It’s a hard balance to hit—being an actual person who has good intentions and feelings as well as a public figure in these days of mass, global, instant communication. Everyone is your judge, and we all bring our own baggage along for the ride.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share some old sayings with you. Oddly enough, you’ll find wisdom in those old sayings, clichés though they may be. Since they must be taken with a grain of salt, I’ve included the salt too.
1. Everybody loves a winner.
(Until you try to pass legislation.)
2. Murphy’s Law: Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
(And everything that can go wrong has already been debated in the press.)
3. It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.
(But as soon as you learn to play the game, a group meets in an undisclosed location and changes the rules without telling you.)
4. For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.
(Any service you’re trying to perform for your country will be simultaneously interpreted as both a blatant attempt to win votes and a politically naive gesture to an unrepresentative splinter of the population.)
5. To thine own self be true.
(Face up quickly to the difficulties of juggling a publicly-perceived multiple personality disorder that includes sage, amateur, foreigner, archetypal America, great dad, philanderer, and parent to an alien baby, if the tabloids have their way.)
6. It’s not over ‘til it’s over.
(The word “over” in political life is a poorly defined term, much like “truth” and “the American people.”)
7. The best offense is a good defense.
(Having an alligator’s hide, a heart of steel, and the ability to exercise a healthy sense of denial may help.)
8. Ya gotta have heart.
(Notwithstanding #7, there seems to be no means of navigating dangerous political waters to achieve worthwhile goals without exposing tender parts of yourself to people who assume you are not really a human being.)