From Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:
"Horace," said Dumbledore, relieving Harry of the responsibility to say any of this, "likes his comfort. He also likes the company of the famous, the successful and the powerful. He enjoys the feeling that he influences these people. He has never wanted to occupy the throne himself; he prefers the back seat - more room to spread out, you see. He use to handpick favourites at Hogwarts, sometimes for their ambition or their brains, sometimes for their charm or their talent, and he had an uncanny knack for choosing those who would go on to become outstanding in their various fields. Horace formed a kind of club of his favourites with himself at the centre, making introductions, forging useful contacts between members, and always reaping some kind of benefit in return, whether a free box of his favourite crystallised pineapple or the chance to recommend the next junior member of the Goblin Liaison Office."
She apologized because, like it or not, I am an important person who has the ability to affect her public image. This is the same reason John Kerry regularly called me and begged me to agree with his positions. It goes with the territory when you're a prominent columnist.