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How to Come Back from a Political Scandal

There's no reason a few nights with a hooker or a little restroom footsie should end your political career. You just have to learn the art of the apology.


  • Step 1: Arrange a press conference Arrange a press conference to cop to your indiscretion.
  • Step 2: Wear a patriotic power tie Wear a dark suit, white shirt, and — this is critical — a red, white, and blue striped tie with predominantly red stripes. Red is associated with power, courage, and directness, while blue is thought to evoke trust, stability, and calm. That combination — in those proportions — is what you’re looking for in your apology.
  • Step 3: Make your spouse accompany you Convince your spouse to abandon every last shred of her pride, dignity, and self-respect by standing beside you at the podium.
  • TIP: Have her wear pearls to show that someone classy and wholesome still loves you.
  • Step 4: Show your pain Show how bad you feel by pursing your lips together as if you’re in actual physical pain.
  • Step 5: Show your pain Apologize to everyone—your family, your constituency, the country at large. And don’t forget the Big Guy.
  • Step 6: Throw in some key words Sprinkle your speech with words like, 'heal,' 'regret,' and 'accept full responsibility.'
  • Step 7: Downplay the wrongdoing Downplay the wrongdoing—call it a 'private' matter; frame it as 'poor judgment,' rather than breaking the law; refer to your arrest as an 'unfortunate incident.'
  • Step 8: Hire a PR firm Hire a public relations firm to spin the story so you become the victim.
  • Step 9: Get counseling Prove you’re repentant by alerting the paparazzi to your meeting with a nationally-known spiritual adviser.
  • Step 10: Do a sit-down Arrange a sit-down with a TV reporter and do whatever it takes to get your wife to appear with you, holding your hand and gazing at you with adoration. Encourage her to laugh off your indiscretion as if you are nothing more than a naughty schoolboy.
  • Step 11: Make fun of yourself When a decent amount of time has passed, try to get a spot on Saturday Night Live or the Late Show with David Letterman. Everyone likes a good sport.
  • Step 12: Become altruistic Regain the public’s love by putting your energy into an altruistic endeavor like saving the earth. Or at least the dolphins.
  • FACT: Founding father Alexander Hamilton was forced to confess to an affair with a married woman after someone published the couple’s love letters.

You Will Need

  • A press conference
  • A red
  • white
  • and blue striped tie
  • A long-suffering spouse to stand by you
  • A sincere-sounding apology
  • A nationally-known spiritual adviser
  • An altruistic endeavor
  • A late-night TV guest spot

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