It would have been really handy as a kid having a staff of strategists.
I mean, when John McCain came out and said he wanted to delay the debate to deal with the economic crisis, Barack Obama's strategists came up with the "a president should be able to deal with more than one thing at a time" argument. Brilliant. (By the way, I was trying to be "post-partisan" by coming up with a brilliant McCain strategy as well. I put at least five minutes into trying to think of one -- and I came up empty.)
If I would have had political strategists on my side as a kid, life would have been so much easier.
Take, for example, the time my sister and I decided we wanted to get the chaise lounges (or if we must be proper here, chaise longues) down from the attic. Our parents weren't home and our desire to lay out in the sun couldn't wait, so we went for it. We set up the ladder in the garage and up she went. She pulled herself up into the attic and took one step. And then her leg came through the garage ceiling. All apologies to my sister, but I wasn't worried about her. She would be fine. I was more worried about what kind of wrath we would face when my parents got home, so I immediately started trying to come up with some reasonable explanation for why there was a big hole in the ceiling. (My sister, being the good and perfect daughter, was suggesting we go with the truth. Fool.) I can't remember now how we resolved that struggle between good and evil. But certainly, if I would have had a team of strategists on my side, I could have turned that hole into something good -- maybe an escape hatch for mice in the attic or something.
Or let's take the time my sister and I decided to start a nice, cozy fire in the fireplace but forgot to open the flue. (Oddly enough, the 'rents weren't home for this, either). Sitting right in front of the fireplace we didn't realize how smoky the house was becoming. It was only when we left the room then looked back toward the living room that we realized ... we couldn't really see the living room anymore. Once again, I immediately started thinking of the cover-up. (Yeah, I know, it's the cover-up, not the crime, that gets you into trouble.) In my mind, the best way to cover this up was to get rid of the smoke, and that involved opening doors and windows and turning on our big exhaust fan. BIG mistake. Now, not only was it smoky, but now there was soot all over the living room. Think of how you smell after sitting all night next to a campfire. That was our house. I never said it was a good idea -- but it was an idea. If I would have had a team of strategists, they could have given me the proper talking points. I could have told my mom that it's good to have your curtains and furniture and carpet professionally cleaned every once in awhile. I could have told her that, at least until we opened all the doors and windows in the middle of winter, we had saved them money on their utility bill because all the heat from the fireplace was staying in the house. I could have told her that it was a nice sister bonding experience.
Alas, I had no strategists and was left to my own defenses. And trust me, for a kid who regularly explained being late for dinner by saying she had been picked up by a dinosaur on her way home and dropped miles away, that is not such a good thing.