One time about ten years ago, I was on a radio program talking about some political matter or other, and I started a point by saying, "There are three reasons why." I then said, "First..." and explained the first. Then I said, "Second..." and explained the second. Then I couldn't remember the third. Fortunately, for this interview I was in the studio, and I looked helplessly at the host and gave her a little shake of the head and an open mouth, the universal signal for, "I just had a brain fart, please help!" Being a smooth professional, she stepped in quickly and moved the conversation along. I learned my lesson: I've done a few hundred radio interviews in the time since and never once have I said a specific number of points I'm about to give.
Which is why I have a little bit of sympathy for Rick Perry today:
You have to wonder just what went through Perry's head after that "Oops" escaped his mouth. Maybe nothing in particular. Or maybe, "Given the fact that I've been having trouble in these debates, maybe 'Oops' wasn't such a great thing to say." Or maybe, "If I just ran away, would anyone notice?" Or maybe, "You know what? George W. Bush ain't as dumb as I always thought. This stuff is hard!"