A sorry excuse for an apology

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign has featured several different apologies, of sorts. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Hillary Clinton finally apologized this week for her misuse of a private email server during her years as Secretary of State.

“That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility,” the presumed Democratic front-runner said in an interview Tuesday with ABC News.

Of course, the day before, she had told The Associated Press that she didn’t need to apologize because “what I did was allowed.”

And in an NBC interview last Friday, Mrs. Clinton said she was only “sorry that this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions.”

The email issue might be confusing, but these serial comments of culpability have done little to clear the air.

And prior to Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton had been mainly defensive, even prickly, in response to queries about her email practices.

Perhaps her apology, and her promise of “transparency,” is part of the latest effort to repackage Mrs. Clinton’s stumbling campaign.

(See Jonah Goldberg’s column on our Commentary page.)

But the impression has been that of a candidate who has wildly vacillated on one of the central controversies of her campaign in the span of less than a week.

And for the architects of Mrs. Clinton’s “rebranded” presidential bid, that might really be something to regret. Any sense of being genuinely sorry is lost in her multiple, contradictory messages.