The power of goodwill…

William Powers considers the role of goodwill in helping politicians survive scandals. He contends that Sen. Trent Lott is among the “goodwill-deficient.” I especially like the 4-point categorization Powers creates, but I wish he had accounted for Bill Clinton. I’m not sure any of Powers’ categories adequately explain the source of Clinton’s goodwill. Perhaps we should add: perceived political effectiveness, or common connection. Love him or hate him, Clinton did preside over a long period of economic expansion that created an ever greater level of comfort in America. And he really did sell his ability to feel our pain. I would add to this that Clinton came to understand something important about how to apologize, as I present in this essay on the topic [.pdf].