Reynolds recounts an 1886 conversation between Colorado gubernatorial candidate Frederick White and his campaign manager, E.B. Sopris. The two are speaking secretly in the ladies room at a state party convention.
Wight complained that he was "green in this business," and wanted to know how to converse with the delegates. "[C]onfine your talk to monsyllables or to the weather or the Cleveland administration or something of that sort," Sopris advised. "Don’t give your views on anything else…. Look wise and be a good listener." "Well," Wight interjected, "suppose I am asked for my views on railway legislation?"
"Be evasive; don’t answer positively pro or con. Say the family is the foundation of the state. Ask your questioner how many children he has, and express the hope that some one of them will live to be president. Then look off very earnestly and find someone whom you must talk with at once, and excuse yourself…. If pressed take a violent fit of coughing and rush off for the glass of water. Some friend will stop you on your return and introduce you to a new delegate."