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This little thing that keeps getting played out in This Just In is quite amusing. Read this and then this. Politicians should just learn something once and for all: If you make a mistake, say the wrong thing or change your mind, just admit it and move on. But if you try over and over to either spin it, pretend it didn’t happen or just plain try to justify it, you look worse and worse each time.

I’ll always remember watching former Mayor Dick Murphy fight to defend his record. Rather than ever admit a mistake in his handling of city finances, he continued to put up reason after reason why he had made the best decisions possible. And each time that evidence emerged that those reasons were wrong, it was a bigger deal than it ever had to be. I wonder what could have happened if Murphy had ever said something like “yes, we made mistakes. I will work hard to make them right.”

It didn’t happen.

And mayoral hopeful Steve Francis is following that playbook dealing with a much smaller issue here.

He made the point of introducing himself to the media and San Diego with a five-paragraph letter starting “Dear Neighbor…”

And he claimed in this opening salvo that our neighborhoods are suffering from a rise in crime. The facts suggest otherwise, but Francis and his team keep trying to save the sentence.

They should save it once and for all or admit they got a little ahead of themselves. We all do it.

At some point you just have to be able to admit you’re wrong. This is hard for mayors and mayoral wannabes, but yet, to me, it’s the most important skill for their job.

SCOTT LEWIS

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