James Comey should have stayed above the fray

As interesting as it is to hear the inside story about James Comey’s meetings with Donald Trump and learn his personal opinions about the president, there’s something a little bit distasteful about Comey’s new book and the interviews he’s conducted to promote it.

For one thing, it’s always better for a former high-level public servant to take the high road and avoid being implicated in political debates. In some circumstances, when the future of the nation is at stake, it’s appropriate for informed experts to offer their opinions. But rather than stick to his perspectives on Trump’s mistakes or leadership shortcomings, Comey has descended into personal attacks about Trump’s hair and the length of his ties. It undermines the value of his other messages and plays into Trump’s narrative that he’s simply sore about being fired.

Comey might have been better to remain above the fray rather than descend into a political and personal debate with Trump. But that probably wouldn’t have generated as many interview requests. And it certainly wouldn’t have sold as many books.

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