Jennifer Thomas is a bestselling author, psychologist, speaker, consultant & apology critic

Politics Means Always Having to Say You’re Sorry: John Edwards 3.5 Stars (out of 5)

I borrowed today’s title from this classic op.ed. by Stanley Fish about apologies.

Kevin Huffman of the Washington Post is blogging about John Edward’s apology and admission that he is the father of Rielle Hunter’s 1-year-old daughter.  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.”

My analysis:  In his statement, John Edwards expressed sorrow over the hurt he has caused and he accepted wrongdoing.  In addition, he described some restitution that will be paid for the child’s care and he made an indirect request for forgiveness.  His apology would have been stronger if he had talked about what he will do in the future to prevent such a thing from occurring again.  Of course, preventing this affair and it’s damage to his family would have been the best route.  How will he ever make restitution to his wife and his mortified kids?


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