedy approved an ill-planned and poorly executed invasion of Cuba by a group of ex-patriots with the help of the CIA. It was a disaster. President Kennedy learned more from making that mistake than he ever did from any success in his life.
In 1962, President Kennedy was faced with what we now refer to as the Cuban Missile Crisis. If poorly handled, this conflict could have turned into a nuclear exchange between the Soviet Union and the United States. President Kennedy was able to guide the world through this crisis in part because he learned from his previous mistakes in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. His leadership helped America survive what could have been the end of our country as we know it. Good leaders learn from their mistakes, and they move forward with a determination not to repeat them.
Today we can choose to judge Sen. Walsh not on a mistake he made, but on his entire career. He was a good soldier who turned into a solid leader in Montana and in combat in Iraq. He has been recognized by Americans of both political parties for his humility, his dedication, his service and his leadership. Good people make mistakes, but mistakes do not define them.
Famous historians and best-selling authors, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Stephen Ambrose, were accused of plagiarism after they had written many well-researched histories. Apparently they made the same mistake that John Walsh did.