Although he acknowledged his extramarital affair was the result of "extremely poor judgment" and "such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours," David Petraeus never came out and stood at a podium or in front of a camera to address the affair he had with biographer Paula Broadwell. He never offered the public much in the way of an official admission. But now a personal letter that he wrote his friend and father figure Brigadier General James Shelton has emerged, and it includes just about the most straightforward admission ever.
He wrote, "I screwed up royally. I paid the price (appropriately) and I sought to do the right thing, at the end of the day." Nice. Definitely less beating around the bush there than in the case of fellow scandal-causin', adulterer politicians!
For instance, remember a former president named Bill Clinton who gets the award for Ultimate Face Palm Admission EVER! As you surely recall, after telling the nation on TV that he "did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky," he later had to eat his words and tell a grand jury that he had an "improper physical relationship" with Lewinsky. And then later that evening, he went back on TV and said his relationship with Monica was "not appropriate." Ack.
A decade later, former NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer confessed that he was involved in a prostitution ring, and the way he did it was actually really classy. He showed up to the press conference with his wife Silda by his side and apologized to his family and the public, stating, "I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family."
Then there was former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who by far offered the most tearful, womp womp admission, after news broke that he was gettin' his sext on with several women. While holding back tears, he publicly noted:
I have made terrible mistakes that have hurt the people that I cared about the most, and I am terribly sorry. I am deeply ashamed of my terrible judgment and my actions. If you're looking for some kind of deep explanation for this, I don't have one except to say that I'm very sorry.
Sniff, sniff. Pass the Kleenex.
But as far as I'm concerned, the cheating politician who is the absolute worst at admitting he screwed up has to be Newt Gingrich. The guy who actually tried to blame his chronic adultery -- once even involving his dying wife! -- on patriotism! UGH. Here's the full gem:
There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate. And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn't trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them.
Sheeeze! Considering all of these, there's no doubt Petraeus summed up his indiscretion in a perfectly to-the-point and totally honest way. "I screwed up royally": Never before have four words more than covered it.
Which famous adulterer's admission do you think was best? Worst?
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