After the "2005 offensive remarks" story and video airing, Trump tweeted
"This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended."
Considering that the remarks recorded were inherently offensive to women (and to most men), using "if" displays an air of dismay, leading to the necessary fact that Trump, AT THE TIME OF THIS TWEET didn't recognize that he had done anything wrong by saying, and claiming to have done (and do) what he did.
This is an important consideration to keep in mind when his later video-taped message aired.
What Caused Trump to Change, Assuming He Did?
In his taped message (calling it an "apology" demeans those who have sincerely been sorry), he says the words "don't reflect who I am." However, by his earlier tweet, it is unmistakably clear that, at the time of the tweet, he had the same attitude that he had eleven years before, even if he has not been acting on the impulses recently.
So, what changed?
Trump claims that his "travels on the road have changed me." Then he goes on to give three examples
1-"grieving mothers who lost their children",
2-"laid-off workers, whose jobs have gone to other countries", and
3-"people from all walks of life who just want a better future".
Okay, let's see if any, or all, of these are a reasonable basis for a person to change, but with the realization that ALL of his "reasons for change" occurred before his earlier tweet, which had already shown that, at the time of the tweet, he had no understanding that what he said about, and how he acted toward, women was inherently wrong.
Taking them in reverse order, the third "reason" is a not-so-veiled campaign slogan and doesn't specify any experience that could show him the "error of his ways", i.e., disrespect for women. So this cannot have caused him to change.
The second reason is, again, though this time unabashedly so, a campaign slogan and "plug" for his economic position. Again, there are no specifics as to how this advocated-for-months campaign position affected him, nor any obvious tie-in with his problem: disrespect for women. So, no reasonable person can buy that this, in any way, could have caused him to change.
The first reason, at least, has "mothers" mentioned, and, to be sure, a normal person would be moved by any of their stories. But, again, how does it tie in with his demonstrated mindset towards women? Having sympathy for grieving mothers (allowing, for sake of argument, that he can sympathize) does not bear any relationship to gaining respect for women. Sympathy for the grieving is a universal human social trait, existing from early childhood. Certainly, if he had experienced sympathy for grieving parents in the past, then any change in his mindset should have occurred back them. So, again, no reasonable person can buy that this caused him to change.
I will grant him that, perhaps, sometime during his campaign, he stopped exhibiting the behavior that he allowed himself before his campaign run, but his disrespect for women, as demonstrated after his campaign began, had not changed, at least not before October 7, 2016. Furthermore, by his conditional morning tweet, as above noted, he hadn't accepted the fact that his taped words and revealed behavior were inherently offensive and wrong.
So, what was it that "changed him", if, indeed he has changed at all. (Note that he said "I pledge to be a better man tomorrow" so, I guess, he has to sleep on it ... WHY NOT IMMEDIATELY, MR. TRUMP?)
If the Reasons Named by Trump Were Not The Basis, What Was?
Clearly, like a kid who was caught stealing, he suffered a "dressing down" by those around him, a verbal beating and "reality check" so intense that it forced him into a kind of defiant submission, and that defiance shown through his prompted speech.
Did he change? To the extent that he "gave in", yes. As to his mindset, unlikely at the time of the taping, unlikely by "tomorrow". All one can hope for is that, with continued intense pressure, he may ... eventually, but certainly not before November 8, because the attitude he has exhibited for fifty-or-more years will take months to years to suppress, and longer to be displaced.
Well, If He Did Not Apologize, What Was He Really Saying?
His actual words?
"I've said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them." Translation: I should have checked to see if anyone was recording me back then, but, still, it was a long time ago. "Bygones".
"Anyone who knows me, knows these words don't reflect who I am." Translation: I'll be more careful in the future.
"I said it. I was wrong. And I apologize." Translation: He omitted the "Period" (remember the birther statement?), but the attitude is exactly the same. "I don't want to talk about this anymore." However, he can, at least, be credited for having owned up to saying "it" instead of blaming Hillary Clinton ... oh, wait, he sort of did push off blame, to Bill Clinton, both in his earlier tweet and toward the end of his taped message.
After saying he was "changed" and gave the "reasons why" he "changed", he said "I've been humbled by the great faith they placed in me." Translation: I've never been humble in my life, but if it will help make this thing go away, then I'll say almost anything.
"I pledge to be a better man, tomorrow, and will never, ever let you down." Translation: They believed me when I said "I swear I will never, ever lie to you... Absolutely! I will never - ever - lie - to - you!" (mid-August, 2016), so why not add it here?
"This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we're facing today... ." Translation: What I said and did isn't all that important when you look at it in perspective. I'm, basically, a good guy. So, I'm ending this discussion, just like I did at the birther conference when I said, "And now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again". So, quit bugging me.
Then he went on to his usual campaign rhetoric, but closed with words trying to show that what Bill Clinton did two decades ago was worse than what Trump "only" said (thereby inferentially denying that he actually did or acted on any of the things he said he did or would do), and that Hillary Clinton "bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims... ." Apparently, signaling the future line of attack on Clinton ... or was it merely a way of deflecting from the discussion centered around him?
Just like at the birther conference. Trump, once again, lied about his true intention for the speech. While forced to say what he did, his attitude has not changed. He's just going to do a better job at hiding it.
The fact is, if this speech is seen, at all, like it came from a sincere heart, with a conviction for an attitude change accepted and his promise to be a "better man tomorrow" taken at face value, then those doing so deserve to be disillusioned to the nth degree.
And they will be.