Nation: Inspecting the Premises

Golden autumn sunlight dappled the. freshly whitened south portico of the White House, and a gardener steadily swept at the fallen leaves around the diplomatic entrance. At one minute before 2, the shrieking sirens of an official motorcade split the air, and quickly pomp and circumstance turned into slapstick comedy. The big black limousine pulled up smartly before the red-carpeted doorway. Out popped a beaming Ronald Reagan and his smiling wife.

No one was there to meet them.

Undaunted, the Reagans started to walk into the White House. But before they could disappear inside, they nearly caromed off a flustered First Couple...

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