The Harding Institute for Freedom & Democracy

The Harding Prize for Best Apology


UPDATE: Press Release with 2010 Winners announced here.


In the tradition of the great awards of our modern era – the Nobel, the Pulitzer, the Oscar – it is with great pride that the Harding Institute inaugurates its annual “Harding Prize.”  Most accomplishments in the human endeavor already have awards, but one that the Institute felt was lacking was for achievement in the art and craft of the rhetorical apologia.  Inspired by Warren Harding’s own succinct apology, “I am not fit for this office and should never have been here,” the Harding Prize will be awarded on an annual basis to the Best Apology in the fields of Politics, Media, Business, Entertainment and Sports.

 “Anyone who has blundered on the public stage can make an earnest apology,” said Harding Institute Sr. Fellow Martin Eisenstadt. “But the real craft of the perfect apology is in giving the impression of sincere contrition while simultaneously shifting blame, changing the subject or in some other way coming out ahead in the court of public opinion. That’s both an art and a science, and it should be recognized for its achievement.

The first annual Harding Prizes - affectionately known as "The Hardies" - will be awarded during a speech Martin Eisenstadt will be making at his alma mater, American University, as part of the Kennedy Political Union lecture series. Thursday, April 8, 2010, at 8:15 in Ward 2.