January 28, 2009
Focus on the Family Action Taps Former Bush Aide who Resigned for Plagiarism
Focus on the Family Action recently hired Timothy Goeglein, a former White House aide who resigned last year after he admitted to plagiarism. He will fill a new role of vice president of external relations, according to the group's CitizenLink magazine.
"News reports are calling him a lobbyist, but Goeglein will actually be Focus Action's 'eyes and ears in Washington,'" the article states.
Goeglein left his position in the White House last year after he admitted to copying work a Dartmouth College publication for several of his columns for his hometown newspaper, the The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He told the newspaper, "Pride. Vanity. It's all my fault. It's inexcusable. What I did is wrong. I categorically apologize."
He was special assistant to President Bush and public liaison deputy director, often acting as a pipeline for social conservatives, including evangelicals. He was also once a spokesman for Gary Bauer, who ran for president in 2000.
The CitizenLink article makes no mention of the plagiarism story, but a press release from the organization does.
He has accepted full responsibility for his actions, and the matter is behind him, the organization's president and CEO Jim Daly said in the release.
"Tim has been forthright about his mistakes and humbly accepted the consequences of them ? a pretty rare thing in Washington," Daly said in the statement. "He is a Christian, and being a Christian doesn't mean you're perfect ? only that there is grace and forgiveness when you confess your imperfections. Tim has done that, and we welcome him to our team enthusiastically."
Although the online article makes no reference to Goeglein's plagiarism, editor Tom Hess writes that Citizen acknowledged Goeglein's plagiarism on page 29 of the November 2008 edition.
The departed aide
What sets this president apart is what Aristotle called "a greatness of soul," an inner moral compass that is rare in American statecraft. The president knows who he is, what he believes and why he believes it.
I experienced the greatness of his soul up close, because after nearly eight years of service as his deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liana, I admitted tin March that I had plagiarized. It was entirely my fault, rooted in vanity and without excuse. I hurt my family deeply. It was the worst chapter of my life.
After I resigned, I went to see the president and apologize. The first thing he said was, "I forgive you. I have known grace, and you are forgiven." Dumbfounded, I told him that I did not deserve this forgiveness, but he repeated, "I forgive you, Tim. That's the past. Now what's ahead of you and your family?" The heart and soul of George W. Bush was large, wide and deep that day.