Psychiatrist Aaron Lazare, author of a 2004 book, "On Apology," described Brown's apology as a "trash apology."
"He is evading his responsibility to be a moral person. He is not being a stand-up man," said Lazare, a professor and former chancellor at University of Massachusetts medical school.
The exchange showed voters what insiders know – that Brown can be abrupt, arrogant and dismissive. Perhaps this once-and-maybe-future governor doesn't see the need for a simple, "I'm sorry."
If such talk truly burns Whitman's ears, she should have remained in Atherton and not entered the indelicate world of politics. More likely, she and her aides are thrilled about the turn of events.
Brown's fumbling allowed Whitman to shift attention from her own problem involving her housekeeper, an illegal immigrant. And Whitman knows the word is a slur, and will be viewed as such by some women who will be voting in the next few weeks.
Brown is supposed to be the political professional. He should have put the matter to rest fast by acknowledging the insult and apologizing, and not trying to shift blame. Instead, he committed the rookie political mistake of extending what should have been a blip into a story that has lasted a week.