As the Iran-contra affair continues to unfold, the erosion of President Reagan's credibility continues. On the news almost every night we see the President saying something, and then the program immediately cuts to a film from the past showing him saying exactly the opposite. And now he says that he doesn't even remember.
However, there is one phrase with which the President could have answered not only every question in the past, but any that come up in the future. It only contains nine words, making it very easy to memorize, and nobody would doubt the President's sincerity, honesty, or accuracy every time he said it. The phrase has a curiously familiar ring, but I am assured that there is no copyright on it. And as the person who first uttered it is now unemployed, the President may wish to hire him as a consultant, thereby getting not only some coaching, but also demonstrating the concern for the unemployed that he is so often accused of lacking.
So in future, whenever one of those awkward questions comes up, the President should get a quizzical look on his face for a few moments, then give his famous bright smile, and with a friendly wave of the hand, respond with the nine simple words:
"It seemed like a good idea at the time . . ."
DELIA J. HUNTER