“You can’t say that,” she said firmly. I looked into Susan’s face, haggard with the long hours we were keeping. She looked older now than when we started this mad caravan.
“Why not? It’s true.”
“I know it’s true, you know it’s true.” She adopted the tone of a kindergarten teacher when she was upset with me. “But those people, the ones out there-they don’t want to admit it to themselves. So if you tell them, they’re going to punish you for it. Punish us.”
“But it’s true. They know it’s true. Everybody knows it’s true. Even my opponent.”
“Look, I know that. But we have to campaign now, so we get the chance to govern later. You hired me because I know how to win. You’re paying me to tell you that, even though it’s true, you can’t say it. Not here, not now.” She had lost the kindergarten teacher vibe, now putting the edge into her words that a wife has. She knew this tone well-3 ex husbands could testify to that. “If you say it, both sides are going to lay into you, with both barrels-it would be like throwing red meat in front of hungry lions. You can’t feed those people, not now.”
I smiled at her.
“Now go out there and show them what you’re made of,” she said.