At yesterday's University of Southern California annual ROTC dinner, former CIA director David Petraeus made his first public speech since resigning last November after it was revealed that he had been having an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell.
Petraeus' appearance at USC had been slated since before the scandal broke, but that didn't stop him from addressing the topic directly, telling the room:
"It truly is a privilege to be here with you this evening — all the more so given my personal journey over the past five months...I join you keenly aware that I am regarded in a different light now than I was a year ago...I'm also keenly aware that the reason for my recent journey was my own doing...So please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret and apologize for the circumstances that led to my resignation from the CIA and caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters."
He then stressed "this evening is not about me," before going on to say Have any of you talked to Paula? Did she say anything about me? Don't tell her I asked. Unless she asks about me. Sorry, this evening is about you. Can you give her a message for me?
Petraeus closed out his speech — which was definitely not about him — by bringing up the elephant in the room one last time :
"As I close, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you as well to those who provided words of encouragement to my family and me in recent months. That support meant a great deal as we sought to look forward rather than backward."
And always twirling, twirling, twiiiiiiirling towards freedom.