Inside the Beltway

By McCaslin, John | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 26, 1998 | Go to article overview

Inside the Beltway


McCaslin, John, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


REAGAN'S OTHER WOMAN

Washington public relations consultant Peter Hannaford, former director of public affairs for Gov. Ronald Reagan in California and author of "The Reagans: A Political Portrait" and the co-author of "Remembering Reagan," has a new book out, "The Quotable Ronald Reagan."

Called an "essential collection of this legendary speaker's words," how the book (Regnery Publishing, $16.95) came about is as intriguing as the quotations inside.

"This book had its beginnings in January 1993," says Mr. Hannaford, after he reviewed the newest edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. "There were three [Reagan] quotations, and footnote references to two others. It seemed clear to me that the person doing the selecting did not like the 40th president of the United States."

Instead of the soaring words of Mr. Reagan's 1981 Notre Dame University speech, his "Reagan Doctrine" speech the next year to the British Parliament, or his tribute at Normandy to the soldiers of D-Day, Mr. Hannaford found a quotation about uncontrolled government spending, another about people getting rich, and a denial that anyone in the United States ever went hungry.

"The overall effect was to make Reagan seem superficial," says Mr. Hannaford.

Turns out Justin Kaplan, general editor of Bartlett's, wrote in a 1993 op-ed: "I confess that I was less than dazzled by the Reagan presidency and its rhetoric." He told another interviewer, "I'm not going to dispute the fact that I despise Ronald Reagan."

Mr. Hannaford, on the other hand, presents 330 of the Gipper's quotations "with a range of human emotions which may cause you to laugh or weep; to be inspired, reflective, proud of your nation, and wiser about human nature."

Inside the Beltway thought it fitting, in light of the current crisis at the White House, to select this quotation from "The Quotable Ronald Reagan":

"I told Nancy, `This is the other woman in my life.' "

The former president made the remark to the first lady as their helicopter circled the Statue of Liberty.

STUFFING . . .

Being Thanksgiving Day, we thought it the appropriate time to pass along a memo circulating at the Environmental Protection Agency explaining how every month Vice President Al Gore hands out his "No Gobbledygook Award" to bureaucrats who have effectively rewritten government documents in plain language.

An EPA official noted in the memo that he'd just returned from the White House, where Mr. Gore awarded the fifth No Gobbledygook Award to the Food and Drug Administration's food safety hot line. He told fellow employees that if the FDA can win the award, they could, too, and encouraged nominations from any and all conscientious EPA writers. …

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