By the summer of '85 I had been through the Three Phases of the White House.
The first is, "Gee these people are gonna be so smart," and you keep quiet so no one knows how dumb you are.
The second is, "Hey, I'm as bright as the other guys," and the affirmation makes you generous, the happy pride makes you nicer to the lady in the cafeteria. But you're also a little disappointed, because you wanted to learn.
The third is, "Oh my God, we're in charge?" And you start having mild anxiety attacks and talking too much.
At this point you redefine things, rearrange your concept of competence, knowing that this White House couldn't be worse than any of the other; it has its share of fools, but that's not new, and we always survive. And you realize there isn't, as you'd thought when you were young and in school, a place full of excellence and truly superior people.
There is no safe place of high merit. Because if it isn't here, it isn't.There's a lot to quibble with that passage, but it has its share of truth.