The following is a series of Bill Clinton apology quotes following the
unfortunate situation with Ms. Monica Lewinsky. 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."
"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
(Two Clinton apology quotes were extended
today, this one in the afternoon)
"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 evening edition of Clinton apology
"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 requiredat least two more things. First,
genuine repentancea 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."
"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
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 timeline how the formula for a
proper apology can be applied to any situation.