Does a leader’s private morality matter?

This morning, we had Thomas Ricks on to discuss his new book, The Generals. Since generals are in the news these days, the talk turned to Gen. David Petraeus.

Here’s what Ricks said:

I think we should be careful about casually throwing away good leaders. especially on the grounds of personal, private business. I think we pay too much attention to the private lives of our officials. And too little attention to the public execution of their duties.

I don’t understand why we are so harsh about holding people accountable on their private lives. And so permissible and lax with how they actually do their job.

He added, “We should be careful about throwing out good leaders.”

What do you think? We’ll discuss Ricks’ take, Petraeus and moral leadership tomorrow morning on the Friday Roundtable.

–Stephanie Curtis, social media host