1. Acknowledge that your view has changed.
2. Explain why you now think differently on the issue.
3. Give some credit to those who disagreed with you before you changed your mind--you know, since you have come around to their view now.
Do it Obama's way:
I welcome this debate and I think it's healthy for our democracy. I think it's a sign of maturity because probably five years ago, six years ago we might not have been having this debate. And I think it's interesting that there are some folks on the left but also some folks on the right who are now worried about it, who weren't very worried about it when it was a Republican president.
1. No mention that he was one of the fiercest critics of President Bush' intelligence gathering.
2. None given. We did have this debate "five years ago, six years ago" and Obama was on the opposite side of it then from where he is now.
3. No. Rather criticize them for now believing what you used to believe.
The exact opposite of what it means to be a statesman.
Just so head-off the possible complaint that there is no graceful way to perform my statesman-like standard, the below is a shot at it. Bear in mind, I am not a professional writer and so this could probably be greatly improved.
Fellow Americans. I'm sure you are well aware that when I was a Senator from Illinois, I was one of the most fierce critics of President Bush's intelligence-gathering program under the Patriot Act. I think this stemmed from at least two sources: First, a general distrust of the Bush administration and second, as an outsider to the executive branch, a lack of understanding for the capabilities and responsibilities of that branch. As President, I have come-around to the need for programs such as these since I take seriously my responsibility to protect the American public from attack and see the programs as well within constitutional privacy protections. As for liberal and conservative critics of theses efforts, some of whom did not oppose them when George W. Bush was President: I understand your concerns and share those same concerns. People of good faith can come to different conclusions about the balance between privacy and security.
Thank You and God Bless.
"As for our common defense," Barack Obama declared in his First Inaugural Address, "we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. . . . Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."
Last Friday the president said this: "I think it's important to recognize that you can't have 100% security and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience. We're going to have to make some choices as a society."