Below is a series of Bill Clinton apology quotes following the unfortunate situation with Ms. Monica Lewinsky while he was President of the United States. Note how the master politician handles his apologies.
I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.August 17, 1998
I'm having to become quite an expert in this business of asking for forgiveness.August 28, 1998
You know, I have acknowledged that I made a mistake, said that I regretted it, asked to be forgiven, spent a lot of very valuable time with my family in the last couple of weeks, and said I was going back to work.September 2, 1998
I made a big mistake. It is indefensible, and I am sorry. I can't disagree with anyone else who wants to be critical of what I have already acknowledged is indefensible. There's nothing that he [Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.)] or anyone else could say in a personally critical way that I don't imagine I would disagree with since I have already said it myself, to myself, and I'm very sorry about it, but there's nothing else I can say.September 4, 1998
I also let you down, and I let my family down, and I let this country down. But I'm trying to make it right. And I'm determined never to let anything like that happen again. And I'm determined to redeem the trust. So I ask you for your understanding, for your forgiveness on this journey we're on. I hope this will be a time of reconciliation and healing.September 9, 1998 | Afternoon | Two Clinton apologies were extended on this day.
I've tried to do a good job taking care of this country, even when I haven't taken such good care of myself and my family and my obligations. I hope that you and others I have injured will forgive me for the mistakes I've made, but the most important thing is you must not let it deter you from meeting your responsibilities as citizens.September 9, 1998 | This is the evening edition for Clinton apology quotes.
I agree with those who have said that in my first statement after I testified I was not contrite enough. I don't think there is a fancy way to say that I have sinned. It is important to me that everybody who has been hurt know that the sorrow I feel is genuine: first and most important, my family; also my friends, my staff, my Cabinet, Monica Lewinsky and her family; and the American people. I have asked all for their forgiveness. But I believe that to be forgiven, more than sorrow is required—at least two more things. First, genuine repentance—a determination to change and to repair breaches of my own making. Second, what my Bible calls a "broken spirit"; an understanding that I must have God's help to be the person that I want to be; a willingness to give the very forgiveness I seek; a renunciation of the pride and the anger which cloud judgment, lead people to excuse and compare and to blame and complain.September 11, 1998
What I want the American people to know, what I want the Congress to know, is that I am profoundly sorry for all I have done wrong in words and deeds. I never should have misled the country, the Congress, my friends and my family.December 11, 1998
Now that the Senate has fulfilled its constitutional responsibility, bringing this process to a conclusion, I want to say again to the American people how profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did to trigger these events and the great burden they have imposed on the Congress and on the American people.February 12, 1999
Source: A Sorry Apology, 24 September, 2006, | The Atlanta Journal - Constitution, B2
This was a PR nightmare of immeasurable magnitude and we can learn a great deal from how it was handled and what was said. These Clinton apology quotes illustrate in context and through a time-line how the formula for a proper apology can be applied to any situation.