Peter Feaver considers it:
Many people have observed that President Bush should have developed a more comfortable language of apology and sooner. I agree. But on key occasions when Bush did follow the "admit mistakes" playbook, he ran into a problem...apologizing lances the boil (that is good) but, to mix a metaphor, it locks in amber a distorted view of what happened (that is bad), and over time leaves the president unable to defend himself against unfair attacks on that subject.
Susan Wise Bauer's under-rated book from last year, The Art of the Public Grovel, explains how politicians survive or flail during scandals, primarily scandals of a sexual nature. Her book describes how various politicians have salvaged their careers and restored public trust through an almost ritualistic admission of wrongdoing and sin or failed miserably. Interview with Bauer here.
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