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Oglesby: A promising speaker, a wayward Tiger
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David Ralston is going to make a good Speaker of the Georgia House. As The Times reported, he has close ties to Hall County, including a stint as a reporter for The Times.

I knew him well before that time through GOP politics when I was district chairman. I told the convention I would forgo the national convention delegate spot that normally goes to the chairman if the district would elect a teenager. The idea was to get young people involved in their government. David, the chair of his county’s Young Republican Club, was the one I had in mind and he won becoming the youngest delegate to the national convention.

David and I remain in steady contact. In public meetings, he usually introduces me as his second father. "Adopted" son, I have some unsolicited advice for you but will wait until next time to share it. A hint though: You are in a position to ensure the Democrats don’t take control of the legislature or governorship in next year’s elections.

Politics is one sport. Let’s now switch to another: golf. What in the world was Tiger Woods thinking, or was he even thinking?

All celebrities should know they live in glass houses and their popularity makes them fair game. I’m only an opinion writer who isn’t even popular in some circles in the small arena I work, but even I know I’m fair game as a "public figure."

I totally disapprove of marital infidelity, the most solemn of all sacred vows. My parents had a name unmentionable in polite conversation for women who chased after and slept with men they knew were married.

Tiger goofed big time and is paying a yet undetermined heavy price. With some sponsors dropping him, the pocketbook will hurt. Respect, friendships and credibility is being lost. Worse, if he and his wife can’t reconcile, he could lose his family. I’ve heard rumors that Erin is going to file for divorce. Why would any sane man do that?

Outwardly at least, Tiger loves his wife and adores his children. She loved him before betrayal and may still. Children love their parents and need both. Divorce almost inevitably imposes long-term consequences on the innocent children.

This is one writer who is hoping Erin understands and has a forgiving heart which might be repaired if Tiger demonstrates he is truly sorry and repentant and deserves a second chance. From what I read he appears to be on that path with an indefinite leave from the tour. We should give him and his family the privacy they seek as they try to rebuild.

I seldom read tabloids so can’t speak with authority about what they’re publishing and how they’re getting.their "news." The guess is at least some of Tiger’s mistresses were paid well for their revelations. As a journalist, I don’t believe in responsible media paying for news. But who ever said Tabloids were responsible?

Summarizing my take, the Woods family needs a truly repentant and reformed Tiger. The PGA tour badly needs Tiger. Tiger needs a clear and cleansed mind focused on his golf game and chase of the majors record. He has the ability to leave work at the office.

I think he has set his current priorities correctly: Focus now entirely on repairing his marriage if possible and fatherhood if possible. Only then get back to work. This fan is willing to give him that second chance. It is the Christian way.

This is my last column of this year. To you and yours a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Ted Oglesby is retired associate and opinion page editor of The Times. You can reach him at P.O. Box 663, Gainesville, GA 30503. His column appears every other Tuesday and on gainesvilletimes.com.

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