Grading John Edwards's apology
Last week I graded 2010’s most prominent apologies. Sadly, John Edwards waited until yesterday to admit he is the father of a two year-old daughter with former (we think) mistress Rielle Hunter, and issue his long-overdue apology.
So here is my own belated rating. Grade: D-minus. Category: The misdirection.
Obviously Edwards fails on timing and sincerity, coming clean two years after the Iowa caucuses and two weeks before his former aide releases a tell-all book. He also performs the neat trick of apologizing sincerely, but to the wrong people and for the wrong thing.
Edwards wrote in a statement, “It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me….To all those I have disappointed and hurt, these words will never be enough, but I am truly sorry.”
His infant daughter doesn’t need a public apology, and the “sorry” to those he disappointed and hurt leaves a lot of us out.
He didn’t disappoint me -- my expectations were already quite low. He didn’t hurt me (I don’t think). But he offends me nonetheless. He ran for president knowing that this albatross was hanging around his neck. We quickly forget, but Edwards was not far from winning the Iowa caucuses, and had he won the nomination, John McCain and Sarah Palin might be running the country right now.
Furthermore, even without winning, it’s unclear to what extent he swayed the last election. A friend of mine, a former Hillary staffer, sat in the caucuses and to this day swears that had Edwards not run, Hillary would have won Iowa and, likely, the nomination. So I am offended by John Edwards’s arrogance in thinking that he could play around with the presidency.
Why only a D-minus? Well, it was so tough to get Edwards to own up and apologize that the National Enquirer now wants a Pulitzer Prize for its work in digging out the story. If John Edwards can get the National Enquirer a Pulitzer, he deserves a little extra credit.
| January 22, 2010; 9:28 AM ET
Categories: Huffman | Tags: Kevin Huffman
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