After years and years of notoriety as the biggest political mistress since Monica Lewinsky, Rielle Hunter apologized this week for her affair with John Edwards.
"I behaved badly," she said. "Infidelity is wrong."
Indeed. But does that make her at all sincere?
Rielle Hunter says her publisher came up with the idea of going through her book to make a revised version annotating all of her regrets and mistakes.
She did so, and plenty of people have commended her for her bravery, honesty and the like. Yet some aren't finding her remorse the least bit convincing.
It's that I don't find her remorse convincing.
She says the right things, and comes across like someone trying to come across as contrite, but here are several reasons some feel she's not ...
- Shifting blame. Almost immediately after she says she "behaved badly," she wants us to know that she was once "viciously attacked" by the media.
- Subtle minimization. "I behaved badly," while true, just sounds like you're not THAT sorry. "I behaved horribly" would have been more apt.
- Vagueness. Hunter is rather short on particulars for a woman who has - and could have been more effective by listing - a boatload of them.
- The "I Did it for Love" defense. We all act out of love sometimes, but this subtly implies that what she did was due to forces beyond her control.
- The upbringing angle. "I didn't realize how damaged I was," she writes of her upbringing. Not totally off base, but still a plea for sympathy.
- "I didn't intend to hurt you" is faux remorse. Her intent is not central to an apology. Also, affairs with married men and cover-ups are premeditated.
- The lack of humility is perhaps the most shocking. Rielle's apology comes with the self congratulations of a book deal and media tour.
In short ... FAIL. What a waste.