Consolidation: The Teflon President, 1983-1985
This is the period of the "teflon presidency," when Ronald Reagan's image appeared both durable and unassailable. The focus of the Reagan White House between 1983 and the end of 1985 was on foreign policy, and it was the scenario that Reagan built around foreign affairs issues that provided the basis for his political image.
It was also during this period, however, that the first seeds of the problems Reagan faced later were planted, and the first questions about his leadership ability and style were asked. Even while Reagan's image was apparently at its most invulnerable, the first tiny cracks began to appear in the teflon. This process becomes clearest with reference to both the political context and Reagan's political rhetoric between 1983-1985. The data include a total of 1,049 documents for this period: 363 from 1983, 370 from 1984, and 316 from 1985.
This period is characterized by Ronald Reagan's personal and political ascendency. That ascendency was based upon widespread public acceptance of Reagan's interpretation of events.