An apology from a powerful politician is front-page news -- especially from a politician like William Donald Schaefer who has a legendary capacity to carry a grudge. So, like the rest of the state, we welcome news of Governor Schaefer's surprise appearance in the House of Delegates Monday evening. We hope his brief speech will bring a merciful end to one of the legislative season's zanier distractions.
For almost two weeks, the governor's off-the-cuff insult to the Eastern Shore has been engendering resentment in Eastern Shore lawmakers and their constituents. Earlier on Monday, an 18-vehicle caravan carrying three outhouses arrived in Annapolis to drive home the point that if the governor meant his remark as a joke, Eastern Shore residents were not amused.
Granted, Schaefer's ways of expressing himself will never make him an ideal role model for school children, but his apology to the House does stand out as a rare instance of a politician's public -- and, apparently, genuine -- apology. That's not always an easy thing to do, especially for a man who puts as much of himself into his job as Schaefer does, and he deserves credit for this instance of humility. The governor has said he's sorry; now it's up to the Eastern Shore to let bygones be bygones.